It’s 10:00. Do you know where your personal records are?

Keeping track of personal records is one area that is very important, but usually overlooked. Nothing makes this more clear than a house fire, but anyone who has ever applied for a mortgage has also experienced the panic that comes from not being able to find key papers that were “right there, I know it!” Or has even gone to the emergency room with a minor injury and had to admit you don’t remember when your last tetanus booster was.

Perhaps the most important step in preparing for emergencies is to locate the most critical documents and put them together in a single, easy to grab repository–a binder or small box, perhaps. This way you know what to grab if you ever need to evacuate your home in an emergency. But good management of personal records goes way beyond dealing with personal disasters. It’s an ongoing process that takes some time and effort to begin with, but becomes almost effortless the more you get into it.

Managing (including risk management of) personal records is a favorite topic of mine. I’m starting a series discussing it in more detail over at Taxidrivermom’s collaborative blog, The Knot in the Rope. Rather than post in two places, I’ll post each installment there, and link to it from here. Meanwhile, check out Knot in the Rope. It’s got a little of everything if you’re interested in personal preparedness and self-reliance.


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