Prep for an emergency by keeping your documents safe, says expert

Apr 27, 2022, 4:02 PM | Updated: Jul 1, 2022, 3:30 pm
Document storage is critical for emergency preparation....
Document storage is an integral part of emergency preparation. (Deseret News file photo) Does the pile of papers on your counter seem to grow faster than you can tackle it? These simple solutions help you know right where the homework, coupons, invitations, etc. belong! DepositPhotos archive binder binders binders in a shelf bookshelf business color colorful data document documents file folder folders office organization organize paper report ring shelf shelves storage store
(Deseret News file photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — Before an emergency strikes, have cash on hand, keep your records and documents in a safe place and write out your plan so you are not caught off guard when disaster strikes, said a Utah emergency preparedness specialist.

Bryan Stinson of the Utah Division of Emergency Management joined Dave & Dujanovic to tell us how to keep important documents safe, and how to make and share a plan for when a disaster happens.

Stinson said to have cash available for emergencies. He suggested about $200 in smaller bills — $5s and $10s.

“You need some gas money,” he said. “You might need to be able to pay for a motel or something for overnight. Something that gets you from your evacuation point to wherever you’re planning on being if you need to leave the area.”

Keep important records safe

“Should I have my vehicle registration and title, my mortgage documents, my will, and any other items of importance in some sort of a waterproof-fireproof box?” Debbie asked.

Stinson said to keep the originals in a waterproof-fireproof box, maybe in your home or maybe in a safety deposit box, but keep copies in your emergency kit or perhaps at a friend’s or relative’s home.

He also recommended having copies of your emergency contact phone numbers written down and stored in a wallet, purse, or inside a vehicle, in case your cellphone is not working.

“You can borrow somebody else’s phone or at least use another phone from somewhere else, so you always have that emergency information,” Stinson said.

Write the plan down before emergency hits

“When it’s a stressful situation, I find my mind shuts down, and I can’t remember all the stuff that we had planned,” Dave said.

“Well, that’s a great reason to have lists in your disaster supply kits, of not only of what you need to grab, but what you need to do as well,” Stinson said.

Plan what you need to do during a non-stressful time, so when an emergency strikes, you have your lists of what to do ready to go, he added. Also, review your plan with family members twice a year so everyone is clear about what actions to take, Stinson recommended.

For more information or tips, visit the Be Ready Utah website.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. 

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Prep for an emergency by keeping your documents safe, says expert