Creating Emergency Preparedness Binders will help you and your family react quickly in emergency situations. A binder for storing important documents, and an emergency procedures and supplies binder will be very useful in any sort of disaster.
When it comes to emergency preparedness, there are 2 types of binders that are important. An Emergency procedures binder, and a binder for important documents. The importance of having an emergency documents binder is obvious, but most people don’t have plans written out for what to do in a disaster scenario.
Most of us spend quite a bit of time researching and learning about preparedness, so it can seem to be a little redundant to put that information we already know in a binder. The truth is, not only could that help us in a stressful situation, it could also help those family members that are not quite onboard with prepping.
SPP287 Creating Emergency Binders for Preppers
Last week Lisa and I went over some family communications and disaster planning tips. This week we finish everything off with going over emergency binders for preppers and preparedness in general.
How you go about putting together a binder and what you put in it are completely up to you, but there are a few key items that should be included. Just like everything else in preparedness, our plans and procedures will differ depending on our situation.
Emergency Procedures Binder
Because we don’t get to choose when disaster strikes, and because rarely is everyone home at the same time, a procedures binder should be included in your preparedness plan. Just because you know everything what to do in different emergency situations, doesn’t mean everyone else does.
As you put together your preparedness procedures binder, put yourself in their shoes. Think about the questions they might ask, and things that would help them make better critical decisions.
A binder should have a list of where all the important items and supplies are, such as your lights out kit, generator, gas shut off valve, breaker box, radios, batteries, solar chargers etc…
A binder is something that they can read whenever they feel like it, and something you can reference when the subject comes up. A binder is not only helpful in emergencies, it also serves as a learning tool.
The binder should read like a lesson, not be something they need to sift through to get the info they need. In an emergency situation time will be of the essence so the directions should be simple and to the point.
In the same vein as simple and to the point, a binder should have an index of where the information is located (page numbers) in the binder. Here are a couple examples of how an index should read…
- Emergency Supplies List (page 4)
- Evacuation Procedures (page 12)
- Earthquake Procedures (page 16)
- Power Outage Procedures (page 21)
Make sure your binder includes any disaster that is likely in your area and is well organized. Anytime you add something to the binder, make sure and add that to the index as well.
Important Documents Binders
An emergency documents binder is necessary to keep copies of all your important documents, like your ID, passport, birth certificates, and health insurance all in one place.
In an emergency this binder allows you to quickly grab all your important documents without having to search around.
This not only helps in any sort of disaster scenario, but you will find that it makes life much easier on a daily basis when you know exactly where all of these important documents are.
Picking a Binder…
Like most people, I used to put all my important documents in my desk drawer filing cabinet. While I still use that for most of my important documents, I also have an emergency binder that is both waterproof and fireproof that contains the “must have” documents.
This binder contains copies of some documents like drivers licenses and health insurance cards. It also contains original copies of items like birth certificates and social security cards that aren’t used on a daily basis.
While there are a number of options available for fireproof and/or waterproof binders, the one we use is the Avlone Fireproof and Waterproof Money and Important Documents Bag.
While nothing is guaranteed, this documents bag drastically increases the chances that the items in this folder will survive a house fire or flooding.
Inside the Binder
What you choose to put in this binder is completely up to you, and what you feel is important. Along with the documents that are listed below you could include cash, flash drives, gold or silver, family heirlooms, or anything that is important to you.
Here are some ideas for that should be included in an emergency documents binder…
- Driver’s License/ID cards (copies)
- Birth certificates
- Social Security cards
- Marriage certificate
- Life and Health Insurance policy
- Important legal documents (wills and trusts etc…)
- Important military documents
- Individual portraits (Current pictures for identification)
- Firearm registration and serial numbers
Emergency Contact Information
- Phone numbers of Family, friends, and neighbors
- Emergency services: Fire, ambulance, and police
- Doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers etc…
- Important medical records (blood types, prescriptions etc…)
- Copies of insurance cards
- Immunization records
- Medical records for pets
- Vehicle titles (originals not copies)
- Maintenance and repairs paperwork
- Auto insurance information
- Vehicle registration
- Spare key(s)
As I said earlier, what you put in your important documents binder, and how you put together an emergency procedures binder is completely up to you. Each of our situations are different, and requires a personalized preparedness plan.
If you have anything to add that might help everyone reading this, make sure and leave a comment below.