Fire Boxes for Emergency Preparedness

Welcome to the May 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Emergency Preparedness

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their plans to keep their families safe. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I wrote earlier about how and why we wrote our wills. Having a will is awesome, but what happens if there’s a fire or a flood or something else happens to our house? It made sense that the other half of being prepared is to make sure that our important documents are better able to survive, which is exactly why we bought a fire box to help us be prepared for emergencies and worst case scenarios.

I did a little bit of online research. Most of the fire safes aren’t very big and can handle some documents. And by some I mean your passports and maybe your will. That seemed strange to me – why go to all the effort of a fire proof safe and the not put all of your important documents in it for safe keeping?

For me the important thing was the fire proof portion of the equation and not the safe (aka can I lock it up) portion. I figure that it’ll take me more time and effort to replace all the papers that would get destroyed, versus the few that might be stolen. We also don’t own things that need to get locked away (like giant diamond rings). Also, the likelihood that someone would steal my dog’s vet records is small…

guardian storage fire box

We ended up purchasing a Sentry Guardian Storage Box. It’s basically a fire proof letter sized file folder box. I was totally stoked because I could organize and label and put things away in their proper place, and then… the only bad thing about this box is that file folders can’t hang in it. A little frustrating, but still better than the alternatives.

I went through the exercise of sorting through our giant filing cabinet. Lots of things in it could be recycled or shredded (as necessary), as they were old or no longer pertinent. I was actually able to reduce everything info my new fire proof box!

fire proof for emergency preparedness

Here’s what is in our fire proof box, which each bullet point as it’s own separate file:

  • My ID & personal documents (birth certificate, SIN card, etc.)
  • My son’s ID & personal documents (birth certificates, SIN card, medical records, etc.)
  • My husband’s ID & personal documents
  • My husband’s immigration paperwork
  • Information about both mine and my husband’s work (contracts, options, etc.)
  • Our marriage license
  • Our insurance records (home and auto)
  • Information about our house (title, title insurance, architextural records, etc.)
  • Our animal’s vet records
  • Tax documents
  • Financial documents (records of opening accounts, investment statements, etc.)
  • Wills – our will, my parent’s will, Jason’s mom’s will

I also added both of our baby book’s as these are irreplaceable and I’d be gutted if anything happened to them.

I still need to add the following:

  • Details about all of our bank and credit card accounts (Provider, Account #, Contact Information, etc.)
  • Details about all of our investments (Provider, Account #, Contact Information, etc.)
  • Details about life insurance (Employer, etc.)
  • Write down all of our internet passwords and seal them in an envelope, again so that in a worst case scenario things can still be accessed and communicated

I have to admit, having done this makes me feel super dorky.

What have you done to help your family prepare for emergencies?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon May 14 with all the carnival links.)

05.14.2013    12 Comments    jana