SENIORS: SPECIAL TREASURES

Sep 12th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

What Would You Try to Save?

If the flood or fire or hurricane were imminent what would you attempt to save?  When a forest fire came nearer our home than we had expected one night, we were suddenly thrust into the dilemma so many have faced this year.

With the proliferation of tragedy striking in so many places and in such magnitude, many seniors have been met with trying to pick and choose within a matter of hours, sometimes minutes, what it is they treasure and would like to salvage.  Some prudently have sorted out a few boxes that would fit in their vehicle(s) and hastily towed them to safety.  Others have had so little warning that nothing more than the clothes on their backs, their children or others living in the household, and pets were what they rushed in to rescue.  Some attempted watering down their roofs, often in a vain attempt to protect their home. 

It is no small assignment to think in terms of what you want to keep and what you can.  Time, the volume of desired things to save, the encroachment of danger perilously closing in, all these press upon you all at once, seemingly out of nowhere.

But, in some cases folk could see or smell or knew that it was coming.  Dead on the heels of warnings and appeals persons have been urged to protect themselves, to leave what they must and to seek “higher ground.”  Higher ground always refers to a safe or safer place.

Early Preparations a Better Choice

Having known that danger might be near, some have made early preparations.  Taking advantage of warnings, some have packed and identified logically safe places to take their belongings. If one is fortunate enough to have an option, taking advantage of it is a wise course of action.  Some have reduced their salvagable goods to a limited few:

  • legal papers,
  • the computer on which is stored valuable information,
  • prized and valuable items such as jewelery, heirlooms (not including furniture),
  • coin or stamp collections,
  • treasured photographs (here one must be selective);  if time permits convert some photos, etc to a disk, keepsakes, but limited in number and kind, and so on.  One is limited by how much there is, how much time there is, and how realistic you can be in making your choices.

Another critical exercise is to have a record of your household goods that cannot be carried away.  When/if an insurance settlement becomes necessary the more one can document the items in one’s home (photographs or a video of personal property is helpful here), their value and receipts that substantiate that, the better off one will be in reaching an equitable and fair compensation.  Again, a disk with as much on it as you can enter will be helpful.

Make no mistake, being well organized and prepared in the event of a disaster will enable your own ability to deal with the results of a tragedy.  The better choice for seniors is to plan and prepare for a disaster, whether it is forthcoming or not.



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