Tidy Today, Ready Tomorrow: How to Get Organised for Death and an Emergency

In life, it’s prudent to be prepared for the unexpected. Whether it’s a sudden medical crisis, a personal emergency, a natural disaster, or even the inevitable reality of our passing, having essential documents organised and readily accessible can make a world of difference. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the key documents to consider, where to store them, and the importance of keeping them up-to-date.

Types of Emergencies to plan for

Emergencies come in various forms, and being prepared can alleviate stress and ensure your wishes are followed:

1. Medical Emergency:

  • Heart attack or chest pain requiring immediate medical attention.
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to food or insect stings.

2. Personal Emergency:

  • Sudden death in the family necessitates immediate travel and support.
  • Legal issues like being arrested or involved in a car accident require quick action.

3. Natural Disaster:

  • Hurricane/cyclone with evacuation orders and the need to secure property.
  • Earthquakes cause structural damage and the need for emergency shelter.

4. Severe Weather:

  • Tornado warning prompting residents to seek shelter in a designated safe area.
  • Flash floods due to heavy rainfall lead to swift water rescues.

5. Financial Crisis:

  • Sudden job loss resulting in the need for financial planning and budget adjustments.
  • An investment portfolio crashing during a stock market crash requires immediate financial decisions.

6. Technological Crisis:

  • Data breach at a company, leading to loss of sensitive customer information.
  • Cyberattacks on a hospital’s computer systems, disrupt patient care and require a quick response to restore operations.

Aspects of life affected by emergencies & the documents to prepare

Will and Estate Planning Documents

Storage options: Secure location, fireproof safe, safety deposit box, Secure My Treasures or with your attorney, try an online will.

Personal Identification

  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Passport or government ID

Storage: Safe place at home, locked drawer, or portable file organiser.

Financial Records

  • Bank account information
  • Investment account information
  • Insurance policies
  • Retirement account details
  • Debt information

Storage options: Fireproof safe, filing cabinet, secure cloud storage, or encrypted USB drive.

Property Ownership

  • Deeds to real estate
  • Vehicle titles

Storage: Safe place at home, fireproof safe, filing cabinet, and inform a trusted person.

Healthcare Information

  • Medical records
  • Health insurance information

Storage: Digital copies on a password-protected USB drive or secure cloud storage, provide access to a trusted person.

Digital Accounts and Passwords

  • Online account information
  • Passwords and login details

Storage: Use a password manager and ensure a trusted person knows how to access this information.

Funeral and Burial Instructions

  • Preferences for funeral arrangements
  • Organ donation instructions, if applicable

Storage: Include in will or inform a family member or friend.

Contact List

  • List of important contacts

Storage: Physical copy in a secure location and digital copy in cloud storage or password manager.

👉 You can print your checklist here

Being prepared for emergencies or the unexpected can provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Regularly reviewing and updating these documents ensures that your wishes are known and can be acted upon swiftly when needed. Remember, preparation today can make all the difference tomorrow.