The following is a guest post about how to set up an emergency preparedness binder from regular contributor, Kristin at The Gold Project.
Being prepared in case of an emergency is never a bad thing. When I think of an emergency, the first thing that pops into my head is losing my house to a fire or natural disaster. But, there are many other reasons why an emergency preparedness binder is a good thing to have in your home.
Let me start by saying I would not recommend storing this binder where anyone can access to it. Many important documents and account information will be located in this binder, so it needs to stored in a safe spot out of plain sight. I recommend only letting the individuals who might need it know where it is located.
I live in an area that you would probably consider a tornado zone. Every fall and spring, we know that tornadoes are possible for our area. My hometown was even hit by a tornado in 2006 that destroyed my high school and much of the town. So having this binder is critical.
Speaking of tornadoes, back in March, we were blessed that a tornado coming directly towards our neighborhood took a sharp right turn right before it hit us. Sirens went off and we hit our safe zone (middle bathroom bathtub). Besides shoes and phones, the only other thing I grabbed was my emergency preparedness binder. It is that important.
Afterwards, I realized it needed to be updated. It hasn’t been touched in almost two years. That is not acceptable. Many insurance policies and financial information have changed since then and we need the most accurate information in the binder. So, I thought as I update the binder, I would share the contents with you.
The purpose of this binder is for it to contain all of my family’s important information in case of an emergency. An emergency could include the loss of our home, loss of a life, or any type of accident. I know we don’t want to think about those things, but I always like to be prepared.
Yes, most of the information can be found online. But, my mom, for instance, would have zero idea where to even look for information online. This binder makes it easy because everything is laid out and in sections.
Emergency Preparedness Binder
In the very front of the binder, I have a pencil pouch that is made for school supplies. This pouch houses smaller items like extra checks and cash.
The binder is broken up into 5 different sections. I purchased a divider set many years ago that included an index page and 5 dividers that I labeled with the appropriate categories.
- Vital Documents
- Financial Documents
- Insurance Documents
- Household Inventory
- Personal Documents
Instead of going through each section individually, I have included a picture below with all of the documents that I included in each section.
You can download the free printable PDF HERE.
These are definitely not the only documents you could include in each of the sections. These are the documents that we currently have in our binder or could have in the future.
To ensure that the documents stay protected, each document is placed in a sheet protector. It also makes it a lot easier when switching out and updating documents.
I would like to talk a little bit about the last two sections I have listed: home inventory and personal documents. For the home inventory, a good idea would be to take photos or even video every room in your home. This should include cabinets, closets, and drawers. If something happens to your home, it may be very hard for you to remember ever nook and cranny in your home.
Second, in the personal documents section, the personal information for each family member includes attributes of each person. I included the following in my binder:
- eye color
- blood type
- hair color
My goal is to look through my emergency preparedness binder at least once a year to make sure all of the documents are accurate. I will definitely do a better job of this from here on out.
Do you have an emergency binder? What else would you include that I haven’t listed? I know I am forgetting some things.
My name is Kristin and I am a middle school career education teacher by day and a mommy/wife/blogger by night. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two loving children. We recently made a life-changing move to Arkansas, so our new house is always under construction. I get excitement out of finding new creative, functional, and cute ways to organize things! I also enjoy writing and documenting life as it happens. So, I put these loves together and created The Gold Project. With the help of my husband, I am attempting to turn our house into a home. So, check out this special place of mine and take this journey with me!