How Would You React After a Disaster?

How Would You React After a Disaster?

Family gets strength from above to persevere.

Susan Hayhurst strongly believes God was on their side when a fire struck their farm last December. Despite the upheaval it caused and the equipment it destroyed, the family is safe and still counts their blessings. Hayhurst will share some of the reasons she believes divine intervention helped them through the ordeal in the November issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine.

What no one can be ready for, both Susan and husband, Terry, say, is the painstaking process of trying to recreate the inventory of a farm shop, machine shed and storage building on a farm that has been in the family for years. Some hand tools went back generations. They were all destroyed in the fire.

Recently, we visited the Hayhursts to interview them just before the begin construction of a new shop to replace the structures they lost last year. Just that day Terry had remembered that a set of three sprockets he used to change adjustments on the grain dryer were in the building that burned. They didn't go on the settlement sheet for insurance because no one thought of them at the time. Some items were burnt beyond recognition.

The family and their relatives went through the rubble to recreate their list of possessions. Probably not one farmer in 10 has an accurate list at anyone time of everything stored inside a building, especially if he's farmed there for a while. Getting the big stuff out of the way is easy, like the combine, sprayer, seed tender and much more. Recreating a list of the smaller items, some still quite valuable, that were stored within the building can be quite difficult.

Here's a piece of advice. If you haven't sat down with your insurance agent within the past year or two, make an appointment to do so the next time your schedule allows. Make sure you have enough insurance to cover you in case of a complete loss that can happen with a fire or tornado. If you've traded equipment or added inventory over the years, you may not have as much insurance coverage as you think.

Companies vary on how they value farm tools and how much coverage you must carry to be fully insured. It's up to you to know what the requirements are with your company, and whether your current policy would provide adequate protection in cased of a total wipe out.
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