Are Your Important Documents backed Up in Case the Worst Happens?
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Right off the bat, I want to establish the importance of creating an emergency jump drive.
In my short time on earth (over four decades), I have evacuated, abandoned, or deployed from seemingly safe places more times than I can count.
Each time I needed to take important documents with me so that I could prove who I was, justify re-entering a disaster zone, or because the original documents were destroyed.
It’s not just because of my job experience either.
Many of those times were evacuations with my parents as a kid and then later as an adult parent with my own kids.
I grew up in Myrtle Beach SC, and evacuating from hurricanes was a way of life and happened just about once every hurricane season.
First, let’s go over some other reasons you need a back-up. Then we’ll cover what goes onto your emergency jump drive. To wrap up, we’ll talk specifics about the type of jump drive and where to keep it.
Reasons you might need an Emergency Jump Drive:
- House Fire
- Identity Theft
- Re-entry to Your Home
- Proof of Residency and Identity while Evacuated
- Seeking Emergency Assistance while Evacuated
There’s plenty more, but I think you get the idea. I think I’ve also firmly established that each and every one of you could be affected by at least one of those situations.
What Goes Onto Your Emergency Jump Drive:
- All information mentioned below needs to be added for each every person and/or residence it applies to.
- Current photos no more than a year old
- Birth certificate
- Fingerprints if you have them
- Social Security card
- Immunization records
- Medical records
- Professional licenses or certifications
- List of user names and passwords
- Address book or contact list
- Recent (no more than a year old) statements for every type of financial account you have, including banking, savings, retirement, etc.
- Credit card statements (no more than a year old)
- Last will and testament
- Insurance cards and policies
- Concealed carry or weapons permits
- DD-214 for any who served in the military
- Proof of residence and ownership documents- deed, survey, mortgage statement, utility bills, and insurance policy
- Most recent taxes
- Marriage license
- Government re-entry documents if applicable
Emergency Jump Drive Specifications:
- Your device needs to be shock, water, and dust resistant. DO NOT just grab the first spare jump drive in your desk.
- Depending on your budget and memory needs, you can opt for a smaller Gorilla Drive USB or a more expensive and much larger capacity SanDisk Extreme Portable Hard Drive.
- Use high quality scans of all the documents.
- Be sure to scan the front and back of cards.
- Store your drive inside a hard plastic case.
Where Should Your Emergency Jump Drive Be Stored:
- Keep one at home in your Bug Out Bag or evacuation kit
- Store one offsite at a friend or familymember’s home nearby, but not in the same neighborhood.
- Store one offsite at a friend or familymember’s home that is not nearby. Ideally, this should be at a place you might evacuate to if you had to leave your home.