• 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...

    Andy
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Heed my advice... started by ASCTLC View original post
    Comments 52 Comments
    1. Digger's Avatar
      Digger -
      Thanks Andy, advise well heeded.


      God Speed to ya!



      And on a side note... you figure out quick that even with family "anything we can do" is only surface deep sometimes.
    1. ASCTLC's Avatar
      ASCTLC -
      I'm sorry you're already recognizing this Digger. The heart felt hurting from strangers I swear is proving stronger than many family members. It's enough to make you cry every time you encounter them.

      It's a unique, outrageously close, club QuickDraw, Tammy and me, and others who've lost their home are in. May no one else join us.

      Andy
    1. Quick Draw's Avatar
      Quick Draw -
      Quote Originally Posted by ASCTLC View Post
      Heard the axles may actually be good. Seals will obviously be gone but the ARB can be rebuilt and the axles themselves (Dynatrac front and rear) may be alright. We also have the ARBs f&r in Tammy Cherokee. Then there are the numerous skid plates on both Jeeps.

      Andy
      I hate to tell you... but those axles are probably junk. Stuff that has to be dimensionally correct will not be anymore. I would be surprised if the axle tubes are still straight. Dynatracs are stout axles...but that's just too much heat to be comfortable with, IMO. I doubt you could get everything to reseal without machining the surfaces again. Most importantly, anything with a heat treat on it (ARB, axle shafts, etc.) is now basically annealed. So that's a recipe for disaster. Oh and it probably has heavy rust on it already. You could try to run it, but I don't see it going well. The fire at my house left pools of aluminum everywhere, which means it was well over 1200 degrees F...possibly much more.

      I tried to use a box wrench that I found at my house... I bent it in half.
    1. ASCTLC's Avatar
      ASCTLC -
      Thanks Quick Draw!
    1. tacotoy's Avatar
      tacotoy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Quick Draw View Post
      I hate to tell you... but those axles are probably junk. Stuff that has to be dimensionally correct will not be anymore. I would be surprised if the axle tubes are still straight. Dynatracs are stout axles...but that's just too much heat to be comfortable with, IMO. I doubt you could get everything to reseal without machining the surfaces again. Most importantly, anything with a heat treat on it (ARB, axle shafts, etc.) is now basically annealed. So that's a recipe for disaster. Oh and it probably has heavy rust on it already. You could try to run it, but I don't see it going well. The fire at my house left pools of aluminum everywhere, which means it was well over 1200 degrees F...possibly much more.

      I tried to use a box wrench that I found at my house... I bent it in half.


      eh.... that could be a good gauge of things though, the high park fire was really hot, i wonder how this one compares??
    1. ASCTLC's Avatar
      ASCTLC -
      Our particular spot was incredibly hot. That bastard had our name on it. Came gunning for us in particular and went through a lot of people on its way to me. I'm sure of it!

      Andy
    1. ToyRunner1's Avatar
      ToyRunner1 -
      And already 7 known cases of burglaries. This crap should be a hanging offense. Complete and total BS. You catch em, you plant em.
    1. Dave McDonald's Avatar
      Dave McDonald -
      Quote Originally Posted by ToyRunner1 View Post
      And already 7 known cases of burglaries. This crap should be a hanging offense. Complete and total BS. You catch em, you plant em.
      The thieves from the Waldo fire got a 40 year sentence. That ain't a light sentence. Hope they catch these thieves as well.

      Andy, I live in the forest as well, and I'm taking your advice. I'll be filming this evening - right after I vacuum, which is somehow important according to my wife I'll store the DVDs at work and in the safety deposit box.
    1. 74BuckinBronc's Avatar
      74BuckinBronc -
      Quote Originally Posted by ToyRunner1 View Post
      And already 7 known cases of burglaries. This crap should be a hanging offense. Complete and total BS. You catch em, you plant em.
      Ugh, what kind of low life do you have to be, I mean I can't even go there...
    1. tacotoy's Avatar
      tacotoy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave McDonald View Post
      The thieves from the Waldo fire got a 40 year sentence. That ain't a light sentence. Hope they catch these thieves as well.

      Andy, I live in the forest as well, and I'm taking your advice. I'll be filming this evening - right after I vacuum, which is somehow important according to my wife I'll store the DVDs at work and in the safety deposit box.
      offsite works good, but i am still voting for cloud storage. i used to be worried about my data stuff but its all synced to 4 computers constantly. i know data and records of everything are 2 separate things but i would hate to pop a dvd in and find out that something isn't right with it....
    1. Clod Hopper's Avatar
      Clod Hopper -
      Quote Originally Posted by tacotoy View Post
      offsite works good, but i am still voting for cloud storage. i used to be worried about my data stuff but its all synced to 4 computers constantly. i know data and records of everything are 2 separate things but i would hate to pop a dvd in and find out that something isn't right with it....
      But then the NSA will know what I possess. That might not be in my best interest in the long term.

    1. tacotoy's Avatar
      tacotoy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Clod Hopper View Post
      But then the NSA will know what I possess. That might not be in my best interest in the long term.

      are you rocking it like Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State with the faraday cage with a computer that is magically connected to the internet still? lol
    1. Clod Hopper's Avatar
      Clod Hopper -
      Quote Originally Posted by tacotoy View Post
      are you rocking it like Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State with the faraday cage with a computer that is magically connected to the internet still? lol
      what? you aren't? seriously?
    1. nridler's Avatar
      nridler -
      Sorry for you loss. I had really good luck with my insurance company after the Waldo Canyon Fire. The fire burned on all four sides of the house up to the driveways that surround the house. My house was fortunate enough to make it through, but the 35 acres were toast and we had a lot of smoke smell in the house. Just to give you an example they gave me $750 per tree up to 5% of the policy. Ended up being about $28,000 just for trees. I thought that was more than fair considering I didn't think I would get anything for the trees. I can't imagine having a total loss, but I wish you the best and hope you get through it.
    1. Grant H.'s Avatar
      Grant H. -
      Quote Originally Posted by Quick Draw View Post
      The list is not easy to do by memory. We did not have a video. We went around and snapped a couple of pictures in the final seconds before leaving our home for the last time. The good news is that by law (thanks to the lobbying of my next door neighbor), you have 180 days to submit that list.

      My neighbor also pushed for a "valued policy law" this year which would have done away with lists. Basically if the house is a total loss, you are cut a check for the sum total of your insured value. You don't have to do anything other than prove your home is a total loss. He did this not for the victims of the High Park Fire...it was too late for us... but for people of future fires such as yourself. He was inspired to do this after his adjuster visited his property and demanded the list from memory on the spot, only days after it burned down. Unfortunately the valued policy part of the law didn't happen and this was the result of his efforts:

      http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/cli...le=1225_01.pdf
      [Rant on]

      Not to be a jerk, but your neighbor needs to be less of a whiner...

      If he didn't work with his insurance company to make sure he was adequately covered, that is his fault. This is not something that should be legislated.

      That would be like passing a law saying that it is illegal for the IRS to accept your tax return if you didn't use every single tax break, loophole, and "legal" cheat. Its not on the IRS to make sure you don't pay more taxes than you absolutely have to, its on you.

      Its not on the insurance company to make sure you are absolutely covered, that's on you. There are various levels of car insurance available. I pay a small fortune for full coverage on my vehicles. Yes, I could pay less and have less coverage, but then should something go wrong, I am SOL.

      Similarly, there are various levels of home owners insurance. Choose what fits you best. I live in a low crime area and I do my best to mitigate potential risks for the house. I also sat down with my insurance agent and went through the stuff I have, and we upped the policies as necessary to cover my stuff. I pay for it, but I know when the time comes, I will have a much smaller battle to fight to get what I am owed.

      Insurance companies are in the business of making money. That's what businesses are created to do.

      Laws like this would make Home Owners insurance unbelievably expensive. Then your neighbor would be pushing for laws to limit what insurance companies can charge. More laws to cover his lack of personal responsibility.

      [Rant off]

      My prayers go out for everyone who has lost their homes, and especially for the crews that fight these fires.
    1. Quick Draw's Avatar
      Quick Draw -
      Quote Originally Posted by Grant H. View Post
      [Rant on]

      Not to be a jerk, but your neighbor needs to be less of a whiner...

      If he didn't work with his insurance company to make sure he was adequately covered, that is his fault. This is not something that should be legislated.

      That would be like passing a law saying that it is illegal for the IRS to accept your tax return if you didn't use every single tax break, loophole, and "legal" cheat. Its not on the IRS to make sure you don't pay more taxes than you absolutely have to, its on you.

      Its not on the insurance company to make sure you are absolutely covered, that's on you. There are various levels of car insurance available. I pay a small fortune for full coverage on my vehicles. Yes, I could pay less and have less coverage, but then should something go wrong, I am SOL.

      Similarly, there are various levels of home owners insurance. Choose what fits you best. I live in a low crime area and I do my best to mitigate potential risks for the house. I also sat down with my insurance agent and went through the stuff I have, and we upped the policies as necessary to cover my stuff. I pay for it, but I know when the time comes, I will have a much smaller battle to fight to get what I am owed.

      Insurance companies are in the business of making money. That's what businesses are created to do.

      Laws like this would make Home Owners insurance unbelievably expensive. Then your neighbor would be pushing for laws to limit what insurance companies can charge. More laws to cover his lack of personal responsibility.

      [Rant off]

      My prayers go out for everyone who has lost their homes, and especially for the crews that fight these fires.
      20 States currently have a valued policy law. It doesn't seem like it is bankrupting the insurance companies. In fact auto insurance already works this way. Why can't you "total" a house when there isn't a damn thing left?

      You are on top of your insurance. Good for you. Something tells me you would change your mind if you lost your home.
    1. ni0h's Avatar
      ni0h -
      Quote Originally Posted by Quick Draw View Post
      Why can't you "total" a house when there isn't a damn thing left?
      .
      Contents. Doesn't make sense to me either.
    1. jeepinwelch's Avatar
      jeepinwelch -
      Hey Andy, we are ready if you need help with anything. We have set aside this weekend for you guys (and any other weekend you need us). I still have the plastic tubs we used to put stuff in when I helped my niece sift through her house after the fire. I was amazed at the random things we found after her fire so it is well worth sifting through. Dave said the re-entry stations have kits Home Depot put together so that might be helpful. If nothing else I can fire up the grill and throw some steaks or pork chops on. Whatever you want or need...
    1. ASCTLC's Avatar
      ASCTLC -
      Thank you Jodi. I believe we'll be out (Sat or Sun?) to service the truck.

      Don't know about sifting yet but do know about the HD and red cross station for some tools and supplies to start something. Will probably get some today when we head out to the home site.

      We aren't sure yet how we'll approach the sifting. We will probably ask for very experienced help when going through the house part to try to find Tammy's mothers ring. The garage and shed we'll probably do. Will be extremely slow and tedious as we pull each item meticulously to find evidence of anything that helps us make our list.

      Andy
    1. jeepinwelch's Avatar
      jeepinwelch -
      Whatever works for you is good with us. Just consider us "on call" for as much or as little as you would like us to do.