Putting together an emergency binder can be a game-changer for any family. It is a fantastic collection of information you will need in case of an emergency. Having an emergency binder put together can help you in case of a fire, flood, or another emergency that might damage your information. For us, having an emergency binder put together was a huge help when we had a house fire and needed to get all of our information in a hurry. I have put together some tips for an emergency planner and an emergency binder printable pack just for you.
Using a binder to plan for emergencies
Disclaimer – Your emergency binder may need to include more or less of this information depending on your unique situation. The goal is to get things ready so that you will have them on hand.
What information should go in an emergency binder?
What personal information should be included?
What medical information should be included?
What financial information should be included?
What end of life information should be included?
What tax information should be included?
Receipts and Warranties
What professional information should be included?
What personal mementos should be included?
Should there be a binder for kids?
What supplies do I need for an emergency binder?
How can I print all of the printables in one place?
What information should go into an emergency binder?
Your emergency binder will have a unique collection of information that fits your situation. The binder may have less information if you don’t have children or have shared custody. It’s important to customize your binder to your situation. That said, I have put together a basic checklist that will help you to better build your binder. Here are a few pieces of information that should be in your emergency binder.
- Identifying Information
- Medical Information
- Financial Information
- End of Life Planning Information
What Personal information should be included?
When building your binder it is important to have personal information in a place that is easy to access. This will help if there is an emergency as you will be able to get to this information in a hurry. Take some time to consolidate all of this information to have a one-stop spot to find it if needed. Here are a few suggestions for what should be in your personal information tab of the binder.
- Information at a glance sheet
- Social Security Cards
- Birth Certificates
- Marriage Certificate
- Copy of Driver’s License
- Titles for Property and Vehicles
What Medical information should be included?
When faced with a medical emergency it can be hard to find necessary information. Having this medical information in one spot can make it easier to access information if needed. If you are going to an important appointment or even the emergency room, you can easily pull this information from your binder and take it with you. This is also the perfect area to keep updated medical records. Here are a few things that should be in your medical information portion of the emergency binder.
- Medical Information at a Glance Form
- Insurance Information
- Drug Allergies
- Medical History
- Current Medications
- Living Will
What Financial information should be included?
Consolidating financial information can be stressful. However, it can also be liberating to have everything in one easy-to-access location. Having all of the information in one easy-to-find location will help you to get to it easily. This will also help whoever has to manage your estate when the time comes. While it’s not fun to think about planning for those times, it is so important. Here are some of the things that should be in the financial information portion of your emergency binder.
- Financial Information at a Glance Form
- Bank Beneficiary Forms
- Investment Account or Other Asset information
- Home Owner’s Insurance Policy
What End of Life information should be included?
Handling someone’s estate can be stressful if you don’t know what they want. Taking the time to add the end of life information to your binder is one of the kindest things you can do for your loved ones. It will help them to know how to properly handle your end-of-life needs. This is the one area I will not provide a printable resource. However, here are some things to include in the end-of-life portion of your binder.
- Life Insurance Policy Information
- Contact Information for all beneficiaries
- Contact Information for Family
- Asset List
- Business Information (Info that needs to be provided if owning a business.)
What Tax information should be included?
When you are filling out your binder, include any important tax information. This can be information you may need in the future and not have access to in an emergency. A crisis like a flood, fire, or natural disaster can take away these important documents. Whether you own your own business, file for your family, or just need backups, have this in your binder. Here are a few things to include.
- Prior Tax Returns
- Receipts/Records Needed for Filing
Receipts and Warranties
Another thing that you will want in this binder are any receipts or warranties that you will need a record of. Items like warranties on an A.C. system or a large purchase can be stored in your emergency binder. This will help you to get to them quickly if something happens to that item. It avoids the constant search for items you might normally misplace.
What Professional information should be included?
When putting together your emergency binder it can help to add any important professional information. This could include a variety of information. Having this on hand will help you if you need to rewrite a resume or need it for an interview. Here are a few things to include in a professional information section.
- Work History Form
- Reference Letters
When there is an emergency it can be most heartbreaking to lose personal mementos. These items can be impossible to replace. Take some time to collect some of your most treasured mementos to include in this area of your binder.
- Awards and Special Papers
Should there be an emergency binder for the kids?
While I don’t have a dedicated binder for the kids, they do have their own section in my binder. I want to be able to send them into adulthood with their own binder when the time comes. I think that it will be essential as they navigate the early parts of adulthood.
What supplies do I need for an Emergency binder?
- 2 Inch Binder
- Durable Sheet Protectors
- Binder Pencil Pouch – These are great for thumb drives, checkbooks, and other small items you might need to keep.
- Printer – This will help to print out any important information including the sheets in this post.