The most common question I get about the building an important documents grab and go binder is “How do I put my binder together?”  Or “What ‘stuff’ do I need to put create my binder?”  (or something similar).

Well, this post is all about what products I recommend and where I get them.  Let me know if you still have questions!

(You can click on the links to be taken to the product on Amazon (affiliate) with free Prime shipping)

 Simply Prepared Binder2

If you found this post without having downloaded the Simply Prepared Binder Printables, you can find the free download HERE.

If you prefer to forms you can fill out electronically (by typing in your answers), you can find those here.


1 – Good: Do it Yourself (least expensive): $20-ish

2 – Better: Do it Yourself with upgrades: $90-ish

Planner Sidebar3 – Best: The Prepare My Life Planner: $119.95

This planner is fantastic.  I used my small (“good” option above) homemade binder for years and did okay, but this binder has been a very welcome upgrade!  Everything (except filling in the forms) is done for you.  It comes all put together and is more complete (I believe) than any binder you could actually create on your own.  It isn’t just a grab and go binder.  It is an actual emergency planner system. It comes with:

  • A large, zippered binder with a handle and multiple pockets, calculator, various pouches, pen and small lock.
  • High quality sheet protectors (all sizes, some with velcro tops)
  • High quality emergency information forms (many more than in the Simply Prepared printable)
  • Tabbed dividers with helpful emergency info / instructions printed on long lasting glossy cardstock.
  • Access to re-print all forms anytime you need to update / change information
  • Instructions, checklists and step by step systems for preparing your home for emergency, gathering supplies, evacuating and gathering all your documents (personal, insurance, financial, assets, final planning)
  • CD for home picture inventory
  • And More!

LEARN MORE  HERE (and see pictures and a video)

Other Product Suggestions:

A Safe

I suggest keeping your binder in a safe:

  • The SentrySafe CHW20221 safe is fireproof / waterproof and will hold and 8×11 binder / documents
  • The SentrySafe x055  can be bolted to the wall / floor and will fit 8 x 11 binders / documents
  • The SentrySafe X075  can be bolted to the wall / floor and will fit a larger zippered binder

Digital Copies

I highly suggest that in addition to your simply prepared binder, you keep an electronic copy of all your files, documents and pictures (everything in your binder).  I use carbonite for all files on my computer.  I have had to recover files from them before and have been very pleased with their system / service.  You can try Carbonite for free HERE.  And if you use that link, you will get a $20 gift card when (and if) you sign up.

In addition to free shipping, if you have Amazon Prime, you have secure unlimited photo storage.   You can add your photos from your PC, Mac, or mobile device and then access them on all devices as well.  This is a great way to quickly and easily preserve family memories!  I’ve found Amazon Prime to be well worth the money (free 2 day shipping, free instant videos, access to lots of free music, early access to lightening deals, extra discounts on “mom” items etc)

Another service I love is Dashlane.  It is free (yay!) and they will securely store your passwords and financial information.  They will even autofill forms for you!  (name, address, phone number etc).  They don’t have access to your information at all, only you do (with one super secure password).  It is the most secure password system I’ve found.  Plus, it syncs across all your devices.  It has saved me SO much time while at the same time allowing me to create unique, difficult passwords for all my accounts (without having to remember them).  I really do love their service!