As we enter the Thanksgiving season, I find myself reflecting on everything I have to be thankful for, and something struck me this year differently than in previous years. This has been another great year, but it has not been without hardships to overcome.
As we all know, the self storage industry is a tight-knit group. This Thanksgiving, I find myself being particularly thankful to be part of a group that is so willing and able to jump in to offer help and support when disasters affect the communities we serve.
When Hurricane Harvey touched ground in August, many self storage owners and operators sent help to Houston and the surrounding cities in the form of donations, manpower, and portable storage. These efforts were supported by both the Texas SSA and the National SSA, who provided information to impacted owners and collected a great deal of donations through their websites. Many facilities unaffected by the hurricane offered free storage to those displaced by the flooding. I am amazed and inspired by the way the self storage industry worked and continues to work for the residents of Houston.
As a Texas operator, this event hit particularly close to home, but many owners from Northern California and Florida have recounted similar events to me over the last few months. This is just additional proof that we really can, and do, help anywhere there is a need.
It’s important to remember that our industry provides a very specific, very important service to society. And it is not just space. Our managers are trained to care for people who are experiencing the most difficult situations life can throw at them. Sometimes the biggest thing our renters are looking for is a willing ear and a little time. When our managers provide that, it makes all the difference in the world.
As a service that is primarily need-based, we are more ingrained in our communities than most other businesses. This is why it is important to be aware, understanding, and flexible. Taking care to build up the communities we serve, because helping those in need is just the right thing to do, returns dividends in a number of ways. I have experienced this first hand, whether it be helping to revitalize a neighborhood or supporting residents displaced by disaster.
So, this year, I am particularly thankful for the self storage industry. I am proud to be part of an impactful, responsible and caring group that does true good in the community. All the best to you and yours this holiday season!