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Safeguarding “important” papers

Hurricane season is upon us once again. This statement brings to mind how one would safeguard important papers and also what are considered important papers. Read on for some help.

What would you do in an emergency and you had to evacuate your home. Do you have adequate documentation of your assets? This may sound like an insurance come on, but you should take a look at what exactly is in your home, furnishings and also the so called important papers.

There are different thoughts or points of view as to what are important papers. Some are obvious like your birth certificate, passport and other personal identification. However, these can be replaced easily compared to the cherished pictures or souvenirs. The most valuable thing to retrieve from a disaster area is your self and your loved ones.

You can replace birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, wills, etc. These may have the added factor of having to deal with the hassle of replacing them, but if you have saved a life that has more value than anything else.

You do want to save the papers so what can you do? There are various answers, but with today’s technology you can store copies onto your computer. If you are not computer savvy there are companies that offer this service. With computer storage, there isn’t a concern about the area being hit with another natural disaster.

First let’s take a look at what would be considered important papers. The list would include those items mentioned above as well as the deed to the house, documents showing ownership of the car or boat, adoption papers, and divorce decrees.

What isn’t usually looked at as important papers are your current financial activities. Yes, the credit card bill may burn in a fire, but you are still to pay this on time. Without the bill do you know how much to pay or where to send the payment?

There are many overlooked items that are needed such as medical records or your tax returns. For insurance purposes it would be ideal to have documentation of the products you have purchased so you can claim the correct value. What about a household inventory?

You are probably thinking you don’t have these items well organized, never mind in the moment of an emergency locating and retrieving them. Emergencies do not afford one time to think about these items, only about the safety of the family.

A solution that has been used is to have a safe or other “secure” container with all this data in it in case of an emergency. While this sound good, it isn’t truly a safe and sound an idea. The safe would have to be portable, which means if you can move it so could anyone else. Let’s say there is a tornado and the safe is caught into the wind. You now have the added risk of identity theft. Accessible to you means accessible to a criminal.

What you should do is prepare in advance. Some tings you can do now would be to collect those family photos and make copies for other family members in a different location as well as scanning them and putting them onto your computer.

You could also take pictures or do a video tour of the house with a narrative of those possessions you are viewing. This would be useful for insurance purposes as well as your personal viewing pleasure. A copy being sent to a trusted friend or relative in another area distant from your locale. Perhaps you could do the same for them.

Take advantage of online banking or even direct deposits with your bank. The check will not get lost in the mail. You have access to your accounts online so you can continue to handle your financial obligations. The hassle of finding mailing addresses, due dates or amounts due is eliminated when done via computer.

Hopefully you will take some of this data and prepare yourself for an emergency.

There are some people that have not always kept track of their financial record and therefore have unclaimed money. Some of us do keep track, and still can end up with some unclaimed money. Would you like to find out if you have unclaimed property or unclaimed money? CashUnclaimed.com was founded with the idea of making it simple for people to find unclaimed cash. By doing a free money search you will rapidly find out if there is money being held for you and if there is, how you can claim it.

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