Hurricane Irma: Why you should take a video of your home inventory

Posted at 7:42 AM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 07:12:09-04

As Hurricane Irma makes its way across the Atlantic Ocean, Florida braces for a potential impact.


It's a good reminder to make copies of your important documents and take pictures or videos of your valuables for future insurance claims.

Kirk Malone is lending a hand filling sandbags ahead of Hurricane Irma keeping a close eye on the path.

"If it gets that bad or it looks like its coming, we're going to pack up the dog, grab everything and leave," he said. It's exactly what he did in 2004 during Hurricane Charley.

Karen McAllister, a spokesperson for AT&T says folks should be backing up their important documents right now. She says they should be making digital copies of their health insurance information, bank statements, tax returns and insurance polices, sending them to the cloud or another file sharing website so you can access them from anywhere after the storm passes.

"It could be bulky and cumbersome to carry all of your documents with you and you could risk losing them if you evacuate from your house," she said.

Malone's already done that - he's also taken inventory of his belongings in case he has to make an insurance claim.

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This video doesn't need to be professionally done; taking the video on your phone will work perfectly. By creating a walk through video to document all of the belongings in your phone, you have proof of what is in your home. When you document things in your home, start at one end of the house, moving slowly through each room till you get to the other side of the house. You want to describe each item with good detail before moving on to the next.

"It's going to be very, very difficult, everybody is going to be filing claims and the people that have questions are going to be last. The people that have documentation and have videotapes are going to be first," said Malone.

Gregory Woodall says he doesn't have homeowners insurance but is doing his best to secure his important documents.

"It's always better to prepare and get it ready for stuff like this. You never know, you never know," he said.

Your home inventory doesn't do you any good if it is in your house if the hurricane has an impact on where you live. The best thing to do is to give a copy of the video to a relative or close friend, with your insurance agent if they keep copies for customers, or uploaded to an online file storage service like Dropbox or your iCloud.

You never know when something bad may happen, so it's better to be protected and prepared before disaster strikes.