NEW YORK, NY.- Weather experts advise that Hurricane Irene is currently packing wind speed of approximately 115 miles per hour and wind gusts at 138 miles per hour --with severe impact projected for coastal areas from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to New England including Richmond , Washington , D.C., Baltimore , Philadelphia and New York.
The storm is projected to make land fall in New Jersey , New York and surrounding cities and coastal towns beginning Saturday evening. Emergency management officials have been briefing the public on evacuation plans for our area beginning early a.m. today.
At the onset of a storm, the most important concern is ensuring one's personal safety and that of loved ones," commented Christiane Fischer, President and CEO of AXA Art's North American operations.
Collectors surround themselves with prized possessions that sometimes take a lifetime to build. Whether its art, jewelry, musical instrument, vintage wine, antique books, stamps and coin collections, they can pay a heavy price in failing to be pro-active in protecting the value of their cultural assets. Fischer goes on to advise that Maintaining a loss prevention plan of action to be implemented during tropical storms and hurricanes can help to deter damage or loss of prized art and collectible and can prepare collectors to deal with damages should they occur."
With Hurricane Irene projected to make landfall AXA Art Insurance offers a quick checklist ahead of the storm to assist collectors with hurricane catastrophe prevention planning. The full AXA Art Hurricane Disaster Plan Article, can be downloaded in full at: http://www.axa-art-usa.com/FileUpload/113-24.pdf --
1.Secure 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. Secure your list of fine art inventory with images of each work, name of artist or maker, title, dimensions, media and year. This should include invoices for each of your valuables.
3. 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. If you have an emergency generator, make sure it is above possible high water levels. Include a waterproof instant camera to use to document any damage.
8. 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.