With the first real hurricane of the season now past us, it is a good time to take stock in our preparedness. Being prepared for the worst certainly includes provisions such as water, food, batteries & lighting as well as alternate shelter plans and being ready when the storm passes.
One often overlooked function of being totally prepared is to take stock, or inventory, of all the items of importance in your home.
An easy way to do this in the digital age is to simply take photographs using a digital camera.
Make sure that you have the ‘Date Stamp’ feature enabled, so that each image that you take will have the current date imprinted on it. Doing this one simple step can help you to make the most accurate and quick Claim on on your Homeowners policy should the need arise.
At the same time, taking a simple written inventory might also be a good idea, and then make sure that you do indeed have adequate insurance coverage for your Personal Property, Coverage B on your Homeowners Policy.
As long as the state is not under Hurricane Watch or Warning, changes can still be made to your policy.
The following checklist is a great resource for making such a list and courtesy of the Florida Department of Financial Services.
Once you have completed this checklist, keeping it and ALL of your important documents on a portable USB memory device is another great idea. Scan your important documents such as your Insurance Policy, Drivers License and passport etc, as well as any Wills, family photos and mementos, house papers, stocks and investment / retirement and anything that may be of value to you after the storm has passed.
Using Encryption software may be advisable so if your memory device gets misplaced or stolen, your ‘whole life’ will not be found and potentially stolen.
Here is a great website to get you started shopping for such memory sticks. I like some of the waterproof, or ‘military grade’ models as they seem to be more robust.
Doing these two actions can save you not only a lot of headaches, but also a lot of money as you will be better prepared to help valuate your losses when and if a loss occurs.