VALPARAISO | Porter County Recorder Jon Miller is asking residents to take a little extra time this time of year to consider their important records and develop a method to secure them in case of an emergency.
Miller's office guarantees the safety and perpetuity of land records, according to a news release from Miller.
"However, in an emergency," Miller asks in the release, "can we guarantee that we will find all of our own personal records?"
According to a 2013 survey of Hoosiers, more than half of Indiana households did not have important and hard-to-replace documents safely stored and had not included copies of them as part of a preparedness kit in the event of a disaster or emergency.
"Having important financial and other documents organized in a safe place can be very helpful in the event of an emergency," said Indiana Department of Homeland Security Senior Public Information Officer John Erickson. "We also encourage Hoosiers to have copies of important and hard-to-replace documents in a ‘grab-and-go’ box or folder should it become necessary to quickly evacuate their home."
Erickson says a binder, expandable file or box is fine, as long as it’s portable and to remember that most of these documents will be copies. He adds to always be sure to store originals in a secure, dry place like a fire safe or lockbox.
IDHS suggests gathering and copying:
· Vital records: birth certificates; marriage licenses; passports; adoption records; property and auto records (deeds, titles, leases); insurance policies (auto, home, renter’s, umbrella policies)
· Document locator: tells others where originals are stored
· Financial information: list of all bank account numbers; copies of the front and back of each credit card; list of all retirement, pension, investment account numbers; mortgage and loan information; payroll and benefit information
· Medical information: copies of health, life and disability insurance cards and policies; medical history of each family member; list of medications and prescriptions, including dose and pharmacy; details about any ongoing treatments or conditions
· Contacts: contact information for friends and extended family members; neighbors who have access to your home; physicians and specialists; financial advisers or bankers; employer and benefits administrators; legal adviser.
For more information, visit the IN DHS website at http://www.in.gov/dhs