Documents Tips

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In the case of a disaster such as an earthquake, you may need to have basic documents on hand to provide proof of your identity, residency, or insurance coverage.

These copies should be kept in your at-home earthquake bin, your Go Bag, and your workplace kit. Extra benefit? You’re going to find all these documents in your house and organize them!

The emergency contact list should include:

  • A friend or family member who lives out of state so that any member of the family can reach them to alert them of their status
  • Work/school addresses and phone numbers for all family members
  • Personal information about family members, such as doctor names, medications, blood type, etc.

 You should also have copies of:

  • Identification cards (birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and/or passports)
  • Social security numbers (cards if possible)
  • Insurance cards
  • Credit cards
  • Medical provider cards
  • Photos of children and pets (to help during search and rescue), as well as items inside your home (for insurance purposes)
  • At least $100 in cash (in case ATMs and electronic cash registers aren’t working)


The American Red Cross has created this emergency contact form to help families with their planning.

For more information, please see:

Earthquake Country: Minimize Financial Hardship

UC Food Safety: Financial Preparedness