DO NOT RISK YOUR LIFE TO COLLECT THESE ITEMS AT THE LAST MINUTE.
Gather them in advance in case you must leave your home because of a flood or other disaster. Keep them safe and with you in a waterproof container.
- Identification. Driver’s license, passport, photo ID, green card, visa, etc.; recent photos of you and your family.
- Medical. Medications, current prescription bottles, inhalers, oxygen, shot records, blood type cards, eyeglasses, etc. for you and your family. Make a list of medication needs and doctors for each of you. Keep with the medications.
- Proof of address. Deed, lease, recent utility bill to prove your address so that you can apply for benefits. These also may be needed so that you can return to your home if law enforcement blocks entry to the disaster area.
- Insurance. Life, medical, vehicle, tenant, homeowner and other property insurance policies; medical, Medicaid, Medicare cards for you and your family.
- Legal documents. Birth certificates, adoption papers, child custody documents, orders of protection, divorce decrees, wills, powers of attorney, etc.
- Cash and banking items. Cash; credit, debit and ATM cards; checkbooks, bank books, account documents; deeds and leases; mortgage and other loan documents. Remember, ATM machines will not work and electronic transfers will not be possible if there is no electricity. You will need cash.
- Pets. Tag your pets. Prescriptions, shot records, pet photos.
- Cell phones and chargers, address and phone books to contact family and friends. Keep phones fully charged.
- Bills. List of your bills (with account numbers) and mailing address for each.
- Other important items. Keys, recent pay stub, Social Security card, veteran’s or military ID, food stamp and other benefit eligibility documents, etc.
- Recent pictures of your home. Whether you own or rent, take photos before the flood or other disaster of all areas, inside and outside, of your home and property, including basement, garage, barns, outbuildings, yard, etc. Get the photos developed immediately with date stamps. Keep them in your waterproof container.
- Personal Items. Family photos and precious items that cannot be replaced.