Protecting documents from water damage!
Protecting documents from water damage!
Protecting documents from water damage is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. If your home or business is destroyed, how quickly can you get your life back together?
In an emergency, are your important documents/records protected from water damage in Manhattan!
Are all of your home’s essential documents in one place in your home?
Are they waterproof? Documents can easily be lost leaving it harder to recover your household goods or put your life back together after any kind of disaster or emergency, such as fires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes or severe storms. Developing a plan for recovery and management so you can keep your documents safe before a disaster occurs will make life so much easier if that disaster happens!
Disasters are stressful enough without running around trying to find the documents to put your life back together. This is what you need to do.
First, you need to decide what you should you include in your safe document emergency box. You need to include documents that will help you access your finances, prove your identity, pay bills, file insurance claims, and other essential actions. Make sure to update your document emergency box when changes on these documents occur. Have you thought about how you will store these documents? The documents should be kept off the floor in the case of water damage or in a fire proof cabinet in case of fire should be taken into consideration.
These kinds of documents should be considered your most valuable records.
The most important one is, who are you, your identity? Make sure to include items such as:
- Birth certificates
- Social security cards
- Driver’s license
- Citizenship papers
- Military documents
- Marriage certificates
- Divorce decrees
- Professional licenses
- Child custody agreements and/or adoption papers.
Have records of the kinds of property you own, such as:
- mortgage documentation
- real estate deeds
- vehicle registration
- rental agreements
- inventory of household goods
- certificates of authenticity
- maintenance records
Records of your financials, such as:
- bank statements
- loan papers
- stocks and bonds certificates
- insurance papers
- credit cards
- retirement/brokerage accounts
- tax records
- account information
Family medical records, including:
- health insurance cards with physicians names
- immunization records
- medical power of attorney
- disability documents
- prescription/medications information
A list of who needs to be contacted in case of emergency, such as:
- family members
- utility companies
- friends and other similar information
There is no such thing as too much documentation!
You can never have too many documents that you need to protect and it will most likely be long and very personal. Other items that should be included are any family records and photographs, special books, collectable cards/certificates, sentimental writings and personal journals.
Where is the best place to store such documents?
A bank vault or safety deposit box can be a great place to store original documentation and valuables because its secure and offsite. It’s always a good idea to keep copies in other locations, but it’s important to keep the originals secure.
In this day and age, a good idea is to have digital copies that can be scanned and stored off site on external drives/flash drives, and uploaded to secure cloud storage and that way, you can access them from anywhere.
Make sure to have electronic documents backed up on a regular basis, especially if you add additional information.
If your only choice is to keep your documents at your home, then you need a disaster resistant filing cabinet. A disaster cabinet should be water proof, fire proof and impact resistant. Always keep the most important documents in a portable unit so you can grab and run if you have an emergency.
The bottom line is, just get those documents in order and keep them safe, no matter how you decide to store them.