6 important household documents to always have on hand


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In the wake of superstorm Sandy, many Americans are considering their emergency preparedness status. If a natural disaster was heading your way, there are several important documents that you would want to have ready. Don’t wait until it’s too late to make photocopies and collect what you need. Here’s what you should have easy access to at all times, according to Ready.gov.

*We recommend storing copies of these documents in labeled folders in a fireproof box. Make sure that you and at least one other family member knows where this box is located and has a key to access it.

1. Insurance policies: Have copies of homeowners, car and other insurance policies, including a list and photos or a video of valuable household items.

2. Identification: Photocopy your driver’s license and passport to store in the lockbox in case the real documents go missing.

3. Bank account records: Write down your account information and keep a past statement to help you if your bank card goes missing.

4. Prescription information and health insurance cards: In case you need a prescription refilled or you need to visit the emergency room, keep a copy of these documents so that someone other than your primary physician can be fully filled in on what you need for treatment.

5. Emergency contact numbers: Save time and keep phone numbers of friends and family, insurance agents, doctors, your attorney and other important contacts in one place.

6. Deeds, titles, wills, birth and marriage certificates, Social Security cards: These documents should always be kept in a secure, fireproof box. Having them filed away with your other emergency preparedness documents, means you won’t have to riffle through drawers when you may need to evacuate quickly.