Truthfully, I’d never even given much thought to an emergency binder, until I recently moved back in with my parents to help care for them. Thankfully they have an emergency binder that has all the important information I would need.

If you have not already done it, start gathering those documents that would prove who you are: birth certificates, college diplomas, bank account numbers, insurance agent names and the companies they represent, to name just a few.

The categories in my family’s binder are: Banking, Home and Auto Insurance, Life Insurance, Medical Records and their Will.

You might want to also consider adding information about:

  • Jewelry
  • Attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Contact information for next of kin

Here is a something to get your own Emergency Binder started:

1. Finance

  • List of each Checking & Savings account of everyone in the family with the Bank name/address/contact numbers, Account Number.
  • List of all investments: retirement accounts, stocks/bonds, whole life insurance, etc. with the Institutions name/address/contact numbers, Account number, interest, and any rules regarding each account.
  • List of all debts (Mortgage, car loans, student loans, credit cards, etc.) including each Bank name/address/contact number, Account number, interest rate, monthly payment, & due date.
  • List of your monthly bills, Name/Address/ Phone/ Account numbers and when each are due
  • List of all your sources of income, with contact information for each
  • Any accidental death insurance policies offered by my bank

2. Taxes

  • Make a copy of the last 5 years of state and federal tax returns – just the main pages not the whole return.
  • Any other vital information related to taxes

3. Legal

  • Originals of all Birth Certificates and Social Security Cards of each member of your family
  • Copies of State ID or Drivers Licenses for each member who has one
  • Original Marriage Certificate
  • Life Insurance Policies with the Company’s name, address, phone number, and Policy number

4. Medical

  • Medical records or notes for each member of your family (including blood type, allergies, major concerns or sicknesses, past surgeries/injuries)
  • List of medications and dosages for each member of your family
  • List of all family Doctors and medical professionals including addresses and phone numbers
  • Dental records or notes for each member of your family
  • List of family dentist(s) with address and contact information
  • Immunization record for each member of your family applicable

5. Household

  • Password Keeper – a list of ALL online accounts with user names and passwords
  • Copies or Originals of school credits or degrees
  • Mortgage packet documents – just put the whole pack in there (or rental agreement if renting)
  • Latest appraisal and any other official information about your home
  • List of your all your belongings, including serial numbers and pictures if you can
  • Homeowners or Renters Insurance Information – Company, address, contact information
  • Up to date pictures of each member of your family, and of you all together. If you get separated, having pictures to identify and help find your loved ones may be crucial and pictures to “prove” you are a family in certain situations might be needed.
  • List of all important family and friends with their contact information

6. Vehicles

  • List of all your vehicles with License plate, VIN number, date you got it, if it’s paid for yet, and description with pictures
  • Original title of any vehicle you own
  • Basic records of upkeep, repairs and maintenance for each vehicle
  • Copy of your Auto Insurance Policy with the Company’s name, address, phone number, and Policy number
  • List of your Auto Mechanics with their address and contact information


  • Keep extra keys to your home, garage and vehicles in a zipper pouch in the front of your binder so if you lose your other keys, you’d have your emergency backup.

Remember after you get your binder together, to go through it at least once a year and UPDATE the information so it can be as current as possible. Bonus if you go through it every 6 months - by Ramona Walters

The Agent Insurance Services | (330) 758-3339

Loading Conversation