Important papers

Published August 28, 2006


If you have to evacuate, you'll want to take necessary and hard-to-replace documents. Here's a list of what should be in a waterproof, lockable container you can easily grab.

- Checkbook, savings account passbook

- Safe deposit box key

- Birth, death and marriage certificates, divorce decree

- Will and power of attorney

- Social Security card and records

- Military records

- Medical records (living will, health care surrogacy, etc.)

- Insurance policies

- Health insurance cards

- Retirement account records

- Recent pay stubs, in case you have to document employment to collect benefits

- Tax returns

- Car titles and registrations

- Mortgage deeds or rental agreements

- Warranties and receipts

- Credit cards

- Passports, green cards

- Food stamp, WIC or other benefit cards and paperwork

- Important phone numbers (relatives, bank and insurance company)

- Disc on which you back up computer files just before you shut down the computer and evacuate

- Home inventory (on paper, disc or video; you should keep another copy in a safe place, maybe at work or at the home of a relative out of state)

- Family photographs or other memorabilia