The worst can happen at any time, whether from a storm you can see coming or from an unexpected electrical surge. It is imperative to be prepared.
There are checklists on all the new channels and the city webpages on what supplies should be prepared for Hurricane Irma or any other natural disaster. Most of these checklists only mention that important documents should be kept safe and evacuated with you in an emergency. What are these important documents: Well the basics:
- Driver's Licenses
- Social Security card
- Health Insurance Cards
- Prescriptions - medicines and eyeglasses
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Wills - make sure you review and update your will occasionally too
- Family Photos - most likely irreplaceable so keep negatives remotely
- Cash - keep $100 or so in your emergency kit
But, the following may be the most important for starting over after a loss:
- Home Inventory
- Insurance Policies - house, life, car, property, boat, etc... Check that your policy covers you for disasters and that the limits are adequate since the last time you reviewed it.
- Property Deeds - to prove you own the house and land
- Titles to vehicles
- Tax Returns - first 2 pages of returns from the past 3 years
- Stocks and Bonds
- Bank Account Numbers
- Credit Card Numbers and company phone numbers
Best policy is to scan all important documents and keep them on an external hard drive or USB drive. These drives are small and easy to take with you during evacuations. Additionally, keep the original or hardcopy in a fireproof box or safe deposit box.