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Documents for your emergency supply kit

If a disaster or an emergency were to happen today in which your home was destroyed, would you be able to locate important documents such as insurance policies, deeds or birth certificates?

Your ability to recover from this type of event depends on your answer to that question.

We sometimes are asked what type of documentation is important to include in our emergency supply kit. While the following list may not include items that are specific to your needs, it does provide a good place to start:

• Home inventory of valuables: Can write, take pictures or video.

• Insurance policies: House, life, car, property, boat, etc. Check that your policy covers you for disasters and that the limits are adequate.

• Wills: Be sure to have the most updated version.

• Property deeds: To prove you own the house and land.

• Titles to vehicles

• Tax returns and statements: First two pages of state and federal returns from the past three years along with and tax statements you need for the current year.

• Contracts: Such as a contractor that has been partially paid for a specific job.

• Stocks and bonds

• Bank account numbers and phone numbers

• Credit card numbers and company phone numbers

• Driver's licenses

• Social Security cards

• Health insurance cards

• List of prescriptions including medicines (type, dose, name of prescribing doctor) and eyeglasses

• Immunization records

• Phone numbers: Relatives, out-of-area contact, employer, insurance agent, doctor, pastor, financial advisor, kennel, veterinarian, emergency numbers (fire, police, poison, hospital) repair contractor

• Birth, marriage and death certificates

• Passports

• Family photos: Consider having important photos copied to disk

• Cash: Keep $50-$100/per assumed days of event, no bills larger than $20.

Most of these items can be photo-copied or scanned and placed on disk. All documentation should be placed inside plastic zip lock bags and placed in a fire-proof container or safe. If you don’t have a fire-proof container or safe, keep the copies in a safe deposit box located away from the local area or at another location away from the area.

If you own a business, you need to include important business documents as well.

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