Suffering a financial loss due to a natural or man-made disaster can be as devastating as physical damage to your property. Taking care to protect your financial, insurance and medical records can save you a great deal of stress and heartache after the storm. Taking some steps to prepare can help you later when reconnecting with family members or when applying for assistance or filing an insurance claim.
Perform an inventory of your household. Many insurance companies offer a booklet to help with this. If yours doesn’t, photograph or videotape each room, including closets and storage areas, identifying the items, when they were purchased and their approximate cost. Make a copy of your finished product and store in a safe place such as a safe deposit box. Update it when major items are added or replaced.
Develop a list of financial information including credit card numbers and the phone numbers to report lost or stolen cards; bank account numbers and the bank names and locations. Identify stocks and bonds, contracts that have financial implications and deeds. Keep copies of tax statements and pay statements. Make duplicate copies for your safe deposit box.
List the policies and key information for each including homeowners, life, health, vehicle and business policies. Make duplicate copies for your safe deposit box.
Capture important medical information for each household member. Include physicians’ names and phone numbers, medical conditions, food and drug allergies, surgical procedures, immunizations records, prescription medicines by name and dosage, vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter medicines taken regularly. Include a photocopy of your medical insurance card(s).
Gather identification information for each household member that includes a recent photograph. Include contact information including name, address and telephone numbers for home, work, school, church, and emergency family contacts. Include birth, death, marriage and divorce records, Social Security cards and Passports. Make a copy for your safe deposit box.