Think about all your important papers — birth certificates, deeds, insurance papers. Where are they?
Do you have them stored all in one place so that you can easily grab them if an emergency happens?
Every time I read about a home fire, inevitably the family who escaped with their lives lost everything else — important papers, photos, computers (where these items might be stored).
A bit of planning could alleviate the pain and devastation of losing important documents.
Using a sturdy binder with envelope dividers or sheet protectors to hold your various documents and include copies of your most important papers.
Ask yourself this question: Would I be frustrated, angry, or devastated if I lost this item in an earthquake, flood, or other emergency situation? Those items or documents that you think you definitely would need in or after a disaster situation are the documents you need to put in your binder.
This is a personal choice but I recommend storing the originals IN your family planner and store photocopies of them in a filing cabinet. Also scan them to get digital copies (put them all on a thumb drive) and give to a trusted friend or put in a safe deposit box.
If your house burned down or was flooded it would be so relieving to know that you don't have to go through the hassle of replacing those documents. If you already have a waterproof and fireproof filing cabinet or safe you may choose to just put copies in your binder so that you can have the information on hand in an emergency but know that you can return home and find the originals intact at a later time.
I have created a free 22-page eBook, Family Documents Emergency Planner that includes forms to fill out that will help you keep track of all your important documents — where they are located, policy numbers, phone numbers for important contacts, Social Security numbers, and more.
Even though the idea is to grab the Family Emergency Planner and bring it with you, there is always the chance that you won't be home during an emergency. Under these circumstances, you would still want to return home later and find your planner in good condition, especially if your original documents are IN the binder. I recommend storing your planner in a fireproof and waterproof, locked box that is small enough to be transported with you in an emergency or will be safe and intact if left behind for some unforeseeable reason.