record-keeping will become vital in proving the need for what was done, along with proof of an item's existence that may have been thrown away. As a rule of thumb, all activities should be photographed before, during and after as part of the documentation.Activities falling under Emergency Costs may include:
- Loss mitigation measures (sandbagging, pumping water, etc.)
- Emergency debris removal
- Temporary relocation costs
- Emergency equipment purchases or rentals
- Emergency transportation costs
- Emergency communication costs
- EOC activities
- Outreach activities
Since these activities are either ongoing or completed, an applicant will be able to prove these loss elements with records of actual costs. An applicant needs to maintain such items as:
- Timesheets, payroll documents, etc., for staff members
- Contracts, invoices and payment information
- Leases, rental records, etc.
- Before and after inventories if available
- Equipment logs
- Volunteer logs
- Outside agency assistance records
- Records of disposition of hazardous items or materials
By definition, emergency costs are incurred when an applicant is under some measure of duress and often times hard to document in a suitable fashion. FEMA and insurers, however, require an accurate demonstration of these costs in order for restitution or reimbursement; thus any measures that can be implemented for a smooth compilation of related records will greatly enhance and expedite this portion of your recovery.
One of the most difficult and time-consuming segments of claim preparation is that involving property and equipment. Both FEMA and the insurer will want to know what was lost, when was it purchased, for how much and the current replacement cost.
Ideally an organization has an established inventory control system
for capitalized items valued at or above a certain amount. With this in hand, a post-loss inventory can be conducted and compared to establish the basis for loss. This, in tandem with any photo-documentation for the larger items and any department head inventories for the non-capitalized items, such as consumables, should be sufficient.
In many cases, however, an inventory system is not available or it is not properly maintained. In this instance, an organization is forced to compile a complete listing of the items being claimed by conducting a physical inventory of the lost items. Where possible, photos should be used to support the list. In cases where items have been removed (for safety or mitigation), or completely destroyed, it will be necessary for each department to compile a list from memory and to augment it with any available support documentation.