A ‘Bug Out Bag’ (or BOB) containing some food & water provisions and various supplies is purposed for an evacuation of sorts… a time when you need to get out or ‘bug out’, for whatever reason or circumstance.
One consideration is to include important papers and documents (or copies thereof) in your BOB, just in case you might need them.
For example, lets say that there is a high confidence forecast of a hurricane impact in your area and you have decided to leave. As you are putting ‘stuff’ in your vehicle, you realize that your home might be damaged to the point of losing it, and the things inside. Are there important documents that you should take with you?
If your home has been wiped out by disaster you could lose whatever was in it, including important papers and documents such as those which prove or verify personal information of your identity, credentials, holdings, insurances, and other important records.
A question is, “What ‘important papers and documents’ might be important to take with you?”
The circumstances of the ‘bug out’ will affect the choices that you may make, such as whether or not your house may still be standing when you return, or the likelihood or timing of when you might be able to return, the probable or expected damage, etc..).
Today much of our so called ‘important papers and documents’ are held in electronic form. ‘What if’ their electronic storage is somehow damaged or unavailable? What if the means or method of reacquiring that electronic data becomes unavailable to you?
Today we rely heavily upon digital information and very little upon ‘hard copy’ information. Should we keep ‘hard copy’ backups of certain documents and information? And should we take any of that with us during a bug-out situation?
Tip: If you do, then it’s a good idea to keep them in a waterproof containment of sorts.
Waterproof Pouch with Waist Strap
The following list of documents may be useful while separated from your home during and after a disaster. In most cases, a photo copy of the original document may be all that you need. Other items you will already be carrying in your wallet.
Hard Copy Of Important Papers And Documents
The following is a ‘brainstorm’ list of ideas, not all of which may be practical…
Contact List (family, friends, doctors, banks, employers, insurances)
Try to have two forms of photo ID (drivers license + other?)
Social Security Card
Health Insurance Cards and/or Medicare, Medicaid
Recent Bank Statement for each account (Checking, Savings, Stocks and Bonds, etc.)
List of Credit Card Accounts (card numbers, expiration, and 3-digit code)
Prescriptions for Medications, Eyeglasses
Record of Insurance Policies
Property, Real Estate Deeds
Proof of Employment (paystub)
Local and State Maps
License To Carry Permit or relevant CCW
Comment below and add your thoughts…