Since leukemia and stem cell transplant, I separate my life in 2 different phases…before leukemia and stem cell transplant, and after leukemia and stem cell transplant. Although I’ve always been a planner before my illness, preparing or planning for my “affairs be in order” was not part of my modus operandi before leukemia. When you’re healthy you just don’t think any serious illness or major thing will happen to you, at least that was my MO.
When you survive a life-threatening illness, planning goes beyond the here and now to beyond death. What I’m talking about is having an ‘In Case of Emergency (ICE) Binder’ for those mindblowing situations, such as fatal accidents, life-threatening illness, serious medical conditions, and so forth. Actually, having an ICE Binder is important for all families, healthy or not.
In the ICE Binder, you list all important financial information including mortgage, credit cards, monthly bills, insurances (auto, home, umbrella, medical), Advanced Directives, and social media accounts. If you have a business or businesses, that too should be included in the ICE Binder.
Completing the binder may take you several weeks, but you will be glad you did it.
A thorough ICE Binder will include the following:
- Household information
- Emergency Numbers
- Extended Family Contact Information
- Key Personal Documents
- Medical Information
- Doctors, Allergies, Medications
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Information for Non-Parent Caregivers
- Child Preferences & Activities
- Pet Care
- Family Traditions
- Family Insurance Details
- Home & Auto
- Life Insurance
- Other Insurance
- Financial Information
- Property Information
- Regular Bills
- Cash Accounts
- Credit Card Accounts
- Social media accounts
- Internet accounts
Attach your Will and Advanced Directives to the ICE Binder, and let your designated trusted individuals know the location. Read more about Advanced Directives in this post.
A couple of ICE Binder examples:
- This free ICE Binder by Mom With A Prep is titled Family Emergency Binder and has a complete downloadable checklist for creating your ICE Binder. There are step-by-step-instructions of materials to purchase and information to gather for starting your ICE binder. (https://momwithaprep.com/make-a-family-emergency-binders-free-download/)
- Or put ‘in case of emergency binder’ in the search bar and look at your options.