This post is not all that fun, but it is very important.
There is important information that I know and no one else does. Passwords, accounts, doctor’s info…
There is also important information that I never remember, like family phone numbers and addresses, the number to call if a credit card gets lost…
As much as I like to think that I’m invincible and will never fall ill, it’s just not true.
If I was in the hospital for weeks, would someone be able to step in and know how to pay our bills? My husband doesn’t even know how to get into our bank accounts online to pay bills and check balances. (I’ve shown him how, he just never does it so he wouldn’t remember.)
If my phone died and there was an emergency, would I be able to get in contact with family or insurance providers? I only know Austin’s phone number. I need my phone for the rest.
If I lost my computer, which has a lot of my passwords saved, would I be able to log in to important websites? It’s hard to remember passwords when you need one for every single site you visit.
To simplify an emergency, I’ve created a set of cards that has the information that someone would need to take care of our house without me. They come in handy when I forget things and would be one of the only things I’d need to grab if we had to leave our home in a hurry.
How to Create “Emergency Information Cards”
Without too much time, effort, or money, I’ve created a set of emergency info cards.
I used basic index cards because they’re small, cheap, and more durable than paper.
I’ve seen other people create whole binders, but I wanted this is be small. I don’t have huge amount of info here, so I binder seems a bit much. Plus, index cards can be stored more easily than a big binder.
I keep my index cards clipped together with a binder clip and inside a ziplock bag so that they don’t get wet.
What’s on my Index Cards?
I have a separate card for each item.
Obviously, this is important information, so I won’t be sharing my cards, but I’ve made examples so that you can see what I did and use it as a template to make your own.
Basic Information: Your full address and the phone numbers of everyone in your house.
Family Contacts: I have one card for my side of the family and one for Austin’s. I have phone numbers listed for parents, siblings, and a few aunts and uncles. You could also include addresses, but I figure I can always get those from someone else if I need to.
Email Addresses: I have each of our email addresses and passwords written down.
Personal Info: I have a card with each of our drivers license numbers and social security numbers on it. I also wrote down where to find our social security cards in case someone needed to find them.
Banks: Create a separate card for each bank you use. Write down you user name and password for the website. You can add answers to security questions if you’d like as well as the account numbers.
Credit Cards: I have an index card for each of our credit cards. It has the credit card number, how to log into it online to pay bills (website, user name, and password), as well as the phone number to call in case it gets stolen.
Investments: For each investment location, write down account numbers, website logins, and any other notes like where to find the paperwork for them.
Insurance: Life insurance, health insurance, car insurance, and homeowners insurance each have their own card. Make sure to have account numbers and phone numbers for everything. You can also make notes about who is insured, and where other paperwork is filed.
Healthcare: Make separate cards for each doctor, dentist, vet, and other healthcare provider. Include the doctor’s name, address, phone number, and who in your family sees them.
Mortgage: If you have a mortgage, write down the loan number, phone number, and how this gets paid each month so that someone else would know how to pay it.
Passports: I wrote down each of our passport numbers as well as when each of them expires.
I try to go through my cards about once a year and quickly update anything that has changed.
Where to Keep Your Emergency Information
Your Emergency Info Cards should be kept in a very safe place! A fire-proof safe is ideal. A desk or dresser drawer would work.
I figure a robber won’t be looking for my special index cards. They’ll be looking for valuables, so I don’t worry about them getting stolen. They just need to be stored in a safe place where guests won’t stumble across them.
Then, of course, someone needs to know about the cards.
Tell one or two people who would be the most likely to need them. A spouse and/or a parent will need important info if you get sick or the worst happens. If you have your cards stored in a safe, make sure whoever you tell knows how to get into the safe 🙂