Keeping Your Vital Documents Safe

 By Laura & Janet Greenwald

As victims of recent disasters have found, being without your birth certificate, social security card or bank account numbers after a major or minor disaster can be a huge problem.

But with this checklist, you'll be able to make a completely accessible repository all of your vital documents and communications that you can use, whether you're dealing with a simple medical emergency, or with a major disaster and need your important documents to start over.

Let's begin by gathering all of your important documents. Here are the types of documents you need to secure.

  • Bank account information (and PIN numbers, passwords and toll-free numbers)

  • Investment account information (and PIN numbers, passwords and toll-free numbers)

  • Medical records

  • Credit cards (copies of the card, account number, toll-free numbers and credit limit)

  • Income tax returns

  • Insurance policies

  • Stocks/bonds

  • Student identification

  • Wills

  • Living Wills

  • Power of Attorney

  • Power of Attorney for Healthcare Decisions

  • Driver's licenses/ID/Medicare Card

  • Marriage certificates

  • Birth certificates

  • Auto registration

  • Citizenship papers

  • Death/burial certificates

  • Warranties

  • Family Immunization Records

  • Family Social Security cards/numbers

  • Property titles or deeds

  • Company Benefits

  • Contact information for your doctors, lawyer, accountant, broker etc


  • Health and Medical Records

  • Safe Deposit Box Key

  • Photos/Videos of your possessions and registration numbers

  • Household Inventory

Household Inventory

Since you want to make sure you have what you need in an emergency or disaster, the idea is to put this information in places that will be accessible to you, even if you are unable to get inside your home.  

As a first-line of defense, make two copies of all of the information you gathered from the list above and put them in two secure locations. The first location should be a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city. The second location should be a safe deposit box outside of your area or state. During Hurricane Katrina, many of the banks ended up being as inaccessible to customers as their homes were. 

As secure as those locations are, hard copies can sustain damage. And with concerns about identity theft, you may also be wary about placing delicate information like identification and credit card numbers out of your sight.  

So how do you secure your vital documents while making them accessible? Simple. Just scan each document onto a CD or flash drive, then password protect it and store that data it in the locations mentioned above, either along with, or instead of the hard copies. While you're at it, make an extra copy of the data and store it with your records at home. If an emergency strikes, first grab the kids and pets, then the CD/flash drive, and then Grandma's silver!  


If you have a video camera, videotape a walking tour of your home, featuring the home and any pricier possessions you have. This will show claims adjusters what you have and its present condition, as well as jog your memory of the things you had that would need to be replaced.

Do you want to know the biggest impediment to safeguarding all of the things you hold dear? Procrastination! Taking fifteen or twenty minutes today to take care of business, can save you days, months or even years of pain.  



Finding and safeguarding your vital documents is just ONE way to keep you and your family safe.  We have many more...

How about Grab it and Go Forms to capture medical history, insurance, financial and vital documents for every member of the family, that can be filled out by hand, or by computer, secured and ready whenever you need them?  Or customizable emergency action plans, home inventory, tips, checklists and  printable wallet cards.   Ready In 10! will have you ready for nearly anything in just one afternoon.  



The Ready In 10 System by Laura & Janet Greenwald   $19.95

This 62 pg. Workbook & System includes :

  • Grab it and Go Forms. Wallet Cards, Emergency Action Plan, Home Inventory and Get Back To Life Plan right in the book, so you can fill them in and toss them into your emergency bin for safekeeping and easy access.  
  • The Quick Start Guide
  • "Don't Lose All Your Stuff In A Hurricane" ($19.99 value) & Turn Your iPhone into a Mobile Command Center, 
  • A link to an electronic version of Grab it and Go Forms and Wallet Cards for each member of your family PLUS your Emergency Action Plan, Home Inventory and Get Back To Life Plan, so you can save your plans and information to your hard drive, flash drive, or have them available remotely for easy access in any emergency.

Purchase The Ready In 10 System Print Edition for $19.95   

NOTE: When you receive your book, in the first few pages, you'll find a link where you can go and immediately download all of the forms, plans and extras that come free with this book.


Would YOUR Family Be Ready In 10?  Watch the Video & Find Out

There’s only one difference between family one and family two.  And that difference is a plan.
Once you decide which
family you’d rather be, purchase Ready In 10.

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Laura and Janet Greenwald, are the founders of The Next of Kin Education Project and Stuf Productions.  The mother & daughter team were not only instrumental in enacting three Next of Kin Laws in California and Illinois, but created the Seven Steps to Successful Notification System, which teaches quick, easy, next of kin notification skills for trauma patients to hospitals like Dallas’ Methodist Medical Center. 


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