Fire, hurricanes, and earthquakes – sometimes disaster strikes before we can get prepared. Making an emergency preparedness kit with food, supplies, radio, prescriptions, and important documents is your best bet before a disaster happens. Getting your records together and providing an accurate account of losses after a disaster will help with general tax purposes and will also be required for obtaining federal assistance, grants, loans, or insurance reimbursements. Here are a few tips:
- Take photos and/or video as soon as possible after the disaster.
- Contact title, escrow, or banks to get copies of needed documents. Your real estate broker may have these records as well.
- Research comparable homes in your neighborhood for value.
- Review insurance policies; they can contain a base value for replacement.
- If you made improvements to your home, contact the contractor for verification of costs.
- You can check the county assessor’s office for old records.
Reconstructing your records will help you to get re-established should your home be affected by a disaster.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov[i]
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