North Carolina's public radio network recently did a story on the approaching hurricane and what residents there should be doing to prepare. After reading the article it dawned on me, this is stuff we should ALL be doing, no matter where you live.

Granted, the gist of the story dealt with hurricanes, (something we don't have to deal with here in this part of the world), but we do experience tornadoes and straight-line winds, which can result in catastrophic damage just like that of a hurricane.

The reporter talked with people in the insurance industry about what we need to do prior to a big storm. The advice they gave - take stock of what you have by taking a video tour of everything in your house and saving it to the cloud.

Let's be honest, how many of us can remember what's in our house at any given moment? Can you imagine how difficult it would be to try to recall everything following a big storm? Taking inventory makes it easier for you and your insurance company.

Here's how to start:

  • Pick a point in a room and work your way around clockwise. Start at floor level, then videotape the middle section, then the top section, and then the ceilings.
  • Open all drawers and cabinets and record what's inside.
  • Turn over rugs and artwork and take a photo of the tags and labels.
  • Create a 'safe box' for your jewelry, firearms, medications, and eyeglasses. A cooler with your name on it will work just fine.
  • Take a photo of the serial numbers on all your TVs, record the VIN numbers on your cars, motorcycles, bikes, golf carts  - everything you can think of.
  • If you have receipts, put them in a waterproof bag. Include date, size, and the amount paid.
  • Put ID collars on all your pets, especially cats.
  • Store photos in the cloud
  • Digitize all your medical and immunization records.
  • And finally, make sure you're up-to-date on your tetanus shot.

All good advice. So the next time we're hit with severe weather here in our part of the country we'll be well prepared. And look at it this way - it's just one less thing you'll have to worry about.

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