ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Important Documents to Keep for Emergencies

Updated on October 3, 2013

Keeping records that are clear and easy is extremely important during a personal emergency. It is important for your financial health, as well as, helping family members know what to do if an emergency occurs.

Young adults think that there is always time to put important papers together, but people are hurt in accidents every day. Do you know if your family members or loved one has someone to act as a Power of Attorney? There are documents that are must haves, those that are nice to have, and those that some of us think we will never need.

Just as a word of caution, choose to entrust this information to someone who is a permanent part of your life and that you trust completely. You might want to inform another person about the plans you have made in case your designated representative is on vacation or out of town.

Probably at least two people should know doctors' names and if you have a living will. Most hospitals now want that information if there has been an unexpected emergency or death.

Consider this a Primer

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is someone who has a legal right to handle affairs for you if you are unable to do so yourself.

  • This does not have to be long term and can be changed from year to year.
  • These documents can come from an attorney, off the Net, or hand-write one if it is witnessed and notarized, if required.
  • The originator of the document can be very specific about what they want someone to do.
  • Do you want them to have Power Regarding Insurance? What about paying bills? Often you have to have a POA just to talk to a credit card company or mortgage company to explain late payments, etc.

Health Care

  • Have you signed the back of your Driver’s License? If you don’t want to donate your organs, you should make sure that someone knows that no matter what you don’t want to donate your organs.
  • What about health care? Do you want someone to be able to see your medical records and make decisions for you about your care?
  • You want to have any medical insurance cards with you, or should let someone know where they are.

Birth Certificate

It is always important to keep a birth certificate or a hospital record. If you have lost or missplaced yours, send to your state capitol for one immediately. The fee is low and takes a couple of days unless you walk in to pick it up yourself.


You need Insurance, even if you are a renter. Take pictures of your household items – especially tech products which are easily stolen and highly valued. Anything you need to replace needs to be included.

Invest in a fire-proof document safe. If there is a house fire, they will be destroyed. If you already have a lock-box at a bank, put the pictures there.


If you own a house, do you have the deed? Where are extra keys? Do you want someone to be able to come into your home to pick up clothes or go through your mail and check for important correspondence?

Wills and Plans

This is the item that most people don’t want to think about, but many people have strong ideas about what type of service/wake/celebration they want and how they want done with their remains.

  • cremation
  • burial - in ground or above ground
  • body donated to science

. Pictures are now an important part of many services. Do you have pictures that you would like shown, or should you reconsider having a new portrait taken. Do you have a favorite poem you want someone to read? Some people still prefer standard religious music while others would prefer to have a mix of favorite songs that are more contemporary mixed with religious song such as a\Amazing Grrace.

There are many options in this category, but this can be a starting point for gathering important documents, and the best thing about this is once it’s completed (and this can be more time consuming than imagined), it only has to be checked once of year. It will be quick and easy, especially if nothing has changed.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)