Because of the recent devastation in Lahaina and an event at a friend’s house I’m updating and re-running this article.
For those who enjoy watching spy and adventure movies you probably know what a Go Bag is, it’s a bag filled with items that are already packed and ready to go on a moment’s notice.
In the movies that might be a bag filled with cash from different countries, different passports, maybe even weapons, those things needed to carry on operations in a new location.
But that’s not what we’re talking about here since I’m assuming not many spies are receiving my newsletters.
What I am talking about is what if you had to move quickly, you had to go somewhere on a very short notice what would you take with you already packed when minutes count?
Maybe there's a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado approaching. Your house is on fire or flooding or some other disastrous event and you had to grab items of importance in a very short period of time and get on the road to go somewhere safe.
What do you have? Will you be running around the house looking for things and making hasty decisions?
Or do you have that pack ready to go with food, water, supplies, cash, passport and other forms of ID and maybe some basic tools, medical and first aid supplies?
Maybe a portable hard drive or flash drive with important documents stored on it. All of your valuable family pictures and videos stored not just on your computer but on a portable drive if the house is lost?
List of important numbers to call like doctor, insurance agent and emergency contacts?
Perhaps a key to your safe deposit box should be in your Go Bag? These are physical items you can carry with you.
Is your ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact listed on your phone and first responders can see it if you are unconscious?
If somehow you aren’t able to get to your home, are those who might be there, possibly minors, do they know where it is and have been told to take it with them in an emergency?
But what about in your financial life? Do you have a Virtual Go Bag? Many people still continue to store important documents on hard copy at home somewhere.
But what happens if your home burns down, or gets flooded or other natural disaster and you are not there to grab your Go Bag?
Where would your documents be at then? A friends home recently had indoor flooding due to a water pipe bursting overnight and they woke up to a flooded house. Anything near floor level was soaked. Papers ruined, electronic equipment ruined.
This article will not be talking about online security and that is certainly something you should consider and research as it is a very real risk. But if you could no longer access your physical documents how could you ever get them at a future time when they are needed but no longer available? It happens to people everywhere each year.
What about your passwords? Are you the person who saves them on a note under your keyboard or on a sticky note attached to your monitor? Not a good idea especially in a fire and the computer also burns so where else do you have passwords stored?
How would you get access to your passwords if those notes were no longer available?
What if there is no disaster but you simply are not available to access the information you need quickly? I have not yet had to experience this but have heard of others who have been traveling and someone ended up in a hospital in a different city or state.
The issue was severe enough that the family needed access to the Trust documents and the Advanced Healthcare Directives. However, those were securely locked up in a safe back home where no one could get to them, not even the family who needed it most because they were traveling.
So, that might be in your Financial Go Bag. A way to access information remotely when you are traveling.
There are lots of tools out there. Some folks use Dropbox, some use Box, some use ShareFile. Others have access to secure online vaults. There are online password managers, some I hear are very secure, some not so much. As with any option make sure to do some due diligence.
If you are a client of mine let’s talk and I can give you some options. If you are not yet a client let’s talk about getting you onboard. Use the links to schedule a call or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 808-954-6402.
The information in this and other articles is intended to be educational in nature only. Not tax, legal or investment guidance for you specifically. Each person’s situation is unique and you must seek appropriate professional guidance that can address your unique situation.