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Now is a good time to take a home inventory

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People all along the Gulf Coast are keeping and eye on Ivan; they are filling sandbags and boarding up windows, maybe even preparing and inventory of personal belongings.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells says an inventory idea is a good one for all of us.

The folks in Florida are dealing with it now, but here in Oklahoma we can face disaster too. Take the Moore and Oklahoma City tornadoes of a few years ago. Oklahomans suffered all kinds of damage.

If the claims adjuster asked, could you tell him what "everything" is? "Knowing what you have and being able to document it in time of loss is critical." John Wisecaver of State Farm says although there are no specific numbers the majority of people are not as prepared as they could be when disaster strikes.

There is help getting prepared, State Farm has some information booklets, but all the major companies have similar documents and web sites.

There's a standard inventory booklet that takes you from room to room so you can list the things you have and if you're computer savvy, the State Farm website has a downloadable program that will help you put your inventory on a disk or CD. There's even space for pictures and documents.

Got a video camera? "Maybe take a video of the house to help you remind yourself, plus it’s another means of documentation." And, of course, be sure to store that inventory and other documentation outside the house in a safe deposit box or other safe place.

And in addition to knowing what you have, know what your insurance covers. "It's not the time to find out when a loss occurs, you didn't have enough coverage." Most of us accumulate more things as we get older, so coverage that was good five years ago may not be anymore.

While the bad news is happening somewhere else, is a perfect time to do the inventory and up-date the coverage.

If you'd like more information on how to inventory your home, you can visit the www.statefarm.com web site.
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