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Disaster Legal Help

Preparing for bushfire season

Last updated December 2013

If you live or holiday near bush, grassland or coastal areas you are advised to pack a documents kit. This kit should contain items of value, important documents and personal information that you will need if you have to leave your home or property.

Finding and storing important information

Finding important documents and personal information and storing copies in your documents kit is an important part of being prepared for the bushfire season.

 

Sometimes people misplace or lose track of important documents. House and land titles, wills, birth certificates and other documents are often stored for many years. It may take you some time to find originals and get copies.

 

If you are alerted to a fire in your area, you may need to leave very quickly. There may not be time to locate and pack valuables, important documents and other items. Make sure you have pre-packed everything that you want to take with you.

How to store your information

Store copies of your important documents in a plastic folder and/or scan them and store electronically.

Remember to keep your documents kit in a secure place at all times.

Checklist of important information you may need

This checklist should help you to think about the kind of documents you need to copy and store:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Marriage certificate
  • Will
  • Powers of Attorney papers
  • Land and/or house title or certificate
  • Mortgage papers
  • Rental/leasing documents for home or business rentals
  • Current insurance policies and contact details
  • Superannuation and investment details
  • Employment contract (workers)
  • Important business papers (small business)
  • Tax file number
  • Medicare number
  • Health insurance fund number
  • Bank account and credit card numbers

Finding original documents

Land and house titles or certificates can sometimes be difficult to locate. For information about how to find out who holds the title and/or mortgage to your land, see the Replacing lost or destroyed title documents factsheet on this website.

 

For information about wills, including missing wills, see the Wills and estates factsheet on this website.

Further information

For further information about preparing for the 2014–2015 bushfire season, go to the Country Fire Authority website.