Disaster Preparedness Week - Day 3

Day 3: Papers and important documents

Day 3 is here! We hope you have been having fun working on your tasks so far this week. The next one is super exciting…Paperwork!

We know collecting and organizing paperwork is about as much fun as watching paint dry, but it is an incredibly important part of your disaster preparation.

You will want to find a waterproof pouch, fireproof pouch, or a large Ziploc bag to organize your paperwork. Then store the paperwork in your safe or with your emergency kit. The key here is to have as few steps as possible to grab what you need and leave your home. Remember your goal is to be out of your home in under 5 minutes.

If you have not completed day 2, do that first.

Types of documents

Here is a list of some of the documents you will want to have ready to go in an emergency. Please use this list as a guide, add to the list to fit what is best for you and your family.


  • Social Security Cards
  • Passports
  • Drivers licenses
  • Birth Certificates
  • Adoption papers
  • Marriage and divorce papers
  • House deeds/mortgage documents
  • Insurance paperwork
  • Bank records

Digital backups

So much of our lives now exist in our computers. In an emergency, you do not want to be unhooking your tower or worrying about your files. If you feel comfortable doing so, use cloud storage to back up your files and photos. If you would like to keep offline use an external drive to back up your files regularly so that you only have to grab the drive when you leave your home.

More Information

For a full, very detailed list, of what documents you should have available to evacuate with, you can download the FEMA Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK).