It is spring storm season and there have already been several tornadoes across the country. Are you prepared to take action if you are in the path of a tornado?
Get financially prepared ahead of disasters with a household inventory, up to date insurance coverage, and a grab-and-go box. Not sure where to start? This publication from K-State Research and Extension guides you through the steps you need to take, before and after a tornado or other emergency.
Creating a household inventory can be a daunting task. In addition to the rooms of our homes where we spend the most time — kitchen, dining room, family room, living room, and bedrooms — many of us have attics, basements, and garages filled with family treasures, household files, and tools.
In addition to being a record of all possessions accumulated over the years, a household inventory is critical to getting insurance claims settled quickly after a disaster. It can also be used to verify losses for income tax returns.
A complete and up to date household inventory is the basis for buying the appropriate amount of insurance coverage. The relationship between updating your household inventory and maintaining appropriate insurance coverage means that regularly reviewing your insurance coverage goes hand-in-hand with updating your household inventory.
Some important things to know about your policy:
Is your home and its contents insured for at least 80 percent of its replacement cost, rather than depreciated value? If not, insurance will not cover the full cost of rebuilding after an insured loss.
What disasters are covered? While the exact coverage will vary from policy to policy, a standard policy covers fire, lightning, windstorms, hail, freezing of plumbing or pipes, damage from weight of ice, and volcanic eruptions (with exceptions).
What disasters are not covered? Your policy will also spell out the disasters you are not insured against. Depending on your geography, as well as your insurance carrier, common exclusions are earth movement, flooding, and sewer back-up.
One of the challenge tasks for this week is to decide on the format for your household inventory and to inventory two rooms of your house. The weekend can be a good time to get started on this. If you aren’t sure how to begin, the fact sheet, “Get Financially Prepared: Take Steps Ahead of Disaster,” posted in the Learn More section at the right is a good place to start.
eXtension.org and the Insurance Information Institute are two additional sources of information. Both provide forms that can be used for your inventory. On eXtension.org scroll through the section that describes methods that can be used to complete household inventories and look for the link to the interactive household inventory form. Download the form, print it and hand write the inventory information, or fill out and save it on your computer.
Food Safey – Disasters and Power Outages
Salvaging and handling food after power outages, floods and other disasters may raise questions and present challenges. Refer to these resources to help recover food from a disaster.