Always include copies of important documents in your emergency supply kit. Documents are a large part of your short and long term personal and financial stability and if they are lost or destroyed, there may be a negative effect on your ability to recover from a disaster.
Most people keep their important papers somewhere in the home. Others rent safety deposit boxes at their bank for safe keeping. But you may be surprised to hear that some people don't keep up with their important documents at all whether they are in the home or somewhere else. The fact is that they can't put their hands on them at a moments notice and if a disaster occurs, they can't find them.
Some of the most important documents that should be included in your disaster kit are:
(1) Insurance records
(2) Medical records
(3) Will and/or family trust
(4) Deeds to your properties
(5) Social Security cards and/or numbers
(6) Credit card information
(7) Bank account information
(8) Tax records
(9) Power of Attorney
Also be sure you have cash or travelers checks in your kits in case you need to purchase supplies.
If there is any instructions or information related to the operation of medical equipment or life-saving devices that you rely on, include those in your emergency kit as well.
Also, make sure that a trusted friend or family member has a copy of these documents. Include the names and numbers of everyone in your personal support network, as well as your medical and disability service providers.
If you you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information includes instructions for the best way to communicate with you.
Even if you do not use a computer yourself, consider putting important information onto a portable thumb drive for easy transport in an evacuation.
Paper documents are easily destroyed by fire and water. It is best to keep all important documents in a fireproof and/or waterproof container.
Listed below are talking points developed by FEMA that will help you in making you and your family as prepared as possible if there is a disaster in the area in which you live.
(2) Be informed
(9) Emergency kit
(10) Emergency money
(11) Fire safety
(12) Get involved
(14) Important documents
(15) Make a plan
(16) Medical supplies
(18) Stay or go
(21) Working together
Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now.
Information was developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in consultation with AARP, the American Red Cross and the National Organization on Disability.
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