A survivor who lost their home in the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire wrote a COMPLETELY FREE little utility that helps find pricing for your personal property inventory. Although you can customize the spreadsheet, the base he provides is the spreadsheet created and compiled by CARe, Inc. following the 2003 wildfire recovery and refined in the years since.
Since the recovery portion of his journey is still ongoing, he would prefer to remain anonymous so he doesn't get swamped with questions, but you can download the file HERE [discontinued]:
Once you download the ZIP file you will need to unzip it so hopefully you can figure that much out. Inside of the ZIP file are three files including the base spreadsheet/database, the actual fillerinner program, the software license and a readme file that includes directions and credits.
You should be aware that just a couple weeks ago Google announced that they're going to stop providing the shopping information in such a way that the program will stop working in it's current format on September 16th. Feel free to use it until then. We hope that he will be able to update it after that time, but for now if you need to price your inventory, USE THIS UTILITY!!!
He has updated to work around Google's announcement by using a support grant from our donors. You can now use the tool online at:

I read this tip online and thought it might be helpful for homeowners in this situation.


Additional Living Expense (ALE) Coverage is one of the provisions in most policies that is usually short and appears to be a straight forward, especially considering the language used in other sections of the same policy, but securing payment under this provision can be frustrating for insureds. Delay for this type of payment can cause extreme hardship. I have watched policyholders who have lost everything, or even those trying to cope without a kitchen, break down in tears because of the hurdles and roadblocks that stand between them and a payment due for covered additional living expenses. Just this week, I received calls from two insureds on different coasts who are fighting for additional living expenses on covered claims. One homeowner had the rental furniture company coming to repossess the furniture and the other faces potential foreclosure because the check has been "in the mail" for five months.

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Part II: 


After a disaster many friends and family offer their support and say, "is there anything I can do to help?" Their offers are usually brushed aside with a simple thank you, but take advantage of their generosity! With the advent of social media you have a wealth of friends who can help!

I got this idea a couple of months back when a fire survivor from the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs asked if we could update our inventory with holiday items. I typed a few items I could think of then went on Facebook and asked people to help with an inventory for a fire survivor by listing every Halloween item they can think of in their house. People came out of the woodwork to provide their thoughts. In the next few days I asked about Thanksgiving and Christmas too and now our inventory includes these items.

You can do the same thing with other parts of your house. Ask people to list kitchen appliances, or gadgets. Ask friends to take pictures of their junk drawers or inside of their cabinets. Have people with kids your age take pictures of their toy chests or closets. This time of year can be especially hard, but maybe as your friends are unpacking their holiday items they can take pictures of the insides of their boxes and send them to you to help jog your memory of things you had.

Social media can be powerful. Use it in your favor! 

(PS: We also just posted a Power Point Presentation regarding personal property that you can access HERE.) 

This document was not prepared by CARe, but a Waldo Canyon fire survivor compiled what they found regarding insurance consumer protection laws and regulations in Colorado and we thought you might find it helpful.
What the homeowner had to say, "I read the Colorado Statues and put together this simple 10 page summary of the relevant stuff. Bottom line: Colorado offers some consumer protection however, the homeowner is largely on their own unless the Insurance Company commits a truly egregious act."
You can find the document HERE:
If you live in a state that suffers from severe weather such as tornadoes or hurricanes, finding good homeowners insurance is getting more difficult as weather patterns grow more extreme.
In the aftermath of weather-related catastrophes, insurers can face a flood of insurance claims and as a result of the expense eventually drop thousands of policies. For example, Alabama-based insurance company Alfa announced in June that it wouldn't renew 73,000 home policies after tornadoes battered the state in April. After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, insurance giant State Farm stopped writing new policies in Mississippi. And following more recent hurricanes, 20 percent of homes on the Alabama coast are going without any wind insurance due to staggering rate increases. The state's four largest insurance companies have canceled 50,000 policies in coastal Alabama, according to Carl Schneider, partner at Schneider Insurance and member of the Coastal Alabama Leadership Council, or CALC.
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