Quick Prepper Tip: DIY Preparedness Binder

By Lisa Metheny published on in Camping & Survival

Cheaper Than Dirt Quick Prepper TipUnfortunately, when tensions get high and time is of the essence, can you guarantee that you will be able to gather all the info you will need? A preparedness binder might just be the answer to alleviate your worries.

What is a preparedness binder?

A preparedness binder is just what it sounds like. It is a binder, folder or notebook full of your most important information that you have prepped for quick access during an emergency situation.

How do I make my binder?

Notebook on table
Get creative! Determine what types of information and how much you are going to need to record. You can use something as large as a three-ring binder or as small as a steno pad. It is important to make sure your binder is in a safe, but easily accessible place. Waterproofing is bonus. Laminating your page(s) of info can help protect your vital data.

What should I include?

Start with the basics—both yours and your emergency contacts. List your vital information (name, date of birth, address, phone numbers, etc.) and the vital information of any household members. Create a list of local contact information (police, fire, EMT, poison control, etc.) and a list of your emergency contacts (friends, family, neighbors, and employers). Expand your binder with items such as your insurance information (medical, life, car, homeowners), prescription info, legal information such as power of attorney, or any other type of information you might need access to in an emergency.

In a worst-case scenario situation, do you know what types of crucial information you might need to access? Share with us how you manage your information in the comment section.


Lisa Metheny is a published award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, speaker and outdoor skills instructor. Lisa holds several instructor certifications and conducts a number of women-focused outdoor seminars on topics such as archery and hunting throughout the year. She regularly teaches hunters education and archery classes and has become an advocate for promoting traditional outdoor recreation to families across the United States. Lisa is also an avid and accomplished hunter with many big game species to her credit. She is a member of POMA and former Board of Directors member as well as a member of the NRA, RMEF, MDF and DU.

View all articles by Lisa Metheny

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Comments (8)

  • GRA


    Another great thread and topic here !!!


  • Hank Alvarez


    We tried the folder and I think it’s a good idea but I worried about the loss of it through possible: burglary, theft or a fire..We added all the information to a flash drive via scanning necessary documents and stored both in the most secure place we could think of- our gun safe. The flash drive is expandable and it stores the location of everything. The folder is a back up for when the computer isn’t available. We decided not to store it on my lap top because the cops said that’s one of the first things stolen in a residential burglary.


  • Dave


    A list of vital serial numbers, such as all of your firearms, electronics and items of value will help in an insurance claim situation.


  • Martin Pierce


    On my 2 Laptops, flash drives and external back-up drives. One copy is not a backup. You need to follow the 3-2-1 senario for backups. But a Waterproof binder like a diver or a Deep ocean diver might have would be Great. Any paper or similar Medium is too easily destroyed. I dont know where to get any Papaya paper or Copper or brass plates to engrave on. I guess a CD or DVD would be Ok except that computers are getting away with installing those on computers because of cost and copy issues. OLDER computers can play CD’S, but not DVD’S. How about ancient Zip Drives and 5.25″ floppies and 3.5″ floppies just to speak of them.


  • G-Man


    This is an excellent article and more necessary than one might imagine. In addition to the ideas already suggested, I would use plastic zipper pouches to protect important documents from the elements, but at the same time this system allows for easy replacement with updated documents.

    Since laminating can be expensive, when creating laminated phone/info lists, leave the number’s blank and fill them in over the laminated sheets with a waterproof grease pen. Similar to a whiteboard, you can wipe it off later and change/update as necessary, regardless of what you’ve written, it will still hold up against water until you wipe hard or use a detergent to break it down for an update.

    Just having sealed photocopies of driver licenses, professional I.D.s and certifications all in one binder can make the difference in a Katrina type disaster when trying to establish your credentials as a helper or even just expedient identity can make the difference for you and your family, while others stand in long lines or even get turned away.


  • Smitty 550


    We don’t need a binder. All the information is in the phone book and cell phones, or stored in a fireproof, theft-proof safe. All other instructions (in case of death) are stored in a backup drive for the computer, with instructions on how to access the info already given to our adult children. Our copies of wills, powers of attorney and healthcare powers of attorney documents are also stored safely away.


    • G-Man


      @ Smitty 550: I had already posted my comments below before seeing yours. As I wrote my comments, my mind-set was more along the lines of total disaster that prevents one from even being able to use an electronic devise to access their information.

      I’m thinking along the lines of say, an EMP attack that takes out the electrical grid or earthquakes and floods that force us to rapidly depart our homes and leave electronics behind. Even if you did manage to grab a laptop, you may not have the means to recharge it.

      So thinking in this way, maintaining a single binder with copies of your most important documents may be the best solution overall.


    • Hippo McG


      Yeah, what G-Man said.

      @Smitty, I don’t understand what your narcissism added to the commentary.

      If I tell you that you’re great, will you go somewhere else?

      Thanks for your recommendations, Michelle.

      – Hippo


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