This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in April 2014.
The country is already feeling springtime in full force – although, it’s not all daisies and sunshine quite yet. With radical weather patterns changing course every day, we’re learning to be agile, to be adept and to be as safe as we’ve ever been to keep our home and family protected. Keeping a suitcase packed with emergency food and essentials is important regardless of where you live in the country. Storing extra water, non-perishables, and duplicates of your most important documents goes a long way in a bad situation if you need to flee, but protecting important documents at home from fire, water damage and theft year-round also shouldn’t be overlooked. Stocking a safe before disaster strikes will leave you feeling prepared for the worst.
Here’s what to put in your safe:
- All important forms of identification: Passports, Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificate, Social Security Cards, Pet ID information
- Banking Information: Bank account and credit card information, extra checkbooks, Student Loan information, any duplicates of your bank cards, and recent monthly statements
- Insurance Documentation: Auto, Home, Health and Life Insurance paperwork and health records
- Property Documentation: Mortgage paperwork, Deeds, Liens, Loan information for Auto and Home
- Money: Savings Bonds, Stock information, even some Cash
- A list of personal and emergency contacts: Always good to have a backup in case you need to reach someone
- Personal Valuables: Fine jewelry, heirlooms, family photos, certificates and diplomas, anything that you wouldn’t be able to easily replace that has monetary or emotional value
- If you’re limited on space for things like photographs, condense down and store everything on a backup storage device or on a series of portable USB drives. You can always reprint hard copies.
A few of my go-to items for emergency preparedness:
- A large storage safe with a combination, which protects against fire and water
- A smaller locking safe like this one, good if you don’t have a lot to save.Perk: It’s portable, if you need to grab it when you’re leaving home fast.
- A big, fire-resistant storage box
- Seagate hard drive
- Portable USB thumb drive
- Cloud storage solution (subscription-based)
Do you have a safe stocked with important items at your home? If not, now’s the time!