Do you or your loved ones know the location of your vital documents in case of a natural disaster or family emergency? You don't have time to sort through all that paperwork to find the documents you need during stressful situations. Instead, creating an Emergency Binder will streamline the process and provide peace of mind to you and your family.
What to Include in Your Emergency Binder
You can include many documents in your binder but these are the must-haves:
- Vital records like birth certificates, driver licenses, social security cards, naturalization papers, passports and child custody papers.
- Insurance policies for home, car, rental, life, and health with policy numbers and agent contact information.
- Financial documents like will, trust, power of attorney and funeral instructions.
- Health records such as immunization records, allergies, dietary restrictions, medications, medical/surgical treatments, and contact information for medical providers (doctors and hospitals).
- Pet information with a description of each pet, vet contact information and any important medical notes.
- Property information such as car information, home purchase papers/deeds, and home inventory items (include pictures or high end items).
Other Storage Options
You may want to store some of your vital documents in a safety deposit box or fire safe. You can also make copies of your documents for the binder and leave the originals in a safe location. Or you can scan them and store them electronically. However, make sure the file or location is encrypted.
You can also take pictures and fingerprints of everyone in the family and keep them in the binder or in another safe location.
Share Your Information
Be sure to let other family members or trusted friends know where everything is located, in case you're incapacitated.
For more information, or pre-printed documents, for Emergency Binders, just search the internet. There is plenty of information online.
There is no way to predict when a natural disaster or family emergency will strike, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared. Set aside an afternoon to create a binder that can help protect your family when time is of the essence.