The best way to protect your documents is to put them on a computer
disk or flash drive and give them to a friend or trusted family member
who doesn't live near you. However, if you don't take this advice and
your documents are destroyed, there is one good place to start your
reconstruction -- your tax return.
Other lists are at:
The list below contains information and
documents you will need for
income tax and insurance purposes if you are the victim of a disaster.
It is recommended that you assemble these items in an easy to carry
box(es) so you will be better prepared if (or when) the next disaster
1. Copies of the past four years' tax
returns. If you have a
business, you should also include any business returns (such as
corporate, sales tax, payroll, etc.).
2. Copy of final escrow for home purchase
if you own your home and a
list of any major improvements to the home and their cost.
3. Copies of important papers such as birth
papers, social security cards, green cards, etc.
4. Copies of driver's license(s) for all
drivers in the family, car
title and registration for all cars owned or leased by the family.
5. A list of all current prescription
medication including the name
and strength of medication and the telephone numbers for family
doctors and pharmacies.
6. A notebook containing negatives of important family photos.
7. Photos or a video tape of the inside and
outside of the house; a
copy of the photos or tape should also be in your safe deposit box.
8. Copies of all insurance policies (home, life, auto).
9. Important telephone numbers for family
members, doctors, baby
sitters, schools, work numbers, emergency numbers such as fire,
police, ambulance (911 and local numbers) and the telephone number for
an out of town contact (relative or friend).
10. A list of investments, bank accounts,
credit card numbers and
other important account numbers with telephone numbers for each. For
example, the name, account number and broker who holds investments
which might be needed for emergency money.
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