Are you a visual learner? If so, check out 0:20 to 2:45 in the video below...
Recently, northwest Florida received some 20-30 inches of rain in a single weekend, causing some significant flooding throughout the area. It was a rude awakening to some folks who thought they had plenty of time before Hurricane season hit full swing, and perhaps were caught ill-prepared for the storm. In 2011, we also witnessed some catastrophic natural disasters...from the flooding in the Northeast from Hurricane Irene, to the wildfires in Texas, and of course the unbelievable destruction from the tornados in Joplin, Missouri. These events serve as a sobering reminder that natural disasters can happen to any of us, so it’s always a good idea to plan for the worst, while you hope for the best.
After dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan back in 2004, I can tell you that one of the most stressful parts of a natural disaster is making the insurance claim and dealing with adjusters. Your insurance company is going to require a thorough list of everything you lost, so while you’re in the midst of dealing with the trauma of the disaster, you’re forced to try and put together information on your belongings, while many of your receipts and warranty information were perhaps lost in the storm.
One way to make this process much smoother is to take an exhaustive inventory of your belongings BEFORE it's needed. This helps take a lot of the guesswork away in regards to the value of your insured belongings. In fact, Dennis Kizziah, acting director for FEMA’s Mississippi Transitional Recovery Office said, “A complete inventory, including photos, may be one of the most valuable investments for peace of mind anyone can make for themselves and their families.”
But just because it’s a valuable investment, doesn’t mean it has to cost you a lot. In fact, one of the best services on the web is found at whatyouown.org, and it’s absolutely free. What You Own Home Inventory is a software that assists you in taking inventory of your possessions, everything from expensive items like furniture & jewelry, to smaller items like collectibles, crafts and clothing. After downloading the free software, you can create a room-by-room inventory which can serve as a record to help determine how much insurance to purchase and more importantly help you settle insurance claims if you ever find yourself in that unfortunate situation.
It's a great tool, so stop procrastinating and check it out! And if you ever need help with buying or selling real estate in Northwest Florida, give me a call at 850-292-4000.