Erik's Shoebox (Emergency Response Information Kit)

A Project of the Mobile County District Attorney’s Disaster Response Team & Fraud Strike Force

Post Disaster Crime Prevention

In the days following Hurricane Katrina, Mobile County District Attorney, John Tyson, Jr., was concerned about the impending crime wave that usually follows a disaster: Contractor fraud, fake charities, stress leading to family violence, insurance fraud and other illegal activities.

Business and community leaders and disaster recovery agencies joined forces with area law enforcement to come u with new ways to protect citizens by preventing crime, and to share information leading to the arrest and conviction of con artists preying on local homeowners needing help with repairs and clean-up. This group became the District Attorney’s Disaster Response Team and Fraud Strike Force.

Eric Beck, a member of this group who works with the Mobile County Education Association, saw first-hand the problems that arose when displaced families who had fled their destroyed homes attempted to start a new life with no documentation. They could not prove who they were, whether they had legal custody of their children, what grade the child should be in, or even draw cash from an ATM.

To prepare for future emergencies, Beck assembled copies of all his family’s important documents into a portable binder, which he named the “shoebox”, after the container in which his mother always kept her important papers.

The District Attorney’s Disaster Response Team seized on Beck’s idea and added to it. The result is a handy, pocket-sized reference that not only can help citizens locate and organize their important papers, but also protect them from post-disaster crime.

Brochure Table of Contents:

Who is Erik and what’s in the shoebox?
Be Prepared
Post-disaster crime
How to use this booklet
The next disaster and a history of Alabaman’s major declared disasters since 1969

Before the Storm
Gathering, storing and protecting your personal information
What to put in your shoebox
Shoebox Checklist
Keeping in Touch
Family Communications Plan
Home Inventory Tips

When the Storm Approaches:

Plan ahead, Share your plan
What to take with you
Basic disaster supplies
Other items to bring

After the Storm:

Don’t be victimized twice!
Alerts to fake charities, price-gouging and con artists
Alerts re: Preventing insurance problems, storm damaged vehicles and home repair

Where to Find Help and Information

Comprehensive list of organizations and phone numbers who may offer assistance

Click here to access The Erik’s Shoebox Brochure.