Glendell Henderson doesn’t want you to be worried, just prepared.
Henderson and Rick Jones own Before and After Protection Services, which inventories property in homes and businesses against the possibility of fire, theft or other loss.
“We pride ourselves on preparing the community for the worst,” Henderson said. “When those types of incidents hit, we just want people to be able to be less stressful because this part is already taken care of.”
The company records the models, serial numbers and other information for valuable possessions, and it also takes photographs of items. It leaves the owners with a record and also stores the information itself for one year as part of the basic services package. After that there is a $25 annual fee for storing the information.
Henderson, a former police officer, said he got the idea for the business after responding to numerous burglaries in which “nobody would have this information. I could probably recall one person having this information.”
In fact, Henderson said, he had undocumented valuables stolen in a burglary himself once.
“I said I will never be unprepared again.”
Providing detailed information to police increases the chance of stolen items being recovered and returned to the owner. In cases in which items are not found or are destroyed in a fire or other disaster, documenting the information makes it easier to recoup full payment from insurance companies.
Henderson said it’s especially important to have detailed descriptions of antiques, coin collections and other objects that tend to increase in value.
“If they don’t have the proper documentation,” he said, “the insurance company is just going to say ‘replacement value,’ which is generic.”
The company offers three packages: $85 for an inventory of 20 items; $145 for 30 items and a CD of photos of each room; and $190 for an inventory of 40 items and a USB with all of the information on it.
To avoid losing the information in its own fire or disaster, Before and After stores the information on a computer and external hard drive, and plans to start using Rackspace, a cloud computing service, soon.
Henderson and Jones incorporated the business last year and began operations in January. Clients have included a church, country club, computer services business and numerous homes.
So far, none of the customers has needed to use the information. However, one business owner whom Henderson approached wishes he had.
“He said, ‘I’ll get it done, I’ll get it done.’ He never got it done,” Henderson said. “Maybe two months later, he got broken into. The next day he called me and said, ‘I knew the process was important, I just didn’t know how important it was.’ ”