Plan to Take it all With you in Times of Disaster

We know that natural disasters can strike at any time, evidenced by the recent collection of devastating hurricanes. Regardless of where you live, threats of fire, earthquakes, hurricanes and mudslides could force you to evacuate your office or home in a matter of minutes.

So, what do you take with you if you have only five minutes to collect important items and leave?

Planning ahead is the key to success in this situation. The first step is to collect important personal papers (birth and marriage certificates, life insurance policies, etc.) and documents related to financial transactions (bank statements, deeds, notes, etc.) and store them in a single location - preferably in a fireproof box or a safe deposit box. Store one key to the box in your house or office and give one to another person to keep. Do this in advance of the natural disaster and you'll have all of your most important documents accessible to you or your family members in a matter of minutes.

Making copies of these important documents and storing them in an off-site location is also a wise move. And, don't forget your computer files. With all of the financial software available today, you can store valuable information on your PC. Just be sure to create backup files on a regular basis and store them with your crucial documents.