DAYTON — It appears spring has arrived a little ahead of schedule here in the Miami Valley area bringing with it the threat of severe weather. AAA Insurance recommends residents do a little work to ensure important documents are protected and that property and vehicles have adequate coverage.
Peak thunderstorm and tornado season in Ohio is generally April through July, however the EF 1 tornado that struck the Phillipsburg area Monday reminds us that severe storms can and do occur at other times of the year. According the latest information on the National Weather Service site, last year tornados across the country caused nearly $200 million in property damage. Thunderstorms and damaging wind caused an additional $109 million in property damage.
Andrew Thielman of AAA Insurance, recommends the best methods for storing important data.
“If you plan to store important data on electronic devices, protect your information by creating a printed list or loading data onto a portable storage device and placing the information in safe location,” Thielman said. “Should cell phones and computers be damaged or destroyed by storms, important data could be lost if it was stored directly on the electronic device. For security reasons actual account numbers should never be stored.”
AAA Insurance offers the following tips that every household should follow in case disaster strikes:
Home Inventory Tips
Write up your personal document inventory list – Do not write down the account number for bank accounts, credit card companies, etc. It’s important to write the name of the card, (AAA, bank name, store name, etc.) the due dates, expiration dates and the customer service numbers. If everything is lost and you have this document information stored in a safe place, you’ll have quick access to your accounts.
• AAA Insurance recommends that you create three lists of document information: place one set in a clearly marked file at home. Store one set in a watertight, fireproof file with your Disaster Preparedness Kit and the third copy should be placed in your safe-deposit box at the bank or given to your attorney, trusted friend, or family member who doesn’t live with you.
• When you call the customer service number they will be able to determine your identity thru security records, last 4 of social, birthdates, address, etc.
• Try to provide a copy of these records with someone who doesn’t live with you or in the same town. (in case your town is sustains heavy damage).
• Hard-copy printed copies, USB drive’s or zip drives that are portable are examples of what can be used.
Create a list of items of value – put together a list of jewelry, artwork, electronics and other household valuables, with an estimate of their worth. When evaluating high-value items, a professional appraisal company might be helpful. Take photos or video of each item to keep with your inventory. Also, remember to update your homeowner’s policy with any new, high-ticket purchases. This will make it easier for you when filing an insurance claim.
Creating a simple home inventory helps you track what you own and what it’s worth. It can be invaluable in deciding how much insurance coverage you need and making sure you are protected if you ever need to file a claim. For more home inventory tips or to get information on what type of storm damage is covered, call 1-855-732-0145.