Category II: Important Papers

"Got all my medical records right here" GIF
That’s the spirit, but pump the brakes.

Think about this as the Go Bag INSIDE your Go Bag. It’s your treasure trove of boring-but-important documents, cherished photos (just the irreplaceable ones), thumb drives, and cash.

Back before we were all savvy preppers, we just kept our personal documents in a file in a drawer. Or maayyybee in a safe deposit box at the bank or a safe in our homes. Today, we know it’s easy to make copies of our documents or even digitize them, and we are PREPARED!

category ii important papers

The list of documents below, original or photocopies, should be kept in a waterproof bag inside your go bag (or very near it, in your emergency grab-and-go designated spot). If you keep the document bag outside of your Go Bag, consider tying it to the outside of the Go Bag so it’s virtually impossible to forget during evacuation.

If you’re deep into the prep game, it’s wise to store photos or scans of these docs on a flash drive in the same waterproof pouch. Hard copies are always recommended since they’ll still be accessible if we lose the entire power grid. (Yikes.)

Rule of Thumb

Remember to update your document bag regularly. It’s especially important to keep your family photos and emergency contacts current. Set a calendar reminder to check it annually, at minimum.

You want to include all of these items for each member of your family, as they apply:

  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Social Security cards
  • Current family photograph with contact information (in case you get separated),
  • Health insurance card
  • Medical and immunization records (lists of allergies, past surgeries, and current health problems may be sufficient)
  • Driver’s license
  • Marriage certificate
  • Adoption certificate
  • Citizenship certificate
  • Home deed
  • Insurance policies (home, car, death, and dismemberment, etc.)
  • Credit card and banking information
  • Power of Attorney / Will
  • Pet record
  • A list of emergency contacts with addresses and phone numbers (because who knows anyone’s phone number by heart anymore?)
  • Backup credit card
  • CASH – bills and coins

Take a minute to think about your own needs and fill in any gaps this list may have left. If you have a spouse, you may want to each carry a document bag in case your family gets separated. This waterproof bag is also a great place to store your maps and written emergency plans.

Taking the time to gather these items will make you feel much more confident and calm if you do have to evacuate due to an emergency.

Once you’ve made your survival and document selections, it’s time think about your Physical and Emotional Wellbeing.

Leather journals
It’s a great time to start digitizing those journals you’ve been keeping for 30 years.

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Professional worrier. Mom, entrepreneur. Lifetime student of brain science. Passionate about surviving what's coming (climate change, wtf) and staying as sane as possible. Determined to make the best of the end of the world.