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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommend homeowners to schedule an appointment with an insurance agent. Agents can provide owners and renters with a policy that matches their needs when provided with a home inventory list. In addition, after a disaster, an inventory can help provide proof of personal property loss.

Government and industry officials also recommend taking photos of the outside of a home as well as all contents, and to store these photos together with the inventory list in a safe place away from the house.

Property owners may be required to have both hazard and flood insurance. Renters should also consider insurance to protect personal belongings. Standard hazard policies may require additional riders for items such as collectibles, jewelry and/or damage from sewage backup. Disaster assistance from FEMA and other agencies cannot provide the extensive protection individuals can get from insurance.

National Flood Insurance Program http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip/