You can buy prepping books, stockpile food, and learn first aid, but unless you have organized your personal information and documents, the aftermath of an ordinary disaster is going to be much more difficult. Mind you, I’m not talking about an apocalyptic situation that changes the world as we know it, but something like a house fire, a flood, or a tornado. That’s why every prepper needs a personal emergency preparedness binder.
The good thing about such a binder is that it is very inexpensive to put together. You only need a 3 ring binder, some inserts with pockets, and paper to either print or handwrite the personal information. Oh – and you may need to go to Staples and make some photocopies, too.
What goes into a personal emergency preparedness binder?
In your binder, you want to have all the pertinent information to deal with medical issues, contact friends and family members, and handle insurance companies should a disaster strike that wipes out all your records.
So things like:
- Medical histories
- Insurance policies
- Bank account information
- Savings and investment account information
- Insurance policies
- Home inventories
- Important receipts
- Local contacts
- Contact information for friends and family members
- Serial numbers
- Registrations and licenses
You get the idea. All the stuff we need to function in this modern world and replace the things that have been lost.
I’ve made this really easy for my subscribers. I have put together a Personal Emergency Preparedness Binder template that has all the forms and checklists you need to customize your own binder. (Subscribers, check your email today!) If you aren’t a subscriber, you can sign up below to get your own PDF absolutely free.
How do you put together a binder?
You can print off the pages of my PDF template as needed, or, if you don’t have access to a printer, you can use them as a guide to hand-write your own preparedness binder.
- Then, simply fill out the pertinent information for each family member. (Don’t forget your pets, too!)
- Make photocopies of the front and back of important documents, policies, and identification cards.
- Take photographs of the things in your house you would want insurance to replace after a disaster.
- Get copies of medical records for each member of your family.
- Write down prescriptions, pharmacy, and dosages of all medications
- Names and phone numbers of contacts
- Phone numbers for local officials, insurance companies, banks, etc.
It’s pretty simple but oh-so-important!
I have a three-ring binder I took after my daughter replaced her old school one with a new one. I use a three-hole punch to get pages ready to go in. I went to Walmart during a back-to-school sale and picked up binder inserts with pockets for important documents and photographs.
Where should you keep it?
Of course, this is the tricky part. Someone unsavory could easily take all the information from this binder to steal your identity, and as we all know, identity theft is a disaster of epic proportions.
I recommend 2 copies of your binder. Store the first one in a fire-and-water resistant safe at your home. Store the second one in a bank safety deposit box or at the home of an extremely trusted friend or family member. Then, if a disaster strikes when you aren’t at home, then you have a backup stored elsewhere.
You can also store the information on a thumb drive, which can be encrypted, or, if you feel safe doing so, in the cloud where it can be accessed from any place with internet.
Get this done ASAP!
The last few years have shown us how quickly disasters can strike and wipe out everything you own. This is a project that doesn’t cost more than a few dollars. In a disaster situation during which everything is breathtakingly hard, having your personal information and documents organized in a binder will make things a whole lot easier.