Three Tips to Protect Your Important Legal Paperwork in a Natural Disaster

The year 2018 was no stranger to natural disasters. From multiple earthquakes, back-to-back hurricanes, and raging wildfires, the United States and abroad suffered some serious natural disasters. These acts of nature can devastate your life and your family. Who knows what 2019 will bring.

In addition to creating a disaster preparedness plan for your family, be sure to protect your legal paperwork in the event of a natural disaster. Here are some tips to follow to ensure that your important paperwork is safe if your home is damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster.

1.     Make sure to back up electronically. Having an electronic backup, such as a secure cloud storage, can be very useful. Electronic versions can serve as a legally valid substitute for a paper copy of your important documents in some circumstances. Also consider backing up all documents and files on an external hard drive and keep that hard drive in your safe box.

2.     Use a safe box. Whether this is a fire/water resistant box in your home or a safety deposit box at your local bank, using these types of safe boxes can be an easy precaution to minor natural disasters. These types of boxes can protect your important items during a natural disaster, meaning one less thing for you to worry about during a difficult time.

3.     Create a “go” bag. This is useful when you have advance warning about a disaster, because a “go” bag can include all of your family documents, financial paperwork, legal documents, vaccination records, immigration and residency documents, among others safe and close to you. In addition to keeping all of your critical documents safe, make sure to have at least one extra copy in an easily accessible, off-site location and keep them in a sealed plastic bag.

If disaster strikes, first focus on your family’s safety. After the immediate aftermath is over be sure to replace any damaged or destroyed paperwork as soon as possible. While there may be other more pressing tasks post-natural disaster, do not neglect replacing these documents as it will be incredibly important later on for you and your family.

We are here to help. If you want to be legally prepared for potential disasters, give us a call today at 480-699-7992. We can help you prepare for the known, and unknown, and discuss protecting your legal paperwork in a natural disaster.