« Go Back

September 19, 2012

LITTLE ROCK -- Preparing for a weather-related emergency, such as a tornado or flood, involves more than keeping fresh batteries in flashlights and stocking up on candles. It's also important to secure your vital personal records.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert today urging Arkansans to prepare for natural disasters by securing your family's vital documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies.

"Unfortunately, our state has seen its fair share of tornadoes and flooding in recent years," McDaniel said. "I want Arkansas families to take steps so that they can access crucial documents if natural disasters occur. It's always best to prepare early so that you can focus on your family's safety during extreme weather events."

Some consumers choose to secure their documents in fire-proof and water-proof safes, but you may want to consider keeping crucial documents in a bank safe deposit box. Additionally, consider scanning and saving documents electronically.

Saving your electronic documents in an external hard drive would allow you to carry away important documents at a moment's notice.

Also, several Internet services allow you to use "cloud storage" by scanning documents for safekeeping online, so that you can access them from anywhere.

Once you've decided how to safeguard your documents, make sure you tell loved ones or your attorney how they can access the documents if you're away or incapacitated.

Key documents to safeguard:
• Birth and death certificates
• Adoption papers
• Citizenship papers
• A household inventory of valuables
• Insurance policies
• Estate planning documents
• Loan documents
• Real estate deeds
• Divorce decrees
• Military discharge papers
• Social Security cards
• Vehicle titles
• Passports
For more information about consumer-related issues, or to file a complaint, visit or call the Consumer Protection Division's hotline at (800) 482-8982.