Keep documents safe. Your personal documents may not survive an emergency disaster that comes unexpectedly. You may find that you don’t have time to gather them up at the time of the disaster. No matter where you live, no one is immune from the possibility of become a victim of flood, fire, or earthquake.
Your priceless possessions, such as your family photos, baby pictures, wedding albums, scrapbooks and other keepsakes, are the irreplaceable documents that cannot be recovered.
Birth certificates, passports, insurance papers can eventually be restored to you but the headache of replacing them is time consuming and can be very costly.
The following are the items that you should protect.
1. Wills. In most cases you need the original for a will be legally binding. You should made several copies since no state or city office keeps a record of wills.
2. Trust documents
3. Birth and Death Certificates
4. Titles and Deeds
5. Licenses such as vehicle, professional, marriage etc.
6. Legal and financial documents
7. Business files
8. Personal and Family Records
9. Personal family photos and keepsakes
10. Account Numbers
11. Household inventory. This is a especially valuable in case of fire.
12. Key, jewelry
13. Cash. During a major emergency check and credit cards often are ineffective.
Placing your documents and valuables in a fire-proof, waterproof safe provides the best protection. However, if you can’t afford a safe, make sure your personal documents are enclosed in heavy plastic, placed on a high shelf and the family is aware of its location.
Keeping copies of vital documents such as birth certificates and insurance papers and some cash should be kept with your 72 hours kit or in a location that is quickly accessible if you have to leave your home quickly.
Bottom Line: Advance preparation is your only insurance policy against disappointment and heartache. Make sure you protect your personal documents and valuables in the best manner you can afford.
P.S. I’m in the process of duplicating my important personal documents. I’m making copies on my copying machine of those docs. that will not require originals. For instance, insurance documents. Births Certificates, Death Certificate and Marriages licenses should be originals. I will have to get them from the county of origination. I don’t presently have a safe so I will be wrapping them in plastic. Keeping documents safe is important to me.