Documents, ID and Personal Photographs

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Memories, family history, and important documents. These all help shape us. They also identify us to the authorities. In case of a wildfire, you can preserve your heritage and identify well in advance and make sure you have the right ID with you to use government resources as needed.


In this modern world, everybody has a paper trail. You have birth and divorce certificates, marriage and driver’s licenses, bank accounts and insurance policies of all types. You keep them in hard copy and on your computers. You use them online as well as in person.

It is very important not to keep this information too close in the event of a fire. Even if you have them, you should not keep the originals in your home. Perhaps you do have fireproof storage on site. However, it is still better to store them in a safe place away from the fire risk. Alternatively, place them in a fireproof safe deposit box in a bank or post office. For added safety, have more than one copy of key documents. You can send them to a relative, friend, or lawyer to guard for you.

You should also keep a copy in your personal emergency kit. Your family members should also carry pertinent copies in their personal kits. Everyone should have a copy of his or her important ID information. This includes Social Security card, health card, driver’s and/or marriage license, birth certificate and/or passport. You should also keep copies of any medical prescriptions and conditions on hand, sending copies with the appropriate individuals.

The pet also needs to have his or her identification in their kit. You can attach it to their collar or carrier case. Make sure even if the animal is wearing ID and shot tags, there are extras in the emergency kit and attached to the carrier. This way, there is less chance of losing the documents.


Pictures and photos are also other items you can ensure are safe from flames long in advance. You can preserve them by storing the originals in a secure, fireproof container in your home or at a bank. Today, there are also other means. Digitalize them. External hard drives are a very portable option, and a good way to maintain a local copy of photo you can also store online in cloud storage.

This way, you’ll have photos to carry with you and photos that are safe from both fire and water damage in an emergency.