It’s been a year since Hurricane Sandy pummeled the east coast, leaving behind billions of dollars in devastation and damages. While most of what was destroyed can be replaced, recovering important personal documents after a natural disaster can be extremely difficult. Here are a few ways to protect your important documents in the event of a natural disaster home fire or theft.
1. Get A Safe
I bought a small waterproof/fireproof safe that I keep in the house for important documents. This includes passports, birth certificates, marriage certificate, insurance policies, social security cards, copies of drivers licenses, wills, financial documents, mortgage papers and any other documents I may need to access in the event of an emergency.
2. Take Inventory
I created this sheet to keep track of all of our big-ticket items like TV’s, refrigerator, computers, etc. I went through our house and wrote down all of the model and serial numbers as well as the purchase price. I also took a picture of each item. I keep the receipts in a folder along with inventory sheet. The folder goes in the safe and will serve as proof of loss to your insurance company should you ever need to file a claim.
3. Make Copies
In case of a disaster, the safe will do you no good if you can’t find it amidst the rubble. So before you put these items in your safe, be sure to make copies of all of the documents. Store the copies in a sealed envelope in a safe place outside of your house. Perhaps with a close relative you can trust or in a safe deposit box.
4. Keep It Updated
Take time to review the contents of your safe once a year to make sure that all of your documents are up to date.
Got any other tips on protecting important documents?
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