Updated: Apr 20, 2020
I am a big believer in being prepared. Taking that extra step to make life easier should disaster strike. Since I was 21 yrs. old, I have kept a fireproof box. I dutifully toted that heavy box from three apartments and two homes and have never regretted it. Lately though I have been questioning the “toughness” of my box. The latch was worn and it didn’t shut tight. I was seriously doubting it’s ability to actually protect against fire damage.
Luckily Aldi’s was here to save the day! On my most recent trip to my favorite discount grocer, I found a quality fireproof and waterproof box for just $14.99 (in case you have never priced them out… that’s a steal). I packed that baby in the cart along with my cereals and milks and boxes of pasta. Yes, I felt a little silly but, hey, if it works, it works. You can find one just like mine here (this is a great price too!)
That night I switched over all my important documents and things I wanted to protect to the new box. It is not a large box. It only holds letter size documents but it fit my needs. This size would probably fit your needs too.
If you haven’t yet protected your important “stuff” now’s the time.
Here are 10 things you should store in a fireproof box:
1. Social Security Cards, Marriage Certificates, & Birth Certificates
Who wants to visit the social security office or send in for new certificates? Not me. They take a long time to get and you may need your social security card right away to establish aid should you need it.
2. Current Insurance Policies
It is important to have the information you need on hand in case you need to make a claim. Keep your current policy and agent’s contact information in the box so you can quickly retrieve it. (this could also be kept electronically as well)
3. A List of Family Doctor’s, Prescriptions, & Pharmacies You Use
In a time of crisis, you need to have the right stuff covered. Keeping a list of your doctor’s information and current prescriptions helps yourself (and others) stay healthy during times of emergency.
4. Copy of Family Will or Other Wills in which you are an Executor
Safeguarding your family wills can help ensure the provide protection they were designed for.
5. Large Home Purchase Receipts
Keep any large purchase receipts right in the box… furniture, TV’s, recent repairs or upgrades, and appliances. Make sure you have proof of the value of your property in case of a claim. Some even suggest taking video of your home to provide further proof should you need it.
6. Important Legal Documents such as Power of Attorney, Living Wills, & Health Care Proxies
These documents should always be protected from any type of fire or water damage. Being able to retrieve them quickly can make times of distress much less stressful.
7. Family Passports
Passports are one the only ways to establish your identity should you lose your driver’s license and they can be expensive to replace. Since you don’t use it very often, store it in a secure place so you never lose it.
8. List of Accounts & Passwords
I don’t know about you but I have about a hundred accounts and passwords to keep track of. The list covers anything from my Amazon account to my Car Insurance policy and everything in between. Make sure you can quickly access those accounts should fire strike.
9. External Hard Drive or Flash Drive with Family Photos and PC Backup
If you aren’t backing up your laptop on a regular basis, start today! I do a back up every three months onto a large external hard drive. Then I store this hard drive in my fireproof box.
10. Wedding DVD or Photos
I have been married ten years (gah!). I don’t even know if the photographer I had is still in business let alone how to reach them. But I would devastated to lose my wedding memories. Store a least a couple photos and, if you had a videographer, the wedding DVD in the fireproof box.
Need a fireproof box? Check out this one. It is super affordable and is just big enough to hold what you need without taking up a bunch of space.
Stocking your fireproof box is an easier task than what it seems. I think it took me maybe an hour or so to round everything up and stuff it in. My box came with two keys so I plan on keeping one and giving one to my mom & dad. That way even the key is protected!