Just because you're a good record-keeper doesn't mean you're a good safe-keeper of documents. For example, maybe you file papers into folders and lock them in a cabinet.
Now let’s say that disaster strikes and you have five minutes to clear out of your house. Would you be able to snatch up all of the important documents in five minutes: property titles, wills, insurance records, Social Security cards -- and you need to do it, even with all the chaos surrounding you? Not likely.
Would you even know what to grab?
Fortunately, with a bit of planning you can organize your most important financial documents and have them readily accessible for such an emergency.
By spending a little time now preparing for the worst, you'll be more likely to remain calm in the eye of a storm -- confident in the safety of your financial documents. That will allow you to spend the crucial moments in a disaster thinking about more important things.
Like getting your loved ones out of the house safely.
Don't know where to start? Here are some suggestions:
- Collect important personal papers and information related to financial transactions.
- Organize the documents in a binder or other easily accessible form.
- Identify a single location to file all crucial papers -- a fireproof box or safe-deposit box.
- Create copies now (certified, in cases of birth certificates and other crucial documents) in case you need them to provide to government agencies.
- Put important original documents in plastic sleeves to protect them.
- Notify the appropriate people where important information will be located, in case you're not available when it is needed.
- Could you use help organizing your emergency binder? For a user-friendly system for building your emergency binder see our Just in Case product page.