emergency binder

Family Emergency Binder: What Do We Need To Know [Must Read]

Before proceeding with this blog, I request you all to prepare an emergency binder to deal with the most difficult and frightening times. 

Creating a Family Emergency binder will make sure that the entire family is ready for emergencies and difficult situations like the pandemic period. With just a little preparedness, you can secure all the important data of your spouse and children from getting lost. 

Many of us have a habit of putting the crucial paper anywhere in the home. That can be misplaced by our kids and dogs. To avoid this situation, we need to provide a little space for all the essentials. But, how can we do it? Well, don’t panic as this post covers all the relevant answers, information, and many other things that will enthusiast you to create a family emergency binder.  

So, now let’s start the article and know why we need to create an emergency binder. 

Why Do We Need an Emergency Binder?

emergency binder

Emergency binder does not only help you to find the significant paper in the handy place but also in quick evacuation like a flood, fire, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, and so on. The binder contains all your relevant information, documents, IDs, and notes for your family. There are many more things in which these binders can help you are as follows:

  • At times of natural calamity, these documents within the emergency binder help you to prove who you really are.
  • The people who have these documents get faster help and benefits than others. 
  •  If the home is destroyed, you can also replace important documents. 

Keep in mind that you don’t require to have an elaborate four binder system consisting of your life’s history in it. But, a few pieces of paper in an emergency backpack that you can easily get when you flee with great haste. 

In addition to this, keep a vital emergency binder handy with the papers we need and a separate binder consisting of our planning information in it that include food storage, home warranty info, shopping lists, inventories, plans, and more. 

You can consider a 1-inch binder containing all those precious sources with which you can leave in an emergency. In the guide below, I am listing all those essential things. You can edit and add more information according to your preferences and requirements. Now, let’s check the list below.

What do we need to include in My Emergency Binder?

Emergency Binder

Emergency Contacts/ Number

  • Dentists, Doctors, clinics, and local hospitals. 
  • Non- emergency numbers for ambulance, police, fire, and city. 
  • Contacts of Important business associates.
  • Addresses of Family & Friends and their phone numbers.
  • Daycare centers and Kids’ schools.
  • If you are having a contact tree for church, family, schools, friends then it is really good. 
  • Work numbers and business numbers. 
  • Mention Utilities- At this sudden event, we must ready with a list of utilities. If you want to contact them or safe return dates, to inquire about the particular location during an emergency, and to report a problem. This contains whoever runs your electricity, gas, water, and propane. 

Financial Information 

  • Note down Credit card numbers and phone numbers including the websites and passwords.
  • Websites and passwords of the band, its cards, account, and phone numbers.
  • Providing the last two statements from all of your financial accounts- checking, 401K, savings, investment.
  • Phone numbers and card numbers of Insurance.
  • In addition to this, Investments/ 401K/ safety deposit information.

Medical Information

  • Records of immunization.
  • Provide medical history if you are suffering from serious illnesses and diseases.
  • Information of Insurance- Copies of the cards (front and black)
  • Lists of current Prescription
  • And, advanced care directives. 

Make a copy of Vital Documents

  • ID Cards and Driver’s licenses issued by the State
  • Records of Adoption/foster
  • Front and back of Credit cards
  • Documents of Immigration and Naturalization
  • Military Records
  • Make a track of Church
  • Social Security Cards

Legal Documents

  • Attorney power for you.
  • Attorney Power for others- it is essential to carry in case you have provided the POA for someone. Since a copy is not a legally binding document. So try to keep the original here.
  • Keep wedding licenses.
  • Information related to leasing.
  • Passports
  • Birthday certificates that you can easily order from your state agencies.
  • Titles and Deed to your home and cars
  • Wills- make sure to have the original documents.
  • Car titles
  • Death Certificates of a recently deceased family member.
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Insurance

  • If it is essential then carry your insurance cards
  • Also, Insurance Policy with local agent information
  • Home Inventory- Put copies of your home inventory in case you have lost your home because of the localized emergency and required to visit the field office for your insurance company.  Make sure to have a copy of photos and videos that stays with the local insurance agent. This will lead to getting money faster.

Other Essentials

  • Ensure to keep keys to your house, storage spaces, and vehicles. In addition to that, keep the keys to the locations you are going to. It can be anything like your parent’s and relative’s houses.
  • During some emergency, we make a rush to call close family and friends. So that, we will meet at a safer place. But, sometimes it can be too panic to handle this. So, have a plan printed out to refer to. 
  • If you run a business then keep the list of vital websites and passwords and the email address used by your family or local network.
  • Emergency ID cards can be handly and full-sized sheets as well.
  • Before evacuating, checklist all the items that you are taking. Since it will make you focus on work with purpose and expediency.

Two things more

  • Maps- Keep a local and regional map that will help you escape. You can check out these kinds of maps on online shopping sites. It does not confuse you with all other routes on the maps. Also, save the bulk of a full map. 
  • Photos- as, we are living in this digital world. So, instead of keeping the boxes full of photos and scrapbooks, we must try to scan them and put them on a thumb drive or two. Moreover, you can also include a section in your binder for identification through the use of photo page protectors.

Must Carry the Cash

It would be beneficial if you carry cash in an emergency bag for each member of your family. Instead of it, try to keep cash in your car too. In this type of situation, we don’t know when the financial crisis falls upon us. So, try to avoid this situation and carry your cash with you. 

As when the power goes cut, no stores would accept your digital money in the form of cards. You and your family will be stuck in between without having food, water, and other essential things. Therefore, try to keep cash to buy food for you and your family. 

Supplies Needed to Create an Emergency Binder

You can make your binder according to your personality. Decorating and keeping it simple is your choice. But, what is the basic supplies that you need to create an emergency binder is still unanswered. Well, in this section, we’ll talk about them and learn how these materials secure all of your documents.

  • Binder- The first and foremost thing that you need to have is a binder. Well, it’s all depends on you whether you want a 3-ring binder and a waterproof notebook. But, just make sure that they are handy and you can easily use them.
  • Index Sheets- The sheet will make you identify the different segments of your binder. It’s best for navigation purposes. You can quickly move to the section that you want. 
  • Page Protectors- Page Protectors are another supplies that will help in creating a binder. You can use them to quick in and out access to important documents. Furthermore, these page protectors provide security to all our significant papers. You can use an envelope that will not make smaller items fall out.
  • Waterproof Pouch- During this period, we need to protect our documents from getting wet. Natural calamities such as floods, fire in your home, hurricane, and so on can bring damages to your documents. Therefore, try to use a waterproof pouch to tuck your binder into. Alternatively, you can take a pouch within the good size.
  • Firefox- It is good for all the families who think that binders are not efficient enough to secure their documents. For more protection, they prefer to put all the documents into lockable firefox. But, before investing money on the item, ensure that it’s small enough to grab and go. 
  • Laminator- If you want to use the advanced way to protect the documents from dirt and water then use a laminator. But, ensure that it won’t work with social security card. According to the Social Security Agency, laminating Social Security cards leads to invalidating the security features. 
  • Vacuum Sealer- After reading about laminators, you may probably don’t want to invest in them. So, what is the better choice? Well, the answer is a vacuum sealer. It seals all the documents you want to protect from water and direct. You only need to cut open the sealed pouch and pull out your document if you need to do so. With this item, you can also have a great storage of food as it restricts the food from getting reacted with air. 

How to Keep my Security Binder Private

Well, many of you have questions like if we put all our essential documents in one place like an emergency binder then probably it can create a risk to our personal and financial information. In case, the same thought comes to your mind then just relax and read this section. In this section, we will tell how you can keep your binder in a safe and secure place. 

To avoid the risk of losing your documents, you can use a fireproof safe or lockbox and put the binder there. In a state of emergency, we witness a sudden stop in all services. So, it would be a bad idea if you think to keep the emergency binder in a bank safe deposit vault. As you cannot get access to them. 

Substitutionally, you can also code for things to recall the places where things are placed or located. Turn the full sentences into codes and hints that only you understand.

Although coding the copies of your essential documents can be a little tricky but you can get through them by disguising your phone numbers, accounts, and passwords. You can get this code to your spouse. So that, you both can ignore the situation of forgetting those codes. 

There are many solutions to your one such problem. So, try to figure out things and don’t sit still. As this is not a solution to the problem.

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Cyber Emergency Binder: A Substitute to a Physical Binder

There will be no situations where you might face a localized emergency with no electricity, internet access, or access to printers, or a system. The local emergency can just indicate that you must leave for another city or neighborhood.  

But, how is it possible to keep all the documents safe while roaming around and meeting different people? So, if you are feeling uncomfortable with the binder then just make sure to have a cyber emergency binder. 

This will not burden you with the loss of the binder. As you will have another safer place in downloadable format. So, just download and be ready with your emergency binder. 

Alternatively, you can also load all the vital information onto a thumb drive. It can be tucked into a pocket easily and you can move freely. As a matter of fact, you can also store multiple thumb drives in different locations. 

But, make sure that nothing is purely safe and secure. If you think uploading documents onto a cloud on the web will save the documents. Then, let me tell you they can be attacked and seized by hackers. So, just prefer the one according to your own need. 

If you are storing the binder online then it is suggested to use locations like Dropbox.com or a friend’s server. 

Wrapping Up!

An emergency binder provides so many benefits to your family. Creating it might feel difficult but it will surely help you and your family to face the uncertainties of the future.  If you want any such article then drop a comment.

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