Emergency Cash and Important Documents

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Stash some cash!

After a damaging earthquake, it won't be "business as usual." Banks and ATMs might be closed for an indefinite period.  So your money in the bank will stay there.

Include in your earthquake kit a sufficient amount of cash to get you through the emergency period. You'll need cash to purchase food, gas and other emergency supplies. Small bills - ones, fives and tens - are best.

Be sure you also include plenty of change to call your out-of-state contacts from a public telephone. (Public phone lines are among the first to be restored after a disaster.)

You'll also need insurance policies, birth certificates and other vital records after a damaging earthquake or other disaster. Take steps NOW to protect them. Keep the following documents and/or copies of them in a safe deposit box, freezer or other safe place:

  • Social Security cards
  • Marriage and death records
  • Credit cards
  • Recent income tax returns
  • Employment paycheck stubs
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Savings and checking account books
  • Health history, allergies, blood types
  • Recent photos of family members, for identification
  • Documentation of valuables
  • Birth certificates
  • Driver's licenses
  • Insurance policies
  • Mortgage or rental receipts
  • Deeds
  • Wills and/or trusts

Video or photo documentation will facilitate insurance claims.

Storage Tips: Several options for safely storing valuables and important documents are available, including the following:

  • Fireproof storage box or safe deposit box
  • Freezer (Make sure to tightly seal documents in a freezer bag before placing them in the freezer.)
  • The home of an out-of-state contact (Send only copies, never the originals.)