At Your Fingertips Organizing

At Your Fingertips Organizing
Downsizing. Productivity. Speaker.


Last month, I stressed the importance of putting together an Emergency Supply Kit.  To make the process easier, I provided a link to FEMA’s Emergency Supplies Checklist.  One of the things on that checklist is “important family documents”  however the checklist did not elaborate on what  to include, most likely to keep the list simple and not overwhelming.

This month, I’d like to elaborate on that for you… not only on what documents it may contain but also format options.  FYI, most of these documents will be copies; original deeds, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. should be stored in a safety deposit box or fire safe as a back up.  

Contents you may want to include:

Vital Records:

  • copies of birth certificates/adoption records for each family member
  • copies of marriage licenses, drivers licenses, passports, social security card, citizenship, military service records, divorce decrees, etc.
  • copies of all property and auto records — deeds, leases, titles, etc.
  • copies of all property/umbrella insurance policies


  • bank account numbers
  • copies of the front and back of each credit card
  • investment account numbers
  • retirement/pension account numbers
  • information about any current income/benefits
  • information about any outstanding mortgages/loans


  • copies of health/life/disability insurance cards and policies
  • medical history for each family member
  • list of medications and prescriptions, including dose and pharmacy
  • details about any ongoing medical conditions and treatments


  • copies of Wills, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, etc. 


  • Household Inventory (an inventory of your possessions ideally including photos and receipts wherever)

Contact Information:

  • friends and family to reach in case of emergency
  • neighbors who have access to your house
  • financial institutions, insurance companies, and legal advisors
  • physicians, specialists, hospitals, and other healthcare providers
  • schools, employers and benefits administrators

Format Options:
Should there be an emergency, you won’t have time to dig through your files/belongings to pull them.  So invest the time of pulling those documents out and duplicating them.

  • The old school way of thinking is to make paper copies of these documents and store them in your plastic pin.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this option and many people feel more secure with paper copies.  
  • However a more progressive approach is to scan the documents and download them onto a flash drive which takes up far less room that paper copies.  Alternately, consider storing those documents in the cloud.  Just be aware of security issues and take the necessary precautions.

If you haven’t yet pulled your “important family documents”  don’t be overwhelmed. Simply take the first step and you’ll be on your way.

“The best way to get something done is to begin.”  ~ Author Unknown ~

Brenda Tringali,  HR, Organizing & Productivity Specialist
At YourFingertips Organizing (
Serving  Greater Myrtle Beach, SC or “virtually” anywhere (via phone/video)
Phone: 603.490.6062​