The coverage last month of the fires in Southern California included several stories of people being evacuated with just a few minutes notice. Invariably, something was left behind. It got me thinking.
If I had a fifteen minutes to pack before being evacuated, what would I take with me? We have two cars, and I am assuming we would be allowed to take both. First thing I’d do is strap the kids into their car seats, each with a coat from the coatrack. With them out of the way, I’d send the wife to throw clothing into our luggage, and I’d shout after her to not forget the diapers. Oy, do not forget the diapers. While she is upstairs, I’d busy myself with some of the intangibles.
Here’s the list I came up with:
- Clothes, mostly dumped wholesale from drawers into luggage.
- Medicine, conveniently in the hall closet in labeled bins.
- Diapers. A cot farm in the Astrodome is not the place to begin potty-training.
- Cell phone chargers. So many people in the San Diego area forgot to take their chargers with them, and had to beg for a charger from the Red Cross, or from their neighbors on the next cot. A place to plug them in is another problem.
- My laptop and the NAS. The NAS (network attached storage device) is nice and compact, and has all of our data on it. Pictures, movies, music, documents, everything. The NAS would be a priority over the laptop, actually.
- Dog. I don’t care if they wouldn’t let me in to the shelter/Astrodome/Red Cross tent camp with my dog, I would not leave him behind. I’ll sleep in the car with him before leaving him to fend for himself. Dog food. Leash.
- Our document safe… if we had one. We’ve talked about getting one, just haven’t pulled the trigger on it. Probably should.
- The still-unopened-from-our-move box labeled, “Memories” which has letters and un-scanned photographs and stuff.
- Photo albums (there are only about four or five)
- The Bag
- Passports, which should normally live in the document safe, eh?
And I think that’s it. There’s an endless supply of stuff I could be enticed to bring along, from artwork to books to electronics, and some of it might be useful for barter in the post-civilization era, but I am assuming we’d get back to our (burned-out-shell-of-a?) house eventually. If I had time to dig through our storage I might try to bring sleeping bags or ponchos or blankets or something more along the survival line, but with only fifteen minutes I think my time would be tapped out with the list above.
What would you bring?