By Adam Rosenfield
Are you prepared if a major disaster hits your school district?
Your district is full of valuables within the walls of each building, millions of dollars’ worth of assets and materials. So if a disaster strikes, knowing exactly what you have could save your district a lot of money.
The first thing you’ll need to do if a disaster, like a hurricane, tornado, or fire, hits your district will be to produce a list of what was in each building for insurance purposes. But will you actually know what you lost?
When a fire struck a campus at Midway ISD in central Texas, the district’s insurance company needed a list of assets that were at the campus. The district recently conducted an inventory using spreadsheets, but still weren’t 100 percent confident in those records.
At the end of the day, your insurance carrier is going to look at your policy and assess the following three things:
– What’s the average amount, and type, of equipment in each room? Is it usually one computer, one projector, and a few other technology materials in each room?
– Based on the size and materials used, what would the rebuild amount be? Are you in an older school and require more expensive material to rebuild classrooms?
– How much coverage do you have? Do you only have a small amount of property insurance, or is your entire building covered?
While those questions are key for schools to know before a disaster strikes, the first bullet rings particularly true for inventory managers like yourselves. Do you know exactly what you have in your buildings? Whether it’s the amount of laptops, Chromebooks, and projectors, or what model they are, you should always have an efficient, accurate system for tracking this data.
What Does Your State Say?
Many states are putting laws into place in order to create a system of accountability for school districts as it relates to property insurance, owing to the number of lost inventory after disasters.
For example, North Dakota has legislation that requires its districts to work with their commercial property insurance carriers at least once every six years for the purpose of ensuring that:
a. All school district buildings are properly identified and accurately valued, and
b. The contents of all school district buildings and facilities are properly inventoried and accurately valued.
A Centralized System
So how can you make sure all the contents in the buildings of your schools is accounted for? In order to ensure that, you’ll want to coordinate with the district’s property manager/fixed assets manager and department heads to create consistent procedures for recording inventory purchased in the district. Work together to come up with a method to ensure an annual inventory audit of those assets is performed. You’ll also need to ensure disposal records are reconciled against your previous audit, so throughout the year, your district has accurate information about what is no longer in each building.
By using an automated inventory management system, districts can automate their processes to speed up inventory taking procedures. TIPWeb allows the contents of your school district buildings to be managed on a consistent basis. This will help in recovering property and receiving a proper valuation should disaster strike.