Safe deposit box vs. other off-site document storage

I’m in process of compiling/inventorying/scanning/copying important documents (wills/titles/insurance policies/etc.)  In the past, I’ve stored most of those documents in a fire-proof safe in my home and, as a result of the current process, expect to store digital backup copies on a flash drive (or two or three).  I’m contemplating, however, the possibility of storing copies (either paper or digital or, perhaps, originals) in an offsite location such as a bank safety deposit box or, alternatively, in a fireproof safe in my parents’ basement (17 miles from here), my brother’s home several states away or, possibly, a combination of the above.  While I do use secure cloud storage for digital files (photos, work files, etc.), my inclination is NOT to store highly sensitive personal information in the cloud.

Mostly, I just want my wife to be able to easily locate and retrieve everything if, god forbid, something should happen to me.  (Or, in the event that something happens to both of us, our next of kin.)  But, secondarily, in the event of a major catastrophe or other SHTF scenario, obviously, I’d want backup copies of important documents in case the originals are destroyed or otherwise inaccessible.

Just some initial thoughts on document storage.  I would feedback from others who have already done this (or, at least, are further along in this aspect of prepping than I am).  Thanks!


  • Comments (2)

    • 3

      A safe deposit box will protect items from theft but many safe deposit boxes were lost during Katrina. I would have a backup location with the same data at another bank out of your region. You may also need the data during an emergency but find power out at the bank and your box unavailable. Your wife and family should have keys or official access to the box too.

      • 2

        That’s my advice too. If you do get a safe deposit box or store files with a family member, do it with someone outside of your city. A natural disaster that affects your home will probably affect the nearby bank.

        How much do you trust your family members? Unfortunately, some members of a family might get a little curious, be forgetful and toss your documents, or have strained relations with you and not give you your documents when you need them. Bank shouldn’t have any of those issues. But then a bank is only open during business hours and a family member can be bugged at all hours of the day.