It’s one thing to have the luxury of time when you need to search for important personal records you socked away in a closet, box or drawer. However, it’s important for homeowners to be able to access their most important records immediately in an emergency.
Paul Improta, CPIA, AAI, LUTCF, President & CEO of Underwriters, Inc. believes there’s no time like the present to get organized, particularly with a new year fast approaching. To avoid messy, time-consuming searches Improta says the first thing to do is gather what matters.
Ask yourself what documentation you or a family member might need in a dire situation and put it all in a safe place, whether that’s on a USB flash drive, in a fireproof box or both. Include emergency contact numbers, medical records, financial information, vital passwords, legal paperwork and other relevant documents.
Improta says you should also streamline insurance paperwork.
If you recently bought a new car or added a driver to your policy, make sure to create a digital paper trail. Then, take photos of insurance cards for each driver and scan the policy information for your vehicles.
Did you purchase a home, remodel your house or take out a renter’s insurance policy? Keep a copy of your home inventory on hand. Apps such as Insurance Information Institute’s “Know Your Stuff” help by exporting an organized list of your belongings should you ever need to file a claim.
You can also download free mobile apps that help you prepare for and respond to the unexpected. Wonderoftech.com blogger Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently unveiled “10 Disaster Apps That Could Save Your Life.”
Among those is the free SirenGPS Mobile app that connects you to emergency services at the tap of the screen. Your location will be sent automatically so you can be found.
The app works over Wi-Fi as well as cell networks, so can be used if cell networks are down after an emergency. Users can also use the app to create a personal health profile which can be shared with emergency services to give better information and save time.