Just had a fire alarm the other night at 10 p.m., and was grumpily tweeting about it when I realized it’d be a great post.
(Yes, I sleep at 9 p.m., so waking up at 10 p.m. is not on my schedule.)
What would you take in a fire?
Even though I knew it was probably someone burning some bacon on the stove, I still went and hastily grabbed the following things:
- My Passport
- 1 USB key with all my important documents scanned
- iPod Touch (my current Personal Digital Assistant – PDA)
- Wallet (with some money and my ID)
- Jacket (cold outside)
It all fit into one bag.
Nay, one POUCH, seeing as I wore my jacket, pants and shoes.
I was milling around downstairs looking at others’ not-so-grumpy faces (they weren’t sleeping like I was), and saw that they had a mix of the following:
- Nothing at all. Either they are true minimalists, they had at least a wallet, or they thought it was a false alarm
- A suitcase. Not sure how she packed everything into a suitcase so quickly, but…..
- Backpacks. I eavesdropped and heard them say they had their computers in there
- TONS OF STUFF. This one woman looked like a bag lady. 3 bags on each arm, her purse, a cooler of food…
Everyone was calm and tired.
I realized that most of us (even the non-minimalists I am sure were in that lobby) could do without the rest of the things in the apartment.
Most of us consider NOTHING AT ALL to a couple of bags to be very important enough to grab in an emergency.
Who needs anything beyond a passport, a cellphone, and your wallet?
Everything else is replaceable, including data if you backed it up.
BUT WHAT IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE AT ALL?
I’m talking about natural disasters, or infestations.
Everyone should read and look at the photos from Ellie Di’s blog – Apples and Porsches.
She suffered a nasty bedbug invasion and had to get rid of 40% of her things, including sentimental items like their art portfolios with paper where bedbugs might nest and multiply, and a whole host of other things.
It’s a sad story, but the most inspirational part of the whole post for me, were the following words:
We agreed that the only things we’re really attached to are my cedar hope chest, my grandmother’s sewing table (that I use as a desk), and our books. The rest could either be easily heat-processed, stored for three months, or ultimately go into the trash.
Since November 30th, we’ve thrown out the equivalent of two dumpsters’ worth of trash.
I could probably say something clichéd here about whether we own things or they own us, but I don’t really think it’s necessary. Lino and I certainly feel strong attachments to many of our things, but now that we’ve faced the demons in the shelves, we know that they’re just that – things. In the end, we’re not fussed about the losses except for being miffed at how much beds cost brand-new. We’ve both been a bit startled to find that we’re comfortable with what we’ve had to do, and we’re looking forward to a pest-free house.
Read her post “Bedbug Trash: Facing What We Own(ed)” here.
Note: For insurance purposes, you should probably take pictures of what you own to help visually document what you have.
It goes a long way to proving you really did have all the electronics you say you did.
What would you grab in a fire or if you had to choose?
(Other than your kids, pets or loved ones)