AZ PortaVault

As I watched a YouTube video this morning about the flooding in Nashville, it struck me once again why I am so passionate about my AZPortaVault product – and how I participate in protecting others from being devastated by the loss of their vital documents.  If you have ever visited my website, you will know that as an Insurance Agent for close to 30 years, I have seen it all happen, and I know, first hand that NOT ONE OF US is exempt from experiencing a significant catastrophic occurrence in our lifetime.

Let me ask you a really serious question, “What have you done to protect yourself in the potential loss of your vital documents?  If you have ever had a wallet lost or stolen, you have experienced the nightmare that is to resolve protecting yourself from identity theft and replacement of vital documents.  Can you imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have your items all together and had to quickly evacuate your home?  The time, the cost, the emotional burden?

I am about being proactive and being personally responsible for your life choices; I am also about solutions and resources that I can provide those who support my own professional success.  It is with that thought in mind that I went in search of  a resource that you can access in that same process of being proactive in knowing what to do if/when disaster may strike you and your family.  I hope you will be somewhat relieved to know that fortunately, most important personal records can be replaced. Depending on the document you need, use these links as a starting point.

Note:  This is one of those resources where I am taking it direct from its source and giving full credit to its creator – being, in essence, the vehicle by which you are made aware and your life can be positively impacted by my spirit of belief and my spirit of generosity…

  • Address Change – When you move, be sure to change your address with a few government agencies so that you’ll continue to receive mail and any government benefits at your new location.
  • Bank Records – Financial tips and resources for disaster recovery. (.PDF | requires Adobe Acrobat Reader )
  • Birth, Marriage, and Death Certificates – Get records based on the location of the birth, death, marriage, or divorce.
  • Damaged Money – The Treasury Department will exchange mutilated or damaged U.S. currency.
  • Document Restoration–Fire – The Library of Congress offers information on restoring fire-damaged documents and collections.
  • Document Restoration–Flood – The National Archives offers information on how to care for your flood damaged photos, books, papers and more
  • Drivers’ Licenses and Vehicle Registration – Find your state’s motor vehicle department to get or replace your driver’s license and register your car.
  • Federal Civilian Personnel Records – Go to the National Archives for guidance on requesting personnel records for former federal civilian employees. Current federal workers can get personnel records from their Human Resources office.
  • Green Card Replacement – Get instructions on how to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged permanent resident card (green card).
  • Medical Information Form – Download a form where you can record medical conditions and other health information for use in an emergency situation.
  • Medicare Card Replacement – How to replace a lost, stolen or damaged Medicare card
  • Military Service Records – How to get copies of military service records, to prove military service or for genealogy research
  • Passport – Lost or stolen passports should be reported immediately. Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or Consulate if your passport is lost or stolen overseas.
  • Savings Bonds Recovery – Cash and replace lost, stolen, or destroyed bonds.
  • School Records – Contact your former school, or the appropriate school district if the school has closed.
  • Social Security Card Replacement – How to replace a lost or stolen Social Security card
  • Tax Return – Request a copy of your federal tax return from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).


Thank you in advance for being proactive about this information – I would that you spend more of your time enjoying life than being frantic about some unforeseen loss.

Jan Vitale… your investment protector

Vital Enterprises, LLC – – where you can always find great tips, tools and resources about nutrition, vital document storage, disaster preparedness, identity theft, network marketing, networking, and travel…

History tells us that disaster strikes quickly and without warning.

That is our reality, but being the optimists that we are – we tend not to be prepared for any kind of disaster. As a society, we aren’t prepared to evacuate our neighborhoods or be confined to our homes. The question is not asked about what would happen if suddenly our basic services, such as water, gas, electricity, or telephones were cut off? Do we place too much comfort in the fact that local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster? Do we need to be more proactive and being responsible for our families?

At the end of the day, knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility. Learn more about being prepared on my website, Vital Enterprises, LLC. Taking a position of responsibility need not be overwhelming; however, it gets easier once you deal with four basic steps to being prepared for safety and developing a specific plan for your family.

BE Prepared

Learn what the greatest potential risk to your family may be, given your geographic location and the associated demographics. You can simply contact your local emergency management office or your local American Red Cross chapter. A list of those emergency management offices is provided on my website. By learning what your risks may be, you can prepare for the disaster most likely to occur in your area. Learn more by contacting your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter. Be prepared to take notes.

BE informed – ask the following:

  1. What kind of natural disasters and/or human-caused or technological disasters can affect your area.
  2. What is recommended to prepare for each kind of possible disaster?
  3. What warning signals are provided, and what are the standards of response to each?
  4. Where do you take pets if you have to move to a public shelter where they are not permitted?
  5. What special provisions are provided for special needs, elderly or disabled persons?
  6. What are the local plans for schools, hospitals and other large industries located in your area?

BE Proactive – Create a Family Disaster Plan.

Knowing what disasters are possible in your area makes it easier to talk with your family and create your own personal plan. Use the following as a sample guideline

  1. Share the information you learned from your local disaster management resource relative to the dangers of fire, severe weather, chemical spills… whatever the issue. Keep the explanations simple but remember the important details.
  2. A disaster is an extremely stressful situation that can create confusion. The best emergency plans are those with a few, easy to follow and simple to understand steps.
  3. If the treats in your area include a variety of disasters, make sure your plan includes steps specific to each type of disaster.
  4. Pick two places everyone is to meet: (1) Right outside the front door in case of a fire emergency and (2) another restaurant or well know establishment close to the home in case you cannot get to your residence.
  5. Determine how you will communicate if family members are separated , which can easily occur – remember, you don’t get to choose what time of day a disaster will happen!
  6. Designate an out-of-town relative or friend to be a central contact and make sure everyone has that person’s name, address and phone number.
  7. Make arrangements in advance for shelter if authorities require you to evacuate. Do you have local shelters? Do you have friends and family?
  8. Know what access routes are available for evacuation situations. What roads may be more likely to be blocked or closed?
  9. Plan in advance the care of your pets.

BE Cautious – Create easy to maintain checklists and contact information sheets.

Include all emergency contact information – during a disaster, there is normally not time to waste in looking up fire, police, ambulance, etc.

  1. Have a set place where this information is readily available to every family member. A laminated copy placed in childrens’  backpacks is a prudent choice.
  2. Teach family members how to turn off water, gas, and electricity at the main switches and valves and create a checklist to make sure none are missed. Painting shut-off valves with fluorescent paint is a good idea, as is attaching the necessary removal wrenches in close proximity to each of these areas.
  3. Have an annual review of your insurance policies to make sure you have adequate coverage – it is not unusual for standard policies to include any kind of “natural disaster” coverage.
  4. Have a scheduled maintenance of smoke alarms.
  5. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on location and train everyone in the household in its use. In the best case scenario, only adults should handle and use the extinguishers.
  6. Many normal household items can become hazards themselves during certain types of disasters. Assess your home to minimize damage from flying objects, in the case of earthquakes or tornados; electrical, chemical and fire hazards are also easy to identify early on and  require inspections periodically to manage potential hazards.
  7. Maintain emergency supplies and assemble a “disaster supply kit.” Every home should have enough supplies to last at least three days, storing them in sturdy, easy to carry containers – most of which will fit in backpacks or duffel bags left in the trunk of your car.
  8. Maintaining communications can mean the difference between life and death – make sure know where you keep a portable, battery-operated radio or television, and keep a healthy supply of extra batteries
  9. Consider taking first aid and CPR classes – not only are they the basics of safety, they can be fun shared activities for you and your children.
  10. Make two photocopies of all your vital documents. Keep the originals in a safe-deposit box. Keep one copy in a designated place in your home and the second copy should be given to your “contact” friend or relative. You may want to consider the PortaVault product found on my website for easy storage of these vital documents.
  11. Maintain a current inventory of your home, garage and property. Whether written or video taped, include the serial numbers, make and model, physical description and price of purchase, if possible. Store a copy of the inventory away from the home, such as in a safe-deposit box.

BE Responsible – Monitor and Practice Your Plan

Practicing your plan will help you instinctively make the appropriate response during an actual emergency. Life changes, and with that change, it is necessary to review periodically and adjust as may be appropriate Other modifications include:

  1. Replacing stored food and water every six months to ensure freshness.
  2. Test your smoke alarm once a month.
  3. Replace batteries on all emergency items at least once a year.
  4. Replace smoke alarms ever ten years.
  5. Monitor fire extinguishers to test proper pressure, following manufacturer’s instructions for replacement or recharging.

These few tips are just a beginning to understanding and being proactive in responding to disasters. The caveat… be prepared! While this is a broad overview to get you thinking, you will probably want to read future articles will provide a more in depth coverage of specific topics

Jan Vitale, your Investment Protector