Although most preppers are quick to stock up hundreds of pounds of food and enough ammunition to fend off even the most determined band of mutant biker hoards, there is one prep item that even some of the most dedicated preppers are quick to put on the back-burner. The documentation package or survival binder, in this blogger’s opinion, is the most important prep item you can have, and it costs absolutely nothing.
Now, before you say to yourself: “Yeah, I know…I’ll get it it soon.” stop… because I’m right there with you. I’ve stocked my tiny apartment with as much food, water and gear as it can hold, and yet, the survival binder is still on the back-burner…until now. This week I’ve challenged myself and I’m challenging you all to finally get this done. Today we’re going to talk about some of the most common (and uncommon) items that should be in your documentation package.
One of the easiest things you should include in your documentation package is your contacts list from your phone. You should include the names, physical and email addresses and contact numbers for everyone in your phone. Additionally, it is a good idea to have the contact information for businesses you frequent, bars and nightclubs, cab services, medical services, financial/insurance institutions, non-emergency fire/police numbers and your preferred hotels both nearby and en route to your bug-out location.
Obviously, after a disaster, your contacts will be extremely valuable. Having this information on hand could literally save your life or the life of another in a bad situation. However, keeping an up to date contact list can be equally vital in a non-disaster scenario. Ever break your cell phone? How long did it take to piece your contact list back together?
Insurance / Financial Information
This is a no-brainer. If you’re like most people, you probably have numerous bank account numbers, credit or debit card numbers or other sensitive financial information that you may not have committed to memory, or may not be able to remember in a disaster scenario. Insurance information is also vital. In most weather-related disasters, insurance representitves are slammed with claims in a very short period of time. Being one of the first to file your claim will help get you to the top of that list. Copies of your insurance plans, photos, account numbers and immediate contact info should always be included in your package.
In a disaster scenario, physical copies of vital documentation may be unavailable or destroyed. In some recent disasters, even proving who you were proved nearly impossible without proper documentation. Copying or scanning a copy of your driver’s license, medical insurance cards, membership cards, birth records, social security cards and automobile registration could be the difference between getting help now or waiting several days trying to prove your identity.
Imagine you needed to bug-out. Right now. Gotta go. You’ve got 20 minutes. What are you going to take?If you’re a prepper this is pretty straight forward, grab your Bug Out Bag, food/water, any valuables, kids, spouse, pets and get out of dodge. Sometimes minutes can really be the difference between life and death. The quicker you can get out and the more organized you can be, the better off you’ll be. Instead of taking time to grab all the pictures off the wall, drag out three or four shoeboxes of photos, back up your pictures on a flash drive or cloud based backup system ahead of time. You’ll save all the images, they’ll take up no room in your pack or bug-out vehicle and when things return to normal, you’ll either still have your photos, or you can easily print new copies from your backup.
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