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New online tool promotes disaster preparedness and aids in recovery.


Virginia Beach, VA August 27, 2006 – According to the Insurance Research Council, only 42% of homeowners had completed a home inventory in 2003. Additionally, the American Red Cross disaster preparedness survey of May 2006, showed how woefully unprepared Americans are for disasters. In response to this, a new website has been launched to try and make it easier for people to recover from disasters and property loss.

Why don’t homeowners do what seems to be a simple task, like make a list that could save them a significant amount of money? Most say that they just don’t have the time to get the information together. Then there are questions like where to keep an inventory that will survive the disaster and how to get to it afterwards.

These were some of the key concerns of James McAllister, founder of “I wanted a way to keep track of my property and other assets in case my house was destroyed.” says McAllister, “As an IT professional, I decided that storing the information on a computer was the obvious choice, but what if my computer is destroyed?” The answer came to McAllister in the idea to build a website for easy and instant off-site storage of a home inventory along with other information and have the capability to recover that information from anywhere, at anytime.

Having a home inventory not only makes filing an insurance claim more accurate, it also provides a better idea of how much coverage is needed in the first place. “Watching what happened with Katrina last year really showed me how important it is to be ready for the worst,” added McAllister. An inventory list can also be useful in identifying personal property if it is stolen.

When asked about online security concerns, McAllister had a rather pragmatic view of the situation. “The site employs multiple levels of security including data encryption.” He considers the fact that there is very little personally identifiable information stored at the site that would make it valuable to hackers. McAllister quips, “I don’t know how someone could make any money spending a year decrypting the brand name of my toaster.”

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