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Oct. 10, 2019
This paid piece is sponsored by PODS Sioux Falls.
As a State Farm insurance agent for more than 20 years, Jason Ahrendt is used to helping others when disaster strikes.
But late in the evening of Sept. 10, he became the one in need – as one of the tornados that hit Sioux Falls began its path of destruction near his house.
“We lost three sections of our roof and then a couple of our back walls,” he said. “Everything was sucked out of one of our garages and strewn out across our backyard and into our neighbor’s yard. So it was pretty significant damage.”
He then learned that the same tornado destroyed his insurance client Matt Ditmanson’s house.
“It was quite a shocker, for sure,” Ditmanson said. “The house was totaled. The garage was completely gone, and it ripped the roof off the rest of the house. It was a real scary-looking debris field.”
In the hours that followed, Ahrendt created a mental checklist for himself and his client that included reaching out to Aaron Canfield, owner of PODS in Sioux Falls.
“I texted him at 2:32 a.m.,” Ahrendt said. “I ordered two PODS – one for Matt and one for our house because I knew there would be a lot of cleanup and we’d need a place to put it.”
The next morning, the PODS-brand containers arrived.
“I was pretty distraught trying to figure out what to do, and Jason said let’s try to mitigate any extra damage to personal property,” Ditmanson said.
“We literally just threw clothes, some furniture, anything that was sorted out through the rubble that we could pull out. It was soup to nuts. There was no time to pack anything. It was literally just throw it in there to try and protect it.”
Ahrendt also used a PODS container for salvageable items.
“We stored what we could salvage that had been sucked out of our house and garage,” he said. “Everything from shelving to coats, tools, anything we were able to save.”
Ahrendt and Ditmanson were far from the only ones who used PODS containers in the aftermath of the storms, Canfield said.
“We’ve helped quite a few homeowners in that area of town,” he said. “We had a customer who ended up renting three of them. They make great options for people who have had damage to their homes. Instead of loading up a pickup truck and taking it to a traditional storage facility, we can bring our containers right to them.”
PODS also helped the community of Madison when it was hit by flooding the following day.
“They had been inundated with rain, and the Chamber of Commerce wanted to do something to help residents with their belongings, so we were able to find a flatbed truck, which allowed us the ability to ship containers to Madison,” Canfield said.
The PODS were set up in a staging area, and residents could bring items to store.
“It’s an important service to be able to offer,” Canfield said. “People cherish their possessions, and this is a way to keep some of that intact.”
For Ditmanson, the PODS-brand container helped preserve some priceless personal items.
“We had some things that meant a lot to us that we were able to save because we could shelter it – photos of kids and that type of thing,” he said. “It was a short-term need that helped us out a lot.”
While Ditmanson’s PODS-brand container is now in storage as he moved into a temporary furnished home, Ahrendt has his parked in his driveway as he continues to clean up.
“I’m still needing to access it and use things from it as our house gets rebuilt,” he said. “They’re very easy to work with, and it really is extremely convenient.”
To learn more about how to put PODS to work for your moving and storage needs, call 605-274-8151 or click here to get a quote and book online.
“There was no time to pack anything. It was literally just throw it in there to try and protect it.” When September’s storms hit, these containers proved priceless.