Preparing An Emergency Personal Information Packet
An EIP (Emergency Information Packet) is one of the most often overlooked items of Preppers and Modern Survivalists. Yet, putting one together can be one of the most important things you do. The fact is, even if you are not a Survivalist, Prepper, Sheepdog, Ostrich, or a Sheep, this really is something everyone should have.
EIPs are copies of your most important documents, licenses, Evacuation Plans, and financial information safely stored together in the event that you need to leave your home in less than ideal circumstances. People that have not built one often seem confused about how to do so. In this article I will walk you through the steps, what you need, and were to store them once they are complete.
Before we get into the how, let’s talk about the why for a second (I always ask “why”). A natural disaster comes along and forces you to leave your house in an expedited manner. You return to find only a foundation where your home once stood. Any number of things can happen in life that could leave you in a situation where you are without the convenience of your documents and knowing who to call. Having a well put together packet alleviates all the frustration of trying to get copies and in touch with the right entities after the issue has passed.
Disclaimer: The author of this article assumes no responsibility for any losses or damages that may occur from the use of this information. By continuing to read, you are agreeing to said terms.
Let’s start with storage. First it should be water tight; we are after all talking about documents. Second, it should be of a sturdy enough material to withstand being poked, bent, and tussled around in a bag. Large Ziplock bags work ok, but won’t offer much protection beyond you spilling a soda on it or a leaky water bottle. Ziplock makes an Extra Large Bag that will fit documents. If you are going to do it on the cheap and use a Ziplock bag, double up. You can also hit the grocery store and buy a plastic container with a lid. Getting still a little more expensive, Map Pouches can also be a good choice or even the Kwik Tek Dry Pak. Beyond simple storage you can go as far as using a Pelican Case, small Fire-Safe, or hard case of your choosing.
Next, you are going to want to make a list of all the information and documents that are important to you. Below is a list of items I would recommend. This is not meant to be a complete list. This is a minimum I think everyone should have, but you may choose to include whatever you think is important.
Important note about your financial information. Using a simple cypher, such as substitution, you can encrypt the sensitive stuff in a way that is easy for you to decode, but not thieves. This will ease your mind about storing your EIP in a car(s).
- Insurance Paperwork
- Home Owners / Renters
- Wills and Trusts
- Copies of Government Documents and Licenses
- Birth Certificate
- Driver’s License
- Gun Permits
- Social Security Card
- Credit Card Numbers and corresponding 800 numbers
- Bank Account Numbers and corresponding 800 numbers
- Phone Book
- Hotel Telephone Numbers for areas you would go to in an emergency
- Medical Documents
- Medical History
- Bug Out Routes
- Printed Maps
If you have the resources I highly suggest you turn all of this into a password protected Word Document or PDF. A decent scanner, a little time, and the proper software will allow you make multiple copies of your EIP once you are done. In an upcoming article we will go over taking a digital copy of your EIP and storing it out on the web securely.
Once you have finished pulling together everything make or print out several copies. Places to consider stashing copies would be: your car, a safety deposit box, a Fire-Box/Fre-Safe in your home, and a BOB (Bug Out Bag). If you have a spouse and kids of a driving age, involve them in the project and store a copy in their vehicle as well.
Last note of caution. I strongly urge you to use a waterproof Fire-Box, such as the First Alert 2017F or the SentrySafe H2300, for storing documents in your vehicle and put the key on your car keys.