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In her Motion to Organize weekly column, lawyer Jennifer Gumbel talks organization, productivity, and more.

Have you ever wondered what you’d grab from your home if you had minutes to leave?

Fires, hurricanes, and floods both get us to thinking about what we’d be able to collect in a few minutes and fit in the car. One of those things should be important paperwork.

Consider putting together an emergency binder.

Put in your irreplaceable documents like birth certificates, abstracts, original deeds, and wills. But also, have an inventory or major household goods, bank account information, and insurance information. The idea is if you are away from your house and internet, what might you need in the wake of an emergency? I also like the idea of having a brightly colored binder that will be immediately noticeable to you or someone else.

If the worst hits, whether it’s fire or flood, grabbing your important documents should be easy.

And even if an act of God doesn’t hit your home, if your digital records or access to cloud storage gets interrupted, you have the account numbers and passwords to get information and the documents to recreate what you had. Or, your loved ones can get access to what they need when something happens to you.

 In any case, taking the time to put together an Emergency Binder will be something you or someone else will thank you for.

Jennifer Gumbel

Jennifer Gumbel is an estate planning and probate lawyer in Austin, Minnesota. She takes her morbid nerd-dom to another level by talking about how to organize your after life, with the website An Organized (after)Life and the podcast, An Organized (after)Life, which you can find on the website, Spreaker and ITunes. You can also find her on Instagram with pics on death organizing and small town Minnesota life at the handle @jengumbel.

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