How to protect your critical documents from fires, hurricanes and more

Personal Finance

“Some of the traditional ways of keeping your records — in your home, or in a safety deposit box — both of those places could have been burned down or flooded,” Wright said. “It calls attention to the importance of the cloud.”

Key documents you should gather include those that might be difficult of inconvenient to replace (like wills, birth certificates, Social Security cards and passports) as well as those you’d need to recover (insurance policies, property deeds).

Having everything in one place makes it easy to grab documents quickly in an evacuation. You might secure those originals in a fireproof, watertight safe in your home, or off-site in a safe deposit box, said Wright.

Creating digital copies to store in the cloud ensures you will still have access to important records if a disaster occurs while you’re away from home, you aren’t immediately able to return after a disaster or your originals sustain damage.

“It can be extremely critical,” said Steve Schult, senior director of product management for LastPass, a digital password manager. “You may not grab that laptop on the way out the door.”

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