Winter storms are a way of life in Eastern Pennsylvania, and late openings or two hour delays for the school day are commonplace. But do you know how to deal with your self storage facility during a winter storm?

Here are things you need to know about winter storms and self storage:

1) If other businesses are closed, you self storage facility probably is too.

Facilities like ours, where the managers live on site, may be open despite inclement weather, but that doesn’t mean that you should be venturing out. If the weather is bad enough to keep the kids home from scho9ol or you home from work, it’s probably too bad for you to be on the storage facility’s lot. Many times we will be in the office answering calls, but the parking lot conditions are far from optimal. If you wouldn’t want someone walking up your sidewalk, please don’t walk up ours!

2)Don’t expect the parking lot to be cleared before the major road are.

The first winter we were in Pennsylvania, one of our customers asked me why the parking lot wasn’t cleared when it was still snowing!

The short answer is that our maintenance crew is not miracle workers. They are out pre-treating the lot before storms, plowing during the weather event and cleaning up afterward, but just like the state road crews, they can’t make snow and ice disappear in a heart beat. As a rule of thumb, if the major roads are still a mess, expect the self storage parking lot to be one too.

And when you do come out after the storm, please be careful. The freezing and thawing cycles here can be brutal and what was water 10 minutes ago might be black ice now. In general, if you don’t need whatever it is you are retrieving from the storage unit right now, wait until a day or two after the storm.

3) Plan ahead before the sow starts falling.

I get it. Your outside storage unit is the perfect place to keep your snow shovel, snow blower and ice melt, but the weather man usually gives you at least a few hours notice before the flakes are in the air. Please don’t wait until there is three inches of snow and slush in the parking lot before deciding you might need the snow blower.

If the storm turns out to be far worse than anyone expected and you have an immediate need for your generator or space heaters, please call us and let us know that you need access to the lot. With just a bit of warning, we can try to make the journey safer for everyone concerned.

And if you are coming to your outside storage unit after the weatgher’s been wet and frigid, you might want to bring lock de-icer. Nothing is more frustrating than braving the bad roads and slick parking lot and been iced out of your unit.