Organize your info to prepare for a disaster. If something awful suddenly happened to you, would your family know where to find all of your important papers? Your passwords? Those “special” files you keep on an encrypted thumb drive? (OK, maybe not those.) Trent at The Simple Dollar has some tips to make it easier to keep all of that data organized, as well as some ideas about how to make sure your whole family is ready to deal with any emergency. [Preparing Your Information for Disaster]


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  1. Daniel Parmelee says:

    Anyone who doesn’t have copies of important files in their “emergency survival kit” is asking for trouble. That has saved my a** at least once.

  2. bilge says:

    Also, if you don’t live near whomever might be stepping in if there’s an emergency, it’s helpful to list things like a local taxi number, directions from the airport, a nearby hotel, etc.

  3. yagisencho says:

    Just *thinking* about documenting all my ‘valuable’ possessions makes me want to simplify. I’d rather get rid of a lot of it than try to record all the serial numbers, round up the receipts, etc…

  4. MostlyHarmless says:

    About those *special* encrypted files… thats what porn buddies are for.

    Dont get any wrong ideas. Look up “porn buddies coupling” on youtube.

    Ok, I just managed to make it sound worse… but do check it out. Its totally not what it sounds like.

  5. Trai_Dep says:

    I’m shocked to the point of speechlessness that Chris Walters doesn’t author any Consumerist article mentioning “terrabytes of ‘special’ encrypted files”.
    Talk about wasting years of expertise!

  6. LiveToEat says:

    This would be useful for Hurricane evacuations. We have a small file folder box that locks down. We keep all that oh so important stuff in there, including any papers from my insurance companies. Also have a copy of each bill I pay monthly. I know all these seems so common sense, but after Katrina I was lost with all of this vital information gone. (I really didn’t think my house would flood, much less have a 9 foot wave roll through it, I lived in Waveland, MS at the time north of Highway 90)

  7. HogwartsAlum says:

    Ooh that’s a good article. I’m bookmarking it. Thanks for posting that.

  8. gman863 says:

    Ivan, Katrina, Ike — been there, done that, got f#cked by FEMA.

    One other thing I’ve done is to sign up for an automatic on-line backup of my main PC’s hard drive.

    Carbonite is unlimited storage at $50/year. The initial backup can take days (broadband upload speeds are much slower than downloads) so do this well before a hurricane or other incident threatens. If your home or business is wiped out, you can download individual files or restore the contents of the entire drive from anywhere. The service uses encryption; your data is safe so long as you keep your password to yourself.

    Off-site backup can be a lifesaver. In yesterday’s Houston Chronicle there was an article about how off-site data backup kept the payroll and inventory records of a local furniture superstore intact after their main location burned to the ground.