Emergency Preparedness – Not Just Water

When we think of being prepared for an emergency what’s the first thing that comes to mind?  Its usually water or flashlights.  What about important documents?  I don’t know about your household, but most households (including mine) the birth certificates are in a drawer amongst thousands of other papers.  If we have to leave our house in an emergency how do we collect all these, almost irreplaceable, documents?  In an emergency you have seconds to collect your valuables. I went to a training by Andrea Sutcliffe who is part of the Natural Disaster Search Dog Foundation, an organization who utilizes trained dogs to rescue people in the event of a natural disaster.    She brought her emergency kit which included a binder of important documents.  Her presentation gave me the inspiration to create my family’s binder.


I finally put together a binder for my family.   This took me about a week to complete. Most of the delay came from my husband.  You can buy a trapper keeper at Office Depot, Walmart, Amazon, or re-purpose an old one.   Fortunately, we had a binder at home and it was collecting dust.  I categorized the documents into sections using divider tabs.  I placed each document in its individual plastic sleeve.    Due to security reasons I can’t show you the pages.   I suggest putting it in a place where you can quickly grab it and also tell everyone one in the house the location of the binder.    Having an emergency kit is no good unless your team knows where to find it.


If you think of anything else to add to this list, please share with me.  I would love to hear your experience with this project.


List of Documents

  • Passport copies
  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Social security cards
  • Driver’s License
  • Credit Cards
  • Insurance Cards
  • List of Medications
  • Emergency numbers
  • Bank information – bank name, account numbers, types of accounts
  • List of login information for financial institutions
  • Will
  • Other – Money market, stocks, mutual funds, 
  • Individual pictures of family


Green stick person Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash