Wildfires have been making headlines for the past month. Massive wildfires are displacing families and destroying communities. We recently had a large fire burn a little too close for comfort to my house, and I began wondering what if I only had 5 minutes or so to pack up whatever I could from my house, what would I take? Would I be able to find everything I need? The more I think about it, I realized that a lot of the items I would search for would be items that are irreplaceable and mostly made of paper.
I would take:
- Home videos
- My pets
- Journals and/or childhood artwork/schoolwork
- Social Security Card
- Birth Certificates
- Certificates and trophies
- Living wills
- Stock certificates
- Insurance policies
- Old newspaper clippings
- Some clothes, food, and water
- Maybe artwork (however, we don’t have anything that is irreplaceable)
I was surprised about my answer. All of the flat-screen televisions, computers, and iPads didn’t even cross my mind. The thing is they can all be replaced. However, if our house was to burn in a fire, we couldn’t replace some of the paper items. Sure, we could get another social security card or birth certificate; however, we would have to go through the hassle of getting one. I’m sure most high schools or colleges can reprint a diploma for you; however, it wouldn’t be the “real” thing. Old photographs from my grandparents and my parent’s childhood are irreplaceable – they aren’t stored on a computer or flash drive – there is only one copy.
It’s a terrible thing to think about. Many of us never think in our wildest dreams that it will happen to us. However, it is always good to have a game plan in the back of your mind just in case. In addition, they make fireproof safes that you could store your valuable paperwork and pictures in – just in case you were caught off guard and didn’t have the luxury of five minutes.
However, the most important thing – more important than all of your items – is that you and your family make it out safe.
Share your thoughts. If you only had five minutes to pack up and leave your house, what would you take?