Ready or Not
The essence of an emergency is that it is sudden and unplanned, but there are things you can do to put yourself and your family in the best position to put your lives back together. Everyone knows about the emergency kit we should have ready with flashlights, water, etc., but what kind of paperwork should you have ready to take with you if you must leave your home quickly? And how should you protect them?
Here’s a quick summary. A binder with all necessary info is an easy way to store everything, and if kept in an appropriate place, is easy to grab quickly. Having a duplicate of the information on a flash drive or stored in a cloud-based system that can be retrieved remotely is a great back-up system, but there must be electricity for those to be accessible, so you must have hard copies available also.
- Emergency Contacts
- Probably stored in your phone, but if someone else is using your phone to notify people close to you, will they be able to identify whom to call? List at least 1 person and at least 2 phone numbers under ICE (In Case of Emergency) in your contact list. Emergency responders will look for ICE numbers.
- Have an additional list on paper, flash drive, or other form for you to use to contact family, friends, doctors, pharmacy, veterinarian, and anyone else you might need to contact, remembering that you may not have access to your phone. A duplicate list kept with a close family member or friend provides a good back-up system.
- A supply of cash can be essential when you must leave your home, particularly if electricity is not available in your area. Remember that ATMs, credit card machines, etc. all need power to function.
- Copies of driver’s license or other governmental-issued photo identification, birth certificate and/or passport, Social Security card, vehicle registration, health insurance cards
- Copies of wills, powers of attorney (medical and financial) and any other documents giving someone the power to act on your behalf, or giving the right to custody of and decision-making for children.
- General Information
- A brief medical history, including past history as well as current conditions, allergies, and medications
- Bank and investment information. If all is lost, it is much easier to re-create things if you have account numbers and contact information.
- Inventory of contents of the house. Whether it is written, photos, or video insurance companies and aid agencies will need proof of what you have lost.
For more information, contact Kathie Gummere.