This document was written for a specific friend. I recognize that everyone has different needs that may not be covered in this document, as well as the many instances when people can flee but are unable to make plans or bring anything with them. This is not meant to be an exhaustive guide but a starting point of ideas in case you are able to plan your leaving in advance.
state ID card or driver’s license; Social Security cards; passports; birth certificates
bank/ATM cards; bank account numbers; credit cards; cash, whatever you have; de-link bank accounts so that money can’t be transferred out of your account; remove your name — or your partner’s name — from credit cards
OTC medications and prescriptions, with as many refills as your doctors will give you — transfer prescriptions to a pharmacy at your new location; anything you medically need (heating pads and cold packs, braces, cushions, assistive technology, TENS units, CPAP, and other equipment, mobility aids, everything else; contact info for your doctors, including fax numbers and mailing addresses; any medication documentation that you have copies for (paper or CD) — include diagnoses, treatment plans, test results such as MRIs, blood work, biopsies, surgical history, etcetera); pharmacy contact information so you can transfer your prescriptions to your new location; list of all your medications including prescription name and strength, as well as prescribing doctor contact information
papers that detail any divorces, separation agreements, child visitation, and child support information; tax forms from the past ten years or however far back you can go; receipts, leases, mortgages, liens, or anything else that will prove ownership of any important items you own — even if you’re not taking those items now; be certain to establish sole ownership of your digital content (such as website hosting and registration, streaming accounts, etcetera) — you can have print-outs or digital proof of ownership, but both are recommended, as well as is is removing your ex-partner from your accounts as soon as possible); anything related to work you might need such as tax info, lists of expenses, contracts, and business cards
photos, mementos, anything that’s emotionally important to you such as things that you’ve inherited or things that remind you of your loved ones; if you have kids, photos of them over the years; if you have and are able to bring your kids, include their favorite things as well as their needed things such as medications, car seats, clothing, and anything else you prefer to or can’t replace
Hygiene and clothing
toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, hair brushes — these are good to have on hand so you don’t have to buy new ones in the process of arriving at your new location; clothing and shoes — favorite items, expensive seasonal items for you such as coats and boots if seasonally appropriate, otherwise don’t bother if you’ll definitely be able to go back for those; 7-10 days of in-season clothing — if you can’t come back for additional clothing and you won’t be able to buy new clothing, 3 days of clothing is a good start if you can include 7 days of socks and underwear to go with the clothing; and if applicable, at least some of your makeup and jewelry, as you may want these while job hunting if that’s something you’ll need to do
whatever is specifically yours: computers, phones, pads, external hard drives, monitors, cameras, microphones, printers, scanners; it’s a good idea to start copying all your data onto two drives now (main and backup, plus cloud if you can) so it’s fast and easy to take with you when you go and you can bring your data even if you can’t bring your computer(s); sort our accounts you might share now, such as data (cloud services, VPN), media (Spotify, Netflix), password management, Amazon Prime, delivery services (Door Dash, Instacart, groceries), digital content (websites), anything else you use; start making sure your accounts are online in your name and billing info and not on a shared bank or credit account
Make plans for your animal companions
re-home as necessary; gather veterinarian info that includes contact info, vaccine records, rabies tags and history, county or city licensing registration info; and if re-homing, a written list of preferred diet and routines
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