After All It’s YOUR Birth Certificate

 

How To Archive Your Important Documents | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com.
You can’t rely on City Hall to replace your birth certificate after a flood or a hurricane. Chances are good that their originals will be just as waterlogged as yours are.
Just ask the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
After their vital documents were destroyed in the hurricane, many homeowners returned and went straight to the county recorder, bank, or schools to grab copies of their lost documents.  Unfortunately, many institutions and offices were destroyed too, along with all of their records.  It’s up to you to ensure that you have the copies of the documents that you and your family need, whenever and wherever you need them.
When you think about it, vital documents are more valuable to you, your finances and your family than they are to some local government official.  And if that’s the case, you’re the one who has to make sure that you know where your vital documents are and that you have instant access to them at all times.

How To Archive Your Important Documents | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com.

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and more recently with the tornadoes in Oklahoma and Illinois, residents returned to their homes to find them destroyed.  Once they began to piece their lives back together, they realized they would need school transcripts and birth certificates or benefit determination letters.  So they went to their schools or state and city offices for help, only to find them under water or destroyed – along with all of the paper based records that had not yet been digitized.  You can’t count on your city to replace your records when they have just as good a chance of having their own copies destroyed in the same regional disaster.  And even federal buildings have had problems.  Fires in government buildings during the twentieth century destroyed many state censuses and at least one complete United States Census, wiping out the names, dates, and data of entire families.
And even when you can apply for a replacement copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate, don’t count on getting an exact copy of the original.  We were very surprised to find that out when we went to get an additional original copy of our birth certificates and those of my mother and grandmother.  Theirs were the same as the originals, but mine was completely different.  Gone were the details of my birth, the signatures, my parents’ middle names and occupations.
The new copy is simply the child’s name, parents’ first and last names, hospital, county and birth date.  The clerk told us that they’ve decided to streamline birth and marriage certificates, getting rid of all those old “useless” details and replacing them only with what “matters”.  Why?  To save space, along with the money that it would take to transcribe all that data.  But along with it, go all the details that add history and uniqueness to people’s lives – the story of their birth.  We’re huge proponents of knowing your family history and working to preserve it and can’t fathom the fact that cities and states across America are deleting all of those clues people need to find out where they come from.  Wow!   There’s a case for having several backup copies of those originals if I ever heard one!
We suggest people keep copies of their vital documents in at least three different places.   Scan or copy the originals of each paper document.
1) Put the originals in a waterproof safe or bin or locking file cabinet in your home.
2) Once you’ve scanned the originals, place them on a flash or portable hard drive and put that flash or hard drive in a safe deposit box in your own city.  If you can’t scan them just make copies and place those copies in the safe deposit box.
3) Place the third set of scans/copies in a safe deposit box outside of your city, in your family’s evacuation location.  Wherever you and your family will relocate during an area-wide evacuation.
Why do we advocate scanning?  Scanning allows you to have an exact, electronic copy of that original document, both on your computer and on a flash drive or portable hard drive. Not only can you secure it, you can even email it to someone else for safekeeping.  And with a scan, if that original is ever damaged or destroyed, you will be able to reprint it to create a clear, perfect original.  On the other hand, if you don’t scan a document and simply make another paper copy, it’s just as likely to be harmed or to fade and decay with age.  If you don’t have access to a scanner, go ahead and make copies.  Just make sure that you put them in different locations to minimize the danger of loss or destruction.
This leads me to my last point on vital documents.  If it’s so much better to have documents scanned and saved electronically, why do we advocate keeping paper copies as well?  For the same reason we advocate keeping prints of your cherished photos, even though you have them saved to your computer or on a CD.  For safe keeping!   As wonderful and trustworthy as electronic storage is, do you really want to trust the ONLY copies of your vital documents to a computer or an online file or photo archive?  We sure don’t!
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

 

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The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible.

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

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Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

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How To Keep Your Vital Documents Safe

How To Keep Your Vital Documents Safe

As victims of recent disasters, like tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes have found, being without your birth certificate, social security card or bank account numbers after a major or minor disaster can be a huge problem.
But with this checklist, you’ll be able to make a completely accessible repository all of your vital documents and communications that you can use, whether you’re dealing with a simple medical emergency, or with a major disaster and need your important documents to start over.
This is just a quick exercise and only a part of what you should do to make sure you and your family are ready for disasters, but it’s a GREAT start!
Let’s begin by gathering all of your important documents. Here are the types of documents you need to secure.
  • Bank account information (and PIN numbers, passwords and toll-free numbers)
  • Investment account information (and PIN numbers, passwords and toll-free numbers)
  • Credit cards (copies of the card, account number, toll-free numbers and credit limit)
  • Income tax returns
  • Insurance policies
  • Stocks/bonds
  • Student identification
  • Wills/Living Wills
  • Power of Attorney/Power of Attorney for Healthcare Decisions
  • Driver’s licenses/ID/Medicare Card
  • Marriage certificates
  • Birth certificates
  • Auto registration
  • Citizenship papers
  • Death/burial certificates
  • Warranties
  • Family Immunization Records
  • Family Social Security cards/numbers
  • Property titles or deeds
  • Company Benefits
  • Contact information for your doctors, lawyer, accountant, broker etc
  • Health and Medical Records
  • Safe Deposit Box Key
  • Photos/Videos of your possessions and registration numbers
  • Household Inventory
Since you want to make sure you have what you need in an emergency, the idea is to put this information in places that will be accessible to you, even if you are unable to get inside your home.
As a first-line of defense, make two copies of all of the information you gathered from the list above and put them in two secure locations. The first location should be a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
The second location should be a safe deposit box outside of your area or state. During Hurricane Katrina, many of the banks ended up being as inaccessible to customers as their homes were. As secure as those locations are, hard copies can sustain damage. And with concerns about identity theft, you may also be wary about placing delicate information like identification and credit card numbers out of your sight. So how do you secure your vital documents while making them accessible?  Simple.  Just scan each document onto a CD or flash drive, then password protect it and store that data it in the locations mentioned above, either along with, or instead of the hard copies.
There’s one product we use that makes scanning even simpler.  It’s called the VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable ScannerIt’s small (like a well, magic wand),  is completely portable and retails for about $99.  Stick batteries in it and you can hand scan any document, photo, item, on the fly and download the scan directly to your hard drive or printer, with the built in SD memory card.  The resolution is so good that you can even scan a piece of fabric, print it and take it with you to the furniture store or Home Depot to match it to your new curtains or carpet.
More importantly you can quickly scan important documents, your old photos before they crack and fall to piece or even photos or family historical documents at a relatives home, if they won’t let you take them back home to scan them the traditional way.
While you’re at it, make an extra copy of all of the data you have gathered during our exercise and store it with your records at home. If an emergency strikes, first grab the kids and pets, then the CD/flash drive, and then Grandma’s silver!
If you have a video camera, videotape a walking tour of your home, featuring the home and any pricier possessions you have.  This will show claims adjusters what you have and its present condition, as well as jog your memory of the things you had that would need to be replaced.
Do you want to know the biggest impediment to safeguarding all of the things you hold dear?
Procrastination!
Taking fifteen or twenty minutes today to take care of business, can save you days, months or even years of pain.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

 

Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Save Your Albums & Cassettes As MP3s
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it__________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

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Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

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