13 May 2014

Evacuation List

So, when I was a kid and there were wildfires in the area, I remember making a list of things to take in case of an evacuation (in order from most important to least important) -- yes, I did that when I was a kid. :)   

After today, I've been thinking about an evacuation list again. Earlier this morning, when I first heard there was a small fire near the high school (before it spread, and I didn't really think it was going to come too close to our neighborhood), I spent a little while going through our whole house, garage, and yard photographing everything -- even inside drawers and cupboards and in closets and on garage shelves. I thought it would be a good idea to have documentation for homeowners insurance, just in case anything ever did happen (the only reason I hadn't gotten around to doing that before is I always think I'll wait until the entire house is spotless to take insurance pictures, but today I got some nice, realistic pictures that show our nice clean downstairs of the house, and the not-so-tidy bedrooms. Oh well, that's life). 

Anyway, so with photos of the household items for insurance, later in the day when it actually did come time to evacuate, I wasn't nearly as worried about gathering up any household items that were replaceable. So I just focused on things that could not be replaced. 

Obviously I made sure the kids and dogs were safely in the car, and I grabbed the laptop and external hard drives that we use to backup computer files, then I got boxes and albums of photos/scrapbooks, a couple boxes of genealogy stuff: old family papers/photos, I grabbed journals and the books we've printed from our blog (our "family journal"), and a couple of family history books, and the negatives of the photos from our wedding. And i picked up the folder of important documents: marriage & birth certificates, passports, etc. I also tossed in the iPad, and charger cords for that and the cell phones (I really need to get an extra phone cord and keep it in the car at all times -- running out of battery while driving home during an evacuation isn't a very good feeling).  And I also grabbed a very minimal amount of food (just in case): a couple pizzas from the freezer, a large box of macaroni & cheese, and oatmeal (I guess that would have gotten us by if we'd really been hungry and not wanted to go to a grocery store yet or something).  And I grabbed a stuffed animal for each boy -- thinking those could help comfort and/or entertain the boys while we were away. 

So, I felt like I did a pretty good job of getting out the important stuff by myself in a short amount of time. I did realize afterward that if our house had burned down I probably would have regretted not getting some of our special family Christmas items, my big framed circular pedigree chart that hangs on our living room wall, and the little boxes I've saved with special keepsakes for each of the boys (like special artwork or their pinewood derby cars). 

But overall I think I did pretty well at remembering the important things. I do think, though, that I might rearrange some of the bookshelves a bit to have all the albums and journals and family history books in one spot, so I don't have to search through several different shelves for the irreplaceable items. And maybe, if I'm ever feeling real ambitious, I'll make another list of items, in order of importance, so I can refer to it and make sure I don't forget anything in case of another evacuation someday. 

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