When disaster strikes, your immediate concern will be your safety and the safety of those you care about.
Once the immediate danger passes, however, having your financial and medical records and important contact information will be crucial to help you start the recovery process quickly. Taking time now to safeguard these critical documents will give you peace of mind, ensure you have access to essential medical and prescription information, and help you avoid additional stress during the difficult days following a disaster.
The first step is to take an inventory of your household documents, contacts, and valuables. The checklist provided by FEMA below will get you started.
Once you have gathered your information, it is essential to safeguard this information.
Consider storing paper copies at home in a fireproof and waterproof box or safe or in a bank safe deposit box.
You can also store electronic copies in a password-protected format on a removable flash or external hard drive in your home safe box or a secure cloud-based service. Visit www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/st04-019 to learn how to use electronic encryption to protect sensitive information.