Whenever a big storm like Sandy approaches, you should list and photograph or take video of your belongings. Gather receipts for each item, if possible. This home inventory will make it much easier to process your homeowners or renters insurance claim if there is damage.
You can keep the information stored on your computer or on an external hard drive or flash drive that you keep elsewhere in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box. The Insurance Information Institute offers a free "Know Your Stuff" inventory tool, either as software or a downloadable smartphone app, which allows you to store your photos and documentation online.
Regardless of how you keep track of your home inventory information, having easy access to it will be a huge relief if your insurer's adjuster wants to know about your belongings.
The American Red Cross says you also want to safeguard insurance policy documents. Keep copies of your policy with you in a watertight container or plastic bag. Consider keeping an extra copy wherever you store your home inventory.
As Superstorm Sandy victims learned, it's important to make sure you have contact information for your insurance agent with you.