THE BLOG
11/07/2012 11:43 am ET Updated Jan 07, 2013

Sandy Photographers Needed to Document Homeowner Losses

Governor Cuomo has announced a rule which requires insurance companies to accept photographic and video documentation of losses so local governments can move quickly to remove dangerous debris before the predicted storm moves in this week.

A tour of the Rockaways this weekend revealed piles of furniture, clothing, electronics, and other damaged debris in front of hundreds of affected homes. All this debris must be documented for insurance claims and removed prior to the storm.

"If debris is creating unsafe conditions, people must be able to clear it away without hurting their right to make an insurance claim," Governor Cuomo said.

"If debris is dangerous, homeowners should carefully document their losses then dispose of the debris. Taking photos and videos and even keeping samples of damaged materials is a good idea" says Superintendent Lewsky.

But, where do the cameras to record the damage come from when most electronics have been lost to the flood and areas have no electricity to charge the batteries?

Typically, an adjuster would visit the site to inspect insurance claims. As the debris have become dangerous -- homeowners must remove debris before adjusters are able to visually inspect the premise.

Volunteers are needed to work with homeowners to create a photographic record of the losses to be presented with an inventory list, to an insurance claims adjuster upon inspection.

Homeowners have lost so much -- now is a vital time to document losses to ensure proper insurance claims can be filed.

Photographers are needed to:

1. Inventory the damaged area

2. Take color photos of damaged property, targeting any high ticket items

3. Videotape high ticket items and property

4. REMEMBER: Have a timestamp and record the date and time

5. Inventory should reflect corresponding photograph for validation

6. Keep the information in a secure location until the adjuster arrives

7. Take samples of carpet, wall paper, furniture, upholstery, window treatments and other items where quality will be a claims factor.

Tips for volunteering in an affected area:

Be sure to pack a backpack with your supplies: food for the day, water, sneakers, warm clothes, sunblock, work gloves, a charged phone, printed maps of the area as service is spotty.

Ask people for updates of what they need and collect contact info so we can deliver direct aid and stay updated on changing needs.

Document addresses of drop off points and shelters. Post updates here.