September and October are the peak months of hurricane season. With a major storm brewing, now is a good time to do your household inventory. Even if you live in an area without hurricanes, having a detailed household inventory is essential in case of other weather disasters (such as flash flooding), in case of theft/burglary, in preparation to move or for decluttering and organizing. But hurricane season in Myrtle Beach is nothing to take lightly-- always be prepared for these major wind, rain, and flood events.
1. Choose a checklist to follow - Many homeowner's insurance companies have a checklist they provide to help you with the inventory task. See if they have a checklist that works for you or you can easily find other options online. Using a checklist helps ensure you don't overlook items that should be included.
2. Go room-by-room and do a thorough inventory - While this task can be tedious, it's important not to rush through it. If you need to submit a claim, this list and other documentation are necessary to get your items replaced. And make sure to include rooms you use less often such as the attic, basement, garage, shed, craft room and workshop.
3. Document with photos and/or video - Record your video or take pictures in the same order as your checklist for each room. This makes it easy to pair photo or video documentation with the checklist should you need to submit a claim. Make sure to save a copy of all photos and video footage in a separate location such as an online storage account (Google Drive or Dropbox, etc). Having your photos and video in more than one location, whether physical or digital, gives you a backup should the original device be damaged or stolen.
4. Keep all paperwork in one place - Store your household inventory, credit cards, appraisal documents, receipts and any other related documentation together in a waterproof safe or lockbox. Keeping everything together ensures you can find it quickly when you need it.
5. Scan and store a copy of all paperwork digitally - Similar to your photos and video footage, it's a good idea to scan all of your paperwork noted above and store a copy online (make sure to have settings for this information require a password to access for security purposes). This is also helpful in a situation where you are required to evacuate so you can rest assured you have copies of everything you need stored in case you forget any important paperwork.
6. Keep your inventory updated - Every time you sell an old item on your inventory or buy a new item for your home, make sure you update your inventory and related documentation, including photos or video.
A well-documented and up-to-date household inventory is essential if you should ever have to submit a claim on your homeowner's or flood insurance. Keeping your inventory and supporting documents up-to-date means you are ready for any situation.