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bug out binder

Being an organized mom is a tough, but necessary, challenge when you have a family of five. Of course, the organization skills, the scheduling moms have to do, the always knowing where something is, can come in handy for prepping as well.

So whether you are a mom, a dad, or just a responsible citizen, put a little time and organization into creating a bug out binder. It is an essential possession, for anyone who is a doomsday prepper or anyone at all who wants to be prepared.

What is a Bug Out Binder

A Bug Out Binder is a resource that will contain all of your most valuable and critical information in one place. This organized binder can be easily grabbed and taken with you, in the event of an emergency. If you had to leave suddenly, how far will you get without those important documents?

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Whether it is a full scale evacuation or a trip to the emergency room, having a bug out binder will allow you to just grab and go.

One word of caution. Because this grab and go information is sensitive, if you need to travel with it, make sure to keep in on your person at all times. I suggest adding a thin carry bag or laptop case to your list of supplies, if you do not want to store the binder in your bug-out bag.


Get Started Organizing Your Paperwork

The first thing to do is to decide on the size of the binder. A typical size 1-inch binder will work best and allow enough room to keep all of your documents organized. You might prefer a smaller binder, one the size of a typical appointment book, because it can more easily fit in a purse or glove compartment. One of the downsides to a smaller version is that most documents will need to be folded, creasing the paper and making the binder bulky.

Along with the binder, purchase plastic page protectors and tabbed dividers. You will also need a copy machine, or the ability to scan and print. You will be inserting copies of everything. Originals should be located in a safe place, such as a firebox or safety deposit box in an alternate location.

Using the tabbed dividers, create sections for your documents. You should have at least three main sections: Personal Documents, Medical Documents and Financial Documents. You may want to include additional information or instructions, that are unique to your own family.

Documents You Need in an Emergency

Make copies of the following documents that you may need to have in an emergency:

Personal Documents

  • Birth certificates
  • Adoption, guardianship or child custody documents
  • Marriage license
  • Drivers licenses
  • Social security cards
  • Passports
  • Concealed Carry permit
  • Firearm description and serial numbers
  • Military paperwork
  • Photos of yourself and immediate family members
  • Pet registration and vaccination records
  • Names and contact information for relatives and “in case of emergency” contacts.

 Medical Documents

  • Health insurance cards
  • Dental insurance cards
  • Prescription cards
  • A list of prescription and non-prescription medication
  • Detailed information for required medical devices, including contacts or glasses
  • Immunization records
  • Medical history
  • Blood type
  • A list of allergies
  • Living wills or medical requests
  • Name and contact information for doctors, dentists, pharmacies, and preferred hospitals

Financial Documents

  • Credit cards and debit cards (Copy the front and back of each)
  • Deeds and mortgage information for your home
  • Car titles
  • All insurance policies including life insurance, homeowners insurance and auto insurance
  • Bank and financial account information
  • Wills
  • Employment or business information


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