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PREP TIPS: Make Copies of Important Documents

Apr 23, 2019

Take time before an emergency or disaster to organize and make copies of your important documents. Keeping copies of these documents in your emergency kit can help you and your family rebuild your lives after an emergency or disaster.

Which documents should you plan to make copies of?

Consider making copies of your occupancy, ownership, identification, medical, financial, insurance, and legal documents, as well as contact information and passwords and usernames for online accounts (see a list of important documents here).

Depending on the size and composition of your household and the extent of your funds and assets, this can be a time-consuming task. You may have several or none of each type of document.

So, first focus on those documents that are the hardest to replace (e.g., occupancy, ownership, and identity). Then, take inventory of your household possessions (this’ll come in handy for insurance purposes). After that, try tackling one category at a time, until you have all the documents you’ll need.

For your emergency kit, take a tip from Rhyane, and put your copies in a Ziploc bag to protect them from water.

Also consider storing your originals in a waterproof and fireproof container (e.g., a safe or a safety deposit box).

Though this can seem burdensome now, it’ll lift a heavy burden from you and your family if an emergency or disaster happens. Imagine dealing with the emotional stress and trauma that can follow an emergency or disaster, with the added stress of trying to prove who you are or trying to remember the names and dosages of the medications you and your family take.

Additional resources for choosing what documents to include in your kit: