Three Ways to Protect your Important Documents when a Natural Disaster Strikes

You never know when a natural disaster will strike your family’s home. When I was just eleven our family suffered a house fire which destroyed almost all our possessions. Some family photos and heirlooms survived, but still smell of smoke to this day. You may have seen the recent images of the wild fires that swept California last year. Your hearts probably go out to the victims of these disasters. You may have even questioned whether you are ready for such a natural disaster yourself.

When creating a plan for your family if a natural disaster does strike, you should include in that plan a section for how to protect your important papers. I have, and I have mentioned a few methods that you may use to protect your family’s important documents, should a natural disaster effect your family.

1. Fire Proof Safe: In California, we are acutely aware of the possibility of fires. If you live close to the coast floods are also possible, as are earthquakes. A good fireproof, waterproof safe can protect your documents from all three of these possible scenarios.

2. Create a 72-Hour Kit. A 72-hour kit should contain all the things that you would need for your family in case of an emergency for a three-day period, including food, water, and other essentials. This kit could also contain a place for your most important documents (like a passport) and family memories like irreplaceable pictures or heirlooms (if the heirlooms aren’t too large).

3. Back up everything in the Cloud. Many of your documents can be backed up electronically, like photos. An electronic copy can also be a valid substitute in the case where a paper copy cannot be produced for many documents.

Physical safety is paramount when you are during a natural disaster or emergency, but when you are planning it is good to plan for all contingencies and protecting your family’s documents should be a part of that plan.

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