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January 08, 2004

Get Yourself an Asset Register

I've already written about this (in a friends post) on LiveJournal; but we were burgled yesterday and many of my favourite possessions were taken. Not much of the stuff that people tend to think has 'sentimental value', but you know, I was very fond of my PowerBook. I've had lots of tea and sympathy on LJ, for which much thanks; readers here shouldn't feel they need to post to commiserate.

But this post isn't about that. This is an exhortation. Do you have backups? I did, and I've lost very little data, but if they'd taken the iMac as well they'd have failed hugely; who would have thought they'd take a firewire hard drive? It had my most recent photo and document backups.

It also had my music collection, which I carefully backed up to DVD only a few weeks ago. We're listening to music from the iPod at the moment. iTunes shows 11,000 tunes in the library, and lists them all. I feel like the old soldier who has twinges of pain in the leg that's been cut off.

So, go and make sure that your backups will cope with fire and theft as well as hardware failure; make sure that they're regular, and make sure that some of them are off site.

OK, once your backups are sorted, make a list of everything valuable that you own that's remotely portable. We've put a cut-off at £100; yours might be different. Because it turns out that we don't have serial numbers for some specific items that we were certain that we had serial numbers for, not least the PowerBook. Now, that is certainly Very Very Stupid. But we've spent hours today working out what's missing, and gathering evidence that we owned it, and if we'd had a simple asset register, a list of each item, where it's kept, its serial number and a photo, we've have saved a huge amount of heartache. We'd have quickly worked out what was missing, rather than saying every so often 'gosh, they've taken ________', and we'd have had clear evidence for all the stolen items.

You might do this already, in which case you can give yourself a shiny. Otherwise go, do it now, act without thinking.

Posted by Alison at January 8, 2004 05:56 PM


Oh no! I'm really sorry to hear it. Good advice on the backups and asset register. We have a catalogue of our book, CD and DVD collection lodged with our insurance company, but I don't think we've updated it since about 2001...time to do so.

In addition to an asset register, my parents also use their videocamera for recording evidence of ownership. Every year or so they take a tour of their house with the camera in tow, making sure that every nook and cranny is covered.

Good luck with the insurance claim!

Posted by: Martin Sutherland at January 8, 2004 09:50 PM

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