Thursday, August 7, 2008

Emergency Preparedness - Part 2 - The Document Box

We never know when an emergency will strike. Whether it's a fire, flood, earthquake or other type of disaster - most of us are never really prepared.

Imagine if you had to rush out of your house due to a fire or impending hurricane. What would you take with you?

Most of us would respond "family photos" which is a great response. However, what about all those papers we have documenting our entire lives including birth certificates, wills, and insurance policies.

Today I want to show you something I've been working on for my home and family - the document box (also known as the grab and go box). This should be a small, easy to carry, file box which can be grabbed and taken anywhere in an emergency.

All of your important papers and other documents should be stored here.

Here are a few of the categories I have prepared for my document box:

Insurance policies (homeowners, disability, life, automobile)
Passports (copies - originals in safe deposit box)
Social security Card (copies - originals in safe deposit box)
Pension documents
Credit reports
Automobile registration
Marriage license
Birth certificates

You can adapt this document box to include any papers which you determine would be difficult or impossible to replace if they were lost in a fire, flood or other disaster.

It is always recommended that certain documents be stored permanently outside of the house - preferably in a safe deposit box at your local bank. These documents include passports, original social security cards, automobile pink slips and original birth certificates and marriage licenses. Copies of your will or living trust should be stored in your safe deposit box as well.

I have also prepared a list of our credit card numbers and utility accounts as well as a contact list of important phone numbers I would need in an emergency.

Keep this box in a safe place but keep it accessible in the event you need to grab it and take it with you in an emergency. Of course, if you must exit the home immediately, your family is your first priority.

Take some time to evaluate your important documents and make a document box of your own. A professional organizer would be happy to assist you with this project.

No comments: