Grab and Go File
During past outbreaks of tornadoes, news reports were that some people had only three minutes after sirens were sounded before tornadoes were at ground level. That barely allowed time for people to take cover, but not to gather important items and documents.
If you already have a “grab and go file” of important documents prepared, good for you!
Now, think about where it is stored. If it is in your home office, often on the second floor of your house, in an extra bedroom, that may not be the best place. Consider moving it to the basement, and storing it on a high shelf, so that will be one less thing you need to find, on your way to taking cover.
Your “grab and go file” could contain:
- Copies of birth certificates, driver’s licenses, social security cards for all family members
- Copies of passports, marriage certificates, and similar documents
- Copies of insurance cards, policies, or other proof of coverage, as well as contact information
- A copy of your household inventory
- Bank account numbers and contact information
- Front and back copies of your ATM and credit cards
- Cash to cover immediate expenses
- A key to your safe deposit box
- A small notebook and pens for making notes
The information could be contained on a flash drive or memory card, rather than storing paper copies of the information.
Having a “grab and go file” is just part of your complete emergency plan. Other things to do include:
- Back up your computer regularly
- Decide how you will communicate with family members
- Collect and assemble a disaster supply kit, including a portable generator, water, and medications
- Practice and maintain your plan
More information about preparing your family for a disaster can be found at: