The stories and photos coming from the deadly fires in California wine country and are so moving. Entire cities, subdivisions and communities have been devastated by the fast-moving fires. People are telling stories that they were able to escape with only their families and their pets before fire destroyed their homes. It’s heart breaking, and it cuts close to home because we know it could be us, or our homes.
Soon the fires will be out and the long rebuilding process will start, but in the ashes of those homes are probably some of the documents people will need to start rebuilding their homes and lives. There are insurance policies, bank account numbers, birth certificates, adoption papers, Social Security cards, citizenship papers and any number of vital records that are now just ashes.
Taking the time to fumble through files for important papers can be frustrating, but when an emergency strikes, trying to locate all those documents can be downright frightening.
There is a way around all the last-minute hassle, but it will take some time and organization. Then you can quickly grab them when there’s a disaster.
Think about getting a small fireproof container to store your documents. They can range from fireproof lock box, or safe, to a safety deposit box, or something as simple as a three-ring binder with plastic sleeves into which you can insert the documents.
Here’s a brief list of some of the things you might want to include: copies of your driver’s license, birth certificate, all insurance papers, adoption papers, Social Security cards, passports, citizenship papers, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, child custody papers and military discharge documents. Also, don’t forget your medical information, and also vaccination records for the pets. Basically, all of your financial documents, property records, and important medical information should be included.
Act now to be prepared should disaster strike your home. You’ll be better prepared to re-start life,