When disaster strikes, it can be horrible. But, being unprepared can be devastating. One way to organize for an emergency is to create a Home & Life Binder. I highly recommend it to all my client’s seeking organizational assistance.
The binder holds the most critical information for your home and family. It should be kept in a safe, yet handy place. Assuming you have a computer and printer, creating the binder is a fairly easy DIY project – here’s how step-by-step:
One 1-2 inch three-ring binder, index divider tabs (at least seven), three hole punch
Divider Categories and Suggested Content:
1. Emergency Contacts – family members full names & DOB, pets, contact name, phone numbers and email addresses for neighbors, relatives, caregivers, local hospitals, fire station, local police department, work and schools. copies of social security cards and driver’s license.
2. Home Statistics – address, cross street, county, neighborhood, realtor, square footage (inside & out), year built, # of bedrooms, bathrooms, appliances (date purchased), cooling & heating features, home maintenance list (plumber, electrician, roofer, etc.), ulitity providers (gas, water, electric, trash, phone, internet, cable)
3. Home Inventory – list articles with descriptions, serial #s, purchase date, cost and value. attach receipts, appraisals, warranties. include photos of valuable artwork, antiques, jewelry, etc.
4. Health – contact information for all doctors, pharmacies, medical insurance (company, policy #, website & login)
5. Legal – wills, trusts, power of attorney, life insurance policies (company, policy #, representative contact information, website & login/password, coverage), deeds, titles.
6. Financial – banking, auto and home insurance, credit cards & brokerage accounts (company, policy #, representative contact information, 800 #s, website & login/password)
7. Emergency Plan – mapped out meeting spot, instructions on how to turn off your water, electricity, and gas. communication plan (out of state contact that can be a communication point if local communications are inoperable), location of emergency kit (advanced first aid kit, extra clothing and shoes, flashlights and batteries, water and non-perishable food for three days, cash, a solar and battery-operated radio). For more disaster preparedness advice go to http://www.ready.gov/
If you are not the DIY type or need some motivation, here’s a comprehensive organizing binder called Life.doc by Buttoned Up.
The Life.doc Binder has eight sections including:
•In Sickness & Health
•Dollars & Sense
•Home Sweet Home
You can fill out the Life.doc pages by hand, or use the included CD Rom to do the data entry on your computer, then feed the Life.doc pages into your printer and print out the completed forms. The Life.doc Binder can be purchased at see Jane work.
This is a project that is frankly not fun to do, but will make you happy and at peace once you are finished!