- On January 16, 2017
When disasters strike, you may find yourself with only a few minutes to escape your home or office, and it may, therefore, be impossible to carry your valuable documents with you when making the escape.
It is, however, possible for you to take measures to protect all the valuable documents that you may need in rebuilding your life in the event of a disaster such as a flood, storm, fire or other type of environmental disasters.
To keep the items safe in your home or office, you can do the following;
1. Take an Inventory of All the Valuable Documents
Using a software application will make it easier and faster for you to organize the information. Different documents have different types of thickness, and hence the need to categorize them into categories such as;
- Identification of the Household/Employee identification – these are documents that will be needed to identify member of your family such as birth, marriage and or divorce certificates, IDs, as well as pet ownership papers.
- Legal and Financial Documents – documents in this category can include a wide array of documents such as credit cards, insurance policies, vehicle loans, utility bills, as well as mortgage agreements.
- Medical Documents -medication information varies a lot from one person to the other and may include prescriptions, doctor contact information, disabilities documentation as well as health insurance.
2. Ensure all Your physical Documents are in a Single Place
In case there is a disaster in your residence such as a fire or a storm, you may be forced to take the valuable documents with you. This is more so, if the documents are placed in a container inside your residence.
3. Document Storage
You need to store all your important documents in a lockbox, filing cabinet or a home safe that you can carry with you in case of environmental disasters. The container you choose to hold your documents needs to be both fireproof and waterproof. It should also be stored in an area that is easy to access. Also, you may need to consider storing your documents at a safe deposit box in a banking facility.
4. Make Duplicate Copies of All Your Valuable Documents
The copies you make can be used as a backup in case your original documents get damaged, lost or destroyed.
You will need to ensure that the copies are stored in a different location from the originals.
5. Create Electronic Duplicates of All Documents
With the advent of online storage, it is now easier to make copies of your original documents and safely store them online. You can use a home scanner to make copies which you can then upload to your online cloud storage account.
Your personal documents are the last thing you think about when you are faced with an emergency in your home, which is why it is increasingly important to be prepared before disaster strikes.
In our industry of Restoration, we have witnessed disasters that were caused by an unexpectedly by fire, summer monsoons & water damage caused by broken pipes. We know firsthand how important it is to have your personal documents accounted for before disaster strikes and hope that this information helps to be prepared.