Happy Friday everyone! I wanted to start today off by letting you know that I will not be able to post for the next couple of weeks. I have some health issues to attend to and I need some time to prepare for that and then recover from it as well, which will take me away from the computer for a while. But I WILL BE BACK! (Probably too soon for some of you!) 🙂
With that being said, I am giving you an assignment to work on for while I’m out: Catch Up!
If there is anything that has started slipping in your preparedness efforts, or that you haven’t implemented yet, but would like to, now is a great opportunity to catch up without me pestering you with new information and challenges! 😉 You’ve also got yesterday’s challenge for financial preparedness, and today we’re going to start into our Important Papers Project. So that’s two more things to work on. 🙂
So on to the Important Papers Project. There are around 15 Sections (holy cow- that’s a lot!) that we will ultimately add to our Important Papers Folder. (We’ll just do a section at a time to help keep us sane.) But if you want to start organizing now, you should already have your folder and sheet protectors, but you’ll want to go ahead and get some dividers to use to separate the different sections. Now, a word of advice when it comes to purchasing your dividers: go to an office supply store and look for the extra-wide dividers (i.e. 9.25″ x 11″… I know Avery makes them, I don’t know about any other brands- and no, you can’t find these at Walmart). The reason you want this size is because we are working with sheet protectors and regular-sized dividers will not “poke out” past the sheet protectors to allow us to see the different sections. (Kinda renders them useless, dontcha think?) The extra-wide dividers are designed to be wide enough that the tabs stick out past the sheet protectors. Another option is that you can make your own dividers using sheet protectors and applying homemade tabs to them (use clear tape and tape it onto the sides of the sheet protector and be sure to tape it down really good so it won’t come off when being handled). Moving on.
For each section, I will give you a Cover Page that has the title of that section, along with a checklist for all the different papers that could/should be included in that section (just click on the image to enlarge it, right-click and save to your computer, then print it out). Keep in mind, not every item listed will apply to you and your circumstances, so don’t feel pressured to have every box checked off. 🙂 I’m just trying to cover all the bases. However, just because some papers may be more difficult to come by, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them! So those are where your challenges come in. Try to gather and complete all the important papers that apply to you so that you won’t be caught unprepared.
Alright, let’s get started! The first section in your folder should be the ‘Emergency’ section (for obvious reasons… you want to be able to access that information quickly in an emergency and not have to search for it.) Here are the papers that need to be gathered for this section:
Section 1: Emergency
I’ve created a PDF file for the ICE Contacts as well as the Medical Release Forms. Just click on their name above to download, then print, and fill them out.
You should already have the Family Emergency/Evacuation Plans from earlier in the year, but if not, click HERE to learn more about it and how to complete yours.
Also, if you are not familiar with what a Medical Release Form is, it is a legal form that gives your consent for medical personnel to attend to your child(ren) in the event that you are not present or cannot be contacted to give your consent. This is good to have for if you are away on vacation and you leave your children with a friend or relative, or even for if you just have a babysitter for the evening. You never know when an emergency could take place, and having that consent form (with helpful information on it) can help ensure your child gets the immediate care they need until you can be contacted. As you will notice on page 2 of the form, it states that you should sign the consent in the presence of a notary public (someone who is authorized by the state to witness the signing of important documents in order to help prevent fraud). If you need help finding a notary, check your bank first. They almost always have a notary and will often notarize for free if you are one of their customers. You could also check a UPS store (they are supposed to have one on staff), the post office, or city hall/court house. You can also look one up online based on your zip code. They are all around, so there’s no excuse! 🙂 Some things to remember when talking to/working with a notary: 1) ask if there is a fee, 2) all parties signing the document must be present, 3) you must have a valid photo ID that includes your signature, and 4) do not sign your documents beforehand. The notary must witness your signature.
Alright, well that wraps up Section 1. It’s a small section, but an important one!
Good luck with all your preparedness efforts for the next couple of weeks and I’ll hopefully be back soon!