Preparing For Natural Disasters: 3 Ways To Earthquake Proof Your Self Storage Unit

Earthquake activity has been on the rise in the paste decades. Before 2000, only about 21 events of M3 or greater earthquakes were recorded in the mid-continental United States, but this number rose sharply to about 151 per year by 2008. Just to be safe and to prevent your valuables from getting damaged, take extra precautions to earthquake proof your self storage unit using these 3 simple techniques.

Keep Everything in Sealable Containers

When everything starts to shake, the last thing you want is for all the items you've neatly packed in the containers to spill out from containers and boxes being tossed around. While corrugated cardboard boxes are relatively strong, they are not tightly sealed unless you tape the openings several times. Instead of having to go through all of that trouble, purchase sealable plastic containers that have a latch or lock on them that will keep lids securely in place.

While corrugated cardboard boxes are relatively sturdy, they may not be able to withstand large forces of impact. In addition, sharp items and edges may be able to perforate the surface of the box. Heavy-duty plastic sealable containers, on the other hand, tend to stand a better chance of coming out of an earthquake unharmed.

Latch Down Everything Being Stored

Things are bound to get damaged if they are being tossed around the self storage unit. If you are storing large furniture within the unit, keep in mind that there's a good chance that the furniture may topple over – especially if it is not anchored down. In fact, the taller an item is, the more easily it will start rocking during an earthquake, and the more likely it will topple over. Secure tall furniture with metal brackets that are anchored down to the wall or the floor. Generally speaking, metal brackets anchored to the wall offer more security.

If you have stacked containers on top of one another, you can also prevent these containers from falling over by securing them in place using a metal chain or with a nylon rope. Tie down all containers to the ground tightly. Even if the contents inside do not spill out, they can still sustain quite a bit of damage from the impact of the fall. The goal is to keep each item in its original place.

Prevent Slippages with Non-Slip Mats or Putty

If the floor of your self storage unit is a hardwood surface, there's a good chance that items being stored in the unit will slide during an earthquake. Even if you have already anchored or tied everything down, you should still consider putting non-slip mats within the unit. The mats will grip onto your items to prevent them from sliding and moving around. It will also minimize rocking. Also, rubber non-slip mats offer a bit of cushioning should anything fall.

Small items that are simply sitting on a shelf in the storage unit can be secured with some type of putty. When using plastic putty to secure small items, make sure to clean the surface of the item being secured and the surface that it is going to sit on. This will optimize the adhesive nature of the plastic putty.


Major earthquakes can cause a significant amount of damage that may not be completed covered by the insurance policy you have taken out for your self storage unit. Some insurance policies don't even cover damage caused by earthquakes. Even if you have insurance, keep in mind that some sentimental items cannot be replaced with money, so make sure you spend some time each year earthquake proofing your unit just to be safe. For more tips, you may want to talk to your storage company.