Here’s a hint: start small. The fact that you are reading this shows you’re thinking about prepping or just voyeuristic. Here are some goodies for the former and perhaps the latter as it makes sense on several fronts.
Imagine while you’re away at work, your home is destroyed. Could be from a fire, a flood or the first strike of ET’s evil twin. Whatchya gonna do? Recovering would be far easier if you prepped a bit. Some basics:
Bank account #’s and routing numbers
Credit card numbers, PIN, and the 800 number
Recent tax returns (copies)
Marriage certificate (or divorce for that matter!) (copy, or copies)
Insurance (home/life/etc) (copies)
Copy of your driver’s license, insurance, registration etc
Social Security card, # or copy (or Green card)
Photo’s of family (hardcopies, for identification as well as memories, also consider a USB with pics in jpg format )
Copies of diplomas, certifications etc
Power of Attorney (copies, and if you don’t have one for yourself, significant other or parents consider it)
$1000 (or as much as squirrel away) for living expenses. (Don’t photocopy the cash!)
Copies of birth certificates
Copies of passports
List of prescriptions and physicians along with their office #.
Phone numbers of friends and families and others
The next question – where you gonna keep this stuff? I would suggest make enough copies to have at least 2 alternate sites. One would be in your safety deposit box at your bank. Note that these items might not be accessible for a variety of reasons and you need at least one alternative source. Another could be kept with someone you trust who lives within walking distance. And for the true prepper waiting to come out in all of us, in a water-tight container buried under the roses and a copy (if not already there) in your BOB (Bug Out Bag). I reduced the size of these documents through the magic of the photocopier and then made several more copies and then put them in waterproof zip-lock bags. I have a copy in a pocket of my GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) bag, in a pocket of a gortex coat in the same bag, in my office desk and friend. When I would get orders in the USAF, the first thing I would do was to make 10 or 15 copies, it became a habit I continued after leaving the USAF.
Add to the list as you see fit. Start with a small list in response to a run-of-the-mill emergency – your house is trashed because you left the coffee pot on and you can’t get in until the firefighters say so –in about 24 hours. You can’t gain access to your neighborhood, let alone home for whatever reason(s). That sort of stuff. Once you have those basics covered, you may want to begin adding to the list as you think through your needs.