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.
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
- 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: http://www.scribd.com/doc/27403530/Home-Emergency-Preparedness-Workbook-Pandion-LLC-15798502 and the 26 Weeks to Emergency Preparedness Workbook by Cowichan Valley of British Columbia, Canada found at: http://www.cvrd.bc.ca/documents/Public%20Safety%20Services/Emergency%20Preparedness/CVEPWorkbook.PDF
For a “Down’n’Dirty” Quickie Checklist for a Making a Plan and accumulating needed information: PDF Format: http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/fsme/docs/emergencyplanpdf.pdf; Excel Format: http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/getting-started/ then select the Excel version.
Another good starter is the Emergency Preparedness Checklist at: http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/babystep-checklists/ or http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/babystep-checklists/ 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: http://www.thehorse.com/pdf/emergency/emergency.pdf
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
- Illness or Injury needs
- 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: http://www.scribd.com/doc/31181276/Documentation-Book-Organization-Binder-for-Home-Food-Preparedness-Information-25075850
Quick Household Reference Sheet & Important Papers & Numbers Forms can be found at http://www.theideadoor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=979 or
http://www.theideadoor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=980 with a great set of downloadable forms and checklists. A good one to start with is: http://www.theideadoor.com/Preparedness/BINDER%20%20RED%20DOC%20rev%201008.pdf 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: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/Quick%20household%20reference.doc
Location Directory - List the location of all important documents: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/LOCATION%20DIRECTORY.doc
Important Papers: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/IMPORTANT%20PAPERS%202.doc
Important Phone Numbers: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/EMERGENCY%20PHONE%20NUMBERS.doc
Emergency Contact Cards: http://www.pep.bc.ca/hazard_preparedness/Emergency_Contact_Card.pdf
Medical Emergency Contact Forms – General and for Child(ren):
Child(ren) permission http://www.theideadoor.com/Directory.html scroll down to Preparedness, then select TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN or http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/TO%20WHOM%20IT%20MAY%20CONCERN.doc.
Medical History: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/MEDICAL%20HISTORY.doc
List Of Current Medications Form http://www.agis.com/SqlFileResource.axd?id=36&resource=pdf
Health Insurance: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/HEALTH%20INSURANCE.doc
Estate Information Guide Form by (CNI) CodeNameInsight found at: http://www.codenameinsight.com/files/ESTATE%20INFORMATION%20GUIDE.pdf 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: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/HOUSEHOLD%20INVENTORY.doc
Investments Form: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/INVESTMENTS.doc
Credit Cards: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/CREDIT%20CARDS.doc
Real Estate Form: http://www.theideadoor.com/Directory.html scroll down to Preparedness, then select REAL ESTATE or http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/REAL%20ESTATE.doc This will hold a list of all your property and its locations.
Car/Vehicle Insurance: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/CAR%20INSURANCE.doc
Property Insurance: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/PROPERTY%20INSURANCE.doc
Individual Life Insurance: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/INDIVIDUAL%20LIFE%20INSURANCE.doc
Insurance Company Quick Directory Form: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/INSURANCE%20QUICK%20DIRECTORY.doc
Group Life and Retirement Plan Policies: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/GROUP%20LIFE%20and%20RETIREMENT%20PLAN%20POLICIES.doc
Help – OK Signs: http://www.pep.bc.ca/hazard_preparedness/HELP-OK_sign.pdf
The Following Have Evacuated Form found at:
http://www.codenameinsight.com/files/Evac%20poster.pdf 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: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/PHONE%20LOG.xls 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. http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/FOOD%20BROUGHT%20IN.xls
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) http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/CRI%20SHEET.doc 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: http://www.theideadoor.com/Document%20Organizer/LETTER%20OF%20INSTRUCTION.doc
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.
Additional Related Resources: http://www.codenameinsight.com/resources.htm
- 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
- 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
From a 50 Something, soon to be homesteading Prepper ;-}