U-Haul's Disaster Relief Efforts Past And Present

Posted by Modern Storage Media on May 13, 2024 11:25:34 AM

In the last month alone, a series of natural disasters have wreaked havoc to certain parts of Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. And each time, U-haul is there to offer assistance.


Screenshot 2024-05-13 at 10.49.47 AMU-Haul has a long-time policy of assisting those in need during natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, etc., by offering 30 days of free storage at participating U-Haul self-storage facilities on an as-available basis. The company also provides U-Box rentals when available. These offer 257 cubic feet of storage space and one-ton capacity. The storage boxes can be kept on-site or stored in U-Haul's secure warehouses until renters are ready to pick them up or have them delivered.


U-Haul works directly with the American Red Cross, the military, and local police and fire departments in their efforts to get much-needed relief supplies to areas affected by natural disasters. The company became an official Red Cross Disaster Responder in 2015. The partnership allows the Red Cross access to U-Haul’s range of resources including equipment, storage, and easily reachable U-Haul locations with an infrastructure encompassing 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces.


“U-Haul Company has had a longstanding, working relationship with the Red Cross and has been considered a first responder by the many communities it serves that have been challenged by national disasters,” U-Haul president J.T. Taylor says in My U-Haul Story. "The Red Cross has an innate capability of reaching those who need help the most, and U-Haul Company and all of its Team Members have been and are committed to supporting those much needed outreach efforts. It is both an honor and appropriate that we formalize our relationship with this partnership, and we look forward to working collaboratively and compassionately helping those who need help.”


Even before becoming an official Red Cross Disaster Responder, U-Haul was helping out. When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005 – the costliest storm in US history causing just under $200 billion in damage – many U-Haul stores on the Gulf Coast opened just a day later. Four days after the storm, every store in the affected areas but two were open to support customers. 




At the time, U-Haul leveraged its relations with law enforcement and the National Guard to position U-Haul teams as first responders. “We were some of the first people into New Orleans after the hurricane, along with the police department,” Patrick Allen, Marketing Company President at U-Haul Company of Southern Louisiana, said in 2005. “We got into the city and cleaned up our stores. People needed U-Haul and we got it going. We can be proud of that.”


CAMP UHAULA base of operations was set up behind U-Haul Moving and Storage at Hammond Square that received daily supply runs from Jackson, Mississippi. The temporary base, dubbed “Camp U-Haul,” was outfitted with trailers and RVs that provided housing for team members left homeless by Katrina and for recovery crews coming from other companies.



In 2012, when Hurricane Sandy decimated the northeastern U.S. coastline causing more than $50 billion in total damage, the Red Cross requested 100 vehicles from U-Haul to transport relief supplies in the New York/New Jersey region. U-Haul assisted the Red Cross in relief efforts following Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina and other disasters, quickly sending trucks to places where supplies were needed and offering free self-storage to victims.




U-Haul is among 39 members with the Disaster Responder Program for the Red Cross, which shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disaster. The Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, teaches skills that saves lives, provides international humanitarian aid, and supports military members and their families. For more information about supporting Red Cross programs, call (602) 263-6194 or e-mail Red Cross Public Relations



Further Reading:

U-Haul Helps Displaced Residents in Winnipeg, Canada