Posted - February 12, 2017
This winter in Bellingham, as in much of the country, we've seen a lot colder temperatures and more snow and ice than is usual. Recent storms brought a beautiful but treacherous winter landscape, and this has brought to mind some tips and realities that all self storage users should know.
Here at Carolina Self Storage we have a "Safety First" philosophy. In severe weather, the danger of accidents causing harm to customers or damage to our buildings and to our customer's belongings stored inside them is too great for us to remain open to vehicle or even to pedestrian traffic. Although it is always our goal to keep the facility open even in the worst storms, there are circumstances which warrant our closing the facility completely to customers. With this in mind, we will limit or restrict access to the facility as needed for the following reasons:
- Snow accumulation of more than one inch. Depending on the severity of the storm and the availability of snow removal crews, reopening could take up to 24 hours or longer depending on the length of the storm.
- Freezing temps with overnight rain that causes ice accumulation on our driveways, or black ice. When this happens closures are usually temporary, until temperatures warm enough to melt the ice. However, if freezing temperatures remain throughout the day, we may be compelled to remain closed until de-icing trucks can come through.
- Wind storms. High winds can cause downed trees or branches, and could potentially cause damage to our gate. When wind gusts rise over 40-50MPH, we may have to close the facility until the wind dies down.
- Power Outages. Although this one seems like only a small annoyance to most Washingtonians, power outages create safety issues of their own, and we will always close the facility during a power outage until power is restored.
- Other dangerous or emergency circumstances. During most city, state or nation-wide emergencies you can assume access to the facility will be limited or completely cut off. Also, system or equipment malfunctions, accidents, or other issues may arise onsite that could cause interruptions in access to the facility at any time.
Thankfully we have only had to completely close our facility to customers a handful of times in the last several years. Still, pulling up to our gate to discover our facility is closed during normal access hours can come as a surprise. Below are some tips which I hope will keep any of our current or potential customers from being left without necessities during a facility closure:
- Plan ahead! If you know you need to access your unit and severe weather is in the forecast, do not put off your visit until later. It's best to gather any items you need out of your unit before the storm hits, as you may not be able to afterward.
- Never store your emergency supplies in your storage unit. Do not assume you will have the time or ability to access your unit in an emergency.
- If you are leaving town soon and need to visit your unit first, again, plan ahead. Make your visit a day or two prior to departure, just in case.
- If you are storing Christmas presents, Halloween costumes, or other critical items needed for specific events in your unit, you guessed it, plan ahead! Nothing spoils a holiday or a party like having your gifts locked safely in your unit and not having access to them because of an unexpected power outage or storm.
I guess the theme here is to always plan ahead and retrieve items out of your unit one to two days before you really need them. I realize there are times when this may not be possible, but often a little preparation is all it takes to keep a facility closure from becoming a major headache. Our goal is complete customer satisfaction, but we also have a responsibility to our customers to do all we can to keep them and their items safe here onsite.
I want to wish all of our customers a safe and beautiful winter. Washington's winters can be inconvenient at times, but they help make our evergreen state the breathtaking place that it is. And I, for one, am willing to put up with periodic disruptions for the privilege of living in such a wonderland. Who's with me?
"It's not personal, it's generational"
Posted - August 15, 2016
I recently had the privilege of attending a training class given by Anna Liotta which focused on communicating across generational lines. As someone who is always looking for ways to communicate better, this was a very enriching experience for me. I learned several things I didn't know about the different generational groups that are alive today, and I gained a deeper understanding of where people in each of those groups are coming from.
Each generation has had its share of milestones, triumphs and challenges, and its own unique cultural and societal contributions. The class gave me an increased awareness and respect for each generation's singular qualities that interweave through our relationships with each other to form the beautiful, rich tapestry that is our world.
One of the things I love most about my job is that it gives me the opportunity to serve and to get to know people of all ages. I'm hoping to take what I learned about each generation's preferred communication methods and incorporate them to help me be a better manager and a better communicator in all my relationships, both professional and personal.
So to all my customers, may you be a Traditionalist, a Baby Boomer, a Gen-Xer, a Millennial or a Global; I hear you, I appreciate you for who you are, and I look forward to having the opportunity to assist you in a way that is meaningful to you.
(If any of you are interested in learning more about cross-generational communication, I recommend Anna Liotta's book, Unlocking Generational Codes. The title of this blog is quoting Anna Liotta).
Posted - July 17, 2015
Community has been defined as a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. We hear so much talk about what it means to be part of the local community, and sometimes it’s hard to understand how a business or company can fit into the equation. We tend to think of them as machines or giants, made up of so many people and ideas that they couldn’t possibly agree to support their local community. Instead, Carolina Self Storage believes that everyone, and every organization, has the ability to make a difference for the people around them. We love having the chance to support our local community, from the individuals who use our services in times of need to the local businesses, events and charities we support.
At various times since our opening, we have been fortunate enough to be able to give back to several local charities. For instance, over the last several years we have been able to donate our services to WeSNIP, a local organization that has been providing spaying and neutering services to low-income pet owners since 2008. Last winter the informed us that they had procured a warehouse of their own and no longer needed our services. This change opened up a spot for us to be able to offer assistance to another deserving local organization.
This year we had the wonderful opportunity to be a sponsor of the Fun With The Fuzz 5k race in Bellingham, which supports the Behind the Badge Foundation. This organization provides assistance to families of fallen police officers, and 100% of the proceeds from the race were donated to the cause. The race was a huge success, with over 1,400 participants arriving on race day to walk, run, or cruise in a stroller across the finish line. Our assistant manager, Audrey, had a great time competing in the race alongside a friend, and she was so excited to be able to support the community while running her first 5k race!
Yes, Carolina Self Storage is a business, but we’re made up of people just like you. We value our community, and have a desire to help it grow stronger, richer, and more beautiful through our efforts. Our office walls are frequently adorned with posters and business cards for the local businesses and organizations we support, and in our personal time our staff frequently gives back to the community through volunteering and working to fulfill the needs of others.
How do you fit into our community? By having a need for storage that we are able to fulfill, you play a part in the community of Carolina Self Storage. If you have a business or organization and partner with us to improve the lives of others, you have a place in our community. We celebrate and support you, and hope that you join us in doing the same.
Keep an eye out for our Community Partners page, coming soon.