Creating the PortaVault

Sherie Dodsworth

I had an “aha” moment in 2005 and acted on it. I created a product to solve a problem the world saw unfold during Hurricane Katrina. We were all witness to hundreds of people being evacuated from their roof tops and then transported to evacuation centers with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Following the hurricane members of the media chronicled the challenges the disaster victims endured because they were unable to produce documents needed to rebuild their lives.

In response to Katrina, newspapers and magazines throughout the country featured articles listing the types of documents people should be prepared to take with them should they need to evacuate their home. In my local paper they recommend storing everything in a box. Anderson Cooper suggested the documents be stored in plastic bags if you lived in hurricane country. Since neither of these recommended storage solutions seemed very effective when I visualized the Katrina situation, or visualized my own situation, living in earthquake prone California I decided to develop a better solution.

I designed the Vital Records PortaVault to be a “grab-and- go” solution while making it easy to access documents when needed. I also wanted to make it simple to use and not require an extensive amount of writing. The resulting PortaVault® system identifies, organizes and stores the important records and documents commonly found in a home.

The PortaVault system is a zippered case made of durable water-resistant canvas and includes an adjustable shoulder strap and sturdy handle providing a grab-and- go solution for emergency situations. Inside there is space for hundreds of pages of documents on a three ring binder; dividers and color-coded labels identify finance and property, insurance, health and medical and estate planning documents. It also includes a pouch for storing cash, credit cards and keys; 30 acid-free records protectors; storage for four CD’s or DVDs and several custom forms which help summarize critical information and provide emergency planning guidance.

Although the Vital Records PortaVault was created as a solution for emergency planning it is also a life planning solution. The PortaVault has been embraced by baby boomers and others who want to organize their important documents in order to minimize chaos and confusion for the individual(s) who will be responsible for handling their affairs.

I have over 33 years of experience in finance and accounting, serving in senior financial roles for public and private companies, and certified public accounting firms. Over the years, I had developed many organization and record retention systems for my clients in addition to advising them on insurance, taxes, loans, accounting and other financial transactions. I am a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the California Society of CPA’s.

Thanks for your interest in the PortaVault!

Sherie Dodsworth
CEO & Creator