Creating a video inventory in case of a disaster

Floodwater surrounds a home after torrential rains pounded Southeast Texas following Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey causing widespread flooding on September 3, 2017 in Orange, Texas. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Insurance experts started to recommend people make a video inventory after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

PEMCO Insurance says it’ll make filing an insurance claim much less of a headache after a disaster.

” Imagine if you have just gone though a traumatic experience, ” said Business and Channel Development manager at PEMCO, Allison Leep. “You’ve lost everything in your home and now you’re expected to remember every single thing that you own. That’s pretty daunting for some people and that’s where a video comes in handy. ”

To start your video inventory, download an app on your phone. There are plenty of choices to choose from.

You can also check with your insurance company, some may offer those apps for free. If apps aren’t your style, you can just go the traditional way and use a video camera or the video feature on your phone.

Here are some tips to create a video inventory of your home:

  • Pick a room and slowly pan around
  • Zoom in on items, describe the brand, age, features and price. Try and get the serial number too.
  • Open drawers and closets
  • Do this for every room in the house
  • Don't forget about the garage and other places on the property like the shed

PEMCO recommends staying in the same room until you're done recording all of it. It's also a good idea to store copies in at least two different places.

"At the minimum keep a copy at home and then put one on a USB drive and take it to work," said Leep. "Cloud storage is also a good idea, but keep in mind depending on the severity of the disaster, you might not have internet access right away."

If you don't like the idea of keeping files on the cloud, PEMCO says a lot of people make spreadsheets on the computer.

PEMCO also recommends updating your video inventory when you change the clocks. If you've made a major purchase in the past six months, that's the time to add it to your inventory.