Back to school time is a natural point in the cycle of the year to organize and file family records. It’s a good idea to have these records on hand or easily accessible in case of an emergency. Many people like to have all these important documents stored in one place—a briefcase or fire-proof safe, but something that you can easily take with you in case a fire or flood forces you to evacuate with only a minute’s warning.
You should also have at least one electronic copy of all your records. It allows you to givecopies to all family members should you become separated during a crisis. It also allows you to store the records away from the house, safe from the destruction of a fire or flood.
Scan all family record and store them on a flash drive, external drive, CD or cloud storage. The records you should have on file should include:
- Driver’s licenses
- Marriage certificate
- Birth certificates
- Other vital records: adoption papers, divorce, custody or other court orders
- Medical information, including contact information for your doctorand dentist, key medical history and a record of all prescription medications
- Your latest eyeglass prescription
- Insurance policy (life, medical, auto, house and any others)
- End-of-life plans and/or living will(s)
- Powers of attorney
- Title and registration for all cars
- Leases, mortgage or deed information for house
- Copies of other contracts
- Bank account information—credit/charge cards, savings and checking accounts
- Inventory or photos of important belongings
- Important family pictures
Be sure to store at least one copy where it cannot be damaged by fire, flood or tornado. This might be in your desk at work, a safe-deposit box, with a trusted friend or your car’s glove box. You might store it in a cloud storage, but keep in mind that you are putting a lot of sensitive information where hackers may tamper or steal that information. Each family member should also have a copy.
Be sure to update the information your have store each year. A good time to do this is when you update your 72-hour kit. You will have an added sense of security knowing that your family’s most vital information will be available to you if you should ever have an unforeseen crisis.
*Are you ready for everything? How to create an “In Case of Everything” document.
*Information from usa.gov on how to manage household records.
*MyCrisisRecords is a service that stores your medical records in a password-secured storage and makes them instantly available when needed.