A Financial Preparedness Kit
MILDOCS is an initiative born of decades of military service involving multiple moves across the world. In each move, our families and those we consulted uniformly cited record keeping as one of their most significant challenges. In some high-risk assignment locations, military families must constantly be prepared for “non-combatant evacuation.” The universal requirement for such preparation is to assemble all important documents in a “NEO Kit” that would be taken by the family to wherever they evacuate. MILDOCS is, in essence, a “NEO Kit.”
The following pages are intended to provide military families – or any other family that wants to organize their important documents – a guide to identifying, collecting, and storing them. It’s a “low-tech” way of ensuring those documents will be safe from whatever calamities or emergencies may arise. It’s also a way of eliminating dependence on digital devices and the electricity powering them – neither of which may be available in an emergency. But, this kit is only as effective as your diligence in keeping it up-to-date and your commitment to take it with you if you need to evacuate immediately.
HOW TO BUILD MILDOCS
- Print PDFs in each category that fits your needs
- Use a 3-ring binder with plastic folders or an expandable file folder to hold all pages and coordinating documents
- Update at least once a year, use a birthday, anniversary, or another date to prompt you to update it
- If you keep it up-to-date you can grab it in an emergency and know that it is ready to go
HOW TO HANDLE MILDOCS
- Store in a fireproof, waterproof box or safe
- Notify someone you trust with your personal affairs of its location and how to get it in case of emergency
- Do not ship in household goods
- Take out pockets as needed and leave others in safe storage
- When you travel with MILDOCS, protect it
WHAT IF YOU LOSE MILDOCS?
- Contact your financial companies
- Consider “freezing” your credit report
- Add an envelope with cash – cash can be hard to get in an emergency
- Keep a digital version of your MILDOCS in a separate place, such as online cloud storage
- Keep your computer and financial website usernames and passwords on a sheet stored separately from MILDOCS
The MILDOCS kit was developed by the Association of Military Banks of America in cooperation with individuals and organizations who volunteered their time to finalize the end product.
Thank you to the Military Family Advisory Network’s 2017 – 2019 Military Spouse Advisors for assisting with the development and design of the MILDOCS project. The advice, suggestions, and feedback were invaluable as this project came to fruition.
We also thank the following organizations and individuals for their input to the content and resources for each MILDOCS topic. Their guidance, comments, and counsel helped this project come together.
- FINRA Foundation
- National Military Family Association
- American Bankers Association
- Consumer Federation of America
|Lina Irizarry-De La Cruz