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Keep documents safe

If your paper files and personal computer are lost or damaged in a fire, flood, or other emergency, your personal information, bank statements, and insurance records could be destroyed. Plan ahead to ensure that valuable documents are safe and accessible whenever you need them.

Make copies of important records

Create backup files of your records in digital form so you can access them from anywhere. Then, save your records in a secure online storage service. Many cloud storage companies offer some amount of digital storage space for free. Do research to make sure your information is safe from hackers before you save your personal information online. You can also put important files on an external hard drive so you can view the information from any computer.

Be sure to include:

  • Personal and property insurance.
  • Identification, including copies of driver’s license and/or passport for each member of your household.
  • Banking information.
  • Family emergency plan. Make sure everyone in the house has a copy and knows what to do in an emergency.
  • Health information form. You can also use your smartphone to take pictures of your prescription medication labels.

Prepare your pets, too

  • Safely store your pet’s veterinary medical records.
  • Think about getting a microchip for your pet.
  • Keep a current photo of your pet in your online kit to help identify your pet if you are separated. You can also use your smartphone to take current photos of your pet and pictures of their medication labels.

Direct deposit and electronic banking

Sign up for direct deposit and electronic banking. Your bank or credit union should be able to do this for you. This way, you can get money from your bank account and make payments even if you are away from the Philadelphia area.