EVANSVILLE, Ind.— As Joplin, Mo. residents box up what worldly possessions they find among the devastation, one area moving company has been donating portable moving and storage containers to assist in the relief effort. Winter Moving and Storage, Inc., an Atlas Van Lines agent in Bentonville, Arkansas, has responded to the growing need for storage as residents are still faced with the challenge of piecing their lives back together.
Winter Moving and Storage provided dozens of SmartVaults – Atlas' portable moving and storage containers – to various relief organizations working in the Joplin area. The SmartVaults were distributed to help residents store their belongings in a safe and secure location while they rebuild their lives following the May 22 tornado. In addition to providing SmartVaults, Winter Moving and Storage has also donated packing materials and boxes for individuals to use in organizing and securing their possessions.
"We just wanted to help and the need for storage is huge right now," said David Coberley, warehouse manager for Winter Moving and Storage. "Each SmartVault can hold over 3,000 pounds, and is completely secure and weatherproof. Individuals can be confident that their belongings are safe and will be there when they are ready to unpack and move on with their lives."
Several organizations are utilizing the SmartVaults moving containers, including Freeman East Hospital. According to Carolyn Dermott, program director, Freeman Health System, more than 300 employees were affected by the tornado. After surveying what kind of help was needed, the overwhelming response was storage needs. Winter Moving and Storage delivered 14 SmartVaults to the hospital, providing on-site storage. "The portability, durability, and ease of these units are a wonderful option for our employees," said Dermott.
Another group in Joplin is the Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort, Inc. out of Nashville, Tenn. The group is working with an assisted living facility that was condemned after the storm. Many of the residents needed a place to store their belongings as they made new living arrangements. "SmartVaults were the perfect solutions for these residents," said Coberley. "The units were filled three hours after they were delivered."
With all of the supplies pouring into the Joplin community, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri set up a command post to receive donations. Winter Moving and Storage provided SmartVaults to Catholic Charities to help store non-perishable groceries, paper goods, baby and clothing items, among other supplies.
"The devastation that this tornado caused is immense and our company wanted to respond in a meaningful way," said Jack Griffin, President and COO of Atlas Van Lines. "When we started checking in with groups providing relief, it became apparent that storage was going to be an issue, both for supplies and individual possessions. I'm very pleased that our Bentonville, Ark. agent – Winter Moving and Storage – stepped forward to help during this disaster. They have worked side-by-side with all of the other volunteers who are helping and I'm proud to have them in the Atlas family."
About Atlas Van Lines
Atlas Van Lines, a national moving company, is the largest subsidiary of Atlas World Group, an Evansville, Ind.-based company. Atlas World Group companies employ nearly 700 people throughout North America. More than 500 Atlas interstate moving agents in the United States and Canada specialize in corporate relocation, household moving services and in the specialized transportation of high-value items such as electronics, fine art, store fixtures and furniture. Visit www.atlasvanlines.com for more information on the company and Atlas agents.