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Home Inventory for your Peace of Mind
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About this blog
By Sonya McDaniel
OSU Cooperative Extension has great tips for homeowners to make their house a safe, healthy and stress-free environment. Of course, the information provided is based on reliable research which is proven to be effective and safe.

Sonya ...
The Everyday Home
OSU Cooperative Extension has great tips for homeowners to make their house a safe, healthy and stress-free environment. Of course, the information provided is based on reliable research which is proven to be effective and safe.

Sonya McDaniel is the Family and Consumer Science Extension Educator for Pottawatomie County. Her job is to deliver information over basic home economic skills to the public. She has 15 years of experience in teaching basic family relations, nutrition and meal planning, family budgeting and household management through the OSU system.

She owns a small farming operation with her husband in southern Pottawatomie County where they raise hair sheep, goats and cattle. They are busy keeping up with an on-the-go child, 5 dogs and one giant cat. Sonya definitely understands that running a home and family takes thought, time and money which all seem to be in limited supply!

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension service does not discriminate because of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran and is an equal opportunity employer.

Email: sonya.mcdaniel@okstate.edu

Website: www.oces.okstate.edu/pottawatomie

Facebook: Pottawatomie County OSU Extension
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By Sonya McDaniel
May 17, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Although we have been fortunate this spring, avoiding huge tornado outbreaks, etc. The first part of May always reminds me about the devastation that is possible from these types of spring storms. The F5 tornado which hit the Moore area in 1999 and the record number of tornados that went across our state in 2010 brings to mind the people lost, broken houses, torn up streets and yards. Although the things we own can usually be replaced, and in the grand scheme of a disaster are put into perspective as they relate to our life and safety, they are still an important part of our lives. If I have said it once, I will say it one thousand times; the best time to prepare for a disaster is when absolutely nothing is happening! So, as you enjoy the sunshine this weekend, get pen and paper or video camera to start your household inventory. It will save you peace of mind and some money if you are ever in the unfortunate path of an Oklahoma storm.
A complete inventory is so important in the event of a tornado, fire, flood or other disaster. You probably wouldn’t be able to remember all the belongings you have accumulated over the years if they are destroyed. If you have an inventory list, you will be in a better position to settle your insurance claim quickly and substantiate your losses for tax reporting purposes.
In addition, an inventory will give you a complete picture of what you own to help determine if you have adequate insurance coverage.
The inventory list should include information such as a description of the item, make and model, serial numbers, place of purchase, the purchase price and either the replacement cost or appraised value. Try to keep receipts with the list.
If you’ve been in your home for a number of years, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of inventorying all of your belongings. Start with one area at a time and work your way through the house. Photograph or videotape each room in your home. Open closet doors and drawers. Don’t forget to document items in storage sheds and the garage. If videotaping, include yourself describing each of your items as you walk through the house. Remember, an incomplete list is much better than no list at all.
To help make the inventory task easier, there is free home inventory software available at www.knowyourstuff.org. This software is provided by the Insurance Information Institute. You can access the Institute’s Web site at www.iii.org. You must register to use it. The software allows you to e-mail your inventory list to family or friends. For each room of your house, you can upload files containing digital photos and scanned receipts of all the items in that room. You can even add photos of the exterior of your house.
Make sure you know what your insurance does – and does not – cover. Despite having a complete inventory, if you don’t have the right kind of insurance it won’t do you any good. Standard homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
Once the inventory is complete, store all of the information in a secure, fireproof place such as a bank safe deposit box or a home safe. You may also want to forward digital photos and important documentation to yourself or a trusted relative/friend at a Web-based e-mail address. That way you can retrieve it quickly once you regain internet access.
It’s hard enough to deal with the destruction of your home and property in the event of a disaster. Having an inventory of what you own will help ease the process of rebuilding.

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