Before disaster strikes, a prepper sets up a survival stockpile filled with gear and supplies and a bug-out bag (BOB). Once those are done, a prepper should also take the time to prep a digital BOB to secure important documents. (h/t to SHTFBlog.com)
Even if you don’t need them right now, preparing a secure, digital copy of your documents can save you a lot of time when you actually need them. Start by saving digital copies of your IDs and other documents on a USB drive.
Once the first copy is done, make another copy and store it in a safety deposit box or a secure hiding place in your bug-out location. If you lose the first USB drive or you lose your home to a natural disaster, you can quickly retrieve your files using the back up USB drive.
Alternatively, you can take photos of your IDs using your phone. Send copies of the photos to your email account or to an online drive. However, photos of your IDs and documents can be lost. Someone else can also access your data if they manage to get ahold of your phone.
Check online for free ways to secure your data using encryption tools like BitLocker and VeraCrypt. (Related: Follow these useful tips to protect yourself from identity theft.)
If you own a device that can read a microSD card, use one to store your information and keep your data portable. For added security, remove the microSD card from your device and hide it somewhere on your person, in a secret compartment in your room, or inside your survival stockpile.
Keep your information updated by giving documents detailed names, such as the day you scanned it and the expiration date. Doing this ensures that you can easily tell which files need updating.
Hide your bug-out USB drive or microSD card in a small container with emergency money. When SHTF, you can grab your digital BOB and have access to money so you can buy provisions
Below are suggestions on IDs and important documents that you may want to store in your digital BOB.
If you prefer to have physical copies of your IDs and documents, you need to factor in the available storage space in your BOB. You can’t lug around a heavy bag, and your documents might get wet if you don’t keep them in a waterproof envelope. But unlike USB drives or a microSD card, you don’t need any device to access printed copies of your documents.
If you chose to store digital copies of your data, make sure you have a device that can access your info and backup power source to charge your phone when SHTF.
Before disaster strikes, prep your digital BOB and secure your IDs and important documents to protect your information from prying eyes.