Unexpected accidents can happen to your home or apartment at any moment. An electrical fire can start in the attic of your home where rodents chewed through the wires. If you rent an apartment, you can still experience disasters. An upstairs apartment may have a burst pipe that sends water down into your bedroom closet or living room. When these disasters happen, you may work tirelessly to replace the items that have been damaged. But what about those important documents such as your social security card or Florida birth certificate?
Keeping Documents in a Safe Location at Home
There are always certain documents that you should never carry with you unless you plan to use them for a specific purpose that day. A Florida birth certificate, social security card, passports, insurance policies and other papers will typically be kept in a box that is stowed in the attic, closet or basement.
If you plan to keep the documents in the house, consider investing in a home safe. There are safes that have different fire proof ratings and allow for the box to be locked. Also, take into consideration the location of where you can keep the home lock box or safe. Try to place it in areas away from moisture or water pipes located in walls. You can also place documents in sealable bags if you plan on storing documents in basements and are worried about flooding.
Offsite Locations for Documents
Some documents that won’t be needed for long periods of time but you may want to keep, such as tax records, property records such as deeds, and wills, can be kept in other locations outside the home. Safe deposit boxes at your local bank branch or credit union can keep such documents safe. You may also invest in small self-storage solutions if you plan on storing other home possessions offsite, such as jewelry or furniture.
Keep in mind that offsite locations will charge varying prices for their storage solutions. You will want to compare prices and pick the solution that best fits your particular needs and budget.
Replacing and Duplicating Paperwork
There will be occasions when you don’t even realize that your documents have been damaged. There may have been a slow leak in the roof that dripped right onto the boxes filled with documents, or you may have had your papers out on a table as a glass of water was knocked over. In these instances, you may need to get replacement documents quickly for a job interview, medical appointment, or other circumstance.
When obtaining replacement documents, consider making copies and having a trusted relative or friend who can hold onto the paperwork at their location. One thing to be aware of is that some companies and situations will require you to show the original document, especially papers that have been notarized or have a raised seal such as a Florida birth certificate, as you cannot use duplicate copies.