The US hurricane season runs from early June through the end of November. Hazards from these storms come in many forms including high winds, tornadoes, storm surges and flooding. At the onset of a storm, the most important concern is ensuring one's personal safety and that of loved ones. However, for collectors, having a disaster plan in place for collections can serve to protect prized possessions and valuable art and collectibles.
With information gathered from conservators and its worldwide team of expert partners, AXA ART has assembled a guide for collectors including a checklist with key elements in hurricane catastrophe prevention. Below is an excerpt from our Hurricane Disaster Plan Article for Collectors.
*Note to Dealers and Galleriest: Please download our Hurricane Disaster Plan Article for Dealers & Gallerists.
1. Maintain a list of emergency telephone numbers which includes those of your insurance agents/brokers, insurance company (note your policy number), conservators, art storage facility and local freeze dry facilities. Keep an extra copy with your insurance agent.
2. Prepare and maintain a fine art inventory file with images of each work, name of artist or maker, title, dimensions, media and year. Include invoices for each of your valuables. Protect your documents by securing important papers in water- and fire-proof safes or storage boxes. In addition, keep a copy of all documentation at a separate, secure location.
3. Consider a hurricane evacuation plan for your art collection. Contact local art storage facilities that could potentially provide secured storage space prior to the arrival of the Tropical Storm or Hurricane. Alternatively, you may wish to build a storm closet within your home.
4. In the absence of a hurricane evacuation plan, install a HVAC climate control system with a back-up generator, which can protect against rising humidity levels that can damage artwork.
5. Prepare your home by adding protective hurricane shutters and roof hurricane clips.
6. Make sure you have supplies to be able to bolt down outside furniture before the storm approaches.
7. Prepare a stock of emergency supplies to include flashlights, fans, dehumidifiers, hurricane lamps and oil, matches, battery-operated AM/FM radio with extra batteries and coolers. Include a waterproof instant camera to use to document any damage.
8. If you have an emergency generator, make sure it is above possible high water levels. Generators should only be used in dry, outdoor areas, away from anything flammable.
9. In preparation for potential evacuation of an approaching storm, each household member should have a backpack ready and include a change of clothing, bottled water, nonperishable food items such as granola bars, as well as an up-to-date list of any medications with dosage information. Include all doctors' names and phone numbers. Also include contact and meeting information for the household, child care supplies or special care items.
Above: Hurricane Rita as it started making landfall on the Gulf Coast on September 23, 2005. Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, from the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.
This announcement is advisory in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. It is offered as a resource to be used by insurance advisors and insureds in maintaining an appropriate loss prevention program. No liability of any kind is assumed by AXA Art Insurance Corporation by reason of the information contained in this announcement.