Valuables & Documents During Storms

All thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightening that, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), leads to 300 injuries and 80 deaths per year. Other dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flash flooding.

It is important to take preventative measures to protect your family, home and possessions. Here are some tips to protect your personal belongings and important documents.

  • Jewelry and collectibles. Valuables should be inventoried and stored in a secure location (such as an inland bank safe-deposit box). If offsite storage is not possible, place these items in a waterproof container and store in an interior closet.
  • Personal documents. The documents listed below are some of your most valuable and difficult possessions to replace. Keep them in a safe-deposit box or other offsite storage or in waterproof containers.
    • Legal papers: Deeds, titles to vehicles and boats, divorce and adoption records, passports, military records, living wills, powers of attorney and child custody papers.
    • Financial documents: Stock and bond certificates, numbers of brokerage and bank accounts and credit cards, a backup computer disk if you use financial management software, and the first two pages of your latest income tax forms.
    • Personal items: Birth certificates, naturalization papers, marriage licenses, children’s immunization records, pet vaccination records, photo negatives or computer disks of photographs that would be impossible to replace.
    • Insurance: A copy of your policies, including vehicles and boats, health and life, telephone numbers of your agents, appraisals, home improvement records, a written description of your home’s contents, and videotapes or photographs of your possessions.

Learn about other helpful tips in protecting your family and home from hurricanes and other severe windstorms.

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