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Preparedness Tip: Documents to Keep In A Household Binder

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In this post we describe the documents we would keep in a household binder for use to fill out an application, in case of emergency, or death.

Use this as a guide to start collecting these pieces of information and adjust accordingly to your specific situation.


  • Meeting point information in case of separation

Personal Documents

[Include for each member of the family]

  • Birth certificates
  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security cards
  • Adoption paperwork
  • Marriage license
  • Renounced citizenship or residency
  • List of all locations lived
  • Global Entry + TSA Pre Check Numbers
  • Current resume + employment history (with dates & years worked)
  • Schooling information (past & present)
  • School transcripts
  • Military history
  • Safes and storage locations


  • Names of online storage platforms & corresponding log-in details (Apple Storage, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Google Photos etc.
  • Passwords or master passwords

Medical & Health

  • Vaccination cards
  • Medical conditions & history
  • Medical providers
  • List of prescriptions, doses and cadence
  • Power of Attorney
  • Organ donation wishes
  • Medical documents

Insurance & Finances

  • Credit report
  • Wills
  • Living trust
  • Insurance: home, renter, auto, health, any items that are insured
  • Tax returns
  • W2s, 1099s etc.
  • List of banking and investment providers
  • Property taxes
  • Retirement plan providers
  • Real estate
  • Debts owed
  • Debts owed to you
  • Assets owned
  • Estate plans
  • Business ownerships & corresponding documents
  • Attorney’s contact information

Home & Material Items

  • Home title deed
  • Mortgage or rental agreement
  • Details of home maintenance and construction work; vendors, work done, price and purpose
  • Model numbers & warranty information for major appliances
  • Household vendors & contact information: electricity, trash, water, internet, cleaner, gardener, landscaper
  • Home paint colors
  • Location of water and gas main, electricity meters
  • Inventory and serial numbers of high value items
  • Gardening schedule


  • Contact information for family and friends
  • Family activity schedule with coach/group leader names & contact
  • Group memberships


  • Contact information for animal kennel
  • Pet information
    • List of animals
    • Health conditions
    • Feeding schedule & description of food

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