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If you have a bug out bag, you’ve likely stocked it with items like a knife, flashlight, lighter, energy bars, first aid kit, compass, duct tape, water purifier, etc. But what about all of your family’s important documents: your IDs, passports, birth certificates, social security cards, identifying photos, marriage certificates, firearm identifications, banking information, etc? In an emergency situation, these documents are an absolute must-have. A USB flash drive takes up very little space and can store scans of all of your family’s important documents.

But what if you lose this USB flash drive or someone steals it? Someone else could have access to your family’s most private data. Your identities could be stolen, your bank accounts ransacked, your lives ruined. That’s why you must encrypt the data with encryption software like Truecrypt. Truecrypt is serious encryption and it’s free.  You can use it to encrypt information not only on your emergency USB, but also on your computer…I keep all of my banking and online account passwords in an encrypted file on my computer.

I keep a fully loaded encrypted flash drive in my bug out bag, and I take it with me whenever I travel with my family. In addition to all of my family’s important documents, I also keep it loaded with a cache of survival PDFs and movies. Amazon has every kind of flash drive, and their prices are unbeatable…here are a few I’ve used and recommend:

tiny and inexpensive: SanDisk Cruzer Fit 16 GB USB Flash Drive SDCZ33-016G-B35

high-capacity: Patriot 128GB Supersonic Rage Series USB 3.0 Flash Drive With Up To 180MB/sec- PEF128GSRUSB

waterproof (for your BOB): Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 32GB USB 3.0 (CMFSS3-32GB)

We answer comments, so leave a message if you have questions about configuring Truecrypt…it was a little confusing for me at first.

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Updated: February 16, 2014 — 2:55 am

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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