Extension BannerDo You have a "Grab and Go" File?

Rosemary K. Heins

Emergencies and possibly disasters happen – are you ready? One way to be ready is to have a ‘Grab and Go file’. A ‘Grab and Go File’ is a collection of all the important papers and information that you can just pick up and leave with, if, for instance you had to evacuate your home. With the flood season coming up, this is one way to be ready. It would also very helpful in other family emergencies since the important papers are together.

What should one put into the ‘Grab and Go’? Here are some suggestions:

Keep a master list of financial information – bank account location or locations, credit cards, insurance coverage, tax preparation records. Forms for a master list are available from many sources. One is the University of Minnesota Extension website www.extension.umn.edu. Just insert the words ‘household inventory’ into the search area and you’ll be directed to a couple of sites with these forms.

Include legal documents or copies of them – like wills, birth, marriage, divorce certificates, passports, military discharge papers

Lists of prescriptions for household members

If you have a safe deposit box key this is a good place for the key

Keep computer file information and information scanned onto a CD

Have some emergency cash – remember if an area is flooded it could be very difficult to get money out of an ATM machine!

This is a beginning point. You may discover other papers or information that would be difficult to replace. Include this in your ‘grab and go’ file. It will give you a small bit of ‘peace of mind’ to know that you are as ready as you can be before disaster happens.

Developed by Rosemary K. Heins, University of Minnesota Extension, 2/2010