Moving and storage company U-Haul will offer 30 days of free storage at its facilities across the Carolinas and Virginia as Hurricane Florence begins to bear down on the U.S. East Coast.
The storm is expected to make landfall on Saturday morning and could become a Category 5 storm with winds up to 175 miles per hour. The incoming storm has prompted mass evacuations, primarily along the coastlines of North and South Carolina, and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Tuesday that his state is in “a very deadly and important game of chess with Hurricane Florence.”
The evacuations have prompted U-Haul to keep more than 90 of its storage facilities open so those leaving the path of the storm can use them for free, according to Elijah Mack, U-Haul Company of Coastal South Carolina president.
“Hurricane Florence is rapidly approaching the coastline and we wanted to preemptively offer disaster relief for those who stand to be impacted by the storm,” Mack said in a statement to HuffPost. “With more than 300 miles of coastline in the path of the storm, it’s important for [companies] like U-Haul to do what they can.”
Mack said U-Haul has been inspecting its facilities over the last week to make sure they are “clean, dry and secure.”
“When people face the decision to leave their homes or stay and fight the storm, having the option to safely store their belongings can make that decision easier,” Mack said. “Evacuations create an immediate need for secure locations where evacuees can bring the possessions they wish to protect. As a strong member of these communities, we are in the position to offer this service to our friends who are in harm’s way.”
For those in the path of the storm looking for a place to store their belongings, news organization WJZY has listed each U-Haul storage facility and address taking part in the 30-day program.