Here are some important documents you may need in case of storm damage

The Texas and Louisiana Gulf coasts are watching the tropics closely, as Tropical Storm Laura churns through the Gulf of Mexico.

HOUSTON – You’ve got your car gassed up and you’re stocked with bread, water and milk but if your home was damaged in a storm could you find important documents you need in a hurry?

Use this easy checklist to find the items you need and keep them safe.

There are four types of documents you need to secure:

  1. Personal cards and paperwork: You need copies of every family member’s birth certificate, passports, social security cards, driver’s licenses and the front and back of all of your credit cards. Make a file of the phone numbers of your friends and family members in case your cell phone battery dies and you can’t recharge or if it gets wet.
  2. Home and property records: You need your mortgage and closing statements, car titles, insurance policies... or at least your policy number and contact information to file a claim. Copy your appraisal documents for jewelry and other valuables.
  3. Medical information: Copy the front and back of your insurance and Medicare cards. Copy prescription records and save the contact information for your doctors.
  4. Financial records: Important financial paperwork like stock and bond certificates, 401k account numbers and bank and tax records should go in the last file.

Keep multiple copies

You want these documents in at least a couple of places. You can scan them and store them on a thumb drive that you can keep in a safe location, maybe with a trusted relative who doesn't live near you.

Make copies and keep those with you in a waterproof bag, like a Ziploc bag, or a portable file system you take if you have to evacuate.

About the Author:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.