Sunday, a rash of tornadoes hit the Midwest and the South. Monday, a fresh flurry of deadly twisters raged though the same region. The extreme weather system also brought severe thunderstorms, hail, and flash floods.
Homes were ripped from their foundations. Vehicles were tossed about like toy Matchbook cars. Residents of Little Rock re-lived a nearly identical experience from the twister in April of 2011 that took almost the exact same route.
Nearly 2 feet of rain fell in the Florida panhandle and the Alabama coast within 24 hours. Tuesday was the rainiest day ever recorded in Pensacola. Pensacola (and nearby Mobile, Alabama) is two of the rainiest cities in the United States averaging more than 5 feet of rain in a year. (At the Pensacola airport, over 15.5 inches of rain fell on Tuesday before midnight.)
Homes have been demolished. Trees have been uprooted. Lives have been lost. Nothing is normal for many people in the wake of the tornadoes and they are now trying to clean up their damaged homes and put their lives back together again.
What does all of this devastation have to do with self storage?
SpareFoot Storage Finder, based in Austin, Texas, launched the SpareFoot Storage Industry Disaster Relief Fund to help the victims of the tornadoes. SpareFoot invites self storage owners, operators, employees, vendors, and any other company that is involved in the self storage industry in any capacity to contribute to the relief fund. For those wishing to donate, visit http://selfstora.ge/SpareFootHelps https://www.crowdrise.com/sparefoot/fundraiser/johnegan3.
SpareFoot is using the Crowdrise fundraising platform. All of the donated monies will go directly to the American Red Cross for disaster relief.
SpareFoot CEO Chuck Gordon indicated that the tornadoes devastated many of the communities that are a part of SpareFoot’s network of self storage facilities. He said that the best way that SpareFoot can help out would be to set up the relief fund so that the storage industry could pool money and collectively demonstrate that the self storage industry cares about the tornado victims.
Currently $1,100 has been donated to the fund. There is no required set amount of money that people have to give. They are encouraged to give whatever they can. In the future, the SpareFoot Storage Industry Disaster Relief Fund will benefit victims of other disasters in the United States.
SpareFoot has the largest inventory of self storage units in the United States. They have over 7,000 facilities in their network ranging from small mom-and pop facilities to publicly traded REITs.
“SpareFoot Launches Storage Industry Disaster Relief Fund.” The SpareFoot Blog; 30 April 2014.
“Nine more people reported dead as tornadoes barrel through Midwest, South.” New York Daily News; 29 April 2014.
“Hundreds Rescued From Floodwaters in Fla., Ala.” ABC News, 30 April 2014.
SpareFoot Storage Finder.