How to organize for a Michigan emergency?

Michigan emergencyIf you were incapacitated, would anyone be able to find your important records and take care of your family’s financial or business matters? Having essential papers organized and accessible in advance can be very important in an emergency or crisis. Consider the following for organizing your vital records.

Where are my emergency documents located?

Options for storage might include a home safe, fire-security box or off-site location such as a safety deposit box. The storage container should be securable and fire resistant. Shoe boxes or cardboard boxes in the closet or under the bed are not appropriate.

Who is my Michigan emergency contact?

Does someone in addition to your spouse know where these papers are kept? Consider making a list of such documents and records, and on the list state how these documents can be found. Inform an attorney, CPA, relative, or family friend where this list is kept. The general idea is that someone not living in your residence knows about this list and how to access it. This decision requires a certain comfort level, and you alone can make that determination.

Which papers should I store for a Michigan emergency?

Regardless of who knows what, organizing your records are always a plus. The following items might be part of your “important emergency documents” list:

  • safety deposit box key
  • passports
  • Medical history
  • Medical contact
  • A medical power of attorney
  • insurance records and agent
  • life insurance policies
  • deeds, contracts, leases, titles, mortgage(s), loan notes
  • banking, savings, investment and retirement account(s) records
  • will
  • burial arrangements
  • all other insurance policies (health, auto, home, etc.)
  • birth certificate

You may need access to court records such as;  proof of a divorce or proof of custody. During severe emergencies like Hurricane Katrina or Sandy, courthouses can have damage, and their records may not be available.

Finally, no matter how you decide to store your personal records, and whatever you decide to include, one fact is clear. Having important legal, business and personal documents accessible, will make the handling of emergencies much easier.

Ready.gov has more useful links on what to do for different weather emergencies that you may face. Also, read about how to make sure you have a home inventory prepared for these type of emergencies.