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Family Emergency Prep 101: Important Documents

If there’s one thing the average citizen is worried about in 2016, it’s their personal safety and security.  You never know what tomorrow will bring, and for some people a new day will end up bringing nothing more than trouble.  We live in a world where a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or even an unexpected illness or death could turn our world upside down.

What to have in case of a crisis

You’re going to want to ensure that you have quick and easy access to the necessities in a time of crisis.  Let’s face it; during a hurricane, wildfire, or an emergency evacuation, you aren’t going to have the time to casually drive to your bank to get your safety deposit box.  In the event of an emergency, you’re going to want to make sure that you have the following things in your home:

Passports, social security cards, and original birth certificates

These documents are crucial for establishing identity, and they can take a long time to replace if they’re lost. Any legal documents that establish identity or citizenship are important to have during an emergency.

Copies of legal documents

Do you or your spouse have an established and notarized will? Do you have custody agreements for your children? Do you have power of attorney for an elderly or enfeebled loved one? All of these documents are absolutely crucial to have in order to avoid legal troubles down the road.

Spare keys and vehicle titles 

Imagine that you're scrambling to pack things before you and your family have to evacuate your home.  Now envision that when the time comes to leave your spouse can't find their car keys.  Always have a spare key available just in case, and vehicle titles to establish ownership.

Now that you know what documents you should have at home in case of an emergency, you need to know how to prepare for an emergency.

A locked drawer in your file cabinet isn’t enough for your most important documents.  Don’t hide them in an obvious space.  Consider investing in a secure shed safe, so you can have an inconspicuous and well-hidden place to keep your valuables.

Make sure that everyone in the family knows what they’re responsible for in case of an emergency.  Make sure kids know to bring necessary clothing, toiletries, and a few of their favorite toys in case your family needs to leave in a hurry.  Put either you or your spouse in charge of getting essential documents before you leave.

Have an evacuation plan and make sure that everyone in the house knows it.  If you have young children, doing a practice run can help them easily learn what they have to do in case of an emergency.

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