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Sunday, January 21, 2024

Organize Your Important Documents, Now! Don't Wait Until An Emergency!

Not Sponsored: Do not wait until an emergency, to organize your important documents! I can't stress this enough. It wasn't until I had to start evacuating frequently, that I began to see the importance of having all of my important paperwork in order. Whether it's a fire, hurricane, earthquake, tornado, flood, sickness, death etc. it's important to know where all of your documents are located. Overall (even if it's not an emergency), it's just good practice to keep YOUR important papers and documents of those close to you (husband, wife, children etc.) together. Let me share some suggestions!

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Keep these documents in a fire and water resistant document box. 

1. Social Security Card

A social security card is a very important document. You are usually given two, when issued. Keep a card in your wallet or purse. Keep another in your document box. Also, make copies of your social security card. A Social Security Card is not easy to replace, so it's important that you take care of the one you have. Also note, where other family members keep their social security card. Make a copy of them and place them in your file for safe keeping.

2. Driver's License or Real ID

You must keep your driver's license and/or Real ID on you at all times. But it's good practice to keep a copy of it for your files. Sometimes banks, jobs etc. will request a copy of your driver's license or real id. In an emergency situation, you will not have to look for a copier to make a copy of your drivers license or real id. Copies will be in your file box.

3. Passport

Do you remember how long it took to get your passport? Do you remember how much you paid for your passport? It's not cheap and quite a lengthy process. This is a document that you don't use all the time or carry around with you. Keep it in your file box for safekeeping.

4. Birth Certificate

A birth certificate is a very important document and can be a hassle to replace. Usually officials want to see your ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE when you get married, if there is a death, banks ask for them and employers ask for them when you apply for a job. Keep your original safe and make several copies of your birth certificate.

5. Diploma

Whether it's your high school, bachelors, Masters or phD, you worked hard for that diploma.  Keep the original safe and make copies for your document box. Employers may ask you to supply a copy of your diploma.

6. Transcripts

One thing employers will do, is ask you for a copy of your transcripts. They initially request a copy from you and then require an official transcript be sent from the University you attended. It's just a really good practice to keep copies of all of your transcripts.

7. Credit Cards

Do you have copies of all of your credit cards? Copies (both front and back) are good to have in case they are stolen. If you don't want to make copies, consider writing all of the information down on a sheet of paper, ledger, notebook. That way you know the credit card number, expiration date, 3 digit id, bank, and telephone number of who to call in case of an emergency.

8. Insurances

Having the paperwork handy for all the insurances you have is so important in an emergency situation. Be sure to have copies of your home/apartment, car, health, flood, business, and life insurances with you. If you're away (due to an emergency) and need to make a claim, you will have everything with you.

9. Car Information

Do you know your vehicles VIN number by heart? I didn't think so. HaHaHa Take pictures of your VIN Number, Brake Tag, Registration, Auto Insurance Cards and License Plate. Having copies will prevent you from having to pause your telephone conversation with an insurance adjuster and go outside to look for this information.

10. Tax Information 

It's a good practice to keep your tax records for at least 3-10 years. Keep these records in your file.

11. Vaccinations 

When was your last Covid booster? flu shot? Shingles vaccination? The list of vaccinations keeps growing and growing. It's hard to keep up with them all. Keep a log of when you had each shot. Medical personnel will then be able to tell you when you're due.

12. Wills

Having a will is so important.  It prevents confusion and chaos in the event of death. Keep a copy of your will, talk it over with loved ones and it's also good if an attorney has a copy of your will on file.

13. Death Certificates 

When a loved one dies, order many copies of their death certificates. Everyone will ask you for one. You will need it for insurance claims, banking, and to close-out your loved one's financial obligations (creditors, bills, home, medical etc.)

14. Pictures

If you have pictures that are very special to you, consider keeping them in your box or use a cloud service. So many people have lost wedding, birth, baptismal, graduation etc. pictures due to catastrophes. So consider keeping backups somewhere. 

I hope this list helps you! It's really helped me over the years.


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