Antiques expert Harry Rinker has a regular column on the Worthpoint site, and I enjoy it regularly. His latest one has important advice for all of us who have rare collectibles
in our homes. -Editor
National disasters wreak havoc on antiques and collectibles. Irreplaceable family heirlooms are gone. Collection losses, whether large or small, deeply impact the
collecting psyche. Few collectors have the courage, determination, and will to start over. The task is too daunting. It is easier to turn away and forget. No matter how strong the
memories, they are a poor substitute for seeing, handling, and displaying objects.
This column deals with natural disasters such as fires, flooding, hurricanes, and winds where forecasters and civil officials can provide an adequate warning that allows
collectors to take action. The timeframe varies. It may only be an hour or two. More likely, it will be measured in days.
Only fools fail to heed the warning. During a natural disaster, the news is filled with people who either decided to wait out the threat for the excitement attached to it or
are dumb enough to believe in the “it will never happen to me” concept.
Individuals who live in areas susceptible to fires, flooding, and hurricanes usually have a personal evacuation plan that focuses on safely removing themselves, family, pets,
and key family documents. Few evacuation plans consider precious family heirlooms and collections. This is a mistake.
One antiques and collectibles evacuation plan is insufficient. A minimum of three is needed based on the amount of time available to put the plan in operation. The three plans
are based on having one to two hours, three of five hours, and one day to implement.
Before deciding what to include in each of the plans, it is necessary to determine how much space is available for antiques and collectibles in the vehicle or vehicles that
will be used during the evacuation. Will one or two vehicles be used? What types of vehicles will be available? Space in a sedan is far different than that found in an SUV or
Most individuals assume evacuation means traveling a long distance. While this may be true for personal safety, it may not necessarily apply to antiques and collectibles.
Antiques and collectibles only need to be moved to a safe location that will resist the impact of the natural disaster. Collectors should identify buildings, warehouses, and
storage facilities in an hour or two drive that can be utilized in case of an emergency evacuation order. Given sufficient time, the collector may be able to make multiple trips
to one of these facilities before having to vacate.
More times than I care to remember, reporters interviewing me ask: “If your home was threatened by a fire or disaster, what is the one thing you would save?” Get a life. One
thing be damned. I would grab as many things as I could.
Great advice - see the complete article online for more, and look for future columns on the topic as well. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
RINKER ON COLLECTIBLES: EVACUATE
Wayne Homren, Editor
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