The levy burst in California over the weekend and the people in the path of the surging flood waters had no warning or time to collect anything important to them and needed. They just ran. In interviewing some of the evacuees, several of the hundreds that evacuated, did not even have time to get their shoes on.
If you take a few minutes right now to look at the USA national weather forecast, it is grim. Feet of snow in California; a nor’easter on the East coast and New England with some states getting feet of snow; the southern states have been blasted with tornados and the middle of our country has dealt with terrible, freezing, high wind storms.
What has not changed in our lives, is the need for our account information for recovery. If you do not have electricity, you do not have your internet. No phone. No laptop. No access to your stored critical information like stocks; utilities; birth certificates; bank accounts and the list of telephone numbers that you do not know because to call someone, you just punch a button.
As I was preparing for the tornado watch this past week (which turned into a warning), I made sure that my RED Book was right by my laptop, phone and bug-out-bag (BOB). It is probably the most important physical piece of content in my home.
WHY? It contains a physical copy of everything I own. Insurance statements; bank statements; copies of all my credit cards; my Sam’s member card; copies of my Trust, Will, Power of Attorney; all my utility statements; grandchildren and extended family information; modem and router numbers; physical paperwork of my password book; telephone numbers and addresses of family, friends, and clients; last 3 years of taxes; backup of my desktop; and there is more in my RED Book. Each sheet is enclosed in a plastic sheet protector so it will not get crinkled or wet.
I know. I know. Technology has all of this stored, why would I bother with a physical book?
During the last years of multiple tornados in Middle TN, people lost everything. All their technology was destroyed; obliterated; lost. People were lucky if they retained their phone. And there was no electricity for hours, days and sometimes months. People did not have access to their accounts and could not prove who they were. This is happening all over our country and world.
Don’t you have people you call and text on a regular basis that if you did not have your phone, you would not know their number? Of course you do. When my daughter got her new phone and number, I relied on just texting and calling automatically from the phone. However, if I did not have that, I would not have known her number.
What about when you go to the doctor, dentist etc. and they want to know your relationships and what their information is…if you cannot access your technology, then you don’t have the info.
More storms are coming.
I love my RED Book because it allows me to feel safe and prepared with information that I always need.
Start collecting the important information and make it accessible. You do not need to do all the collecting at once, but when renewals happen, bill paying time, statements, all will easily fit into the book.
STORY: When my daughter was deployed to Iraq, she made me a RED Book as I was her ‘go to’ in the States for all the information in her life. The book saved so many issues that could have gone wrong. I felt like I could easily take care of whatever was needed for her.
This is also a perfect resource to have if you are the caregiver for older individuals. When my mom passed, she and I had kept physical files that helped my brother and I take care of all the necessary forms for the IRS and other insurance issues.
Is all of this copied and saved electronically? Yes, but no access happens if the technology does not work.
Be RED Book safe and informed.
In fact, be RED Book safe with your Bug-OUT-Bag checklist. Thank you PrimalSurvivor for allowing me to share this link with my amazing list.
To your success and safety,