How to use Google Drive to Store Digital Copies of Important Documents

How to use Google Drive to Store Digital Copies of Important Documents

Do you know how you would get access to your important documents should they be destroyed in a disaster or emergency?
What if, after a disaster or emergency at home or while traveling, all that remained were the clothes on your back? With no wallet, ID, or smart phone, how would you be able to produce your ID, or other important documents to get back on your feet?

If you’re like me, all you would have to do is log into your google drive and download and print off copies of your critical documents.
For the purposes of this post, I’m sharing how you can use your Google drive to get “Tech Ready.” There are other services out there you can use like drop-box, but Google Drive is the one I’m most familiar with and therefore the example I’m using. Regardless of the cloud based service you choose, the idea is ensure you have access to critical documents should you need them.

Let’s cover the basics:
What is Google Drive? Google Drive provides access to your stuff (like critical documents) on every computer and mobile device.
Can anyone use it? Yep, and it’s available to everyone and is a free service. All you will need is a Google account. If you don’t have one you can sign up here – https://accounts.google.com/SignUp.
What can I store on my Google Drive? Pretty much anything from images of critical documents, to word files, and even your favorite songs and treasured family videos. For preparedness purposes, my wife and I store the following digital copies (photographs) of the following:

  • Drivers Licenses
  • Birth Certificates
  • Social Security Cards
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Health Insurance Cards
  • Car Loan Contract
  • Insurance Contracts
  • Recent Bank, College Loan, and Credit Card Statements (we update these quarterly)
  • Renters of Mortgage Agreements
  • Life Insurance Policies

Who has access to your drive? Only you, or the people you choose to share certain items with. See below for details.
Can you share documents with others? Yes you can. You can share specific items or folders of items. I’ve chosen to give one other person who I trust access to our drivers licenses. Should anything happen to myself or my wife or if we can’t get online, there would be someone else who could at least get to copies of our IDs.
Aren’t you concerned about security and privacy? I am. I take the following precautions: I use strong passwords and change them every three months. Before I gave the other person access to my items, I’ve asked this person to use strong passwords too. I also recommend you read and make sure you are comfortable with Google’s privacy policy – https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy. If you’re not using strong passwords, google “strong password generator” to find out how to create them.
Want to learn more about getting “Tech Ready” check out http://www.ready.gov/get-tech-ready.

One comment

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