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Safeguard Your Valuable Art During Hurricane Season with Our 60 Hurricane Preparation Tips


Sixty Tips in 60 Days: Learn to Safeguard Your Valuable Art During Hurricane Season

Over the last 60 days leading up to the 2018 Hurricane Season, we’ve been Counting Down With Confidence, with one of sixty hurricane preparation tips to safeguard your valuable art during hurricane season, being posted each day. Now that this countdown has come to a close, and hurricane season has begun, we’ve decided to post the entire list to help you better prepare before a storm!

Safeguard Your Valuable Art During Hurricane Season with Our 60 Tips:

  1. Make sure appraisals of valuable items are up to date or schedule an appraiser this month. Store this important documentation in a waterproof container or digitally.
  2. Hurricane season runs from June through November. If you plan on leaving for an extended period of time, have a designated person to safeguard your valuable art during hurricane season and protect your home and valuables, should there be a storm.
  3. Establish a hurricane “safe” room. This should be a lower level, interior room with as few windows and doors as possible. (Closets, bathrooms, laundry rooms)
  4. When you are planning to move art, be familiar with where you are moving the art to. Whether another location onsite or to offsite storage, make sure the location is secure, climate controlled and can withstand hurricane-force winds to safeguard your valuable art during hurricane season.
  5. If using plywood instead of shutters to protect windows, ½” marine plywood is best. Cut wood to fit each window. Remember to mark which board fits which window. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the storm.
  6. Maintain a current inventory of household property, including valuables, and any artwork, in case an insurance claim should be necessary this should help to safeguard your valuable art during hurricane season.
  7. Purchase or install a generator for use during power outages. A generator can maintain climate control in rooms containing artwork, preventing deterioration.
  8. When art is being transported, determine whether crates are required. Where are crates being stored or do they need to be constructed?
  9. Purchase a first aid kit ahead of time. This should include the following: latex gloves; sterile dressings; soap/cleaning agent; antibiotic ointment; burn ointment; adhesive bandages in small, medium and large sizes; eye wash; a thermometer; aspirin/pain reliever; anti-diarrhea tablets; antacids; laxatives; small scissors; tweezers; petroleum jelly.
  10. As the hurricane approaches, listen to the radio, television, or check social media for hurricane progress reports. (Follow @BellissimaArt on Twitter for up-to-date hurricane news!)
  11. Determine ahead of time which valuable objects will move under certain weather conditions. (TS vs CAT3)
  12. Keep a supply of non-perishable, canned food items in your hurricane kit along with a manual can opener. After the hurricane season ends on Nov. 30th, consider donating unexpired food items to holiday food drives.
  13. Put an ax in your attic in case of severe flooding. This will allow you to escape, should there be excessive flooding.
  14. Update and store a list of important contact information in multiple places. If a list is destroyed during the storm, you will have back up. Also, store this information in a cloud-based database that you can log into from anywhere.
  15. Be familiar with your home and auto insurance policies ahead of time and review with your agent to ensure your coverage is up to date. Don’t forget flood insurance.
  16. Store all important documents such as passports, driver license, Social Security cards, birth certificates, deeds, wills and trust, insurance documents, immunization records, etc. in a watertight container. Keep a copy of all documents in a safe deposit box.
  17. Keep a contact list of information to reference in case of emergency.
    Emergency Management Offices
    – County Law Enforcement
    – County Public Safety Fire/Rescue
    – State, County and City/Town Government
    – Local Hospitals
    – Local Utilities
    – Local American Red Cross
    – Local TV Stations
    – Local Radio Station
    – Your Property Insurance Agent
  18. Find an art or wine storage facility in your area. You may need to move your collection into a hurricane-rated facility for safe keeping. Contact Bellissima Luxury & Fine Art Services for information about our ultra-secure, CAT 5 hurricane-rated facility.
  19. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your building. Plan the storage of your collection accordingly, whether it be in a secure room within your home or a hurricane-rated storage facility.
  20. Buy and charge extra charging devices ahead of time to recharge cell phones and other small electronics when the power is out.
  21. Make sure your roof, windows, and doors (including the garage doors) are reinforced to withstand hurricane-force winds. Doing this will go a long way to safeguard your valuable art during hurricane season.
  22. Know your local hurricane evacuation route(s). Contact your local emergency management agency for more information on these routes.
  23. If you live in an evacuation zone, have a plan for where you are going to stay. Make arrangements with family members, friends or even a hotel ahead of time, perhaps before the season even begins.  (Don’t forget your pets!)
  24. Sign up for your local community’s text or email emergency alert notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
  25. If you are going to move art, discuss the move with your insurer first, plan who will move it, and know what is required to move it (materials & manpower).
  26. If works are taken off the wall, protect them and place them in an interior room. Elevate the items at least three inches off the floor.
  27. Outside items can be picked up and damaged during heavy winds.  Bring exterior items such as furniture, BBQ’s, potted plants into a garage or storage.  Don’t forget outside sculptures and artwork!
  28. Download an application to your smartphone that can notify people where you are and whether you need help or are safe. The Red Cross has a Hurricane App available in the Apple App Store. Google Play Store has a shelter finder app.
  29. Move wet artwork to an air-conditioned area as soon as possible. Meanwhile, to reduce mold and mildew, keep the works in a lighted area where the air is kept moving with fans.
  30. If you own a collection, have a hard copy of the contact information for your insurance company, as well as an art conservator, art storage facility, and contractor on hand.
  31. Make sure all valuable artwork is properly insured and has an up-to-date appraisal.
  32. Be sure to make detailed notes regarding condition, and photograph art if possible before the storm. If something is damaged, you will have a record of the previous condition.
  33. Meet with a fine art service provider to discuss the pre-storm collection schedule ahead of time-based on truck size, the volume of art, and access to the property. Last minute requests for collection may not be available!
  34. If evacuating, let others (family, friends) know where you are going.
  35. Make sure your vehicle’s gas tank is full immediately before a storm. During hurricane season, it’s a good idea to keep your tank at least ¼ full at all times.  If you have extra, approved fuel containers, fill these as well.
  36. Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting in case of a power outage. Use a cooler to keep from opening the doors on the freezer or refrigerator.
  37. Fill a clean bathtub with water before a storm. This water can be used later as drinking water or for other purposes, if necessary.
  38. Know your warnings and storm categories. (Post Chart)
  39. Inspect any and all hurricane shutters ahead of time. Make sure tracks are cleaned out maintained for sliding shutters.
  40. If you recently purchased a new home, test fit any shutters that came with the home.
  41. Always maintain a current inventory of art at each location (estate, office, yacht). Know what is offsite (on loan, in storage, at conservator).
  42. If you cannot move your art into safe storage, engage a professional art handler to properly wrap art with plastic (or other archival materials required) to prevent water damage.
  43. Keep a large covered storage bin filled with your hurricane supplies. Make sure it is replenished just before the hurricane season begins.
  44. Put together a portable emergency bag. This should include a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information, should there be an emergency which requires immediate evacuation.
  45. If you decide not to evacuate and you stay in your home during a hurricane, plan for adequate supplies including food, water, batteries, adequate medication, vitamins, and other daily essentials.
  46. Clear any clogged areas or debris which may cause flooding on your property or damage to your neighbors’ property.
  47. Make sure to document/photograph your property before a storm, especially any valuable artwork, and then document all storm damage with a camera.
  48. Keep a multipurpose tool with you. This should include pliers, a screwdriver, and a knife. These can be purchased at your local hardware store.
  49. Susan’s Favorite Tip! Fill a one-gallon sized zip-lock bag with water and seal. Double bag with a second zip-lock bag, sealing in the opposite direction. Make several and place in your freezer to create blocks of ice. During a power outage, these blocks can be transferred to your refrigerator to keep it cold. S. – They also provide cold drinking water when they melt!
  50. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
  51. If evacuating, unplug any small appliances and electronics before you leave. And, if possible, turn off the electricity, gas, and water for the residence.
  52. If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power “surge” when electricity is restored.
  53. Always stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors during the storm, even during the “eye.” The calm “eye” of the storm may seem like the storm is over, but after the eye passes, the winds will change direction and quickly return to hurricane force winds.
  54. Don’t open your windows during a storm. Safeguard your valuable art during hurricane season by keeping the wind and rain outside, especially rooms that may contain valuable artwork.
  55. Safeguard your valuable art during hurricane season by maintaining a current inventory of household property, including valuables, and any artwork, in case an insurance claim should be necessary.
  56. After major disasters, Facebook may have a “Check in Safe” button. If so, check in safe, so your family and friends know you are safe!
  57. Stay alert for tornadoes! They are often spun off the dirty side of hurricanes. Prepare your safe room ahead of time so you can move into it when a warning is issued.
  58. Make a family emergency communication plan! Make sure your family knows how to contact each other should cell service be down after a storm.
  59. Store your most valuable items in a secure location during the hurricane season to eliminate last-minute stress in case transpiration services are not available!
  60. Join the Bellissima Priority Client Program to retain your position before a storm and let us handle the planning for your most valuable items!

Learn more about how to safeguard your valuable art during hurricane season. Get more important information about planning for the 2018 Hurricane Season, by checking out our other blog posts!

When it comes to hurricane planning, first ensure the safety of you and your loved ones, then call Bellissima to ensure the safety of your valuables. Contact us today! 

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