If disaster strikes, be prepared with a grab-and-go box

March 1, 2012

OGDEN — Say we have an earthquake and your house is destroyed. Do you have all of your important documents handy?

When a natural disaster strikes, whether it’s an earthquake, tornado or even a housefire, the last thing people are thinking about are account numbers and pass codes, said Teresa Hunsaker, a member of the consumer science faculty at the University of Utah Extension Service. But these items are every bit as important as a 72-hour kit.

The financial emergency kit can mean the difference between your family finances running smoothly in the midst of chaos and going without money or even life-saving medication.

“Everyone should have a grab-and-go box with all of their important personal information,” Hunsaker said. “The box should contain information about who you are, your financial account information, insurance agents and telephone numbers, pass codes, prescription medication you are taking, even a picture of your children and pets.”

The box doesn’t have to be big and heavy, she said. In fact, most are very small, making them easy to “grab and go.”

Hunsaker will be at the Spring Home & Garden Show on Friday at 3 p.m. to show people how to make their own grab-and-go box. She will tell you how to get started, what to include and where to store your box.

“When you are involved in a natural disaster, things in your home could be annihilated,” Hunsaker said. “The last thing you need to be thinking about is where all of your important information is located. I will talk about a lot of different angles. Even families going on vacation should have a grab-and-go box with them because you never know when and where disaster will strike.”