R. Ann Parris on Important Docs & Info Backups


Important Docs & Info Backups by R. Ann Parris

While we’re busy stockpiling supplies and preparing to defend our castles, we might want to pay some mind to preparing and storing information as well. Making backups of important documents and information can save us time in a crisis and protect us if our primaries are lost to fires, floods, theft and other damages.

Some information will only apply if some areas or levels of society are still functioning, but others apply even in times when the existing infrastructure is fractured.

Ideally, we’ll collect and keep that data in at least two forms: a hardcopy binder, and online. The latter can be as easy as setting up an email account just for extra information and sending ourselves information in the body and attachments.

We might keep a few items in hardcopy in our vehicles and-or our evac kits or bugout bags as well.

We can also add electronic storage devices like USB thumb drives, old phones, or portable hard drives. Those options increase what we can readily store and carry, moving beyond must-have’s and into “that’s nice” items like photos.

Insurance Information like agency and claims contact numbers and policy numbers are vital, particularly if a family member is dealing with them instead of “us” or we’ve lost our devices in whatever calamity occurred.

Other Contacts are equally important. A list of schools, supervisors/coworkers’ numbers, family and friends, and even our doctors/veterinarians protects us if we don’t have the phones so many of us now rely on.
*Don’t forget addresses and email contacts as well as phone numbers.

Current Photos can be important and save time if a loved one or animal goes missing. Having photos on hand (along with others) can also help end debate about ownership in some cases. Include scars, birthmarks, tattoos, and make note of things that will show up on an x-ray such as old breaks and implants.

Identifications — I’m not quick to stick these on devices like phones/computers or online, but having a backup, especially if we have a special ID like law enforcement, veteran/retiree, or access card or are traveling or living on a visa or green card can make things a bit easier, especially if there’s widespread chaos, a mugging/theft, etc.

Current Medication Lists — Both prescription and OTC drugs taken daily and periodically should be not only on file in multiple locations, but also in a wallet, ID carrier, or (if possible) attached to any health alert bracelets or necklaces that are worn.

Other Useful Backups Includes…
➢ Birth certificates, adoption paperwork (animals, too), marriage certificates
➢ Insurance claim documentation (valuable pieces, model/serial numbers, condition pictures, proof of collections)
➢ Rental/lease agreements
➢ Deeds, titles
➢ Wills
➢ DD-214 & equivalents
➢ Proof of social security/disability
➢ Prescriptions (glasses, too)
➢ List of firearm models & serial numbers
➢ Vehicle VINs & tag numbers
➢ Websites, addresses, and phone numbers of banks, credit unions, safe deposit boxes, PO boxes, etc. with login/username cues and coded passwords if necessary
➢ Emergency contacts (numbers & addresses)

Other information we might consider — especially for a vehicle and travel bag — includes locations and numbers to police departments, hospitals/veterinarians, and embassies. If we’re traveling, make sure we list them for each state/territory and county we’ll be passing through (airports for layovers as well). We might also include locations like churches, animal shelters, veteran’s associations or nearby military bases, and emergency shelters.

All kinds of disaster make backup information handy to have. Even small-scale disasters that affect only individuals, families, or relatively small regions can be devastating — and complicated further by our inability to contact help and access information.

It can be accomplished in small increments of time, and inexpensively, so there’s no excuse for putting it off. It’s not the sexiest of preps, but it can be the most useful thing we’ll compile for our families.

  4 Responses to “R. Ann Parris on Important Docs & Info Backups”

  1. I just wrote a book on BOBs and my publisher wants a forward written by someone other than me. It’s complete except for some photos I’ll be adding. I’m a first time author so don’t expect it to be very good. But if you have time to read 165 pages and don’t find too many differences of opinion with it, I’d be honored if you’d consider writing a forward.

    Contact me at [email protected]

  2. Modesty: I love it. This is a busy time (especially for preppers) and I know asking you to take the time out of your personal life to do something like this for a perfect stranger is asking a lot (unless maybe you are a speed reader).

    My computer crashed and I had everything transferred to a new one. But the book went from being a Microsoft Word doc to a Google Word doc because I couldn’t afford to pay for a new Microsoft program.

    I’ll send the book to you as soon as I figure out how to do that. Whenever I hit the “attach” button on my email I can’t find my book even though it’s right there in front of me. Sorry but I’m an old fart and not very techy.

    PS Other than differences of opinion (which there will be many) if you think of something I should include that isn’t in there I’d be grateful if you’d mention them.

    • “Other than differences of opinion (which there will be many) if you think of something I should include that isn’t in there I’d be grateful if you’d mention them.”
      — What? The expectation that we as humans can both disagree and respect each other and each other’s opinions any way? What madness in this day!

      It is, in fact, cheating for me. I’m not a speed reader, I read pretty fast. (Can kill a J.D. Robb mystery overnight, 8-12 hours if I get left alone, 16-20 if there’s a lot of distractions taking place.) Like, my “pad” classes in uni were the Lits.

      Try printing your mani as a Pdf. (Make sure you have Adobe -free- loaded first.)
      Save that puppy starting with zero’s, “0000 my mani on bobs 2020-03-11”.
      Sometimes they’ll load easier. (Sometimes not and they tend to be big.)

      Try making a cheapo once-n-out freebie email account and seeing if you can attach it using that.