One of the worst things about leaving for Hurricane Ivan in 2004 was determining what to take. I’m sure everyone feels stress in this regard when they evacuate, but I was a collector back then and had to decide whether to take collections or family pictures.
Today, my sole collection–milk glass–can be easily and inexpensively replaced. I know I would take my pictures and my safe with my external hard drive in it. What else I would take is up for debate–according to my husband. 😉
What I Would Do
I currently have a ton of memories–pictures, yearbooks, etc.–stored in medium-sized Sterlite containers. My goal would be to take those with me along with our family’s safe and external hard drive. I would also take my daughter’s homeschool curriculum. I would take a few small gifts given to me by my best friend who passed away over a decade ago, and I would take a couple of pieces of my late grandmother’s Wexford and a couple of other things that belonged to her. Beyond that, I would take whatever I could fit of my daughter’s items, just to try to give her something during such a stressful time. But other than protecting irreplaceable tangible records of my memories and trying to maintain some degree of stability for my child, I feel very strongly that everything else can be replaced.
I am blessed to be insured–including flood insurance, which I feel is important to have–and to have an emergency fund with our deductibles in it if we need it. (If you don’t have flood insurance and can afford it, I would encourage you to consider it. Homeowners’ insurance doesn’t typically cover floods, and I’ve seen my boss’s former clients lose everything because of a fight between the insurer and insured as to whether damage was caused by wind or flood.)
I’m also blessed that so many of my memories–particularly home videos from the date my husband and I married forward–are saved in digital format and can be taken with us on the external hard drive or even backed up to the cloud if need be. (I’ll discuss all of this digitization in the future here on the blog.)
Regardless of what you decide to take, you need to make that decision before you have to make it so you don’t waste valuable time stressing over what you want to evacuate with. So if you live on the coast and a storm begins heading in your general direction, think about it. Begin a list and mull over it for a few days. Make a plan. (In the meantime, try to make sure you’re adequately insured–and try to have an emergency fund to cover your deductible if you’re able.)
What Do You Think?
What would you take if you were to evacuate? Let me hear from you in the comments.