Reconstructing Records Lost in a Natural Disaster

 – October 9, 2023
Reconstructing Records Lost in a Natural Disaster

Reconstructing records after a natural disaster can be a tedious but necessary task. Records help people prove their disaster-related losses. More accurately estimated losses, in turn, can help people receive more recovery assistance like loans or grants. 


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Past financial statements can be retrieved from someone’s credit card company or bank. People can contact their bank for paper copies, or the records may be available online.  


  • Homeowners in need of property records may contact the title company, escrow company or bank that handled the purchase of their home or other property.
  • Taxpayers who made home improvements can get in touch with the contractors who did the work and ask for statements to verify the work and cost. They may also obtain written descriptions from friends and relatives who saw the house before and after any improvements.
  • For inherited property, taxpayers can check court records for probate values. If a trust or estate existed, taxpayers can contact the attorney who handled the trust.
  • When no other records are available, people should check the county assessor’s office for old records that might address the value of the property.
  • Car owners can research the current fair-market value for most vehicles. Resources are available online and at most libraries. These include Kelley’s Blue Book, the National Automobile Dealers Association and Edmunds.