6 Types of Crucial Documents to Store Safely In Case of Emergency

important documents for storageAmong the most important items people want to protect from a disaster like fire, flood, hurricane or other extreme weather are vital personal/family documents. There’s a very good reason – in the wake of a genuine disaster, you’ll probably be needing at least some of them, ASAP. Unfortunately, paper documents are among the items most vulnerable to water damage, fire and other destruction during catastrophes.

Experts tell us that one extra copy of vital documents should be stored outside of your home in a secure location like a bank safety deposit box. Another alternative is to scan all important papers to a flash drive or DVD, then send it to a trusted relative residing in a different locale for safe keeping. Remember to update stored copies if/when any changes are made.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests making copies and arranging safe off-site storage for the following important documents

Vital Personal Records
These include photocopies of personal identification such as drivers licenses, birth certificates, and Military I.D. cards, if applicable. Social Security cards, passports and marriage licenses should also be copied.

Insurance Policies
Keep copies of your homeowners insurance and flood insurance policy. Also include health and life insurance coverage information as well as contact information for your local agent.

Financial Information
Record relevant account numbers for all financial matters. Include bank contact information as well as investment firms such as brokerages, retirement accounts and credit card companies.

Property Records
Copy the deed to your home or the mortgage documents provided by the title company. These should state the value of the house at the time of purchase. If you are a renter, retain a copy of the lease or rental agreement. Also duplicate all automobile, boat and RV titles and registration papers.

Medical Information
Make copies of all ongoing prescriptions plus records of immunizations, health insurance I.D. cards, and names and contact information for primary physicians. If you have a living will, include that as well.

Estate Documents
Include a copy of your will, instructions for funeral, documents for power-of-attorney designation and contact information for your personal attorney.

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