Home Inventory - The 4 Safest Ways to Safeguard Your Important Papers from a Disaster
Sadly, bad things happen whether we like it or not and also, whether we are prepared or not.
If you don’t believe it, just consider the growing number of natural disasters we have experienced in recent years: hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, fires, and more, which have destroyed not only the homes of many but also, and in many ways, their lives.
The truth is that lately we have been forced to be aware of the need to have an evacuation plan ready, and the last thing you want to worry about as you run from a wildfire or a hurricane is getting hold of your important papers.
Tell us: What’s the most important document you have at home, the one you would have to risk your life to save in case disaster strikes? Will it be your insurance policy, your house deed, your birth certificate, or maybe, your will?
Evidently, this is a trick question… because your priority, in case of disaster, should be to get your family to a safe place.
There is no document that is worth risking your life over, especially when you can get copies of most papers in your life.
Almost all documents can be reproduced; it may be an annoying task to go down to the county courthouse or wherever you have to go to get them, but you will eventually get them back.
Still, many evacuation plans include a very long list of documents you are supposed to remember to grab in case you have to run out the door in haste, for example:
- Insurance policy
- House deed
- Birth, marriage and death certificates
- Divorce decrees
- Adoption records
- Last three years of tax returns
- Medical records
- Retirement account statements
- Warranties and receipts for all major purchases
- The most recent pay stub
- Unpaid bills
- Home improvement records
- Estate planning records
- Recent credit card statements
- Jewelry appraisals
- A complete home inventory
WOW! OK, in some cases, like a hurricane approaching, you may have time to stuff everything into plastic bags before running for the shelter, but… you really should not count on having the luxury of time.
This is why many experts recommend having a ready-to-go “document box” with copies of all of your important documents; however, these boxes are far from being the perfect solution:
- It is a nightmare to keep this box updated and current.
- The box may be unreachable. If you are away from home when disaster strikes, you may not be allowed back in by the police or the conditions on site.
- If it is accessible to you it is also accessible to criminals.
- You can lock it in a safe, but this completely annuls its purpose.
In view of all this, here we offer you the 4 safest and most intelligent ways to safeguard your important papers and belongings from a disaster. You can get a “document box” if you like, but these 4 ways are much more practical.
Indeed, a bit of planning and technology can save your life:
Burn CDs and save online
What most victims of fires and other disasters regret deeply after everything is gone is not having lost their clothes, their car, or even their home… it is the family photos and memorabilia they lost.
You won’t be able to reproduce Grandpa’s favorite chair, but you can ensure the memories survive through photos.
Burn some CDs with your digital photos and take the old negatives you have stacked in the closet and mail everything to a trusted family member who lives far away. Equally, scan the family pictures that don’t have negatives and make more CDs to send away.
You can also upload your scanned and digital photos to our AssetWatch platform, experts in home inventory, where your photos will be kept safe in an online vault.
Videotape your possessions
A home inventory is key for making an accurate insurance claim that will help you rebuild your life.
If you do only one thing to prepare for disaster, make it a video of your possessions.
Once a year, tour your home slowly, videotaping every corner while you verbalize all the details you can remember: when and where you bought an item and how much it cost.
Keep the video safe, and make a copy to send to your trusted family member.
Additionally, you can use our home inventory website to save your purchase receipts, to document the content of your home, and to make notes about every item you own.
Put your financial records online
Even if you are concerned with security, you should know that the more your financial life is online, the easier it is to recover from a disaster.
What you pay online is safely registered there so that you don’t have to worry about remembering what you owe, and you can get replacements for your credit cards without an account number if you have online access to your accounts.
Home inventory companies like AssetWatch offer highly secure storage services for your financial information as well as other critical life data, to empower you and give you peace of mind.
Electronically save documents that are hard to replace
Birth certificates, tax returns, and even, stock certificates can be restored, but documents such as jewelry appraisals, receipts for major purchases, and home improvement records are truly hard, or even impossible, to replace; thus, you must ensure these are safe.
Scan every document and upload it onto a trustworthy home inventory website, which guarantees your data will be safe and handy at all times.
As mentioned earlier, AssetWatch is a home inventory company whose mission is to empower you to better organize your everyday life and to help you minimize the loss and stress when disaster strikes.
We are certain that you will be able to see how well we understand what you need in terms of document and asset security and that we even go beyond, and this is because our founder and chief executive officer Mike Batesole has experienced this need firsthand.
Contact us with your questions and comments and you will receive an answer promptly, or read our FAQs page to confirm that we have a direct and accurate answer for your most pressing questions about financial and home inventory safety.
We exist to help you empower yourself… and to give you peace of mind, take advantage of the opportunity!