The Little Things – Important Documents

The Little Things is a semi-regular series of article discussing items or ideas easily overlooked when making preparations for disaster survival and recovery.

One of the hard-won lessons in the aftermath of Katrina was how difficult it was for many people to quickly get assistance from their insurance companies. The reason for the difficulty was many people didn’t have copies of their policies, their insurance cards, or even personal identification. Insurance claims were delayed for weeks while these problems were sorted out.

To avoid having this happen, make copies of all your important documents.

  • All insurance policies (auto, home, life, health).
  • Financial records (credit cards, bank statements).
  • Property ownership (home, auto).

Next, take out your wallet. Make a photocopy (front and back) of all your identification, credit cards, auto club, and other cards. This is important as all those cards will likely have the relevant phone numbers on them to call the issuer as need be.

You’ll not want to store those copies in your home, as that defeats the purpose in having them. Instead, make arrangements with a family member or trusted friend to keep the copies for you. Offer to do the same for them.

Consider adding to the package copies of treasured family photos, including up to date pictures of your children and/or pets. These photos could be very important if those loved ones are missing after a disaster.