Let’s find out what documents are vital to keeping in your fireproof document bag. Learn about the top-notch bug out bags to store your valuable papers, jewelry, passport, first aid, and cash. We will revise such key features as waterproof and fireproof parameters, weight, price, zipper elements, and overall construction.
Probably you cannot even imagine a situation when you would be forced out of the home in your life. But in reality, it can happen out all of a sudden with anybody — even with you or the members of your family. So, as preppers, we should be ready just in case.
In addition to knowledge of how to overcome tough circumstances in an unknown setting and which devices must be present in your go-bag, in the majority of cases, you need to grab emergency documents – to name some, your passport, health history, or social security card. These papers are as important as everything in any bug-out bag checklist, and you should not neglect this fact. To make your research easier, we will guide you through this topic and explain each point in detail, including the reasons for this need, best practices, and the peculiarities of carrying private information with you.
Waterproof & Fireproof Document Bag Essentials
You can’t predict what documents will come in handy in an emergency. Still, hereunder, we introduced a list of the most important ones and distinguished them into two document categories for your convenience.
1 – Official Records
Passport, Visas, SSN card
A passport is the only legal document for your identification, and visas are necessary if you’re going outside the US. Carrying them in your backpack or keeping their copies on your computer is a must whatever place you turned out to be in. Social security cards are also worth adding to a special container.
Personal Photo ID’s
Apart from a passport, it’s better to have one or two official documents with your full name and photo on them so that people could identify you.
If you have to take medicines on a regular basis and when a disaster strikes, you run out of them, it may be difficult to find exact ones outside your home place. As preppers, we should be ready for any situation, so you need to have your personal prescriptions at hand.
You should also take your personal medical documents with you as you might get hurt or injured and need emergency help. The medical history must include all the illnesses you’ve ever experienced, a list of allergies, if any, immunization records, blood type, and all other information that can make doctors decide how to take care of you.
Medicare Cards and Insurance
These important documents can make your life much easier once you need surgery or any other medical attention. You will get help anyway, but if doctors know you have health insurance, they will do it immediately and with a level of peace of mind.
Last Will & Testament
As you never know what is going to happen in the future, especially in the situation of a disaster, you should prepare your last will and testament documents even if you are not ready to die and leave your family. This will guarantee that your family members or friends receive their part of the bequest. If you have a power of attorney, put it in a document’s binder as well.
Next of the important documents in the list is your driver’s license. You need one if you plan to move around on transport. It is better to grab one and put it in your wallet, not to lose it in your emergency go-bag.
Marriage and Birth Certificates
These documents are important as well. But in addition to a marriage or birth certificate, take all other references you consider necessary. They may come in handy even if you do not expect them.
Copy of The US Constitution
This one will be extremely helpful in a martial law kind of situation. No matter how people in power will act, you will be able to prove you are aware of US laws and personal rights. Thus, you can fight for yourself even in a FEMA camp.
For your convenience, we offer you a pocket version of the constitution.
State Concealed-Carry Laws
As preppers, we must be ready for any turn of events, and sometimes it’s wise to carry a firearm for your family’s protection. However, always make sure you know the respective laws of different states or have necessary copies on your computer. If some disaster happens and you grab your gun just in case, it will be no good if you are under arrest for such a violation.
2 – Additional Document Choice
Emergency Contact Info
Wherever you bug out, make sure you have your emergency contacts of anyone written down. If you get lost, or something else bad happens, people who will find your bag will manage to call those you indicated in the emergency contact list and inform them.
Apart from this, remember to keep this information in plain sight so that it would be easy to access and use.
General Contact Info
Take some general contact details as well. If some disaster happens, knowing the phone numbers, addresses, or emails of all your friends allows you to contact them or other people who will be generous to provide you with shelter and food.
Storing maps in your hard drive or carrying them along with your important documents helps you not know the area far from your home. Download the maps of cities or states near your place of residence and regions that you are likely to stay in advance. All of them can help you to find an appropriate survival cache.
Sometimes in emergency situations, you will need to communicate with people who don’t speak your language. So it’s better to have translation apps downloaded to your smartphone as it is way easier than to carry books.
These papers will come in handy if any of your devices and survival car or bike engines stop working. When it happens, you will need some guidelines on what steps to complete for repairing your stuff effectively. While being at home, download the manuals to your computer or survival radio if you have it.
Home Videos and Family Photos
These personal items have no practical utility but still very helpful in hardships. They will remind you about your home and loved ones so that you could maintain a certain level of self-control and peace of mind.
Books and Films
To stay upbeat and avoid boredom, prepare some entertaining items and do not forget to put them in your bag. They are not that useful as your personal emergency documents, but they can save you from feeling down and lonely during bug-out.
Why You Need Documents In Your Fireproof Bag
Putting emergency documents in your bag will always be a wise decision as you can never be sure what will happen in the future and when you will have to prove your identity or show evidence of your health state. When being in trouble, it will make everything faster and easier. This is a common situation during such incidents as mass protests, economic crashes, pandemics, nuclear wars, and EMP attacks, or natural disasters like earthquakes and floods. Even after the TEOTWAWKI, when society joins up back again and reconstructs the world, you will need your documents to indicate your abilities.
Emergency documents are really helpful in those cases. So, believe us, you will be very thankful to yourself if you prepare the necessary copies in advance for when you needed them most.
How To Store Your Passport in Your Fireproof Bag
Choosing between paper and digital copies of your personal important documents, we suggest you use the former. Physical materials are way easier to operate with, and they don’t depend on special devices or internet access. All you need is to find a copy machine and prepare your document set in advance.
Nevertheless, the paper is definitely not an ultimately safe and durable material as such. It is prone to burning, breaking, and wetting very easily, so it’s not comfortable carrying papers in survival situations.
Fortunately, there are some effective methods to avoid your papers’ damage.
Laminating important documents is pretty much foolproof as it gives your papers, cards, and photos enough protection from water damage and tearing. Consider purchasing an own laminator — this will be a cost-effective investment for your money.
Using a waterproof case
If you don’t organize your important documents properly and put them in a container, they will be mixed up, and your document bag will get messy. Moreover, they’ll get damaged when disaster strikes, and you won’t be able to take advantage of them. For the sake of emergency preparedness and safety, buy a special case or a document holder. Preppers should have a fire or water-resistant one.
Note that although the paper is a light material, it can get really heavy when dealing with a stack of documents. Put physical copies only of irreplaceable ones, and keep the rest in a digital form. And pay attention to your bug-out bag weight.
Storing document files
This one is the most beneficial way to keep documents for an emergency. It allows you to upload everything that means a lot to the RAM of your device’s hard drive, depending on its capacities — survival guides, family photos, official records, etc.
Of course, an opportunity to see those files, read them, or show them to someone requires some computer. And there might be no such device in a disaster like an EMP strike or TEOTWAWKI. However, there is more probability that you will have electricity and access to some gadget.
There are two ways to carry your data digitally.
Laptop, Tablet, or Phone
If you can afford an emergency computer and carry it in your BOB, it’s cool. All the survival books and other stuff can be stored on your digital device effortlessly.
But remember that carrying a laptop isn’t that easy. You should handle it carefully and always check if it’s broken. Of course, you have the option of buying a case that gives the necessary protection for devices but anyway, it might be heavy and uncomfortable for you.
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Backup Flash Drives
Back in the twentieth century, nobody could even imagine there would be special digital devices for file storage with the size of a human finger called USB flash drives. There are now models like Kingston DataTraveler Predator with a digital memory of one terabyte worth $870 and more!
Probably you don’t need that much digital space for your emergency documents, home videos, photos of your family, and music. Still, it would help if you definitely had such compact and convenient tools as flash drives for your bug-out life.
Ordinary models are likely to be lost or ruined. For survival situations, there are some special drives.
The latter are waterproof, rugged, and durable. With such flash drives at hand, you do not need to worry about your documents’ safety.
Regardless of what device you use for your data storage, it is crucial to keep important documents secure. Your private data from passport, bank, or social security card showing your account numbers stored in a digital form might end up in the wrong hands without any means of protection. It’s better to take security measures in advance, and below we’ll cover some of them.
Security Online Software
First, you can invest your money in cybersecurity software that prevents your device from intrusions and tracking. Thus, no one can get any private information from your documents. The amount of security you get depends on the option you choose and pay for.
Hide Document Files
Second, you can hide your important documents in random folders with different names and create a password so that nobody could get where you hold them and find the right place. It’s better to make up a complex password containing numbers and characters that only you can understand.
Rename Document Files
Third, try to update the names of the files you want to hide to misguide hackers. Do not name the files containing your documents what they are.
Change File Types
Finally, assign different types to your document files they couldn’t think of. This trick can prevent your documents from being revealed.
Keeping backup devices charged
Although storing your important documents digitally is a more effective way than carrying actual paper copies, things won’t work out without electricity. Nothing’s gonna turn on and function properly if it is not full of power which is not always easy to find. To always have an opportunity to power on your units, just get a portable solar panel.
Water Resistant Portable Solar Chargers
These types of chargers turn friction into electricity. Models have different sizes and capabilities in the market today. The most beneficial model, as we think, is one that comes with a portable radio because it’s multifunctional. Instead of purchasing a radio product and generator separately, picking a hand-crank radio is all enough.
There’s another option of portable solar panels for you. These use fire energy to produce electricity and will also be helpful in your survival life.
Collect Your Own Bug-Out Bag Following Our 104 Item Checklist. Check Out And Download Your Free Copy Here.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
Why is it necessary to have an emergency document bag?
Although you might not prefer to deal with different papers, you should definitely add all mentioned steps to your to-do list when packing and preparing for emergencies. Along with weapons, medicines, food items, water purification, and other different tools, it is extremely necessary for preppers to have all their important documents at hand in an emergency binder.
If you make copied files and upload them to the available USB, your bug-out life will get easier and more comfortable. Believe us, and you will be thankful to yourself for such a wise decision when faced with emergency circumstances. Otherwise, you might regret not preparing enough and face respective consequences.
Should I have a Go-bag?
You definitely need to have an emergency go-bag as you never know what will happen in the future. Whether it is a world collapse, war, or natural disaster, you should be ready and prepared. Preparing all the necessary items in advance may turn out to be great salvation for you.
Where to Keep a Go-bag?
Keep your own go-bag close to where you usually stay. When an incident occurs, you will not have much time for searching and gathering necessary stuff, so it is better if you will be able to catch your emergency go-bag quickly and effortlessly.
What Should I Pack In My Emergency Bag?
Always remember to put packed meals, water, and comfortable clothes in your emergency bag. Then, make sure you take medicines, a multitool, weapons, necessary devices, and portable chargers with you. Plus, it is vitally important to have emergency docs in the bag as well.