Family Emergency Preparedness Notebook . . .
Preparedness Notebook. It should be kept in a safe, easy assessable and water proof place. If there is an emergency and you need to evacuate immediately it will be easy to pick up and take with you. All family members should know where it is kept and explained the importance of it. Many of us have important documents scattered around the house. Take the time now to gather them together and organize them into your Family Emergency Preparedness Notebook.
You will need the following:
1) A large 3-ring binder (depending on the size of your family and the number of documents you have)
2) 3-Ring Poly Envelope (one for each family member, pets, other important documents) I found these on amazon.com, 3 for $3.88. Target, office supply stores like Office Max, Office Depot, Staples may carry them. My daughter said the best time to purchase them is around school supply time. You can get them very reasonable, but I would not wait until them. You can also purchase heavyweight top loading sheet protectors. But I like the 3-Ring Poly Envelopes the best. They close from the side with a Velcro flap.
3) 3-Ring dividers
1) Gather all you important documents together.
2) Write in permanent marker each family member's name on the top of each 3-Ring Poly Envelope. Do not forget your pets need a folder too.
3) Separate them into each person's records. They may include birth certificate, Social Security Card, Passport, school records, immunization record, adoption record, court name change document, copy of driver's license, military record (DD Form 214), academic certificates, copy of medical insurance card, medical records (including allergies, prescription medications, etc., contact information for all doctors, for minors--an authorization letter to receive first-aid and other medical treatment, etc.
4) You will also need other 3-Ring Poly Envelopes for things like insurance documents (personal, home, car, business, etc.), bank and financial records, tax returns, wills/trust, marriage and divorce certificates, guardianship certificates, HIPPA release, living will, Durable Power of Attorney, Deeds (home, cars, equipment, etc.), Titles to equipment and property, contracts, stocks and bonds certificates and other financial instruments, credit and debt cards information, inventory of of property and household items (photos, videotapes, on flash drive), medical Advanced Directive, contents of Safety Deposit Box and where it is located,emergency contact information, and other important documents relative to your personal needs.
5) Separate each family member's Poly Envelope and other Poly Envelops with a divider with their name or topic on the tap to easily find. If you need more than one notebook put all family information in one and the others in another notebook. Keep them together.
6) Keep the Family Emergency Preparedness Notebook(s) in a secure, water proof, easily accessible place.
Note: Remember to update records as they change and new family members are added to your household, like a new child, other extended family members come to live with you.
Note: It is also a good idea to keep cash on hand, small bills ($1 and $5) and change. You may not be able to access money from the bank or ATM machine if power is down. You should try to have enough to cover a month's expenses.