Here are some General Tips in case you are ever in a position that you have to do an inventory. For more information, be sure to check out http://www.pcamidwest.com/Generaltips.html.
When doing an inventory after a fire, make a diagram of the house with major items drawn in. This is very helpful if you have to do a re-creation inventory
Only do a Physical inventory if it is safe to enter the house.
Wear disposable gloves. The soot from the fire will get on your hands which will rub off on your forms or computer.
Where old clothes. If you clothing was destroyed in the fire, wear cheap clothes. They will get stained. Soot is hard to remove.
Don’t skip around when doing the inventory. Start in one corner of a room and work your way around. After you have made it all the way around, then do items in the center of the room.
Don’t overlook small items. They add up.
Try to get model numbers on electronics. If that is not possible, at least get the brand name and as many details as you can.
Electronics are hard to clean. They will probably need to be replaced.
Set up temporary lighting so you can see.
If it is really cold, set up temporary heat. You are going to be in there for quite a while. Make it
comfortable so you don’t rush through the job and overlook items.
Use any photographs you can find. Maybe you recently hosted a Christmas party and Aunt Bessie loves to take pictures. Call her! Any photo can help.
Use at least 2 people when doing inventory. 1 person to dig through and find items, and one to write down the information. It saves a lot of time, and will make the process easier.
Use a plastic folding table, preferably one which is light. Arrange small items on this to be photographed. A white table works best.