Exercise Three: Important Documents

19 Apr

This post is part of a series of exercises about how to begin preparing for emergencies. See the complete list of posts here.

Keep your documents by your side, even in an emergency (photo credit: basketman)

Remember that three ring binder you’ve been hanging onto for a few days?

Now’s the time to fill it with important information. If an emergency were to occur and you had mere seconds to evacuate, you would potentially lose all of your official documents and government-issued forms of identification. If you keep photocopies (or even originals) of these documents in your binder, you can grab it on your way out the door without a second thought.

Here are some items that you may want to include in your binder:

  • Copies of debit and credit cards (front and back)
  • Ownership titles (house, car, boat, etc)
  • Your will
  • School transcripts/certifications
  • Insurance information
  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Marriage license
  • Copy of your drivers license
  • Passport
  • Copy of gun permits


  • Medical history/list of medications and dosage
  • List of firearm serial numbers
  • Contact information for doctors, pharmacies, credit card companies, family members, etc.

Keep this binder in a VERY safe place. Remember, you are responsible for your own security and  privacy. If you want, keep this information in an encrypted folder on a flash drive – email me if you want instructions or recommendations on how to do this. I’d love to hear from you!

We’ll put more items into your binder later on in the week! We’ll also start shopping (yay!) for supplies to store in your apartment, and we’ll talk about ways to maximize storage in small spaces. Until then…be smart and safe!


2 Responses to “Exercise Three: Important Documents”

  1. LP May 5, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    In my “Jack and Jill” series, documentation is one of the aspects of prepping I’ve yet to address. You did a very nice job of it here. One thing I’ll be writing about is secure storage for electronic data. Thumb drives are great, and some can be password protected. It’s good to do so, and also to password protect the data files themselves. I read somewhere, that there is a system that will actually destroy the data for you if someone blows the password a number of times. I’d like to check that one out….

    • apartmentprep May 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

      What a neat system! I’ve heard of a lot of people using TrueCrypt, but I’ve never come across anything like what you described. I’d be worried about accidentally destroying my own data, though, because I have a tendency to forget/mistype my passwords quite often.

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