If the worlds CO2 emissions went down to zero, it would not change the worsening frequency of natural disasters. No matter where you live, fires, hurricanes, tornados, drought, and floods are becoming more prevalent and dangerous.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to safeguard your personal information and possessions. In the event of a disaster, the last thing you should be concerned with is losing your family’s important documents. This article provides a list of the most important documents to protect from the threat of natural disasters.

Being Prepared for the Worst

Even if you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters, no one thinks it will happen to them. But, isn’t that the irony of life: if you bring an umbrella with you, then you won’t need it. The same proactive readiness applies to your important documents and possessions.

If the fire is at your doorstep, or the carpet is already waterlogged, then it is likely too late to protect your personal documents. When it comes to possessions, such as family heirlooms and antiques, emergency movers will get your stuff to safety

But what about your documentation? Drivers licenses, social security cards, birth certificates, and more can easily be overlooked in an emergency.

Be preemptive, no matter where you live or the likelihood of a natural disaster to strike. Protecting your important documents is the only way to ensure your ability to pick up the pieces of your life after a natural disaster.

What do you Need to Protect Documents

In order to ensure the integrity of your personally sensitive documentation, you need a fireproof lockbox, as well as a secure cloud storage account.

You might not have time to safely retrieve your documents in the event of a house fire. A fireproof lockbox will ensure that your personal documents remain safe until the fire has been put out and you can retrieve your possessions.

A lockbox is only as useful as your ability to retain it. In the event of a flood, such as Hurricane Harvey, a lockbox will drift away with the current. Don’t rely purely on physical security measures.

Cloud storage allows you to keep records of all your important documentation in a non-centralized location. Anything backed up to a cloud storage account is accessible with your personal pin from anywhere with internet connectivity.

Which Important Documents to Protect

Water and fire are the most destructive forces for homeowners. If your house floods, documents may be rendered as useless as if they were burned. In addition to the FEMA Preparedness Checklist, it is essential to safeguard the following important documents:

Vital Identification Documents

First and foremost, safeguard your personal identification, such as driver’s licenses, birth certificates, Social Security Cards, passports, etc. Take digital photos of these documents and upload them to your cloud storage account.

Once they are safely stored digitally, place the originals in a fire and flood proof lockbox, and forget about it. Using a digital storage service lets you access your documents anytime, without the possibility of misplacing the original.

Medical and Insurance Documents

In the event of a natural disaster or emergency, you need to have access to your loved one’s medical records and insurance information. Just like a car accident, you want to let your insurance provider know about the damage as soon as possible to ensure maximum coverage.

Be sure to back up your immunization records and information on any prescribed medications. If you live with any senior citizens, be sure to safeguard any wills and power of attorney documentation.

Financial Records and Information

Finally, be sure to take pictures of your credit and debit cards, and back them up to your cloud database. In the event of natural disasters, your financial identity is at risk of theft. The only way to protect your finances from the chaos of displacement is to immediately inform your institution.

Retain the account numbers and transaction history form your bank accounts in order to prove your account ownership and identity. Backup the first two pages of tax returns from the previous year, as well as any stock or bond documentation.

Cloud storage enables you to access your data from anywhere with internet. You can access passwords, address books, and any stored documentation from your phone, computer, or tablet.

A disaster causes chaos for individuals, communities, and infrastructure. If your community is experiencing mass displacement from wildfires or floods, register for federal disaster assistance.

Final Thoughts

Make sure that any cloud storage accounts you have are secured with a strong password. Outside of the essential information, like proof-of-identity, begin the process of storing all of your family’s photos and heirlooms in cloud storage. In the event of a natural disaster, all you should worry about is the safety of your loved ones – not your possessions.

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