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Protecting Your Art In Advance of a Hurricane

Here are a few simple steps that will help protect you high-value assets against a hurricane. 

Proactive Steps:

  1. Check that your valuables are properly protected under your insurance coverage. If they are not, hire a qualified appraiser to produce an appraisal report for retail replacement value.

  2. Produce an extensive visual inventory of all assets to prove both the existence and condition of your property.

  3. Store a digital copy of your records (appraisal reports, receipts, visual inventory, and other relevant records) in the cloud to ensure their survival.

  4. If financially viable, consult with a fine art firm specializing in art evacuation services. These firms make plans to transport your valuables to a storage facility beyond the storm’s reach for safe keeping.

Hurricane Preparation: 

  1. Secure all outdoor art. If possible, move outdoor art indoors.

  2. Board up windows and establish a sandbag perimeter if home is at risk of flooding.

  3. Remove art from plaster walls as its structural integrity is severely compromised when damp.

  4. Move vulnerable assets into interior rooms, away from windows and off of the floor.

  5. Wrap paintings in plastic to provide additional protection against water damage.

  6. Store smaller assets in waterproof plastic bins.

  7. If stacking art against an interior wall, separate paintings using large sections of stiff cardboard to prevent damage to frames or canvasses.

Storm Cleanup:

  1. Immediately document any damage through extensive photography and videography.

  2. Relocate any assets that are in contact with standing water or near areas of increased humidity.

  3. Take all possible measures to remove any standing water and excess humidity as soon as possible.

  4. Hire an USPAP-compliant appraiser to provide an appraisal report for any damage and losses for either insurance claims or IRS casualty deductions.

  5. Seek immediate restoration for any works which have had sustained contact with water. The sooner you act, the more likely you will be able to salvage a work.