If you have experienced a Florida hurricane evacuation, you likely understand how panic can quickly overcome a community. Before you know it, the hurricane will make landfall in just a few days, grocery stores run out of essential items, gas stations run out of gas, and the entire city is on the road. People only have time to grab a few family heirlooms and other small valuables, such as jewelry, before heading away from the coastline. During this hectic time, protecting a fine art collection is the last thing on a person’s mind.
Sometimes, owners hastily move art pieces to a property’s second floor, in an attempt to protect the artwork from anticipated storm surge flooding. This last-ditch effort can result in the artwork getting damaged from rushed DIY movers, i.e., you and your family members.
Further, hurricanes almost always result in power outages to coastal communities. Extreme temperature and humidity exposure during these power outages can also damage artwork. If debris breaks through windows or if the wind blows the property’s roof off, the art pieces left inside may experience further exposure to the elements.
So, what is a person to do if they want to protect their art collection from a hurricane in South Florida? Also, what happens if a person does not live in South Florida for several months each year? For example, many “snowbirds” are only in Florida during the winter months before moving to their homes up north.
Dedicated fine art storage in South Florida might be for you
To protect a personal fine artwork collection from a harsh climate, theft, and natural disasters, such as Florida hurricanes, a dedicated art storage facility might be the solution you need. Protecting fine art is an art in itself, and collectors should leave their fine art pieces in the care of professionals.
Museo Vault is a leader in fine art storage and services in South Florida, and the company has a variety of storage options that go beyond the offerings of a typical climate-controlled unit. Museo Vault’s Miami location is 18.4 feet above sea level and a couple of miles inland. This location is one of the highest points in Miami, and this location will help protect stored artwork from even the fiercest storms and flooding. Additionally, both Museo Vault’s Miami and West Palm Beach locations are rated to withstand high winds and storm surge impact from a category five hurricane.
Unlike many climate-controlled storage options, Museo Vault features redundant HVAC systems, hygrothermographs on each floor, and back up generators in the case of a power failure. For fires, which can start during hurricanes due to electrical problems, Museo Vault has a dry-pipe sprinkler system that only waters the affected location. Also, Museo Vault facilities only use LED lights, which do not emit artwork-damaging UV rays.
During hurricane evacuations, empty neighborhoods can fall prey to looters. Museo Vault helps protect artwork from theft with 24/7 video surveillance and hundreds of alarms and sensors. This surveillance extends to 50 yards around the perimeter of the property, and Museo Vault’s security can communicate directly with police dispatch. In fact, Museo Vault’s facilities are so safe and secure that it is an approved storage facility for AIG, Chubb, and AXA insured art collections.
Without proper seasonal storage solution for your artwork, you may expose your collection to unnecessary and irreparable damage from a hurricane. Past hurricanes have caused millions of dollars of damage to artwork, including $500 million from Superstorm Sandy and $75 million from Tropical Store Isaac. Without proper insurance or seasonal hurricane storage for their art pieces, art owners have to shoulder these hurricane-related damages themselves.
End-to-end seasonal storage for artwork in Miami and South Florida
Some people may only live in Miami and South Florida only for a particular season each year, such as the snowbird population that stays in South Florida during the winter months. This population needs more than just a storage facility for their artwork during hurricane season. In addition to having a safe and secure place for their artwork, they need an end-to-end solution to seasonally pack, store, and then reinstall their artwork each year.
Museo Vault provides this end-to-end solution for fine art in the Miami and greater South Florida area, and we are trusted by the local art community. For example, Art Basel Miami Beach used Museo Vault to transport and install the temporary outdoor sculpture segment in front of The Bass Museum of Art. Museo Vault worked with Art Basel Miami Beach in this capacity for four years until organizers discontinued the installation.
For initial pickup, Museo Vault offers a white glove moving service, where our specialized and trained team will move your art pieces with the utmost care and consideration. We build packing crates with high-grade lumber to protect each of your pieces with a custom fit. Our clients for this packing and crating service include The Whitney Museum and The Museum of Modern Art.
During the move, Museo Vault transports each art piece in a climate-controlled vehicle. Our vehicles provide safe and smooth transport with an air ride suspension system and electric liftgate. We also offer fine art insurance plans backed by Llyods of London to cover your pieces during transport and storage.
Once your fine art pieces are in our facility, we offer a variety of ongoing collection management services. These services include high-resolution inventory photographs, condition reports, and access to our valued relationships with conservation, restoration, and appraisal services. With these services, you will maintain a connection to your art pieces, even while you are out of the South Florida area. Our dedicated customer service team works diligently to provide our clients with peace of mind and a stress-free fine art storage experience.
Preparation for protecting your artwork during hurricane season
When protecting fine art from hurricanes, too many people wait until the last minute to make a decision. Typically, residents have just days to react before a hurricane makes landfall. Hurricanes can often deviate from the predicted path, and evacuation orders can come at any time.
Due to the delicate nature of fine art pieces, they should not be moved hastily or under emergency circumstances. When considering moving your South Florida art pieces to a seasonal storage unit, know that it is best to make plans sooner than later. Here are some tips on making seasonal storage plans for your art pieces in South Florida.
First, call Museo Vault and see what storage space we have available for your pieces. Our storage facilities only have so much room, so it is essential to book out your seasonal storage space before our facility reaches capacity.
Second, depending on what space is available, go through your collection and properties to decide which pieces you want to store securely. Make an inventory list of what you have and where each art piece is on your property. Keeping a detailed and up-to-date home inventory will help make your planning and pickup stress-free and streamlined.
Third, be sure that you have an up-to-date appraisal of each of your art pieces. Next, check with your insurance company that each piece has insurance for its latest appraised value. If your art collection has gone up in value, you should protect this value by having each piece insured appropriately. Without up-to-date appraisals, art owners may experience difficulty in processing insurance claims.
Lastly, for pieces that you will keep out of seasonal storage, know that there are some steps you can take to help ensure that those pieces are protected. First, you can wrap paintings in a waterproof wrap. While this method is not failsafe, it is better than leaving the art pieces exposed to South Florida’s high-humidity climate. Also, do not store pieces on cement floors, as cement floors can absorb moisture and cause water damage to your Miami and South Florida art pieces. Further, property owners can also call their lawn and garden company to trim nearby trees and shrubs. This step can help prevent loose debris from breaking windows and exposing your self-stored artwork to the elements.
How to get started with seasonal art storage in Miami and South Florida
To get started, reach out to our skilled team here. At Museo Vault, we have provided professional-grade art storage, transport, and management services for the past ten years across South Florida. We work with individuals, galleries, and short-term exhibitions to provide the storage and logistics services they need to keep their artwork safe, and we now have two art storage locations in Miami and South Florida. We have one location in Miami city, and we now have a second location in West Palm Beach, which also serves the areas of Jupiter, Hobe Sound, and Boca Raton.
Our team is standing by to help you with your unique art storage, shipping, and installation needs. We understand that each art owner’s situation and needs are unique, and we look forward to providing a solution that works for you.