Personal Finance Emergency Preparedness Kit

I don’t know if the Mayans are going to be right about the world ending on 12/21/2012, but there sure as heck seems to be a ton of natural disasters recently.  And they appear to be happening more frequently.

With the popularity of shows such as Doomsday Preppers, and the plethora of information floating around on the internet about how to get prepared to survive such a disaster, or even the end of the world, we thought it would be beneficial to discuss an aspect of prepping that isn’t so widely talked about, and that is your Personal Finance Emergency Preparedness.

As the most recent disaster hurricane Sandy has taught us, yes it is important to make sure that you have adequate food, water and other basic necessities.  But you also need to think about what you should do to protect your finances and credit should a disaster occur.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has recently put together a list of what they consider to be important items to include in your kit.  The basics include:

  • Important Account Information - Make a list of account numbers and phone numbers for all of your:
    • Checking and savings accounts
    • Credit and charge cards
    • Mortgage and home equity loans
    • Student loans
    • Personal loans
    • Cable, telephone and utility companies
  • Personal Records - Make copies and keep in safe locations the following:
    • Identification documents, including drivers license and passport
    • Social security cards
    • Birth certificates
    • Marriage certificates and divorce decrees
    • Titles, deeds, car registrations
  • Financial Records - put together records of the following:
    • Insurance policies
    • Room-by-room inventory of your belongings
    • Investment records
    • Income tax information
    • Pay stubs and employer benefit records
    • Wills, living wills, trusts, medical powers of attorney
  • Computer Files -

Once you have put together your own kit, you need to secure it in a location that has the best chance of surviving the disaster as well.  At the very least you should store a copy of these documents in your own home in a fire-proof safe.  To be extra safe you should make multiple copies of the documents and have them stored in multiple locations both near and far.  Some options include a safe-deposit box at a bank in your community, and even better is to secure another set at a distant location (i.e. in a fire-proof safe or bank in another state near trustred relatives or friends).

Taking these precautions will ensure that you will be able to weather the storm that is likely to follow the disaster.

We’d like to hear from you on what precautions you are taking with your personal finance emergency preparedness kit, or if you’ve been affected by a disaster tell us how having a kit like this would have helped, or did help.  Enter your comments below.

About Anthony Candella

Anthony is the founder and Directing Attorney of YourCreditAttorney.com and has been helping consumers just like you understand and improve your credit and financial situation since 2003.