Emergency and Important Document Binder for a Move

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In the best of times, moving is a stressful and complicated life event. Now, contending with possible travel restrictions surrounding the pandemic, is the icing on this complicated cake! Facing new rules and restrictions can add extra steps to your military move.


For example, you might need to quarantine in a hotel for a period of time if you are PCSing overseas. Taking the time to plan as much as you can in advance for your move will go a long way in helping to reduce stress and anxiety, and better allow for the excitement of getting to experience a new location.  


You're careful about packing dishes, but what about documents? Use this list to pack like a pro so you always have your important documents handy. During a move you should always have your important documents packed with you and NOT with the movers.  


I suggest while you are organizing these items, you also prepare an emergency binder that can be used not only during a PCS, but also in the event that there is a natural disaster or unexpected crisis. 


For your move, you will need to gather the following items for a PCS Binder:


  • Power of Attorney
  • Insurance and banking documents 
  • Savings bonds* 
  • Stock certificates* 
  • Vehicle and Property Titles* 
  • Marriage License 
  • Copy of your home inventory 
  • Children's school records 
  • Birth certificates*  
  • Social security cards* 
  • Passports* 
  • Will* 
  • Copy of your drivers license and military identification 
  • Military Orders (multiple copies) 
  • Medical records 
  • Pet documents: immunization records, medical history (if you plan to stay in a hotel during your trip, most locations will require proof of pet immunizations) 

*while not PCS-ing I recommend these items be kept in a safety deposit box 


To make an emergency binder add:

  • Evacuation plan for fire, plan for tornado or other natural disaster 
  • Family photo  
  • Individual pictures of each member of your family 
  • Emergency Contact list 
  • Nearest Hospital (include pet hospital too) 
  • Family Doctors number 
  • Contact information for immediate family 
  • Insurance companies contact information and insurance policy numbers 

Here are some great examples of Emergency Kits and PCS Binders to get you started (and motivated!)

  • Mallory from @mamas_onthe_move has free PCS resources including a DITY Binder, 8- and 4-week packing plans, open first box list and a Kids PCS packet. She knows her stuff 12 DITY moves in 12 years!) 
  • Your Own Home Store provides free printouts to help you complete your binder 
  • Military Spouse Semi-Delicate Balance features a PCS Binder Guide with free printables. 
  • Want a full move organization system, Military Spouse C.C., created a Stressless PCS Kit. 

What did I miss!? What do you ensure is in your family's PCS binder or emergency plan? 


Related information: 

USAA’s Moving Checklist