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Document Protection: Lessons from the Carr Fire

Document Protection: Lessons from the Carr Fire

| August 18, 2018

I awoke to a strange alarm from my phone. As my eyes adjusted to the small screen I read a text message no one expects to receive...

"Emergency Alert!  Mandatory evacuations due to Carr Fire..."  

There's nothing like an emergency evacuation warning and impending displacement to clarify the irreplaceable things in your life. Unfortunately, some emergencies don't come a warning, but when they do the priority list usually includes photos, home videos, and key documents.  

Speaking from recent personal experience, an electronic back-up the important stuff greatly expedites an evacuation and reduces the anxiety of possible loss. When time is crucial it's a lot easier to gab a backup drive and bug-out than to move pictures from the walls of your home to the back of your truck.  When there no warning it's even better if you don't have to worry about saving a physical backup storage.  

Unlimited Free Backup Storage With The Client Site Vault

All my clients have a complementary personal wealth management web site through which we facilitate the financial planning process. Every personal site has and Electronic Vault providing a searchable repository for all sorts of documents and data. I use it to safekeep clients' financial documents and various reports, but clients can also use it to protect many irreplaceables. 

Vault files are separated into several different folders by content. You can save files and create sub-folders in two primary folders: My Documents and Shared Documents. The My Documents folder is for storing private files. The Shared Documents folder is for saving files you want to securely share with your favorite financial advisor.  

Accessible from Your Mobile

Since personal wealth management sites are web based, you can access your Vault from wherever you are! Going digital with important documents helps ease the mind. If there’s an emergency, documents like wills, deeds, and proof of identification can be accessed digitally at your fingertips. 


Not all web based data storage is created equal when it comes to privacy and security. Popular solutions offered by dropbox, google drive, and microsoft onedrive claim to be secure, but there's a reason why financial advisors are generally prohibited from storing their clients' data on these mediums.  In a word, "liability".  

• Our system uses a 256-bit Secure Socket Layer to scramble data
• Routine Security Testing by third party security auditors
• Data secured at geographically separated data centers 

Read more about The Security Of Our Electronic Vault

Storage Checklist

Moving your personal data and documents to the cloud is greatly aided by the use of a quality scanner.  Many multifunction printers include s decent scanner and are set up to easily transfer photos.  I recommend splitting up the process into manageable chunks. 

• Personal Documents: Driver’s License, Passports, Birth Certificate, Social Security Info
• Media: Video Recordings, Photos, Audio Recordings
• Legal Documents: Wills, Deeds, Trusts, Buy/Sell agreements, Marriage License, Title to Home/Auto/Boat
• Other: Tax Returns & W-2 Forms, Pay Stubs, Employment Benefits, Insurance Policies

Read Full Vault Checklist

Let Me Help You

If you need help moving key documents to the your secure vault then just drop them off at my office and I'll take care of it for you.