Considering recent events (fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks), it is always a good idea to be prepared for the worst case scenario. Everyone should know where their important documents are, have back-ups and have a kit assembled so that it can be grabbed for a quick exit.

Things that should be a part of your “quick escape kit”:

  • Wills and trust documents
  • Insurance Policies
  • Power of Attorney
  • Investment statements
  • Recent tax return
  • Contact list (all the important people and companies with account numbers as well as personal contacts)
  • Certificates (birth, marriage, adoption)
  • Original or copy of social security card
  • Passports
  • List of all current medications
  • Cash
  • Combination to safe
  • Safe deposit box keys
  • Computer user names and passwords
  • Checking, savings and investment account numbers
  • List of credit cards and pins

Copies of all of the above should be in a safe deposit box, as should the following:

  • Military service records
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Deeds
  • Vehicle titles
  • Mortgage papers
  • Stock certificates
  • Bonds
  • Inventory of contents of home
  • Appraisals of any item you have an insurance rider on – Jewelry and precious collectibles
  • Contracts

Additionally, even though it may seem redundant, after you have assembled your “quick exit kit”, copied it, and put it in your home safe, make an additional copy of everything, seal it and leave it with a trusted friend, family member or advisor. As an alternative to paper copies, you might consider scanning the documents and loading them to a flash drive. Of course, you would want to encrypt the data just in case it was lost.

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