How to protect your important documents during severe weather
BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue is advising residents to protect their tax records and other financial documents from flood damage and other weather-related threats as tropical storm warnings are in effect for parts of the state.
Paper records can be protected by placing them in airtight plastic containers and zip-closed bags.
Residents can go paperless with bank statements and other financial documents that are available as electronic records through their financial agencies. These records can be saved on portable memory drives or burning them to CD's. Theses should also be stored in airtight containers.
Scan important records such as tax returns, W-2's and payroll records into an electric format. Web-based email services such as Gmail and Hotmail offer free online data storage to individuals with an account. Electronic records can be uploaded from a computer and accessed from any device with internet access.
Residents are also advised to compile a room-by-room list of belongings and business equipment. Take pictures or recordings of items in your home, especially items of high value. A visual record of itesm can provide proof for an insurance claim and can also verify a loss claim on state and federal tax returns.
In the event of a disaster, the Department of Revenue will provide information on potential tax reductions or credits, filing extensions and other tax-related matters.
The department advises residents to bookmark www.revenue.louisiana.gov on their computer or save it to the home screen of their mobile device. Follow @larevenue on Twitter for information updates in real time.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness also advises residents to bring the following items with them in a portable, waterproof container in case they must leave their homes during severe weather:
- Driver's license or personal identification
- Social Security card
- Proof of residence (deed or lease)
- Insurance policies
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates
- Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns
Visit www.getagameplan.org for more information.