There were no casualities of life. But a lifetime of valuables are gone. There was no time to grab anything, as much as people believe they would have time to grab important items.
It gave her and her husband pause to consider a) what would be their exit plan in case of a fire? b) if they lost everything, how would they ever know what 'everything' was to provide documentation to their insurance company? c) Did they have home insurance to cover as much as possible, knowing it can't replace things like heirlooms and photographs.
So what to do? The occurrence of this neighborhood fire put her into action to secure her family's home, its contents, and their peace of mind:
1. Make sure there is proper homeowners insurance on the dwelling and contents.
2. Make sure valuables are in a fireproof safe.
4. Make sure each and every cupboard, drawer, closet, etc., including the garage, are documented with photographs (that are stored somewhere safe).
As much as we'd like to believe we will remember everything we have in the event of a loss like a fire, it is almost impossible to do. #4 will help you, and your insurance company itemize and properly reimburse your loss.
The image to the right is third-generation, family heirloom china. This image documents place settings and a closeup documents the make and pattern. The image below documents the contents of a jewelry drawer that could never be recalled without this photo for documentation purposes.
Items that should have been in the fireproof safe are now there where they belong. It took minutes to take care of this.
As of today, everything in the home in every nook and cranny is documented on her cell phone and stored on the cloud for recall and documentation.
Don't let a tragedy, yours or someone else's, remind you to take these important steps to ensure the safety of the contents of you and your family's life.
Begin today, call your insurance agent and check your homeowners policy, get those documentation photos, and make it a habit to check and possibly update your homeowners insurance and the documentation every New Year. Your peace of mind and priceless belongings could depend on it.