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Three Tips for Protecting Your Important Legal Paperwork in a Natural Disaster

Los Angeles has suffered some serious natural disasters from multiple earthquakes, raging wildfires, and now hurricanes. These acts of nature can devastate your life and your family.

In addition to creating a disaster preparedness plan for your family, be sure to protect your legal documents during these events. Below are several tips to follow to ensure your important paperwork is safe if your home is damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster.

1. Make sure to back up electronically. An electronic backup, such as secure cloud storage, can be useful. Electronic versions can serve as a legally valid substitute for a paper copy of your important documents in some circumstances.

2. Use a safe box. Whether this is a fire/water resistant one in your home or a safety deposit box at your local bank, using these types of boxes can be an easy precaution in the more minor natural disasters. These types of boxes can protect your important items during a natural disaster so that there is one less thing you need to worry about during a difficult time.

3. Create a “grab and go” bag. This is useful when you are forewarned about a disaster, because a “go” bag can include all of your family documents, financial paperwork, legal documents, vaccination records, and immigration and residency documents, among others safe and close to you. In addition to keeping all of your critical documents safe, make sure to have at least one extra copy in an easily accessible, off-site location and keep them in a sealed plastic bag.

Bonus Tip:

If you have additional space in your grab-and-go bag, include invaluable items, such as family photo albums, and family heirlooms.

After disaster strikes, first focus on your family’s safety. After the immediate aftermath is over be sure to replace any damaged or destroyed paperwork as soon as you can. While there may be other more pressing tasks post-natural disaster, do not neglect replacing these documents as they will be incredibly important later on for you and your family..

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