Tam and Uncle both mentioned someone raising the idea of including electronics in you bug out kit. Me being me, I figured I’d throw in my two cents. Especially since, while I wasn’t one of those hit by the little bit of rain here in Nashville last year, I did have to quickly evacuate in the middle of the night a few years ago due to an apartment fire that took out my entire building. I was fortunate enough to escape with my wallet, car keys, and money, but that was largely because they were still in the pants next to my bed. A few of the other folks weren’t as lucky and had a bit harder time dealing with the rescue workers (and I’m assuming everyone else) when they were asked for identification.
I would highly encourage everyone to carry a USB thumb drive with scans of important documents on it. I will say that you don’t have to buy a high capacity one or one that’s been “ruggedized.” I’ve been carrying a 1GB Sandisk MicroCruiser that I bought back when that was the high capacity size. It’s been riding on my key chain ever since and has taken a pretty good beating because of it. I check it periodically to make sure it still works, and so far, so good.
Here’s what I have on mine and would recommend having on yours: a folder encrypted using TrueCrypt that contains scans of my birth certificate, SS card, driver’s license, and other important documents or information (some include a text file with bank account info, etc), a portable copy of TrueCrypt to access the folder, and portable copies of OpenOffice and Foxit (PDF viewer) from portableapps.com. As long as I have access to a computer running Windows with an open USB drive, I’m good to go.
Oh, and notice I said “have on me,” not “ready to go” or “in my bug out bag.” I learned in the fire, that I only had time to grab a couple things (including pants and shoes) before I had to get out due to smoke. I failed to find my cellphone because my girlfriend moved it a foot from where I had put it when I went to bed.