Prepping Binder – All of Your Important Papers in One Spot

Emergency scenario:
You and your family just finished up dinner and you are relaxing, flipping through channels on the tv when the power goes out. This is nothing new in your area. You fumble around in the darkness for what seems like forever before you find the matches to light the decorative candles on the mantle. They smell like cinnamon. Boredom quickly sets in and soon everyone heads to bed. Luckily it is a cool night, not too hot, not too cold… it’s rather enjoyable. The night is strangely quiet. You soon drift off to sleep only to be awaken an hour later by someone pounding at the front door. You jump up startled. You try to flip on the hall light as you make your way to the front of the house… “oh yeah” you think. You open the door and see your best friend standing there with panic in his eyes. “What the heck is going on?” you ask.

It’s happened… it’s finally happened” he says.

Come on in. What’s happened? What’s wrong with you?” you ask.

Remember that book I lent you? The one about the EMP? There are cars stopped all over the streets. Nothings working. It finally happened. We have to pack up and go before everyone else realizes what this is… before panic sets in. Get your stuff together while the family is sleeping and we will leave at sunrise.

You are in a twilight daze as you try to wrap your brain around what you just heard. You look at your phone, dead. You look out the window and see the moonlight reflecting off of two cars in the middle of the street. “God help us” you mutter.

The two of you review the plan that seemed like a fictional game only months before, then he heads out. You grab a flashlight and go into your home office and start digging around… what to take?…. You look hopelessly at the piles of papers that are stuffed here and there. You go to your files. You know that you need to make this quick because there are so many other things to get together. You find it hard to hold a thought. How could this really be happening?

I’ve put together a list of important paperwork and documents. This list is meant to be used as a guide. Here’s what you do:

  1. Get a 3-ring Zippered Binder (so things don’t fall out or get dirty/wet)
  2. Get some secure top sheet protectors / Business card page / CD sleeves / Zipper pages
  3. Once you have everything on the list below together do these 3 things:
    1. Photocopy originals and make a second binder for your spouse, parents, whoever you trust.
    2. scan and put everything on a flash drive and keep it with you at all times (or in your go-bag)
    3. Store your binder in a water proof/ fire proof box and keep it somewhere safe in your home, not in a safety deposit box at a bank. If you have to bug out, leave the heavy box behind.

Here’s your list:

  • Birth Certificates / Death Certificates
    • Adoption or Custody degrees
  • Marriage Licenses / Divorce Papers
  • Family genealogy (family tree)
  • Citizenship papers
  • Power of Attorney
  • Wills, Living Wills, Trusts
    • Letter of Instruction
    • Letters to Loved ones
  • List of Attorney / Financial Advisor / Insurance Agents: Name, address, phone #
  • Tax Returns (at least past 3 years)
  • Social Security Cards
  • Copy of drivers licence (front and back)
  • Copy of credit cards (front and back)
  • Copy of Health Insurance cards (front and back)
  • Copy of firearms carry permit
  • Copy of fishing permit
  • Passports
  • List of Accounts Username and Passwords
    • Bank accounts/ statements
      • book of checks
      • Key to safe deposit box +: location, number, inventory of contents, authorized persons to access box
    • Insurance (life, health, home, car…)
    • Credit cards
    • Utilities
    • Current bills
    • Investments / IRAs / Stocks & Bonds
  • Firearms records and receipts
  • School Records
    • Diplomas
    • Transcripts
    • Certifications
  • Work Records
    • Business contacts: name and phone #s
    • Current Resume
    • Licences / Permits
    • Benefits / Retirement info / 401K / Pension docs / Annuity contracts
  • DD 214 (Military Record)
  • Car Titles (motorhome, motorcycle, boat…)
    • Insurance
    • Registration
    • Bill of sale
    • VIN #s or serial #s
  • Real Estate
    • Deeds
    • Property tax bill
    • Mortgage or Rental Agreement
      • Escrow account
    • Inventory of household items (including pictures) for insurance
      • Appraisals of jewelry / antiques or expensive items
  • Cash (small bills, nothing over a twenty dollar bill)
  • Family and Friends Info
    • Pictures (and fingerprints)
    • home addresses
    • Work Address
    • phone #s
  • Medical Info
    • Health Insurance / Disability Insurance
    • blood type, allergies, immunization records and medications
    • family medical history
    • Dental Records
  • Pet photos, papers, vaccinations, Vet phone # and address
  • DVDs with family pics
  • Extra keys to home, automobile
  • Local maps
  • A copy of “The Plan”
    • List of things to take if bugging out
    • Rally point
    • Alternate routes
  • Instructions for:
    • Shutting off your main gas line
    • Shutting off your main electricity
    • Shutting off the main water supply
    • Draining the water heater (in case you need to drink it).

You will be much better off if you are organized, I promise you.


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