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  • What would you take with you in an emergency?


    I don’t know how big this story is nationally, but Southern California is ablaze with wildfires. Fortunately, they’re not particularly close to us, though we can smell the smoke if we go outside. As I was watching the news earlier, one of the anchors mentioned that people were packing in case they were told to evacuate. And that got me thinking.

    My husband and I are well-prepared for earthquakes. But you don’t get a warning when an earthquake hits, so our preparation consists of well-stocked emergency bags that we can grab and run out the door with.

    But what if we did have time to pack up a car load of stuff? What would we bring? I’ve been seriously thinking about it tonight. We may be safe from the current wildfires, but we’re not immune.

    I think I would pack up my husband’s computer, because his has all of our family photos (we have backups on CDs, but they wouldn’t include the last couple months). I would grab our fire-proof box, which contains copies of our marriage certificate, birth certificates, passports, etc. I’d also pack handy financial items like our checkbook.

    But other than things like toiletries and clothes, I’m not sure what else would make it into our car. I’m going to think about it more and make a list, though. I don’t want to have to make these kinds of decisions on the spot – I’m sure I’d forget something important.


    1. Last night I read an old Y2K article about planning ahead for what you will take, if you have the time. It recommended making a list of the items and location in the home, and posting this list inside one of the kitchen cabinets. That way, in a rush, you won’t forget something really important. That sounds like a practical idea.

    2. Chief Family Officer says:

      Thanks, Willow – that is a great idea.

    3. Michelle Allen says:

      Cell phone chargers! These may be the only phones you have for a while and if you don’t have the plug, you won’t last too long.

      I remember evacuating my first year of law school and it is pretty scary.

    4. Chief Family Officer says:

      Good idea, Michelle – I’m adding it to the list!

    5. MetaMommy says:

      This is such a good idea. I’m making a two-tiered list. What to take if I have 2 minutes, and what to take if I have 20.
      Worst case, we might just pack our pre-assembled earthquake kit, computer (photos), and basics (e.g., purse w/wallet, keys, phone).

    6. Chief Family Officer says:

      @MetaMommy – At least with the fires, I think most people have had several hours at least to pack, so I was thinking about how much stuff we could cram into our car for one trip!