Have you ever had to help another family member or friend find important documents? It’s not fun, trust, me. Here’s the deal, you may have a loved one get hurt, become incapacitated or even die. Well, as sad as it is, life goes on. If they have a mortgage payment, car payment, business expenses, utility bills, or whatever, those still need to be paid. First of all, where do they bank, does anyone sign on their accounts so bills can continue to be paid on time? Do they have automatic payments, will there be money in the accounts to cover those bills if they miss a paycheck.
I have witnessed electric meters being removed from houses, not because the people didn’t have the money, they just forgot to pay the bill. After it’s removed, you may have to pay a reinstall hookup penalty fee.
If you want to help the elderly in your neighborhood, have a potluck brunch and invite those who would like to set up automatic payments on some of their bills. You can show them how to do it and save their logins and passwords in my binder contents. I realize a few people like to write checks to pay bills, but let’s help those who may think banks are not trustworthy or inconvenient. Here’s the deal, nothing is worse than having bills paid late and then incur a late fee. Automatic payments are the way to go, my friends.
Yes, people can go online and pay their bills, but life is so much easier if you budget your money and the bills are paid in a timely manner automatically. Of course, you can’t just knock on the door of your neighbors and say “hey, can I help you set up your automatic payments?”
We need to be neighbors first, friends, and then be someone they trust. I have helped several people on my street with automatic payments. I will never discuss anything private with anyone else. I was in banking and did mortgages for years. I’m extremely private and would never share the fact that I even did mortgages for my neighbors or set up auto payments. That’s how I roll.
If you do in fact organize a brunch, print out the emergency binder documents at a copy center on card stock (the link is below) and have people bring a binder (preferably zippered) to put together an emergency binder. If you have five minutes to evacuate your home, all your important documents will be in the binder.
Find Important Documents
Please remember to keep your emergency binder in a safe and secure place. Here are some items you may want to purchase to place in your binder:
- I have the link for you to easily print these pages at the bottom of this post. I suggest you get some colored tabs (ten tabs) to go with your binder like these: Avery Extra wide Ready Index Dividers, Laser/Ink Jet, 9.5 x 11 Inches, Assorted, 10 Tabs, 1 Set (11165)
- Get some zippered binder pockets like these: Cardinal Expanding Zipper Binder Pocket, Clear, 3/PK (14201)
- I used baseball cards pages or photo pages similar to these: Avery Horizontal Photo Pages, Acid-Free, 4 x 6 Inches, Pack of 10 (13406)
- I also purchased binder pockets like these: Avery Binder Pockets, Acid-Free, Pack of 5 (75254)
- Page protectors like these: Avery Standard Weight Sheet Protectors, Pack of 25 Sheet Protectors (75530)
Emergency Binder Tabs
Important contact information documents the names of those you would want to be notified in case of emergency with phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. Please remember, if we lose power and you are unable to charge your phone all the contact information in your phone may not be available for a long time.
Photo Pockets: It’s a good idea to have two pictures of your family members or friends in case you get separated in an emergency. This way you keep one picture and you post another picture of someone on a “search and find” wall should you get separated.
Pet information is critical, please put the most up to date vaccinations and rabies shot information in your binder.
Bank and Investment Accounts, this will help your loved ones know all the accounts you have so they won’t go to the government if they become dormant with zero activity for years.
Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Religious Documents, School Graduation Papers, etc.
“Zippered Bag” is for your original passports, Copies of your driver’s licenses, concealed weapon permits, Social Security cards, Medicare cards, etc.
Medical/Dental Information” and “Insurance Information, this is a great section to put the names and phone numbers of your doctors and prescriptions you are taking
“Accounts/Website Access Codes” this section needs to be kept in a safe place, as well as all of the documents listed above in all the tab areas.
“Zippered Bag” is available to start collecting small bills like ones and fives. If we lose power the ATM machines will NOT work. The GAS PUMPS will NOT work.
“Titles” this section is where you’ll want to place your titles to cars, boats, home. etc.
“Will/Family Trust” this is where you could place the most important sections (copies at least) of your trust and/or wills.
I left this section empty so you may put anything else that you may need or want should you have to leave you home ASAP.
I know a lot of people have copied my emergency binder contents and even charge for them. Mine are free, and all you have to do is download them. I prefer cardstock, but paper works fine too. Please help your family, friends, and neighbors find important documents to put in a binder so they are ready to grab and go in case of an unforeseen emergency.
Food Storage Moms FREE Printable Emergency Binder Download Please be patient for it to load and the PDF document should show up on your computer on the bottom left-side of your laptop or computer monitor. Once the document finishes loading it will be ready to click and print. I prefer printing it on cardstock, and it’s actually in color if you want to print with a color printer.
Documents: AdobeStock_81144240 by elkotsuttiy