Disaster Legal Help Victoria has created a five-point plan for being legally prepared in the event of a disaster:
- Check your insurance is up to date and covers you for disasters like fires, storms, and floods, and that you are fully insured for the complete value of your property and assets, including rebuilding costs.
- Create an inventory list (photos optional) for your home or business that details assets such as machinery, stock or jewellery, along with their value and condition.
- Get your important documents together such as Wills, titles, rental contracts, birth certificates, passports, insurance documents, and Centrelink or Medicare paperwork.
- Put your documents kit in a fireproof safe or a safety deposit box. Alternatively, create an electronic copy and email it to yourself.
- Keep a list of emergency contacts for dealing with recovery from a natural disaster, including Disaster Legal Help Victoria on 1800 113 432 or your local .
Creating a documents kit
If you need to leave very quickly in the event of a disaster, there may not be time to locate and pack valuables, important documents and other items. Prepare a documents kit that contains items of value, important paperwork, and personal information that you will need if you have to leave your property.
Sometimes people misplace or lose track of important documents. House and land titles, Wills, birth certificates and other documents are often stored away for many years. It might take you some time to find the originals and get copies. It helps to locate and store these documents early. For more information, visit .
Store copies of your important documents in a plastic folder or scan them and store them electronically. Electronic copies of your important documents can be stored on the cloud or simply emailed to yourself. This will prevent you from losing access to the documents if you lose your device.
Creating an inventory of your property
It is recommended that you also prepare an inventory of your property to help with any future insurance claims. An inventory should include the description and value of your property.
You can also take photographs of your property to better document items and their condition.
Fill in the Disaster Legal Help Victoria Home Insurance Inventory Checklist and keep it up to date to make sure you’re ready to make a claim with your insurance agency.
This checklist should help you think about the kind of documents you need to copy and store:
- Birth certificate
- Drivers licence
- Marriage certificate
- Powers of attorney
- Land and/or house title or certificate
- Mortgage papers
- Rental/leasing documents for home or business rentals
- Current insurance policies and contact details
- Centrelink paperwork
- Rates notices
- 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.
Where to get help
Reviewed 23 November 2023