Flood: Record Keeping After the Flood


Keep complete records of losses and flood-related expenses even if you don't have insurance coverage. These are helpful in applying for State or federal aid that may become available and for allowable income tax deductions. Most flood losses are deductible for income tax purposes.

Include records on the following:

  1. All actual losses, including furniture, clothes, paintings, artifacts, food, and equipment, even if you don't intend to replace them.
  2. All flood-related expenses. This includes the additional cost of living, if any, for your family and you, such as motel and restaurant bills, temporary rental of cars or home rental.
  3. Clean-up expenses, rented equipment, and depreciation of equipment purchases.
  4. Restoration expenses, including all labor and material purchased and other costs to return your home to its prior condition.

Photographs of ruined homes or objects are excellent evidence for later documentation. After completing your list of losses, have two or three of your neighbors sign the list as witnesses. Make sure they inspect all damaged material, so that they can vouch for the list's accuracy.

Try to document the value of each object lost. Include bills of sale, cancelled checks, charge account records or prior insurance evaluations. If you don't have these, estimate the value, purchase place, and date of purchase. Include this information with your list.

After the clean up, make an inventory of your household and document it with pictures or receipts. Keep it in a safe deposit box or in another safe place away from the area.

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