My New Year’s resolution list for this year had a couple things listed that I haven’t really taken any action on. SHOCKER.
Those two things were
---get an emergency kit together
---gather all of our important papers and get them into a fire proof safe
Yesterday I realized it was almost October. Where has 2013 gone to? So if I was going to get that stuff done, I needed to just do it.
So I started pinteresting, the logical first step, and got a lot of ideas on what to put in a fireproof safe and what to have in a disaster emergency kit.
The fireproof safe idea came from realizing that me and BJ are adults and we need to be more responsible about where our insurance policy info, social security cards and deeds are stored. The disaster kit idea came from being without electricity last Christmas for 3-4 days.
The easiest (and less expensive) thing to get done was the fireproof safe. So that’s what I’m going to talk about today.
It took an evening of organizing and dragging out stacks of paper, but it felt really great to finally have all of the important information in one place. There are still several small things I want to do, but for the most part it’s completed.
Our fireproof safe came from Wal-Mart and it was just under $50. It has a key lock. I wanted one with a button combination lock (not the spinning combination lock) but the shape/size of the one we got was better suited for what we were using it for (mainly documents), and it was almost half the price. The only logically sized/button combination safe Wal-Mart had was $90. It looked like a hotel safe. And it looked like storing paper in it would be annoying to someone like me.
So, in addition to the safe, I bought:
1. a pack of hanging file folders for $3
2. a check organizer for around $3
3. and a 4GB flash drive for $8.
So for $65-70 and one night of shuffling papers, I got our life on paper organized and safe. BJ was somewhat excited (maybe) but he certainly wasn’t as relieved as I was. This has been on my mind for too long!
Here’s how I started organizing everything. I made a folder for each of these categories:
· HOME INVENTORY
· AUTO PAPERS
· LIFE INSURANCE
· ASSET RECEIPTS
· AUTO POLICY
· HEALTH POLICY
Here’s what I put in each folder, and what I still plan to do for each folder:
In the EMERGENCY folder I have a spreadsheet of policy numbers, insurance agents to contact for those policies, emergency family contact numbers, debit and credit card numbers, log in information for online accounts, our Driver’s License numbers and Social Security numbers, our physicians and their contact information, etc. Basically all the information you’d need in an emergency on one page to glance at. I printed two copies, and after laminating them one will go in the safe and the other will be put in our disaster kit. I saved this spreadsheet to the flash drive I purchased so there would be a digital copy. (did not save to my lap top, in case it is ever stolen I’d rather someone have to WORK to find that kind of info than to be able to steal my identity from one neat spreadsheet on a silver platter) I named the file September 2013 so I would know when it was last updated. I tried taking a picture of this spreadsheet but there was no way to do it without giving the entire internet world some kind of personal info. So this is what I came up with:
Still to do: laminate sheets (plan on using those self-laminate sticker things)
In the HOME INVENTORY folder I have some scribbles in the form of a list on a note pad—a good start on documenting all the valuable “stuff” in the house. Having known some people that have dealt with break-ins, I hear it’s better to have PROOF of what you owned before someone steals it, rather than to try to prove you owned it after the fact.This file isn’t finished. I want to have a “complete” list, so this is a work in progress right now.
Still to do: finish handwritten list, transfer to spreadsheet, add in serial numbers and purchase price (if known), take photos of the house (print them for the file and save them on the flash drive), video a walkthrough of the house and save that to the flash drive.
In the AUTO PAPERS folder I have the deed to BJ’s car and the purchase papers from the one we just got me. I scanned these in and saved them as a PDF to the flash drive.
In the LIFE INSURANCE folder I have the information from my life insurance policy I got when I was 24. BJ doesn’t have any yet, so right now the folder just has mine. It’s the fancy folder of the info they send you when your purchase a policy. I scanned the front page of the packet—a page with the policy number, amount, and the company contact info-- and saved it as a PDF to the flash drive.
In the MARRIAGE folder I have our marriage license, some copies of our marriage license I made back when I was changing my last name, and the photo release from our wedding photographer.
In the ASSET RECEIPT folder I have the receipt for our furniture we paid off this year, and the receipts for our Nooks. This folder will grow/shrink in time. Whenever I find an invoice/receipt of something we OWN I will put it in there.
In the AUTO POLICY folder I have a copy of me and BJ’s proof of auto insurance.
In the HEALTH POLICY folder I have BJ’s health insurance card. I will be changing health insurance in the next month due to a job change, so I didn’t add anything of mine in there.
Still to do: add in my new health insurance information.
In the SAMANTHA folder I have a copy of my driver’s license, social security card, debit and credit cards. I also stuck the last letter my papaw wrote me before he died in 1995 in my file.
Still to do: make a list of any medicines I take, allergies, doctor information, pharmacy information, copy of my passport (even though it still has my maiden name).
In the BJ folder I have a copy of his driver’s license and his social security card. I stuck a letter from his grandfather in his file.
Still to do: make a list of any medicines he takes (none that I know of), allergies (none that we know of), doctor information, pharmacy information, copy of his passport.
In the PHOTO folder I have the disc of our wedding photos, a disc of BJ’s pictures from his trip to Romania, some discs of family photos I made for our wedding slideshow, and some photos of my family that I know aren’t on a disk or computer somewhere.
Still to do: find SD cards from my trip to Italy and add those in there.
Also in the safe box is a check divider. This is an accordion style folder with little dividers in it. Some people use these for couponing. I plan on using it to organize the smaller stuff I’m stashing in this safe.
In this divider (You can see in the photo that I have it stored in the lid) I have: my jewelry warranties, BJ’s shot record cards, and BJ’s social security card. When I’m finished uploading stuff to the flash drive I got for this project, it will go in there too.
Still to do: Add in my social security card (after I’m done using it at my first day of my new job), add in my shot records (getting them from my mom, they were in her lock box), add in our passports (same, momma had them safe for us).
And that my blogging friends, is how I wrapped up a project in one evening! There are a few things left to do, but I feel like I got a great start on this last night. I actually had fun doing it. I found a bunch of papers we were keeping that could actually be shredded too, so the desk is in better shape. I feel better knowing all the important info we might need in an emergency and some priceless family memories we have held on to will be safe in case of a disaster.
I will have to post about my gradual collection of things for our disaster kit (in case of tornado, fire, or electricity out for days) and what I decided to do instead of making an emergency binder (that ended up being even better and probably cheaper than making one of those binders). I asked my facebook friends what they would want in a disaster kit and I got some great responses (like wine).
If you have any suggestions for something that needs to be in this fireproof safe project, or in a disaster kit, let me know! Thanks for reading!