Here in FL, Gulf Coast and coastal eastern US, we’re preparing for Irma.
FEMA reminds everyone to have your important documents safe. If disaster strikes, you will need them.
What is important?
The list of documents and records you will want to have is long, but will be invaluable after you have evacuated your home. You will need access to some of these items sooner than others, but all are important enough to include in your “must have” list:
Vital Records: Driver’s licenses, birth certificates, adoption papers, Social Security cards, passports, citizenship papers (such as a “green card” or naturalization documents), marriage license, divorce decrees, child custody papers, current military ID, military discharge (DD Form 214), medical and vaccination records for pets along with current photos and ID chip numbers in case you are separated.Insurance Policies: Homeowners, renters, flood, earthquake, auto, life, health, disability, long-term care; have at least the policy number and insurance company contact information for each type of coverage.
Keep Your Important Documents Safe from a Disaster.
To store the information, documents and stuff that my insurance cannot replace (pics, videos and audio of precious moments), I use www.TheOneFile.com. It’s is totally secure, safe and free for 1st 30 days. I have peace of mind knowing that all of my important info is stored safely in the cloud.
Property Records: Real estate deeds of trust and mortgage documents (at least the two-page settlement statement provided by the title company showing the actual cost of the house and purchase expenses); rental agreement or lease; auto/boat/RV registration and titles; video, photos or a list of household inventory.Medical Information: Immunization and other medical records, prescription information (drug name and dosage), health insurance identification cards, physician names and phone numbers, powers-of-attorney for health care, and living wills.Estate planning documents: Wills, trusts, funeral instructions, powers-of-attorney, attorney names and phone numbers.Financial records: First two pages of your previous year’s federal and state tax returns, stock and bond certificates, investment records, brokerage and retirement account information, credit card, checking and savings account numbers, contact information for credit unions, banks, financial institutions, credit card companies and financial advisers.Other: Personal address book, a letter with instructions for family or friends (for use in a situation where you’re not present), backups of important computer files, a list of usernames and passwords for online accounts, a key to your safe deposit box, a recent photograph, fingerprints and dental records for each member of the household (some police stations and nonprofits fingerprint children free);, account and contact information for utilities and other services (you may have to provide a new billing address or cancel certain services), a list of important documents and where originals and copies are located.
Those who don’t have the time or ability to gather all of these documents should focus on the most important and most difficult to replace.
Stay safe folks. If you know someone who lives in a disaster prone area, please pass this along to them.