Thursday, June 13, 2013

Preparation isn't just for camping.

Re-posted from my Facebook timeline:

If you have to evacuate your home in a hurry, what do you take with you? In 2004, when four hurricanes criss-crossed our county in Florida, I put together a “bug-out book” containing important documents that we could just grab and go in case we had to leave Tampa for Indianapolis to wait out the storm with my brother. The wildfire in Black Forest, CO is forcing evacuations just a short distance from my house in Colorado Springs (the one I still own and pay taxes on, but don't live in), and got me thinking about it again. Here’s what’s in it:
  • Birth certificates for every family member
  • Passports
  • Selective service registration
  • Marriage license
  • SSN cards
  • Shot/medical records for every family member
  • Military/VA records, if applicable
  • Insurance policies
    • Homeowner/renter
    • Automobile
    • Life
    • Etc.
  • Legal docs
    • Powers of Attorney
    • Will
    • Important receipts
    • Etc.
  • Auto title(s)
  • Pet shot/med/other records
  • Checklist of stuff to grab in a hurry*, including
    • Prescriptions
    • Bug-out bags/72-hour kits
    • Back-up hard drive
    • Cell phone charger(s)
    • Pet food
  • Anything else you feel would be appropriate.
An alternative would be to keep digital copies of the above documents in a safe place, where practical. Another piece of an evacuation strategy could be backing up your household data to an online storage service, eliminating the need for a physical drive. Also, make a household inventory, and keep a copy in your Dropbox, or as a draft email to yourself. Include electronics, furniture, jewelry, appliances, books, CDs, movies, tools, bikes, software, artwork, or whatever you want to document; include serial nos. and photos as appropriate.

*Only use this list when you have time to grab a few essentials, not in a “minutes matter” emergency.

Prepared. | For Life.™

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