How To Create A Family Emergency Binder - Off-Grid

How To Create A Family Emergency Binder

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A family emergency binder is a specified binder in case of an emergency. These can range from natural disasters such as tornados, earthquakes, etc. to problems such as fires or any other reason you may need to leave your home in a hurry.



The binder will contain important information, personal documents and may aid in the process of getting benefits or other assistance. Here are some ideas for its contents:

Communication Documents

Communication is a key aspect when handling a family emergency. It helps you stay up to date on events and let’s people know where you are and that you are safe.

  •  Address section containing all phone numbers and addresses of family and friends
  • List of your child’s school/ day care contact information
  • Any business related contact information. This includes business associates.
  • Medical professionals such as hospitals, dentists and local doctors
  • Utilities. This will help you stay up to date on what is happening in your area in disasters that directly affect utilities such as power outages.
  • Non-emergency numbers. This includes police, ambulance, fire andcity numbers.

Financial Documents

Financial information should include all phone numbers, websites and passwords that is directly linked to that are listed. Be sure to include card numbers on the respectable items.

  •  Credit cards
  •  Insurance cards
  • Bank Cards
  • Investments, 401K and safety deposit information
  • Two most recent statements from any and all financial accounts. This includes checking, savings, investments etc.

Personal Documents

Personal Documents help to identify you and your family. Keep copies of these vital documents in your emergency binder. Feel free to add any documents you feel necessary for this category.





  •  Driver’s license or state ID cards
  • Social Security cards
  • Adoption or Foster care records
  • Immigration documents
  • Military Records
  • Church records
  • Credit cards. This should be front and back.

Medical Documents

Medical disasters can happen anywhere. It is especially more common when people are in a fit of panic and not thinking clearly. These documents can help protect you in case of a medical emergency. If you are concerned about the length of this section word process all information. Fit it on the smallest font. Make a note to place it on a copier and enlarge the image if it is needed.

  •  Medical History especially any serious or life threatening diseases
  • List of current medications
  • Immunization Records
  • Insurance Information including contact information
  • Medical Power of Attorney. This document lays out who has say if you are deemed incompetent during healthcare decisions.
  • Advanced care directive. This should lay out your wishes for life saving measures you wish to be taken for you. If you do not have one or a medical power of attorney in place, it is highly advisable you do so at
    your earliest discretion.

Legal Documents

Legal documents are important when trying to claim property or prove who you are. It is important to note that some documents are not legally binding unless they are the original.

  •  Power of Attorney for you and others (original)
  • Deeds and Titles to land, vehicles, homes etc.
  • Birth Certificates (these can be copies)
  • Wills (original)
  • Passports
  • Driving License
  • Lease Information

Miscellaneous Documents

There are always those odd items that never fit in one category. These are a few miscellaneous items that would be beneficial.

  •  Emergency Plan
  • Keys to Vehicles, homes, storage places or any location you may be heading.
  • Emergency ID cards
  • Evacuation checklist
  • Photos (yes, as in the print out kind)
  • Cash

Use Your Discretion

Each family is different. You may need documents not listed, so be sure to brainstorm when putting together your emergency binder.

A main concern for a lot of people is the safety of such precious documents. While most would be locked away in a safety deposit box at your bank, it is not recommended you do so with this binder. Disasters can strike at any time and you may not be able to reach it when you need it. Instead, use a fire-proof lock box hidden within your home.

Certain disasters may be unavoidable, but being prepared can help save you and your family from a lot of heartache and headache


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