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Friday, May 14, 2010

Shelf Reliance - Safeguarding Your Identity and Posessions in an Emergency

Hello again from Shelf Reliance! This week, we'll be addressing identity protection and item documentation. For folks who take their credit seriously, few things could be worse than learning that your financial identity has been compromised. Emergency situations, when people are frantic, stressed, and focused on other things, present a perfect opportunity for burglars and identity thieves to strike while everyone's looking the other way. And not all of them will be as obvious as this guy:



When planning for an emergency situation, there are four vital areas that must be taken into account. These include identification items, financial information, material possessions located in your home, and family mementos that are irreplaceable.

Identification documents should be stored in a fire-proof safe. These include social security cards, birth certificates, military papers, financial institution information, visas, school transcripts, passports, and other personal documents. Although your driver’s license can’t be stored in your fire-proof safe, you should make sure you know its location. Should you need to travel with these documents, protecting them in waterproof pouches is a good idea.

Taking an inventory of your home is also an important emergency preparedness step. To ensure a fair settlement with your insurance company, make a detailed list of all the valuable items in your home. Supplementing your list with a video of your belongings as well as any receipts you have is also a good idea.

Making sure your finances are in check is another great way to prepare for an emergency. Make a document containing your account numbers, vital financial information, etc. and store it in a safe or safety deposit box. Also, keep enough cash in your emergency supplies to last at least 72 hours.

There are many items such as family mementos that aren’t realistic to store with your emergency supplies. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to take those into account and keep them in a place where they can be easily transported if an emergency calls for evacuation.

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