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Guard Your Valuables from a Disaster

Tuesday, September 6, 2005 posted by Tommi Crow

God bless those devasted by Hurricane Katrina. Disasters, man or God-made, are something we should all prepare to face. We’ve sadly seen that our government is ill equipped to protect us. News teams report our miseries, as they fly over our heads, never pausing to toss a bottle of water. It all boils down to what your Grandfather told you, no one will take care of you, except you.

Insurance is not enough. Insurance will help you replace things like your home or your car, but you alone must safeguard records and personal belongings that are crucial to regaining your life. To avoid losses that are irreplaceable, please put the following plan in place for your family. Today.

Store key documents in a bank safety deposit box. These items require the most secure care. They are also the things that you can do without for up to two weeks. Wills, deeds, appraisals, securities, a list of passwords, PIN numbers and access codes. Spare house and car keys. Trusts, health care directives, powers of attorney, passports. Birth, marriage and death certificates. Inventory of house contents. Photograph negatives or backups.
Have ready boxes (plastic w/ tight fitting lids) for things that need to be moved in a moments notice. Jewerly, original items that can not be copied, your babies bronzed cowboy boots and baby book. Digital Backups of all your important documents and contact information. Sets of keys and combinations to everything you own. Insurance policies. Contact names, addresses and phone numbers. Copies of your drug prescription. Love letters from your spouse or your kid’s report cards. Sentimental holiday decor.
Make an inventory of your possessions. Walk room to room. List, photograph or video tape your things. Don’t forget your garage, attic or basement. Record, makes, models, serial numbers, dates of purchase. This information will be necessary in dealing with your insurnace company. Take this box to your sisters house or place it in your safety deposit box. Update your inventory once a year.
Make good use of all the technology that can help you when you most need it. Use a scanner to make digital copies of all key documents. Even old photo’s can be duplicated this way. Copy your valuable information to disc, CD, DVD, memory stick or flash drives. Store one copy at the bank, give one to your sister for safe keeping.
Protect your valuables from fire, robbery, natural and man-made disasters. Keep them in a place you can load them in your car in just five minutes. You can’t stop a calamity, but you can stop a lot of the suffering.