5 Steps to Organise a Family Emergency Folder


A few years ago, I created a Family Emergency Folder for myself. When my mother got sick, it naturally enough made me think “what if I got sick”?! I wondered, in an emergency, how would people know what my wishes are, what I need, what I like if I needed care, where my important documentation is, how to keep the apartment running etc. So with that, I put my documents in order and created my own Family Emergency Folder – my ICE Folder.

Now as I write this and I tell my boyfriend, he thinks it’ll be fun for the family to try figure out what to do! Ironically, if something happened to him, I’ll be the one trying to figure out what to do – which wouldn’t be so much fun – so I’d much rather he help me out a bit with a folder. Or else I’ll just make one for the both of us 😂 Now you could be like him. I’m guessing most people are…hence this blog post. 😂

How to create a Family Emergency Folder

If something happened, would your family know where to find your health insurance? Or your Will? Or access passwords?

What if you’re a single parent? Or you’re the only one who deals with the finances? Or you’re the main go-to for your child’s medication requirements?

Would you want someone to disable your social media accounts?

We don’t like thinking about the “what ifs” or something bad happening, of course. But if it did, wouldn’t you want to be able to have the important administration for running the household and family easily to hand? Wouldn’t it make the emergency that fraction bit less stressful?

I think ICE folders are essential. I create these a lot with my online clients and here are the five steps you need to organise a family emergency binder. Which I hope you never need!

Choose your storage:

In a state of emergency, the last thing you need is to lug a big folder around. So I chose mine to be a bright yellow, slim folder. It’s easy to find in my filing cabinet, and easy to carry around. I also think the bright yellow colour is a bit of positivity in a negative situation!

Gather your documents:

The most important part is of course the actual administration of the folder. In my Emergency Folder, I have the following sections:

My Will
Contact details of important people
Health insurance details
Critical Illness cover and Life cover details
Bank details
Pension details
Apartment details
Car details
Business details
Social media accounts
My mother’s will
Any other business

A Digital ICE folder:

If you have most of your documentation now in digital format, you can create a Digital ICE folder on the computer or laptop. A digital ICE folder will have the exact contents as a hard copy. In fact, even if you have a hardcopy folder, you may like to scan the contents and create a digital format anyway. For example you could have an ICE folder on your google drive. That way, if the folder is not accessible to you, you can access it online.

If you go digital, you just have to make sure that where to find and how to access the computer or laptop where your digital ICE folder is, is somewhere obvious in your home. Or you might put ‘how to find the ICE folder’ in your phone. You probably already have an ICE contact in your phone. Under this contact, you could add in the detail of how to access the ICE documentation on google drive here.

Tell someone:

Make sure that people know you have this file and where to find it! For your online documentation, you could consider sharing the link with them. No point having this ICE information and no one knowing about it!

Keep it updated:

Once a year, I take a look and update it – especially the passwords as I’m forever forgetting those!

And that’s it. Taking some time out to gather these documents, could be so important and helpful in a health emergency. I think it’s very important that we create a Family Emergency Folder. It’ll help our family out – and ourselves. Let me know in the comments below if you create it, or tag me on instagram @organisedchaosirelan so I can see them!

Happy Organising!

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