The most reliable way to protect your documents from floods or fires is to purchase a fireproof/waterproof safe. These safes can also provide protection from other natural disasters. Most people don't have their important documents organized and may have them scattered throughout their home. When an emergency occurs, there is not usually enough time to Replace vital documents.
If you can't afford to buy an expensive safe, make sure you store your documents together in a waterproof container in a specific designated spot. Make sure you and your whole family knows exactly where the documents are stored.
The following are items that you should consider protecting from fire and flood:
• Wills (in most instances you will need the original for it to be legally binding. You may also want to consider making several copies since no state or city office keeps a record of wills)
• Trust documents
• Personal and family records
• Cherished photos and keepsakes
• Business files
• Collector items
• Legal and financial documents
• Family heirlooms
• Birth certificates
• Account numbers
• Copies of licenses (vehicle, professional, marriage, etc.)
• Inventory of valuable household items (including pictures)
• Family videos
• Other items that would be difficult to replace
Great reminder to address this very important issue.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
I like the idea of putting everything on a USB drive and storing it in a safe and secure area. Thanks!
This is so important, and I've been working on it for two years now.
As some other readers have said, scanning your important documents and storing them off-site is also a good idea!
My brother lost everything in a house fire and this post has helped me know what I need to do to prevent losing all of my documents.
The Jeffery Family
Due to news stories about fires lately, I really realized that no one is immune to having their things destroyed by fire. This post has good advice.
We got a fire safe box for Christmas in our first year of marriage, and I think it is so incredibly important to have. If something were to ever happen, I feel good about our important documents being safe, and being able to grab them all quickly because they're in the same place. Along with social security cards and drivers licenses, I also have copies of the fronts and backs of our credit cards in our fire safe, in case I were ever to lose a card or have my wallet stolen.
I LOVE my firesafe and have been trying to preach the necessity of keeping documents safe. Thanks for the blog post reinforcing it!
We've created a binder of all important documents and family ID info, as well as a virtual binder that we've stored in a fire safe in our home on a USB drive. We've also give a copy to our most trusted relative to keep in their home! Now with cloud computing it's easy to store things safely "out there". I've also discovered box.net, a free cloud document storage provider that can be shared with others.
Great reminders. No need to pay for a service like Mozy though if you want to back things up online. We just use Google Docs and it's free. I love the peace of mind knowing that even if my home is destroyed, copies of all my important computer files are safe online.
Thanks for the reminder! The blog and especially the comments have stirred a need to get this done immediately.
Thanks for the great list. It's hard to remember all of the important documents that we would want to gather in an emergency, and this list helps!
Such an important thing that people skip over. We're sending a copy of papers to our parents out of state too.
Well you could also back up any important papers using a USB flash drive and keep it in your emergency pack They are relatively cheap and small to store. That and you can take it anywhere easily unlike some of the portable hard drives which can be damaged easily. Not to mention they are cheap enough to buy one with a decent amount of memory. I know that one has saved me when I have had computer crashes and I keep real important stuff stored on it.
Love the blogs!
Great idea. We had a post a while back about a company called Mozy that does just that.
Another idea would be to scan all important documents and put them in a computer file that is automatically backed up by an on-line service for any other computer files needing to be backed up.