Fire...flood...tornado...hurricane... It doesn't matter. They're all terrible, especially if your house and your things are destroyed. That's why this list from Farmers Insurance will help protect the things that mean the most to you.
Store valuables in high places, but not too high
In general, but especially before a flood or predicted storm, move your most important valuables above expected high water marks, and never store important items in basements or attics.
Don't wrap furniture or artwork in plastic
Mold can start forming within 24 hours of exposure to water, and plastic traps moisture.
Air might be your best friend after water damage
Because mold forms so quickly, the sooner you can safely gain access to a flooded home, the better. Immediately open doors and windows to get air circulating through the home. If possible, spread out your valuables, bring in dehumidifiers and fans, and keep the temperature low by turning the heat down or using air conditioners.
Don't stack — fan out books and papers
Soaked documents and books will probably develop water stains, but you can avoid further damage by fanning them on a table to dry. Lay papers flat; fan out the pages of books and set them upright.
If you can't air-dry wet photos, put them in the freezer
Wet photos should be dried face up, with nothing stacked on top. Because this process requires an enormous amount of room, dry wet photos or find adequate space: freeze wet photos until you have time or space to deal with them. Individual photos can be placed in zip-top plastic bags; if you have entire boxes and albums that are wet, secure them in plastic wrap and tape any seams. When you're ready to dry the photos, defrost them in the plastic to keep them damp, then gently separate with clean fingers. For tricky separations, slip a butter knife between photos.