With oncoming severe weather, part of being prepared for storm damage is making a hurricane inventory checklist. Whether you rent or own your home, an inventory list can help you make a claim and get it settled faster in the event of damage to your property.
Most important: Be safe. If you’re in an area where evacuations are being recommended, leave as soon as you are able. Delaying your departure just to make a hurricane inventory checklist could put your safety at risk, so take time into consideration.
If you do have time, or if you’re far enough inland, it’s not too late to create a home inventory, even if you’re starting from scratch. A partial inventory is better than not having one at all. Here some tips to quickly create a home inventory:
- Use technology to make your home inventory easier. Take photos or videos. Create a private YouTube channel or photo library to save in the cloud so you won’t have to worry about storing the data you record.
- Taking video gives you the advantage of being able to narrate anything notable about the item, saving you time from writing it down.
- Start with big ticket items. Record serial numbers, makes and models of your appliances and electronics. Take photos of your receipts if you have them, and note when and where you purchased them.
- Include valuables like jewelry, family heirlooms (including appraisal) and inventory clothing by category (make notations for designer or more expensive pieces).
- Take photos or videos of your artwork, along with receipts or appraisals.
- Take photos or videos of all furniture, noting antiques or particularly valuable pieces.
- If you have enough time, store warranty information, receipts, and appraisals in a fire proof box. Keep multiple copies in a few safe places, like a safety deposit box at your bank, filed at your away-from-home office, and an additional set with a trusted relative or friend.
- Don't forget off-site items. Your belongings kept in a self-storage facility are covered by your homeowners insurance too. Make sure you include them in your inventory.
- Start with your most recent purchases, or your largest ticket items, and work your way through the inventory from there.
- Use a printable checklist to make sure you don’t leave anything out.