Don't lose track of important paperwork. Keep copies of documents in your emergency kits.
When disasters strike, we think of only one thing — survival. Our survival depends on how we act and react to the event. We at Oregon Emergency Management regularly stress being prepared enough to take care of yourself and your family for as long as possible.
Now I want to talk about "after the storm." Often members of our families will need to see the doctor, perhaps even need surgery or some major medical attention. It may be necessary to contact our home owner's insurance agent for information on rebuilding, etc.
Paperwork that we have with us all the time and take for granted like driver's license and insurance card may become lost. It is common for important paperwork to be misplaced during and after a disaster.
OEM suggests that you keep copies of your personal papers in your emergency kit or in a waterproof and fireproof lock box that is easily transported.
Important information you may need is Social Security numbers/cards, mailing and e-mail addresses and phone numbers, birth certificates, adoption papers, marriage certificate, citizenship papers, naturalization documentation, passports, federal and state IDs, shot records, blood types, court orders relating to divorce, child support and custody, alimony or property division.
Gather these together now while you are thinking about it and put them in your kit. You do have a kit, don't you?
Jennifer Bailey, formerly of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is the Public Affairs Coordinator of Oregon Emergency Management. She may be reached at (503) 378-2911, Ext. 22294, or email@example.com.