Emergency Binders: What Should Preppers Put in Them?

An emergency binder is an essential part of a preparedness

You may have heard preppers talking about emergency binders. But what are they, exactly, and what goes into them? Read on to learn all about emergency binders!

What Are Emergency Binders?

Lots of preppers have emergency binders, and they’re one of the most practical and useful preps that you can make. Better yet, they’re free or very close to it.

An emergency binder is simply a collection of personal information, including important documents (or copies of them), phone numbers, contact information, emergency instructions, and records. Every family is different, and therefore, every binder will be different. This article is not meant to be entirely comprehensive – we just want to help you get started with creating your own binder.

Many people use a regular 3-ring binder for their emergency binder and get a three-ring hole punch for papers that they’ll want to add. Another more modern option is to create your binder digitally and store it on a protected USB drive. Consider keeping your original documents and a duplicate binder in a safe place not in your home. You could keep this with a trusted family member in a locked safe, or if that isn’t a viable option, even a safety deposit box in the bank.

What Goes Into Emergency Binders?

As I mentioned above, all emergency binders are unique, just like your family. Below you’ll find a general guideline for emergency binders.

Important Documents

Add a section for each adult that includes the following:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Driver’s License
  • Marriage License, Divorce Papers
  • Passport
  • Academic Records
  • Military Records
  • Firearms-Related Documents: CCW, Ownership Paperwork, Serial Numbers
  • Recent Photo
  • Immigration or Naturalization Documents

For children, include:

  • School Records
  • Name and Contact Information for a Secondary Guardian
  • Recent Photo with Parents
  • Custody Paperwork
  • Adoption Records

Medical Information

Include medical information for each family member in your emergency binders.

  • Date of Birth
  • Blood Type
  • Pre-existing Conditions
  • Previous Surgeries
  • Allergies
  • Medications and Dosages
  • Health Insurance Card
  • Vaccination Records
  • Medical Records
  • Power of Attorney (Medical)
  • Advance Directives
  • Primary Care Physician and Contact Information
  • Specialist and Contact Information
  • Dentist and Contact Information
  • Pharmacy and Contact Information

Veterinary Information

Don’t forget your furry and feathered friends. You’ll need their records if you have to board them during an emergency.

  • Name
  • Species
  • Breed
  • Description
  • Sex
  • Spayed/Neutered
  • Veterinary Records
  • Medications and Dosages
  • Pre-Existing Conditions
  • License (if required)
  • Rabies Tag
  • Veterinarian and Contact Information
  • Kennel and Contact Information
  • Photo with a Family Member

Financial Information

It’s essential to have access to your financial information if you have to leave home due to a disaster.

For each bank or credit union account, have:

  • Account number
  • Website address
  • Contact Person
  • Phone Number

Also, keep the following financial documents:

  • Photocopy of debit cards, front and back
  • Photocopy of credit cards, front and back
  • Mortgage paperwork
  • Deeds to all real estate
  • Copy of investment documents like bonds, stocks, 401K, pension plans
  • Location of safety deposit boxes
  • Recent statements from banks, investment firms, and credit unions
  • Loan documents
  • Life insurance policies
  • Copy of professional licenses or certifications

Legal Information

It’s always handy to have the following legal information with you.

  • Attorney and Phone Number

Legal Document Checklist:

A 3 ring binder is easy to customize

  • Living Wills
  • Power of Attorney Designation
  • Burial Instructions
  • Beneficiary Directions
  • Wills (Only the original, most recent, witnessed, and signed copy is legally binding)
  • Binding Contracts
  • Bills of Sale
  • Tax Returns
  • Police Reports
  • Documents related to any criminal or civil proceedings

Homeowner or Rental Information

It’s important to have a copy of your homeowner or rental information to prove you live at your home. Many times, during a natural disaster, you will be required to show proof that you actually reside there before authorities will let you into your neighborhood. They do this to try and deter looters.

  • Home Address
  • Mortgage Holder/Landlord
  • Homeowner’s (or Renter’s) Insurance Policy Number
  • Recent Utility Bills
  • Copy of Mortgage
  • Copy of Lease if you rent
  • Home Inventory
  • Official Appraisals of jewelry, art, or antiques
  • Homeowners or Renter’s Insurance Policy
  • Photos of each room in your house
  • Photos of expensive items like electronics, exercise equipment, furniture
  • Serial Numbers, where applicable
  • Photos of the outside of the home and the yard
  • Home Improvement Documentation and Receipts
  • Receipts for major purchases

Vehicle Information

For each vehicle, you’ll need the following information:

  • Vehicle Make, Model, and Year
  • Color
  • Automotive Repair Shop and Phone Number
  • Insurance Company, Policy Number, and Phone Number

Keep the following documents in your emergency binder.

  • Ownership/Title
  • Loan paperwork
  • Registration
  • Insurance policy
  • Maintenance/repair records (not necessary if you use the same facility all the time)

Important Account Numbers

Dealing with various suppliers will be far easier post-disaster if you have the following account numbers and phone numbers on hand.

  • Gas Company
  • Electric Company
  • Water Company
  • Propane Company
  • Cable Company
  • Internet Service Provider

Important Contact Information

Be sure to have a written list of contact information

Since most of us no longer memorize telephone numbers, keep a list of the following numbers and email addresses.

  • Next of Kin
  • Guardians for Children and Pets
  • Close Friends and Family Members
  • Clergy
  • Municipal Police
  • State Police: Sheriff
  • Ambulance
  • Fire
  • City Office

Be VERY Careful with Your Emergency Binder

Your emergency binder contains all the information someone would need to steal your identity and commit fraud on a massive level in your name. You must guard your binder carefully. Some people store theirs in a locked box in their vehicles. Others keep them in a fireproof briefcase-style safe.

Other ideas include storing them at the home of a trusted friend or family member or in a bank safety deposit box. Depending on the emergency, accessing the safety deposit box could be anywhere from difficult to impossible.

Finally, if you want to go the techie route, you can store them in the cloud on an encrypted server or a password-protected USB stick.

See How Useful Emergency Binders Are?

See what I mean about emergency binders? A crisis that takes you away from home would be stressful enough. Having all of this information at your fingertips would be incredibly useful in helping you maneuver through the aftermath.

Is there anything you keep in your emergency binders that we didn’t mention here? Let us know in the comments.

Additional Resources:

Emergency Binders: What Should Preppers Put in Them?

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Ash Duncan

Ash Duncan and family live on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they enjoy hiking with their dogs, spending time outdoors, and watching apocalyptic movies.

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  1. Bill on April 4, 2022 at 9:33 am

    Excellent list of information needed for the binder. I’ve had one for quite a while, but your list showed the gaps in my binder. In addition to everything listed, I also include communication information (how to use a HT and what frequencies for those unfamiliar with HAM radio), and meetup locations.

  2. Renegade Prophet on September 19, 2022 at 11:21 am

    Haha, there is nothing in your lists that will be any good whatsoever for what is coming to America. You will need books on gardening, food storage, medical stuff, edible plants, homesteading, etc. This is why none of the things mentioned in this article will be of any value at all:
    The day of the next false flag using the nuke they stole in 2007 and blamed on Iran is the day the the USA will be nuked and invaded by Russia, China and the whole SCO. This is the war of Armageddon and you can know it is now because of the chemtrails sprayed every day globally for thirty years hiding the approaching Planet X. Planet X caused the sinking of Atlantis and Noah’s flood. This time around it will end the coming, planned WW3 that will kill 90% of Americans and it is all planned by the evil criminal bastard governments and their evil alien masters. This is the reason for the scamdemic and toxic death-shot fake vaccines. So you see, all those legal documents will be completely worthless when there is no society left and the earth is ripped apart again by Planet X leaving few humans left. The thing to do is for the survivors to find the evil bastards when and if they start to crawl back out of their underground cities that We the People paid for.

    • Gale on September 19, 2022 at 11:36 am

      Planet X may be (although I don’t see it in the Bible), but this list will help with the chaos coming before the scenario you propose – the wildfires and hurricanes and all the other unexpected things that happen while we are on our way to another “normal” day.

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