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How should you store your family medical records?

In the event of an emergency, time is of the essence. When it is a medical emergency you're dealing with, family medical records should be easily accessible and ready to go. You may all be healthy with few records to keep, but whatever you have has to be organized and in one place. After all, you might suddenly find yourself in a crisis situation with no time to look for medical records at home.

Your family medical records should be easily distinguishable from other documents.

Every member of the family should be aware of their existence, and they should be stored in reach of everyone, including small children. The packet itself should be waterproof and durable -- nothing that can tear easily - and, if possible, it should be a clearly distinguishable color. Clearly label the package so it is easily recognizable as medical records, with your family name written on it as well. If you have a different package for each family member, clearly mark each one but keep them together in the same place, and always take the whole family packet with you. You may have other documents in your family emergency kit, so the medical records need to be in a separate folder.

A family emergency kit, including up-to-date medical records, can be a lifesaver in the event of an emergency situation. The attending physician or medical staff may need these documents immediately, so keep them as safe as you would any other of your valuables, and be prepared.