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If you’ve ever PCS’d, you know the importance of having a well-organized PCS binder. PCS binders, like Emergency Binders, give you access to everything you need for your military move in one place.
Creating an Emergency Binder helps you collect all of the vital information for your family and keep it housed in one location. Then, if an unforeseen event occurs, you have everything organized and easily accessible.
But what should you put in an Emergency Binder? How should it be organized? This post will explore what you should include and the best way to keep it organized.
First, make sure you have all the supplies you need:
- Using a large binder (at least 1” thick) is best. This way, the binder can grow as your family grows.
- Sheet protectors - This way, you don’t have to punch holes in important paperwork.
There are two main parts to an Emergency binder. The first section should include Family Information. This is the place to have paperwork relating to any of the following:
- Bank and investment accounts
- Bills, when they’re paid, how they’re paid, logins, etc.
- Credit cards
- Health insurance information, doctors, and medical information, including allergies and medications
- Legal documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, adoption documents
- Medical powers of attorney for children, wills, durable powers of attorney
- Notes for caring for children
- Notes for caring for pets
- Phone numbers for immediate family, friends, and neighbors, and extended family
All of this information will help a caregiver who isn’t familiar with you and your family.
The second half of the binder should include more specific information:
- Access instructions to digital data
- Employer information
- Life insurance plans
- Military information - make sure your service member’s most current information is in here.
- Safes and safe deposit boxes locations and codes
- Social media and website information
- Steps to paying bills each month
- Titles/deeds/lease agreements
- Wills or where to find them
- How to use the binder
After you’ve assembled this binder with the information that’s important to you and your family, decide where you’re going to keep it. If your family has an emergency action plan, make sure everyone in your household knows where the binder is located. Then, in the case of an emergency, make sure to grab the binder before leaving your home.
As your family grows, you might want to add more to it - like a power of attorney paperwork and medical directive information. This binder will help cover the important day-to-day activities that someone would need to step in and handle if there’s a disaster or unforeseen event. Just knowing you have all of your documents in one place can give you real peace of mind, too.
Related: Find out what LMH is doing to keep you and your family safe during COVID.