Keeping Valuable Records Safe
You never think that you are going to be a target of a disaster. You always assume that the fire or flood will happen to a neighbor and that the earthquake or tornado will hit a different part of the country. However, disasters happen every day and often to those who least expect it. If you are not prepared then you run the risk of not only losing belongings but also important documents that you need to have.
What Documents do I Need to Protect?
There are 22 essential documents that you need to keep safe. When you need these documents—you need them. There are no excuses to not have them. If disaster strikes these are the papers that need to be protested:
- Property Records
- Stock and Bond Certificates
- Copies of Household Members Wills
- Financial Contracts and Promissory Notes
- Diplomas and Degrees
- Household Inventory
- Important Bills of Sale
- Death Certificates
- Birth Certificates
- Household Social Security Cards or Immigration Papers
- Marriage and/or Divorce Certificates
- Government Savings Bonds
- Military Records
- Car Titles
- Copyrights and/or Patents
- Your Own Passports
- Citizenship Papers
- Income Tax Returns (within the past 7 years)
- Adoption and/or Custody Papers
- Retirement Records
- Religious Records
- Insurance Policies
You should also aspire to keep a checklist of all your essential papers. This way you can check periodically to ensure that all documents are accounted for.
What Is A Household Inventory?
Many people have not heard of this term before and do not understand why this would be an essential document. A household inventory is extremely valuable to have especially in the midst of disaster. The inventory should be up to date and list all the important items in your home. Important items would include but not be limited to the following:
- High Value Artwork
You inventory should also include the model, date of purchase, and serial numbers of the items. If you want to be very thorough you can also includes pictures of each items. This inventory can be used to determine if you have enough insurance to cover the items in your home and also helps you to remember everything that needs to be replaced.
How to Protect These Documents
The easiest way to protect these important documents is in a fireproof safe deposit box. These boxes are made of a hard plastic that is fire resistant. They can survive fires, floods, earthquakes, and tornados; even when your other belongings have been destroyed or damaged.
These essential documents are important for various reasons. If you home happens to experience a disaster, losing these documents could be a tragedy. It is important to keep a checklist of these documents and the documents themselves inside of a safe deposit box that can survive almost any disaster. This way, when you need your documents you know where they are and you know they are safe. Being prepared can make surviving a disaster much easier.
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