Thursday's Missive: What do you take?
September 8, 2005

I'm lifting this idea from another blogger whose name escapes me right now because I am a lazy websurfer and I don't write things down, nor do I discipline myself to use "favorites," or any of the great web tools out there for keeping track of the blogs you read.

So you have to leave your house. The situation is pretty serious and you're not quite sure the house will be there when you return. Let's just say hypothetically, you have about 15 minutes to decide what to take. You may be leaving on foot, loading up your car or even hopping on a plane. Either way,

What must absolutely come with you?

Posted by Ambra at September 8, 2005 2:38 AM in Culture
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1. Wedding pictures.
2. Family pictures.
3. Financial information.
4. Medication.
5. Insurance information.
6. Food.
7. Water.

I'd grab my hamster, as much food and water as I could pack and my hard drive. Most of my pictures are on my computer. Everything else to me is no big deal.

Toiletries, Clothes for a week , Financial Papers, Insurance Documentation, Business Papers, Cell Phone, Identification, Books, Hard Drives, Food, Water, Family/Friends Database, Music, deck of cards, and a good attitude.

Most of which I would forget with the 15 minute crunch.

ID, water, non-perishable eats, address book,toiletries, pillows,spiritual reading matter.

09 08 05

I would bring my financial papers' small safe, as it could be carried in a backpack, bottled water, some insulating clothes made of wicking material (so they can compress well into a backpack), dehydrated food kit with batteries, couple of physics books(, and my Bible.

My Palm PDA - it has all my important info, addresses, and two versions of the Bible.
wheelchair battery charger
favorite pillow
clean underwear

what about you Ambra?

I'd look for insurance papers, photos, and my proof of who I am.

The pragmatic part would have to take over if I only had 15 minutes.

I might take more, but I don't know what...

My list would be short...

Bible, Passport, Insurance & Financial papers, cell phone and charger, camping clothes, minimal toiletries and, lemme think about it. Oh right, I can't.

1) Medications
2) Personal ID and Financial Records
3) Photos
4) Laptop, Camera, Cellphone
5) Our emergency kit (includes camping gear, water and food, leashes for pets, food for pets, change of clothes)

*we keep our camping gear box right next to our emergency box and sleeping bags. we also keep canvas bags rolled up by the file cabinet (for records), by our medicine's, and by our photo box - because of this, it would literally take us 10 minutes maximum to load this stuff, us and our pets into our van*

First five minutes: pack some clothes, Bible, money, toiletries/medicine.

Next five minutes: picture albums-camera bag-financial records (depending on space considerations), help my son.

Last five minutes: calm down wife then reason with her over what we can realistically take, pack it up, say goodbye to pets, quick prayer and go.

[Hmmm, that sounds too much like a regular vacation departure!]

LOL at MarvC - it does.

I'd pack the important documents then go for the pictures. Then I'd head to the kitchen and grab some non-perishable food. After that, I'm going for clothes and my toolbox. (You never know when you'll have to go MacGyver in the dessert.) That will take ten minutes. Four of the last five minutes will be spent arguing on whether to take my CD collection or the cats.

The last minute will be spent making sure the tools don't smash my Stevie Wonder "Songs in the Key of Life" CD and saying good-bye to the cats. The little bastards like to rip up the toilet paper - I can't have that when I'm in survival mode. If my girl doesn’t put up too much of a fight about the cats, I might be able to get one of the televisions.

What absolutely must come with me?
The husband
the dogs
the cat
photo CDs
at least one bible
clean underwear & socks
animal food

Seeing as we have a Rottweiler & German Shepherd mix, by car would be our best option.

I'd add:

- My life vision and mission statement
- First aid kid
- Mp3 loaded with worship music
- A picture of my family (I'm single and my parents live across the country. Any sentimental stuff is at their house.

Did somebody really say they'd grab their hamster?

I didn't even know people stil had hamsters.

Since there are five of us we could grab more stuff in 15 minutes, I guess, so we'd take lots of the stuff mentioned above, plus:

  • My rifle and ammo (gotta protect my peeps)

  • Our parakeet Peeper ('cause parakeets is practically chickens)

  • Steel wool and one of those big lantern-style flashliht batteries (this combo can be used to make fire)

  • The portable DVD player and a bunch of DVDs/CDs

  • Tons of vitamins, especially the stress managers

On second thought, and this occurred to me all over again with the LA disaster, it's probably best to keep some kind of kit you can just grab and go with right in the hall closet, huh?

"Our parakeet Peeper ('cause parakeets is practically chickens)"


That is hilarious.

Leave??! I'm not leaving. I'm gonna stay right here, so that when the television cameras arrive I can become an international celebrity as the face of the disaster. Then I'll write a best-selling memoir of the disaster in which I lift the accusing, authoritative finger of the oppressed, homeless and displaced citizens of the United States and point it at every single republican politician I can think of.

I was totally waiting for someone to be cheeky.

LL: that would be a good idea. I'm in Cali so I don't know if I'll get 15 minutes. I'm getting a backpack together and putting some supplies in it. I'm also going to keep some cash in just in case my card doesn't work - and I'm making a drive to Las Vegas. When the big one happens I want to make sure I get some beach front property in Nevada. I'm still not taking those cats.

If I was walking/busing/flying, and could only take what I could carry, I'd take everything I usually take backpacking (food, shelter, clothes, stove, medical supplies, dog & whatever else--it's all in one place), plus the laptop & passport.

If I was taking a car, I'd chuck some important finacial documents in there too, a lot more food and clothes and some books. I'd also pull the hard drive from my desktop computer, probably. Oh, and the cat. Though my wife would probably make sure we take the cat no matter what.

Ok, I live in Florida so I guess I should think about this a little bit more than I have.

1. My big red suitcase full of clothes ( couple of days is just not going to do)
2. Keepsake bin
3. All pictures
4. Important papers file
5. Laptop
6. My friends without cars

Funny thing is, that's pretty much all of my posessions.

Ambra, I agree with Laserlawyer. Where would you rather be in a natural disaster, in your own home with your bottled beverages, meals ready to eat, firearms cleaned and operable, or out on street-road-airport at the mercy of a government that can't agree on lunch! I just wait until the water recedes, and then help clean up the slop.

important financial information
radio with batteries
a good novel
my iPod if i had one

I live on the west side of south LA. There is no way I will ever make it out - it takes me two hours to get out of LA in any direction on a normal day. Anything happens, I'm grabbing my first aid kit and water and going next door to chill with my homies (and not be in the apartment the white boy lives in).

I live in central New York. The natural disasters we have up here are the kind where you're better off in your house (as long as the heat stays on).

Having said that, 15 minutes would be just enough time to get the kids, the first aid kit, and the document pouch with the passports, birth and wedding certificates, social security cards, citizenship papers, and check book. Hubby would be incharge of food, diapers, and reading material (he doesn't go anywhere with out a substantial selection of books in his bag). Once the kids were secured maybe I'd head back for some more clothing for thhe adults (there are always back up clothes for the kids in the diaper bag). We'd bring the hard drives too.

After the Katrina aftermath I'm even more inclined to obtain a fire arm.

What I would grab is:

Dogs + Food
papers including birth certificate
family photo's
guns & ammo
canned/ dried food
rugged warm clothes

Funny MarcV.

Good to see more holy books than weapons.

I've used up 15 minutes just trying to think about what to write here!

1. Dog
2. My Bible
3. My trumpets
4. A handful of my favorite CDs
5. My computer! (yes, I could do it!)

Great question.....My Sports card collection (worth quite a bit)...mayby if its feasible, my computer tower, some of my books....mayby my keyboard again if that is feasible.....and last but not least, my own sorry ass...ha ha......

Devon in Calgary

My wife, my phone, OEM "GO BAG".

I haven't popped my head in here for a long time... summer you know. :-)

I'd just like to say... I'VE DONE THIS. I evacuated from Clark AB, not with 15 minutes warning, but a few hours between "are they going to ask us to leave" and a midnight phone call from one of the guys I worked with telling me that he had info that the order would be given in the morning.

We took our box of important papers (marriage and son's birth certificates, ID's etc.) which were already collected. Diaper bag with all the baby clothes that would fit and all the diapers in the house (and PRAISE GOD I was breastfeeding) and the cats. We took very few clothes. In fact, I think I only took for me what would fit in the diaper bag. You can't carry a baby, baby stuff, *and* a suitcase. You just can't.

We shouldn't have taken the cats. It was irresponsible of me to take on any responsibility for living things other than my baby. In the end we got them home with us and we all survived and recovered, but if we have to do it again I'd be quite reluctant to take any of the animals. That might upset some of the "pets are people too" folks, but the fact is that you can only do what you can do and no more.

There are things not to worry about... clothes are easy to get more of and who cares how dirty you get inbetween? When you don't pay your bills, your creditors will send you brand new ones. It's also not too difficult to get replacements for birth and marriage certificates. Don't take more than you can easily carry by yourself because you might end up having to carry it by yourself.

More important is to know where you're going and how you're going to get there.

My husband and I have talked about this in the context of a hypothetical (and rather riddiculous) scenario of Sandia Labs going up in a nuclear fireball. (If he's at work I leave with the kids without even trying to contact him. How ever long it takes me to get there, I go all the way to my parent's house 1400 miles away.) Rather more likely is an evacuation due to fire.

In fact, a fire isn't even *un*likely. The hills behind us are mostly dead pine trees. In that event I throw what I can into the car and drive to town. The neighborhood has only one road out (yeah, that's stupid I know) and our fire preparedness includes instructions for everyone to arrange for people who may be home to take their neighbor's horses and pets since it's a given that they won't be allowed to go get them. To plan ahead and have a plan.

And everyone should because anyone might have their apartment burn down. It doesn't take living in a hurricane zone or next to a chemical plant. All it takes is a fire in your house.

I'm afraid I'm a bit of a fatalist when it comes to the house and all my stuff. I tend to think in terms of less stuff to dust, you know?

Looks like Ambra decided to take her server with her.

Looks like her server took Ambra!


I learned years ago to have a "go bag" on hand in case of an emergency. Everyone in my family has one. That way, all we have to do is throw on our coats, grab the backpacks and head out the door.
Mine has: 2 pair of socks, 2 t-shirts, 2 pair of underweap, a hooded sweatshirt and a pair of sweat pants. It also has a small first aid kit, a flashlight, and an unopened pack of batteries, 2 candles and matches in a waterproof container, some steel wool, a leatherman tool, an emergency foil blanket, 3 MRE's a trachbag a dozen wetwipes, and a small plastic bag like you get at the grocery store.
We keep bottled water on hand anyway, so I'd toss in 2 to each bag. All I have to add is my shaving kit, toss in the bag with my meds, grab my cd player and I'm done and gone.
We also keep all the important papers in one place, ready to toss into a large ziploc bag and into someone's backpack.
It's not being paranoid, it's being prepared. The more you can take care of yourself, the less of a burden you will be on others and on relief forces. Basically, limit each family member to one backpack, and nothing else. Take what will answer your immiediate needs. Everything else can be replaced. Nothing material, and i mean NOTHING is worth risking anyone's life over.
You'd have a LOT of 'splainin' to do to God if you died trying to go back and retrieve a bible, when the Salvation Army will give you another one for free later on:)

1. bible...

HAHAH no not really...

3. my bag of Acapulco Gold...
no, maybe not

ah I know!
kid, woman, credit card "We're going on vaction guys!!"

My Bible, photos of the kids, birth certificate and other like important papers. That's it.

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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