Thursday, January 5, 2012

Emergency Binder

Organization is not one of my strong points.  I admit it.  I've watched TV shows like Martha Stewart and have been mesmerized by all the cubby-holes, shelves with items neatly lined up and labelled, etc.  I love the way it all looks and dream that someday, I too, could have that level of organization.  You too?

Although organization might be one of my challenges, I definitely work better and have a rosier outlook when everything has its place and everything is in its place.
In light of the earthquakes and resulting tsunami in Japan, we are realizing how important it is to have all of our important documents safely stored away...all in one place.

The first thing that emergency preparedness experts agree on is the importantce that your ORIGINAL documents are stored in a place that would be safe from fire or water damage, such as a safe deposit box at your local bank.  COPIES of those documents should be given to family member or close friend for safekeeping.

If you wish to keep a binder for yourself, too, it should be somewhere where you can easily access it in case of an emergency...
To create your binder for all your important papers you'll need:
  1. 1 or 2-3" binders
  2. Page protectors
  3. Dividers
  4. Copies of your documents

Section 1:  Emergency Contact List - Names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or family, friends, business associates, etc.

Section 2:  Family
  • Copies of Birth, Marriage, Adoption Certificates; Divorce Decree; Citizenship documents
  • Color copies of Drivers Licenses and Passports
  • Copies of Social Security cards and Military service records
  • Current family photo(s)
Section 3: Education- Copies of Diplomas and transcripts

Section 4:  Employment
  • Resume
  • Employment information/contacts
  • Wage statement or copy of recent pay stub
  • Retirement/pension plan/profit sharing information
  • Social Security Annual Statement
  • If self-employed:  Copies of business license; Federal Tax ID #; Articles of Incorporation
Section 5:  Vehicles (Automobiles, RV's, Boats, etc.)
  • Spare set of keys for each vehicle
  • Copy of insurance policy/insurance card for each vehicle
  • Copy of any loan documents pertaining to those vehicles
  • Copy of Title
  • Warranty and repair information
  • Color photographs of each vehicle
Section 6:  Estate Planning
  • Revocable Living Trust and Will
  • Powers of Attorney for financial and health care
  • Final instructions
  • Information and contracts regarding prepaid fees to cemetaries/funeral homes
Section 7:  Financial
  • Bank name and account numbers (deposit slips, business cards)
  • Credit card information including account numbers, phone number to call in case lost or stolen, photocopy of card(s)
  • Investment information:  Stock/bond certificates, mutual fund account information, IRA's/SEP's, Annuity contracts, Certificates of Deposit (CD's)
  • Safe Deposit Box location, box number and inventory of contents
  • Tax Returns (last three years)
Section 8:  Home
  • Spare set of keys
  • Insurance documents
  • Copy of Appraisal / Land Survey
  • Copy of Deed
  • Copy of Mortgage documents including Mortgage statement
  • Title Policy
  • Property Tax statement
  • Record of home improvements/repairs
Section 9:  Home Inventory
Below is a great worksheet you can use.  Don't forget to include pictures!
Section 10:  Insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Long term care insurance
  • Medicare/Medicaid/Medigap
  • Travel insurance
If you have other things of importance to add to your binder, feel free!  What other things do you think are important?

Live in Victory!  Lynette

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