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Many families have started to focus on being prepared. Learn step by step instructions on how to build your emergency binder and why you'll need it for more

Photo Credit: Free Images.com/EmZed

Why do I need an Emergency Binder? (published Jan 2, 2018)

How to Build Your Emergency Binder Step 1  (published Jan 8, 2018)

How to Build your Emergency Binder Step 2 (published Jan 15, 2018)

How to Build your Emergency Binder Step 3 (published Jan 22, 2018)

Next up:

How to Build your Emergency Binder Step 4(published Jan 29, 2018)

Download your Emergency Binder and SAVE it to your computer, or onto a thumb drive for easy access.

—Why do I need an Emergency Binder?—

Right.  The most obvious reason, is in case of an emergency.  Typically you want this binder quick to grab, and stored by your 72-hour kit (bug out bag).  If you have to evacuate, you can hold all of your families phone numbers, financial information, and medical information to help if there is a medical emergency.

Emergency Reasons: 

  • Stolen identity– This allows you a quick information on all the cards you have, and their phone numbers so you can quickly call and cancel them as quick as possible.
  • Kidnapping-I really hope this NEVER happens to anyone!  But, in case it does, there is a Child ID kit in your emergency binder… you can use that to give the cops right away when you are frazzled and in a daze with what’s happening.  This allows you to give them ALL The important information they NEED to help your child the best and FASTEST way possible.
  • Medical Emergency– When I have to take my kid the emergency room, they want to know all their medical history… and with 3 kids… sometimes I can get confused and forget who’s allergic to what, and when surgeries happened.  (My children are younger, and wouldn’t know). Also, you may not be psychologically with it if you just escaped a burning fire and need to provide that.
  • Proving who you are after a disaster and photos to help find missing family members
  • Phone and policy numbers so you are able to call and get the benefits you need.
  • Replacing your important documents that may have been ruined in your home.

Non-Emergency Reasons:

Click to READ MORE

—How to build your Emergency Binder Steps 1-5—

1. Gather your materials

  • The first step is to find a binder.  3 Ring binders work the best.  You may choose a bright red color so you know which one it is, or your might choose a plain colored one to blend in with others.  Either way, grab a binder.
  • Find some sheet protectors, or order some from Amazon… They have a large variety and I love prime shipping in 2 days!
  • Find or buy an electronic storage device (This SanDisk Ultra 32GB micro is what we bought from Amazon… It would allow us to input that card into our phone to look at information).  The size you want will vary on how many personal property pictures, tax returns, credit reports, etc you may have.
  • Print off the emergency binder printable

2. Print off checklist (page 3) and start making a “need to copy” list


  1. Print off the checklist of all the documents you’ll need.
  2. Cross off the ones you have, and don’t need copies of.
  3. Put a * by the ones you’ll need to make copies of.
  4. Put a X by the ones you’ll need to spend time digging around finding
  5. Last but not least, put a D by the ones you’ll just keep a “digital” file of

Start placing the “need to copy” materiel in a pile.  And place the other items you already have by your binder.  We’ll get to organizing it later.

3. Email Friends and family template

You’ll want a list of close family and friends phone numbers and addresses to keep contact.  For those of you you don’t have their address, copy and paste the text below helping them understand what you need and why.

Click to READ MORE.

—How to Build your Emergency Binder Steps 6-10—

6. Take photos

It’s time to grab your phone, or camera, and start taking photos of everything in your house.  Here are some tips:

  • Start with one room at a time
  • Kitchen- open up a cabinet or drawer, and take a photo of everything in that cabinet or drawer (if there is stuff hidden behind items, try to slide stuff around so you can see it all).  Also, be sure to take photos of all appliances.
  • Dining Room- photo of your table and chairs, decorations and anything else in there.
  • Bathrooms- be sure to get photos of the upgraded vanities, toilets, showers, etc.
  • Bedrooms- include all of your furniture.  We store tons under our beds, so be sure to photo graph whats in those bins.
  • Closets and hallways- the best way is to snap one or two photos of all of the clothing hanging up, and then another of everything on the shelves or floor.

Click to READ More

7. Download and Organize the Photos

Now, it’s time to organize them.  This shouldn’t take long since you went room by room.  So, first, you need to download all the photos to your computer, and put them onto your Emergency Binder Storage Device.  The best way to organize photos is to…

  1. Have a file labeled “photos”.
  2. Create a file inside that for “possessions”.
  3. Create more folders inside that labeled for each room.
  4. Now, drag all your kitchen folders into the kitchen file, bath room photos into the bathroom file, and so forth until you’ve organized each of them.
  5. If you want to create a specific folder for each family member, that might be a good idea too.  You can update the photos by adding toys from birthday and Christmas into each “personal” folder.
  6. Create a “family” photo folder and add in some recent pictures of your family.

8.  Finish filling out your family contact page

Click to READ MORE.

—How to Build your Emergency Binder Steps 11-15—

11. Start with the emergency information

Fill out:

  • Evacuation checklist- Here is a great read for more info about how to be ready for an evacuation.
  • Family meeting spots
  • Emergency numbers- most of this information you should be able to find local numbers from the internet
  • Family contact- hopefully you’ve been able to get most of this information from the past few weeks.

Click to read more…

—Finishing up How to Build your Emergency Binder Steps 16-20—

16. Get everything together

Grab that checklist you filled out and organized in the very first post.  Gather all of your copied documents, and the other documents you have.  Grab your binder, sheet protectors, and Emergency Binder Storage Device.

17. Emergency and Personal Information

Place these pages in sheet protectors in your binder.  This is the order I recommend, but you may choose to put it in any order you would like.

  • Evacuation Checklist
  • Family Meeting Spots
  • Map of your City
  • Emergency Numbers
  • Family Contact
  • Personal Information for EACH MEMBER, ID kit, and copies of important documents listed
  • Personal Info Cont. and copies of important documents listed

It may be a good idea to keep your Adult and Child ID Kits at the very front of your binder.  These are great for quick grabs and references in case someone gets lost.

Click to read more

In case you missed the other steps, here they are:

Why do I need an Emergency Binder? (published Jan 1, 2018)

How to Build Your Emergency Binder Step 1 (published Jan 8, 2018)

How to Build your Emergency Binder Step 2 (published Jan 15, 2018)

How to Build your Emergency Binder Step 3 (published Jan 22, 2018)

How to Build your Emergency Binder Step 4(published Jan 29, 2018)

How can I help you with this project?  Comment Below.

Further Reading:

How to Build an Emergency Fund

DIY 72 Hour Kit

5 Steps to Start Your Food Storage

As always, if you love what you read or have found it helpful, please PIN, share or comment below.  You can also like my Facebook page to get updates or subscribe to my email list.

Thanks for reading!

This post contains affiliate links.  Read my affiliate link disclosure here

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