Disaster preparation advice #1
To all you who take my horrible experience to heart: Film your homes contents once a year or so and get that/those tapes and thumb drives off site.
We were prepared for an evacuation/disaster and had that 28' 5th wheel as our backup home. I'm a receipt hoarder and even had a thumb drive backup of my thumb drive backup. Yeah, a lot of good that did me. When you aren't home to act on those preparations.......
We filmed our complete house years ago and stored the tapes in a safe deposit box at the bank. That was in another location (state) though and never did do it here. Tammy suggested we consider doing this again JUST LAST MONTH! Nope, too busy finishing up the bath remodel.
Let me tell you from my position sitting in this hotel room worried about my wife's sense of well being, our future, and having to generate a complete inventory of our house by memory: it sucks - plain and simple. Insurance is going to do everything they can to save a buck and my job as husband and head of house is to recover all we're owed so I can get Tammy and me back to some semblance of a satisfactory life. They're well experienced, I'm severely disadvantaged.
I had warning but unable to get there to act, yours may be instantaneous while at work and there's no way you're getting home in time after a house fire gets reported. Plans only work when you're there to implement them, and I seriously doubt there are very many here who aren't away from the house once in a while.
My advice for what would relieve a significant sense of stress right now? Get a video camera and film everything. You don't need to spell everything out, just rifle through each and every drawer, through the closets, under the sinks in the bathrooms and kitchen, through the pantry, in the garage, in each tool box drawer, in your glove box, in the hall closet and your coat closet, every wall from across the room, in the shed, etc, etc, etc.... A fast shuffle may not seem adequate but when you have a video you can keep pausing it and there'll be enough there to jog your memory, trust me when I say that video will be $$$$ when it comes to listing all for insurance. If you have a specific item that resembles any other model, look at the back and state it . Like the Sony Bravia model we had - it looks like any other Sony but you sure as hell ain't gonna settle for a model costing half that - after all they all look the same in pictures. I'm telling you, you got a 4 hour job at most to do this.
Insurance: Get with your agent now! Do you have Replacement or Cash Value policy?? Pay the premium and get replacement so you don't have to sit there and argue why an 8 year old Gold Ring Leopold Spotting scope hasn't lost 75% value just by age (prediction, they haven't even f'n met with us yet!).
Guns?? If you have more than a simple handful, get that policy and read it!! Yeah, it's not just "an item in your house", they probably limit it like they did mine at a whopping $3k. Don't be a dumbass, learn from one who already broke that ground for you - read it and up your coverage if necessary.
Look at other specified items too like jewelry (we didn't have squat for jewelry - no beneficial value in it to us), but it points out that they classify some items out from everything else. Read your policy and know what needs extra attention.
Digger, you get back home and I'm sure hoping you do, heed my words and get your butt covered.
All you others who live the city life, you aren't immune. Your house can burn just like the rest of ours...