Prepare and Organize Before a Crisis Hits Your Family
Keep People in the Know with what you Know
Loss, crises, and emergencies can cause added chaos to one’s already hectic life. Far too many young families do not think about gathering vital information in case of an emergency, for themselves or their aging parents, until the day comes when it is critical.
As a professional organizing company in the Dallas area, our Get Organized! team has worked with clients in this position many times. Families in distress are confronted with digging through disorganized files trying to locate important documents and combing through old address books for contact information on life insurance, investments, property, medical, and more.
Instead of exposing yourself to this chaos, consider bringing all of that important information together before it is needed. List of Important Account Numbers
A low cost option is a simple Excel document containing vital information. Include all financial accounts such as checking, savings, investments, and retirement with name of company, account manager, contact information, account numbers, and special notes such as maturation or renewal dates. Other categories could be property assets, life insurance, auto/home insurance, medical directives, funeral plans, etc.
Life Organizer Books
Without good research and methodically looking through your current paperwork, this DIY method could miss logging vital information. There are many life organizer books available on Amazon.com or at your local bookstore that can help bring additional categories to your attention. A few that caught my attention were: Life Organizer, My Family Record Book, and the Check List for my Family. While both solutions work, having a book that asks the questions so you can just fill in the blanks scores high on my list.
If the thought has crossed your mind that creating a system to make it efficient to retrieve important information is only for seniors, think again. No one knows when a crisis will hit, and having easy access to this information will be extremely valuable to you and your loved ones. If it is a medical issue that leaves someone incapacitated or a death in the family, you may be called on to make decisions based on someone else’s life. If a natural disaster such as a hurricane, tornado, or fire occurs, you must be able to gather your materials and head out the door at a moment’s notice. Wouldn’t you rather reach for a small tote (if your documents are physical papers) and/or a tiny flash drive (for digital material), versus scrambling from room to room and closet to closet making last minute decisions?
Cloud Service May Not Be the Best Option
On the subject of using a cloud service to save this information, I do not recommend it. While I do use cloud technology and appreciate the major convenience’s that go along with it, I am personally not comfortable with storing account numbers, passwords, and vital information on it. It is an option, but not my first choice.
The peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your loved ones will be able to get answers to important questions in times of chaos should motivate you to take action. Pulling together this vital information for you or your parents will take time, but the effort it takes is far outweighed by the benefits to your family.
Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and founder and owner of Get Organized! Get Organized! is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. Get Organized! specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management. A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox, and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, The North Texas Kids Magazine, SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more information about Lorraine, visit www.GetOrganized.ws. You can connect with Get Organized! on Facebook, follow Get Organized! on Twitter and connect with Lorraine Brock on LinkedIn.