In case of a natural disaster or a cyber-attack, a financial emergency kit allows you to keep running your life. These documents would prepare you for the what-ifs of life. Bottom of Form
The kit starts with knowing where your vital paperwork is stored, and where are copies kept. Two suggested storage methods are: (1) a portable, fireproof, waterproof safe, and (2) digital storage with an electronic record of account numbers and sensitive information. This information can then be accessed on your phone. Also backup your data on both an external hard drive and on a cloud service.
The important documents that you should have in both a physical and digital format are:
- Insurance policies, insurance contact information; prescriptions, medical records
- Birth and marriage certificates; passports; driver’s license; Social Security cards
- Mortgage information; car registration
- Recent tax returns; employment information
- Wills and deeds; stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates
- Bank, savings. Investment, and retirement account numbers
- Pet medical records; pet identification tags
- Recent utility bill, school registration to prove your legal place of residence
In addition to your financial documents, also plan to have these items in your emergency kit:
- Water; non-perishable food; first aid kit; multi-purpose tool
- Flashlight; battery-powered radio; extra batteries; cellphone, charger
- Medications, medical items; sanitation, personal hygiene items
- Extra cash; contact information of family and friends
- Emergency blankets; maps of the area
Consider a hand-crank flashlight and radio to be able to use and charge when there’s no power.
To connect with family and others in emergency times, text instead of calling to avoid network congestion. Use apps, social media when cell networks are overloaded. Update your voicemail message to tell your location and status.
Be prepared with these simple things that require minimal money and a small-time investment.
For additional information on financial emergency kits, go to:
- Have students identify situations in which this type of emergency kit would be appropriate.
- Have students create a visual proposal (poster or slide presentation) to communicate the elements of an emergency kit.
- What are reasons people might give for not preparing an emergency kit?
- Describe methods that might be used to store financial documents for emergency situations.