I’ve totally been slacking on the Organize Your Life With Binders Series during the holidays, but it’s the new year! Let’s get organized!
Today’s Binder is my Emergency Binder. My husband calls it my Doomsday Binder, but whatever. This is the most important of all of my binders. It’s where I keep the most precious documents and information. It is so important, that I keep it in a waterproof/fireproof safe. Don’t have a safe? You totally need one! This one fits the binder & a bit more! I personally like combination safes, but there are lots of different ones to choose from at all different price points. Just make sure to check the internal size.
***It is very important that this binder be locked up where it cannot be accessed by outsiders. If you choose, it can include very sensitive information that could be used against you to steal your identity. Please, please make sure to take serious precautions to keep this binder safe.***
It is for these reasons that you will not see actual pictures of the inside of my binder. Sorry! 😉
To make my Emergency Binder, I used these supplies:
I used a red binder for the Emergency Binder. That’s pretty self-explanatory, right? Staples has a ton of colors and sizes in their Better Binder Line. They really are better binders. I love them!
I printed a basic “Emergency” in 46 pt font for the spine window. I wanted it to be easily visible from a distance, and I wanted it to match my other binders.
I keep a pencil pouch in each binder so that I always have a pencil/pen/eraser. I picked up a bunch of mechanical pencil packs for a quarter each at Staples during Back to School Sales this year! I also keep an extra house key in this pouch. You could also keep extra car keys, safe deposit box key, mailbox key, or other important keys in here as well. Just not your safe key!
I created a set of cohesive printables for each binder that was modern, yet simple. There’s not much to print for this binder, so there aren’t as many printables! I did slip a cover page in a page protector just like in the others.
The first section of the Emergency Binder is the Personal Section. Behind the divider, I keep a single page protector for each person in our family. Each page protector holds one Birth Certificate facing forward. These are the real, certified ones, not copies. Behind each Birth Certificate, facing backward, is a copy of that person’s most recent shot record. Behind the page protectors, I use baseball card pages to hold our Social Security cards.
Behind that, I keep a Binder Pocket with Velcro. This is where I keep our Passports as well as Emergency Cash. This is a stack of small bills that I’ve collected (try the Weekly Savings Challenge!) in case of an emergency or natural disaster. You need cash on hand, and you want to make sure it’s in $1s and $5s. I try to have $500 worth. I also keep one family picture from when our youngest kid was a baby, and another recent family picture. In the event of an emergency, I want to be able to prove, with pictures, that my kids are mine and have always lived with me. You may not have access to a computer or your cell phone in an emergency. Better to have an actual printed picture someplace safe.
The second section of the Emergency Binder is the Insurance Section. This section is all Page Protectors. I have one page protector for each Insurance Policy. I have access to all of our policies online, so I printed only the Declarations Page(s) for each policy (its usually 2 pages), and put each page facing out in one protector. All of the things that are unique to your policy are on the declarations pages. The rest of the policy is mostly generic and the same as everyone else’s. If you do have any specific endorsements or additional coverages, be sure to print those pages and put them in page protectors as well. You can also staple the pages together and put them in one protector, but I like to be able to see everything and flip through it. If you have multiple page protectors for each policy, use some Post-it Tabs and label them with your label maker so you have sub-sections for each policy. I also use one page protector to put a photocopy of the fronts and backs of both the Health Insurance and Prescription Cards.
The third section of the Emergency Binder is the Legal Section. Again, this section is filled with Page Protectors. I use one page protector for each document. In this section, I have car titles, wills, appraisals, any important legal document for items you own.
The forth section is the Financial Section. I created a printable for this section where I could put all of the login information for each online financial account, as well as 1-800 numbers. I’ve also copied the front and back of each credit card, cut them with my paper cutter, and put them in Baseball Card Holders. That way, if one of our wallets gets stolen, we have a copy of the card and can call quickly to get it replaced.
The final section is for the login information to all of our various personal accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Email, Swagbucks, BabyCenter, whatever. Anything we log into, its in there. Now, you have to promise not to use this information unless someone dies. It’s not for snooping! It’s for closing/securing accounts only!
As with the rest of the binders in my Binder Series, I keep Notebook Paper in the back for notes or anything I need to jot down. You never know!
I use my label maker to create all of the label tabs. It just makes the binder look more polished and neat! I’m a stickler for that!
Well, that’s it! It’s kind of morbid, but it’s really important to have all of this information safe, handy and organized in case you have to use it. Just please remember to lock it up in a waterproof/fireproof safe! They are inexpensive, and invaluable in the case of a flood or fire! I keep all kinds of stuff in my safe!
I’m attaching my Printables here for you to download for FREE! These are non-editable PDF Printables. That’s why they are FREE! I do have some conditions of their use: These printables were created by me under a creative commons license. You may use these for your personal use to create your own House Binders, but please do not sell them or use them for any commercial reason. Enjoy!
What do you think? Anything you would do differently? Do you think this would help you get organized and stay on top of things? Do you like the printables? Tell us in the comments! If you like this post, please Pin it to Pinterest!
Check out the entire Organize Your Life With Binders Series!
Coming soon: Blog Planning Binder (or Small Business), (New) House Binder/Remodel Binder, Kid Binder, Manual Binders & File Box!