Keeping your cash and important documents ready is an essential part in ensuring you and your family’s survival. It may not sound so important but having your essential documents ready will help you on a survival situation as you may need to travel to other countries to evacuate, keep in touch with your family and friends, make insurance coverage claims, and search for loved ones. Here is a list of important documents that you need to consider having in an emergency situation:
- Names and address book
- U.S. driver’s license number
- Assets and debts
- Social Security numbers, including children’s
- Contents and location of safe deposit box(es)
- Current prescriptions, including eyeglasses
- Car registration, serial, and license number
- Passport numbers and dates of issue
- Insurance policy number
- Bank account number
- Credit card number
For documents that are very important it is best that you make a copy and store it in a safe deposit box for safe keeping as some disasters or emergency situation may only leave you with your lives. Let’s face it, disasters and emergencies now are very extreme that we need to face the truth that anything can happen. These are a list of important documents that you may need to make a copy for safe keeping:
- Get a current power of attorney for each adult family member and have several originals made. Make several copies as well. These are needed to transact business on behalf of spouse or other adult.
- Copy of will(s). Originals should be left with lawyer or executor, not in safe depository.
- School records, report cards, test scores, and current samples of work
- School Records (yours and children’s)
- Current household effects inventory
- Personal checks, check registers, latest bank statement
- Medical/dental records, immunization cards
- Insurance papers – life, car, house,
- Birth and marriage certificate
- Bonds (or leave with broker in case you want to sell)
- Naturalization papers
- Stocks (or leave with broker in case you want to sell)
- Deeds and Mortgages
- Driver’s license, auto insurance policies, auto registration, and title, if applicable
Although you may have all the necessary documents ready and accessible you need to make sure that all of these can be easily used during emergency situations or disasters. Here are some steps you may need to consider to make sure that you will have faster and smoother transactions during emergencies:
- Make sure to have a credit that will be enough for emergencies and obtain individual credit cards for your spouse.
- Having a joint checking account or two joint checking accounts is important to enable you and your spouse to work from in case you will be separated for a period of time.
- Get an ATM card for your bank account that can be used for international as well as nationwide transactions.
- Consider keeping a list of billing dates for your mortgages, insurance, taxes, and other recurring expenses for easier tracking and payments.
- Combine all personal records, school records, financial documents, etc. for better organization and faster accessibility.
- Always have a system to follow on how your money will be handled. Spending wisely during an emergency situation is a must.
Video about documents to keep: