In addition to Wolf Wallenstein’s free information and confidential hotline to help victims of the Maui & Big Island fires, please click here to access a home inventory template form for itemizing household losses: Household Inventory Sample Spreadsheet
This spreadsheet template is a useful list to start writing down all the contents of the home, room by room, including a brief description of the item and pictures if available.
Practical Do’s and Don’t’s
Adapted from a List by a Retired Firefighter
· Receipts- keep a detailed list of EVERYTHING you spend starting the day of the fires. Even if you’re not sure if insurance will reimburse you, still keep track.
· Emotional Trauma- You need support, someone to talk to. Reach out to any religious orgs you’re affiliated with (or even that you’re not affiliated with) who may have trained professionals to help listen in times of crisis
· Physical care- Drink extra water, get rest, and do your normal exercise routine if you possibly can. See your doctor early if you are not feeling well, and take your blood pressure. Also for diabetics, take blood sugar readings more often and be sure to eat regular pre-fire portions or reduce insulin, as your dosage is anticipating regular meal quantities and may need to be adjusted.
· Documenting- Keep an organized Folder, including one on your smart phone or tablet. When you go to meetings for insurance, FEMA, etc to get financial assistance you NEED to have these things in order, otherwise they’ll push you to the back of the line or even disrupt your case. Get a folder or binder of some sort and label the following categories:
a. SSN, Medicare, other types of random docs and things you need to write down
6. Receipts: Literally EVERY receipt. You may want to bundle these by week
7. Will help when you go to meetings to rebuild
· Contents List/Inventory- Make a list room by room of your house and list the items that were in there because in a few short weeks, memories fade. If any part of your house is standing, you can walk the property interior write down what was in each room. If nothing is standing, walk through mentally; if you have a floor plan somewhere or photographs, these will help. It is guaranteed you will not remember well as time goes on, (even if you think you will remember) so doing this is very important. In the Sandy hurricane and damage in NY, many many people waited too long to make this list and after a few weeks could not remember half of what was in each room (likely b/c of the emotional trauma).
· Call us- or call some lawyer you trust, to discuss options and alternatives and get additional information.
· Call your financial advisor to discuss options and alternatives as well.
· Bonds, financial certificates (stock certs) and other paperwork
a. For damaged money contact the US Treasury Department
b. Contact 1-800 number for stocks and SSN docs and Medicare
· Register with the Red Cross
· Stay tuned to social media to see what is available from FEMA, religious groups, foundations, etc, that will listen to people case by case about assistance once we have filing number (insurance and FEMA) to see what is needed to rebuild and help with financial assistance.
· Watch social media for other resources and support in the community. Everyone will be stronger together!
· Don’t sign anything without talking to a good lawyer you trust. Especially don’t sign off on being paid in full by your insurance company. There may be things that seem obvious, but aren’t.
· If you have any physical injury at all, even if small, (examples could be asthma flare up or needed new medicine or any physical implications from ash or smoke), please do go to the doctor. If you have anything that you might be experiencing, it is important, so keep notes and records of it.