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Disaster Proof Your Important Papers

By Barbara Hemphill

In case you have to evacuate your home in an emergency, keep copies of your most vital papers in a portable container you can easily take with you.

Keep original copies of difficult-to-replace documents, such as birth certificates and titles, in a safe deposit box. Make sure the box is held in more than one person’s name. While information regarding bank accounts, insurance policies, and investments can be reproduced from account numbers, having immediate access to hard copy may be helpful.

Be sure you keep a list of all the documents you have and where they are located. Make sure that family members and those who need access to them know where to find this master list.

• Birth certificates and adoption records
• Marriage certificates and divorce decrees
• Driver’s licenses
• Passports/Visas/Green cards
• Social Security cards
• Titles, deeds and registrations for property owned
• Wills and trust documents
• Mortgage and loan information
• Insurance policies
• Bank account records
• Investment account records
• Credit card numbers

Key contact numbers to carry in your wallet: Doctor, employer/spouse’s employer, children’s schools, banks, insurance agents, minister, rabbi or priest, close relatives, friends and neighbors, utility companies and alarm system company.




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