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Safeguard Documents

Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Documentation is crucial to re-building your life after a disaster. Have the proof you need and store it in a safe place! Don't know where to start? We have some ideas to get you going below, as well as some considerations for safe storage.

This 10-post toolkit was released as part of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management's yearlong 12 Ways to Prepare social media campaign in 2024. This campaign aimed to meet residents where they were at with informational action items, encouraging them to be #ReadyOK while equipping them to that end. June's focus taught residents to Safeguard Documents, providing categories and lists of documents to store and ideas on how to store them safely. 

1. Review

(6/12) CHECK ✅ We are HALFWAY through our year of Resolving to be #Ready! Can you believe it? We hope you’ve learned some helpful tips along the way. There are plenty more to come! 

In May, we learned how to create and test our #FamilyCommunicationPlan, and June brings a new way to prepare: #SafeguardDocuments! 

Don’t let a disaster leave your identity or belongings without a trace. This month, we’ll learn what documents to safeguard and how! 

Learn now at 

#YouCan #ResolveToBeReady #SafeguardDocuments #12WaysToPrepare #ReadyOK #OklahomaWay

2. Intro

#YouCan gather and safely store your important documents before disaster strikes, such as:

🪪 Household identification 

🧾 Financial and legal documentation

🩺 Medical information 

☂️ Insurance information

☎️ Household contact information. 

We’ll dive into each of these this month and show you where and how you can store them ✅

Visit for more. 

#YouCan #ResolveToBeReady #SafeguardDocuments #12WaysToPrepare #ReadyOK #OklahomaWay

3. Household Identification

Consider what you’d need to identify yourself and the members of your household, including children and pets, your relationships, or status. Household Identification could include: 

👩🏻‍🍼 Vital records for birth, marriage, divorce, adoption, child custody

🆔 Passport, driver’s license, Social Security card, green card, military ID

🐰 Pet ownership papers, identification tags

Keep these documents in a safe place - protected from fire, water and theft - so you’ll have them in the event of an emergency.

#YouCan #SafeguardDocuments #12WaystoPrepare #ReadyOK

4. Financial & Legal Documentation

If your home or income is affected by a disaster, you’ll need documentation to request assistance. Keep the following documents in a safe place: 

🏡 Mortgage, lease or rental agreement, home equity line of credit, deed 

🚙 Vehicle registration, title, VIN, loan documents 

📑 Documentation of other financial obligations such as utility bills, credit card statements, student loans, alimony, child support, elder care, subscriptions 

🏦 Financial institution accounts such as checking, savings, debit cards, retirement and investment accounts 

💰 Sources of income such as pay stubs, government benefits, alimony, child support 

🗂️ Federal/state income tax returns, property tax and vehicle tax documents

🪦 Estate planning information including will, trust, and power of attorney documentation 

#YouCan #SafeguardDocuments #12WaystoPrepare #ReadyOK

5. Medical Information

In case of a disaster, keep medical records compiled in a safe place. Be sure to include the following: 

📑 Documentation of health/dental insurance, including Medicare, Medicaid and VA health benefits

💊 List of medications, immunizations, allergies, prescriptions, medical equipment and devices, pharmacy information

📄 Living will, medical power of attorney

👵🏽 Caregiver agency contract or service agreement 

♿️ Disabilities documentation

📞 Contact information for doctors & specialists, dentists, pediatricians and veterinarians

#YouCan #SafeguardDocuments #12WaystoPrepare #ReadyOK

6. Insurance Information

Having insurance for your home or business property is the best way to make sure you will have the necessary financial resources to help you repair, rebuild or replace whatever is damaged in a disaster. Have the proof you need to get assistance - be sure to store the following in a safe place: 

📑 Insurance policies for homeowners, renters, auto, life, flood, etc.

💰 Appraisals of valuable items

📸 Photos and lists of valuable items, or an inventory of your home

💖 Priceless personal mementos, family photos or keepsakes

#YouCan #SafeguardDocuments #12WaystoPrepare #ReadyOK

7. Household Contact Information

Your world is likely to be turned upside down in an emergency. Keep physical copies of your household contact information in a safe place to stay connected when everything’s awry. Consider taking note of contact information for your.. 

📎 Employers/supervisors

✏️ Schools

🙏 Houses of worship

🤝 Social service providers

🏘️ Homeowners Associations

🛠️ Home repair services including utilities, plumbing, roofing, carpentry and electrical

#YouCan #SafeguardDocuments #12WaystoPrepare #ReadyOK

8. Storing Paper/Electronic Copies

A “safe place” may look different depending on the type of documents being stored. 

📝 Consider storing paper documents in a fireproof and waterproof box or safe at home or with a trusted friend or relative, or in a bank safe deposit box. 

💾 Store electronic copies of important documents in a password-protected format on a removable flash or external hard drive in your fireproof/waterproof box/safe or consider using a secure cloud-based service. Visit to learn more about selecting a secure service and/or enabling encryption. 

#YouCan #SafeguardDocuments #12WaystoPrepare #ReadyOK

9. EFFAK - Emergency Financial First Aid Kit

Looking for a step-by-step tool to get all your important documents in one place? Look no further than the EFFAK - FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit. Work through this packet one page at a time to slowly (but surely!) strengthen your preparedness for emergencies big and small. 

Access the document here:

#YouCan #SafeguardDocuments #EFFAK #12WaystoPrepare #ReadyOK

10. Update Documents

Fantastic work, Oklahoma! 🤠👏 We’ve spent this month gathering and securing our important documents. Don’t have it done? Don’t fret - it’s a tall task. Keep working and your future self will thank you! Disasters will always cause headaches, but any remedies you prepare beforehand, such as taking action to #SafeguardDocuments, will make a world of difference in the aftermath. 

Once you get everything into place and locked up, be sure to update the stash as new records become available. We recommend a full review annually to keep all the information up to date. 

We hope you’ll never have to use it, but if you do, you’ll be so grateful for your preparedness! 

#YouCan #SafeguardDocuments #12WaystoPrepare #ReadyOK

Last Modified on Jun 07, 2024
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