Be Prepared for Disasters & Secure Your Sensitive Documents
If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s to expect the unexpected. Case in point: On top of the challenges we already face with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, fires ripped through much of Oregon this fall, burning over one million acres, destroying homes, and killing at least 11 people. During the height of the fires, 40,000 people were forced to evacuate and about half a million people were under evacuation warning notices.
When you’re in a situation that’s already extremely stressful, the last thing you need is more worry. Consider this: If you had to leave your home or business suddenly, would you feel prepared? Unfortunately, the west coast is susceptible to a variety of natural disasters, including wildfires, earthquakes, and floods. Plus, there are the typical fears we all have about house fires, water damage, and break-ins. Read our tips and suggestions for ensuring your sensitive documents and papers are securely handled and worry about one less thing.
Identify Your Important Documents
Don’t wait until the last minute to locate and assemble your essential documents. It’s easy to prepare in advance! Get organized by compiling the following items:
Financial and legal documents
- Banking and credit card account information
- Retirement and life insurance details
- Loan information
- Rental or mortgage documentation
- House and vehicle titles
- Tax returns and property tax statements
- Wills and power of attorney documents
- Insurance cards
- Records on medications, vaccinations, and allergies
- Legal medical orders
- Contact info for healthcare providers and caregivers
- Documentation for disabilities
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Divorce and child custody paperwork
- Passports, driver’s licenses, social security cards, military IDs
Businesses should also make sure to have:
- Payable and receivable invoices
- Bank statements
- Any other documents that are vital for conducting business
Protect Your Important Documents
Now that you know what’s important, consider the best way to keep your documents safe. For example, if your property is damaged in a disaster, it’s vital that you possess proper documentation for insurance claims or government disaster relief. Without documentation, financial assistance could be more difficult to secure and the recovery process will likely take longer.
Home & business storage for hard copies: Nearly everyone has paper documents that require safe and secure storage. In addition to their originals, it’s important to keep an extra copy or two, and to store these items in a fire safe. Also, consider placing items that you would bring in an evacuation in a sealable plastic bag within the safe. That way if you need to go in a hurry, you can grab the bag and the contents will stay relatively safe.
Digital copies for businesses: Securely creating and storing digital copies of essential documents are a vital component of your protection plan, especially for businesses. DataSafe offers a trusted and efficient method for document scanning. No matter your needs, we’ll help with on-demand scanning to save your employee’s time while ensuring the documents can be easily found when needed. No software or infrastructure is needed, and you won’t have to worry about outdated tools that can risk your security compliance. Plus, your team will appreciate the enhanced collaboration and efficiency. Our document scanning services include back file scanning, day-forward imaging, and our web-hosted repository.
Digital copies for homeowners: Digital copies are also important for homeowners. Save pdfs and images to an external hard drive or flash drive (make sure to password-protect!) and store it in your fire safe. Also consider uploading digital documents to the cloud using a service like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Cloud storage and backup for businesses: Another important service we offer here at DataSafe is cloud backup. This reliable, high quality solution is a great choice for small businesses. It securely backs up remote servers and laptops while also replacing tape backup systems. After installing the software on your servers, you simply create the backup schedule and let it run. Your data and business systems will be securely compressed, encrypted, and stored off-site. This simplifies your backup maintenance without the need for additional media purchases. And if you need to restore data, the process is quick and simple — you’ll quickly regain access to your important emails, files, folders, and digital contacts.
Are your home and business ready in the event of a natural or man-made disaster? We can help. Contact DataSafe today for assistance with your emergency preparedness plan. From paper shredding and data destruction to our cloud-based storage services and document scanning, DataSafe is ready and able to handle all your digital security and storage needs.