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Planning For Hurricane Art Storage? 2018 Hurricane Predictions – What to Plan For NOW!


Hurricane Art Storage might not be on the top of your to-do list for 2018, however, this year will be an active hurricane season. Each year, the Hurricane scientists at Colorado State University issue a forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season before the season begins, and then updated forecasts are issued throughout the season.  On April 5th, the CSU scientists predicted a slightly above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2018.  The researchers, who are part of CSU’s Tropical Meteorology Project team, forecast 14 named storms, and of those about seven will become full-blown hurricanes and three will reach major hurricane strength, meaning a Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale (sustained winds of at least 111 mph, or 179 km/h).  The CSU team will update their hurricane season forecast on May 31, July 2 and Aug. 2, they said. https://www.livescience.com/57671-hurricane-season.html.

At Bellissima, we monitor the weather constantly…in fact, you could even call us weather geeks.  We’re fanatical about protecting art, and especially so during periods of high risk.  During the hurricane season, we continuously monitor the weather and constantly communicate with our clients.  Clients enrolled in our Priority Client Program have us on retainer to collect and transport their collections to our CAT 5 hurricane-rated facility for safekeeping when a hurricane threatens.

It’s very important to have a hurricane contingency plan in place for art and fine furnishings before the season begins.

Key components of a contingency plan include the following:

  1. Maintain a current inventory of art and fine furnishings.
    It’s important to review and update your inventory on an annual basis, before the hurricane season.  Cloud-based, formal collection management programs are ideal to maintain an organized repository of information regarding your collection.  However, any detailed and organized system of record keeping can be effective.  Add information regarding new additions to your collection and note works that may have been sold during the year. If your collection is housed on multiple sites or rotates across various locations, these should also be updated and noted on your plan.  Include provenance, and all the necessary documentation to prove that the work of art is yours and what it’s currently worth. These documents include proof of ownership, bill of sale, provenance, a replacement estimate, photographs, and the most recent appraisal.
  2. Contact your insurer and review your insurance policy: know what is and is not covered.
    Is your collection covered as part of your homeowner’s policy or is there a separate policy for the art collection?  One of the first questions to ask your insurer is “Does my homeowner’s insurance policy cover my artwork?” You may think that your homeowner’s insurance will cover your fine art collection, but if you don’t have a separate art policy, you need to check the exclusions. It is possible to buy special coverage for specific items such as pieces of art, which would cover them for their most recently appraised value, but you need to be sure. Does your policy include coverage during transit and storage in the event the collection must be moved off site? Can hurricane art storage help protect your priceless valuables?
  3. Identify specific works of art or furnishings that will be moved to a safe location within the home, or offsite to safe storage should a hurricane threaten your area.
    Determine which works of art or furnishings will be relocated to a safer location, perhaps an interior closet or second story within the home.  If you have a generator and shutters, this may be a good solution.  If, however, you and your insurer determine that offsite storage is a safer decision to mitigate damage to your collection, you will need to plan for the packing and transport of each specific work of art into storage.
  4. If contemplating offsite storage, prepare and finalize arrangements before the hurricane season begins.
    Although we typically have notice of a significant weather threat, hurricanes can quickly intensify, accelerate, or change direction.  In addition, most service providers have restrictions on the use of trucks or limits on the value of art that may be transported above certain wind speeds.  We cannot stress enough, the importance of selecting a reputable fine art services provider to pack, transport and store your art collection and fine furnishings prior to the onset of the hurricane season. You will want to discuss the following:
    Is the storage facility hurricane rated?
    Does the company employ a trained staff?
    Is the facility climate controlled?
    Is there a generator in the event of a power outage?
    How does the company prioritize the collection of clients’ art immediately before a storm?
    If specific works require crating, where will they be held? If crates must be constructed can the fine art services provider construct them?
    What types of storage are available and what is the cost of storage?
    How much space is available? (What is the volume of storage you will require?)
    How will access to the property be granted to collect the art/fine furnishings if you are out of town and a storm threatens our area?
    Is an advance site visit required?
  5. Make sure someone knows your plan and has the authority to initiate it if you are out of town or unavailable when a storm threatens.

The 2017 hurricane season was one of the most damaging and costly on record, resulting in billions of dollars in property damage.  Preparation in advance of the 2018 hurricane season is critical to protecting these investments – especially if you live in an area prone to hurricanes and flooding. Fortunately, with detailed planning and good communication, a contingency plan can be put in place to mitigate risk to high-value art collections and fine furnishings.


Don’t wait for a hurricane to become familiar with our full array of art handling services.  Explore our website and be prepared with our hurricane art storage! Bellissimafineart.com

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