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Documents to Secure For Emergencies

Water Damage, Fire Damage, Storm DamageWhen reviewing lists of how to prepare for emergencies (especially hurricanes and facing evacuation), one of the most important things included are documents. Of course, we tend to think of the basic essentials: ID cards, social security cards, birth certificates, and a few others. Beyond that, it’s sometimes a mystery of what you should have safe, prepared, and set aside ready to grab and go.

To help you and your family prepare fully for an emergency, we’ve got a full list of documents you should consider setting aside in a safe, easy to access location.

Vital Records:
– Drivers License
– Birth Certificates (and adoption papers)
– Social Security Cards
– Passports
– Citizenship Papers (“green card”, naturalization papers)
– Marriage License/Divorce Decree
– Child Custody Papers
– Current Military ID/Military Discharge (DD Form 214)
– Medical and vaccination records for pets (as well as current photo and ID chip number)

Insurance Policies:
– Homeowners/Renters
– Flood
Earthquake
– Auto
– Life/Health/Disability/Long-Term Care
* Have at least the policy number and insurance company contact information for each type of coverage

Property Records:
– Real Estate deeds of trust and mortgage documents (at least the two-page settlement provided by title company showing the cost of home and purchase expenses)
– Rental Agreement/Lease
– Auto/Boat/RV registration and titles
– Videos/Photos/List of household inventory

Medical Information:
– Immunization/Other medical records
– Prescription information (drug name and dosage)
– Health Insurance ID Cards
– Physician names and phone numbers
– Powers-of-attorney for health care
– Living Will

Estate Planning:
– Wills
– Trusts
– Funeral Instructions
– Powers-of-attorney
– Attorney Names and Phone Numbers

Financial:
– First two pages of previous year’s federal/state tax return
– Stock and Bond Certificates
– Investment Records
– Brokerage and Retirement Account Information
– Credit Cards
– Checking/Savings Account Numbers
– Contact Info for Credit Unions/Banks/Financial Institutions
– Credit Card Companies and Financial Advisors

Other:
– Personal address book
– Instructions for family/friends (if you aren’t present)
– Backups of important computer documents- Usernames/Passwords of accounts
– Safety Deposit Box Key
– Recent photograph/fingerprints/dental records of every household member
– Account and contact info for utilities (you may have to change billing address or cancel services)
– List of important documents/where originals and copies are located

Sourced from FEMA

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If this is an emergency please call 850-225-5354
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