Home > NewsRelease > Experts Announce Bad Hurricanes Hurricane Season Ahead - Tips to Protect and Save Your Valuable Personal Possessions
Text Amazon
Experts Announce Bad Hurricanes Hurricane Season Ahead - Tips to Protect and Save Your Valuable Personal Possessions
From:
Scott M. Haskins --  Art Damage Expert Witness Scott M. Haskins -- Art Damage Expert Witness
,
Wednesday, April 14, 2010


 
After a hurricane or heavy storm and everyone is safe and accounted for, the biggest reason people mourn after the disaster is for the lost memories, keepsakes, collectibles, photos, family history and things that can't be paid for by insurance. For businesses, the matter is even more dire: the loss of intellectual property, collections and items that make up the corporate culture can badly cripple the reopening. But there are ways to prepare for the shaking, water damage and mold.

The National Hurricane Conference ended last week with experts declaring that 2010's upcoming hurricane season is likely to be devastating. Reuters followed up days later with further confirmation that with the El Nino cooling down to almost a La Nina, the stage is set for a potentially bad season of at least 8 major storms coming in from the Atlantic.

Matt Steward, disaster relief community volunteer wrote home to parents that when he arrived in a devastated area where flooding had occurred in Ohio, "All they had us do was look for people's memorabilia floating in the water."

Ahead of the Storm

But it doesn't have to be that way. There are many things a person can do to protect personal and family items:

Make Copies

• Make copies of documents and photos and send them to someone out of the area.

• The ink on good laser copies won't run with water. Photocopy, photocopy, photocopy… but remember, your ink jet on your desk is NOT archival and the inks will run!

• Many photos kept on hard drives can be copied to another location. Scan docs.

For items at home or in the office:

• Find a place to store items on high ground (top shelf of a closet)

• Put memories in clean plastic tubs. Get your photos, books, letters out of cardboard boxes. If cardboard boxes get wet, they stain everything.

• Don't leave boxes of stuff in the attic. The heat of attics won't be good for original old photos and papers.

• An inventory and appraisals may be very important to have.

If it seems like a big discouraging job and you have too much stuff to copy, start with the few most important things. Do the job a little at a time.

Keep this in mind after a storm hits

Knowing what to do after a disaster has struck may allow you to save your most personal and valued possessions. If it's valuable in any way, don't throw it out just because it's stained, moldy, wet or torn. There may be a way to get help."

Talk to Someone Before You Throw Your Damaged Stuff Away

Have you had books ruined by mold or photos that have stuck together in a pile? Perhaps you have had frames bashed, a painting that was torn or items that were smoke damaged? I visited yesterday with a woman who suffered a total loss because of the toxic smoke from a fire over six months ago. She was still an emotional basket case. With some proper instruction and help, it doesn't have to be like that.

Stay hopeful and find help. Much can be done to recoup lost items of value, even if it's a long time after the fact."

The cost? Yes, that's a major factor. That's why I try to empower the homeowner and small business owner to do as much as possible. Most of the items to be retrieved have no monetary value. Every dollar has to stretch a long way, especially in times of crisis.

Larger companies and corporation will need assistance. Look for info and help:

• www.saveyourstuff.com for self help and instructions on what to do

• www.art-care.com for referrals for professional help

• AIC Emergency Response Team at http://aic.stanford.edu/news/aic%20cert.html

• AIC for referral program from professional membership at http://aic.stanford.edu

Mr. Scott M. Haskins has years of experience with hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, mold, fire and everyday home accidents and is the author of "How to Save Your Stuff from a Disaster," (www.saveyourstuff.com) a non-technical book with instructions on how to protect and save you memorabilia, papers, books, ceramics, glass, furniture, silver, paintings and frames. Mr. Haskins, has worked in both Europe and the U.S. as a professional conservator for the last 35 years. He works with the general public, historical societies, museums, corporations, private collectors, art galleries, state governments and the federal government. He is an expert witness in the Los Angeles Supreme Court system and on the part of the federal government regarding public art issues. He has done consultation work for Pope John Paul's family, the Shroud of Turin project and the Getty Conservation Institute among many others. He also wrote a booklet on earthquake response of which 500,000 copies were distributed in Los Angeles by the Bank of America Corporation after the Northridge Earthquake.

Our office can help mobilize experts in your area and help you with insurance claims nationwide. Contact Scott Haskins at scott@saveyourstuff.com or 805 564 3438

 
Scott M. Haskins
Conservator, Author
Save Your Stuff LLC
Santa Barbara, CA
805-564-3438