New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Preparing Your Emergency Documentation Book-Binder

Although your Preparedness Plan is your top priority, having an Emergency Documentation Binder or Book is your next most important task.

This binder represents You and Your Family’s Life – Yep, all the nitty-gritty paperwork that tells the world not only who you are, but who your immediate family members are, as well as, what you own, where to find this vital information, brief medical background and whom to contact concerning you, yours and your possessions, in an emergency/disaster.

If you have to evacuate or bug-out, there most likely will NOT be enough time to run around and collect all this information. If the emergency is severe enough, your primary residence, bank, etc., could be destroyed taking this information with it, so you will need it to “rebuild” your life once the crisis passes.

“Preparedness is not just about stockpiling, it's about having an actual plan.” Mike Ryan

Start with a Plan

All of the suggested reading below will tell you to determine what disasters you feel may occur in your area, how long you think they may last, where you might be when it occurs and the scope of involvement.

Categories of Disasters or Emergencies

  • Natural – Floods, Tornados, Hurricanes, Mud Slide, Avalanche, Drought, Severe Winter Storm, Pandemic, Extraterrestrial (sunspots, asteroid, comet), Earthquake, Volcano and the like
  • Man-Made – Economical, Social, Ecological, Bio-toxin, Pandemic (can be natural or human induced), Nuclear, Civil Unrest, War, Riot, EMP (electromagnetic pulse), Terrorism, Blackouts , Lack of Energy, Water or Food (Yes this can occur due to nature too, but are often human induced), Toxic Spill and the like
  • Bad Luck – Accidents, Getting Lost, General Clumsiness, Disease, Illness, Injury and the like
  • Spiritual – Armageddon, Rapture, Revelation, Mayan Calendar, Nostradamus and like prophecies

  • Short Term – One to 7 days
  • Mid Term – One week to one month
  • Long Term – Months, Years

Scope of Involvement

  • Local
  • Regional
  • National
  • Worldwide


  • Where you are when the crisis occurs
  • Bug-out – Relocation or Evacuation is required or Stay Put

As you build your plan remember to account for both sheltering in place and having to evacuate for each of the possibilities you have determined.

The two most detailed, yet general “build your plan” documents I have found are: Home Emergency Preparedness Workbook by Pandion-LLC. Although I can’t seem to find the original web site I have uploaded the PDF to: and the 26 Weeks to Emergency Preparedness Workbook by Cowichan Valley of British Columbia, Canada found at:

For a “Down’n’Dirty” Quickie Checklist for a Making a Plan and accumulating needed information: PDF Format:; Excel Format: then select the Excel version.

Another good starter is the Emergency Preparedness Checklist at: or for BabyStep Checklist Email Program – Biweekly emails sent to you with detailed checklists to walk you through our BabySteps in a one year FREE program. You will need to sign up for the free email checklists.

A great “all purpose” get started sample plan that includes your pets (just substitute equine for your pet) can be downloaded from:

“Chance favors the prepared mind.” Louis Pasteur

Build the Specific Sections to your Documentation Book

I have a copy of each important document in my Documentation Book and the originals stored in a copy of the Documentation Book in a fireproof locked box. This lock box is about the size of a small or “cube” office file storage box. If I must bug out, I am hoping I can take this lock box with me. If I can’t, well at least I have copies of all of these things in my Documentation Book.

General Things You Will Need

  • 3 ring Binder
  • Tab Dividers
  • Permanent Marker (large and regular)

General Things You May Need

  • Pocket Folders or Letter Sized Clasp Envelopes (to put in the 3 ring binder and hold odd and or loose important items)
  • 3 Hole Punch
  • Pencil, Paper, Sharpener
  • Add anything else you feel you need

I strongly suggest you print the following and have it as the First Page of your binder/book. Then make a reduced copy for each family member to keep in their wallet, purse, backpack, go-bag and one for each vehicle (car, truck, RV, boat, plane). I have this list copied on the back of my important emergency contact/information card and laminated.

If disaster strikes these are your immediate first questions to ask and items to collect. You cannot count on memory in times of stress and possible shock. This list will jog your memory, snap you out of the shock and the binder will provide any additional detailed reminders and information.

Questions to always ask immediately after the Disaster/Emergency occurs

  • Food
  • Water
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Illness or Injury needs
  • Defense
  • Bug-out or Stay Put
  • Basic Tools to achieve and maintain the above necessities to life

Binder Section Dividers Can’t seem to find the original link for this but have uploaded it to:

Quick Household Reference Sheet & Important Papers & Numbers Forms can be found at or with a great set of downloadable forms and checklists. A good one to start with is: These are checklists that remind you to have copies of various important documents like birth certificates, property deeds, insurance papers and important phone numbers for each family member.

Important Papers Quick Checklist:

Location Directory - List the location of all important documents:

Important Papers:

Important Phone Numbers:

Emergency Contact Cards:

Medical Emergency Contact Forms – General and for Child(ren):
Child(ren) permission scroll down to Preparedness, then select TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN or

Medical History:

List Of Current Medications Form

Health Insurance:

Estate Information Guide Form by (CNI) CodeNameInsight found at: This holds the names/DOB/Place of Birth/SS/Date and Place of Marriage, Bank Accounts, Creditors, Utilities, Investment Accounts, Insurance and if you have certain Legal Documents; Who should be notified in case of Death or Emergency and the like.

Household Inventory - Detailed list of important and or valuable possessions. Include photos, receipts and the like if possible:

Investments Form:

Credit Cards:

Real Estate Form: scroll down to Preparedness, then select REAL ESTATE or This will hold a list of all your property and its locations.

Car/Vehicle Insurance:

Property Insurance:

Individual Life Insurance:

Insurance Company Quick Directory Form:

Group Life and Retirement Plan Policies:

Help – OK Signs:

The Following Have Evacuated Form found at: Use only if you want everyone to know where y’all have gone. Otherwise make a simple letter sized sign that says “Evacuated” or “House Empty” to save the Search and Rescue people time. Of course an “X” painted on the door or front of the house seems to be rather universal too. Either way, be kind to S&R and leave some kind of notice that you are gone. This could help law enforcement too by alerting them that your vacated house is now occupied by someone else.

Phone Log Documentation Form: For if you are in a shelter or for keeping track of which family and or important people you have contacted since the emergency.

Food Brought Into the retreat/shelter: Can use this to keep track of your food storage too.

Registration and Identification Sheets - (CRI) Child and (ARI) Adult: These are for lost adults and or children or in the case of separation during evacuation. Always keep a current photo for each individual.
(CRI) and

A good checklist of Things that Must Be Done in case a loved one dies:

Letter of Instruction for loved ones in case You die:

OK time to get cracking and make your plans and collect all of your important documents into your Emergency Book. The time spent doing this will save you a ton of hardship and tribulation should a disaster strike.

"What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens." Benjamin Disraeli

Additional Related Resources:

  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List January
  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List February
  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List March
  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List April
  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List May
  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List June
  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List July
  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List August
  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List September
  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List October
  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List November
  • Monthly Preparedness "To Do" List December
  • Preparedness Survival Drills
  • 31 Day Survival Plan
  • Estate Information Guide
  • Evacuation Poster
  • Are You Prepared Survey
  • Sample Emergency Plan
  • Blackjack
  • The CONET Primer
  • The Convoy Handbook
  • Tactical Convoy Handbook
  • The Joys of Sweeping
  • A Military Guide to Terrorism
  • The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terror
  • National Security Emergencies
  • OPSEC Primer
  • Basic Security Awareness
  • Enemy TTP & Recommendations
  • Emergency Guidelines for Schools
  • Lessons from Anthrax Attacks
  • Prevention Against Nuclear Attacks
  • Shopping Mall Shooter: A Defensive Response
  • Survival Article
Read the entire letter and view sample book pages @

Keep On Preppin’

The precious things in life are hard to find and obtain; otherwise they would only be worth a dime a dozen and not so very precious.

From a 50 Something, soon to be homesteading Prepper ;-}


  1. I just found your blog on Pinterest. I have tried several of the links to the idea door and they are not working. I didn't check them all, but at least 5 of them. Just thought I would let you know. I am very interested in this step of preparedness. Thanks for putting this blog together!

  2. The Idea Door and others have apparently changed their web indexes so some of the links in this report no longer work. Back in Feburary of 2012 I published the following with corrected links: Important Document Book Forms to Print & Complete Vr 3 and Important Information Book-Section Dividers-All Vr 2
    Keep On Preppin'

  3. can i email you directly for the PDF file of the
    Home Emergency Preparedness Plan Workbook? Scribd caharges...

    thank you

  4. To all of you who have inquired on this subject: Two updated document containing all the links to these forms are found @
    Document Book Forms to Print & Complete Vr 3
    Important Information Book-Section Dividers-All Vr 2

    For any questions I can be reached at


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