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Disaster Protection Common Sense

Well, it’s been a long hard road for many folks. Fires, earthquakes, mudslides, windstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. all come on suddenly. They don’t give you much time to sit down and think how you can protect yourself from losing all kinds of valuable information and stuff.

I suggest that you have the following items in a simple “grab and go” box or drawer you can pull and carry out quickly. You might even practice taking this out to your car to make sure it’s not too heavy, etc. and that you burn that action into your mind, so you don’t forget when that emergency is in full swing. Don’t discount the negative effects of fear, time pressure, other people, panic, etc. They can cause you to forget to get your “grab and go” stuff.

Birth certificates, marriage certificates, social security card, auto certificates of title, other assets (Motorcycle? RV? Travel Trailer? Snow-mobile? Quad? Boat? Airplane? Etc.) certificates of title, deeds to real estate, last 5 years filed tax returns, all insurance policies (home, auto, medical, etc.), vaccination records, list of all doctors and their phone #s, list of all drugs you take with dosages, will/trust/power of attorney/medical directive documents, bank and credit card numbers as well as contact phone numbers.

One way to ensure at least having most of the above is to scan it all onto a thumb drive and keep that thumb drive in a safe-deposit box, etc. At least have a copy of that thumb-drive in a “grab and go” location when an emergency happens.

What else should you consider?

How about a video of the inside of your house? (If it was destroyed, it helps to get insurance to replace stuff if you can prove you owned that stuff) …put the video on that same emergency thumb drive. If you have customized any other assets (like the inside of your RV or travel trailer), do a video of those too.

If you are an employer who uses an outside payroll service, have you verified that service has fiduciary bonds/insurance in case they fail to perform their functions and you get left with liabilities, etc. (Like IRS payroll tax deposits).

Have you checked your insurance coverages? Home replacement costs at fair market value? Is there enough to cover your other valuables? Do you have enough auto insurance coverage if you are at fault?

The next step? Do the above … now! If you keep putting it off till some future date, an emergency may happen before that date, and you will be left in a world of hurt.

Have you heard? Proverbs 12:24 says, “The hands of the diligent ones shall rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.”

Kelly Bullis is a Certified Public Accountant in Carson City. Contact him at 775-882-4459. On the web at Also on Facebook.

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