The need to devise an Emergency Binder starts with one simple question: “What if?”.
Do you know what vital information to have on hand in the event of a natural disaster or family emergency? When an unexpected situation arises, there’s no time to sort through paperwork, no matter how essential it may be. Having everything you need in an organized emergency binder can streamline the process and give you peace of mind.
What to Include in your Emergency Binder
While there’s no shortage of important family documents and household records, a true emergency calls for a few must-haves:
- Vital records like birth certificates, driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, naturalization documents, passports and child custody papers.
- Insurance policies, including homeowners, renters, auto, life and health.
- Property records such as real estate deeds, rental agreements, and vehicle titles and registration.
- Financial documents like wills, trusts, powers-of-attorney and funeral instructions.
- A family emergency plan with contact information and predetermined meeting places.
Safely Storing Other Important Information
Some items, such as account passwords and a backup of critical computer files, aren’t suited for a portable binder. Instead, house them in a secure location like a safety deposit box or a portable fire-safe waterproof lock box. You can also include a home inventory list, contracts, business paperwork, tax returns and investment records.
Play it safe and include a recent photograph of every family member, along with fingerprints and dental records. You may also want to store valuable memorabilia, jewelry, and priceless family photos, letters and documents here as well.
There’s no way to predict when misfortune will strike, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. Set aside an afternoon to create an emergency binder that can help protect your family when time is of the essence.
This home tips article was brought to you by Gary Moore Jr., a real estate broker for the Atlanta, GA, area. Take a look at his social wall here.
Learn more about the importance of creating an emergency plan for your family. Join with others to prepare for emergencies and participate in America’s PrepareAthon! Go to ready.gov/prepare.
Here are some emergency binder supplies that we have used:
- Printable binder pages
- Sheet protectors
- Tab dividers
- Zip pockets (for storing pens, notepad, etc. in your binder)
Do you have an emergency binder set up for your family? Leave us a comment below.