HOUSTON, Texas(AP) -- Six U-Haul Companies across Texas are preemptively offering 30 days of free self-storage and U-Box container usage to residents who stand to be impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
The tropical storm was upgraded to a hurricane on Thursday and is expected to deliver severe flooding as it strikes Texas.
The storm has prompted millions to prepare for disaster and created a need for secure and dry self-storage options where people can stow their possessions as Harvey approaches - and in its aftermath.
"Forecasters are saying this will be the first major hurricane to hit in nearly 12 years," said Jerry Lunn, U-Haul Company of Gulf Coast Texas president.
"As many of our coastal cities begin evacuating, we want to let people know that U-Haul is a proud support system in times of need," added Lynn Buck, U-Haul Storage Centers of Houston president.
"U-Haul is part of these communities and it is important for us to help by providing 30 days of free self-storage to our neighbors who are affected by this storm."
The U-Haul Companies of Corpus Christi, Gulf Coast Texas, West Houston, East Houston, San Antonio East and San Antonio West have made 41 facilities across eight cities available to offer assistance.
Texans seeking self-storage assistance should contact the nearest participating facility.U-Haul stores offer needed supplies to help with storm recovery like boxes, tarps, propane and propane tanks.
U-Haul urges customers to ensure their tanks are topped off since propane is good to have in the event of long-term power outages.
U-Haul is the industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage with more than 21,000 locations across the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to its 30 days free self-storage disaster relief program, U-Haul is proud to be at the forefront of aiding communities in times of need as an official American Red Cross Disaster Responder.
The arrival of U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 is modernizing the moving industry by offering self-service and live verify technology to enhance customer and community safety.
This technology allows for the self-pick-up and self-return of U-Haul trucks to be done entirely by smartphone at any hour - day or night.
Membership is free once customers create an account on uhaul.com.