General Question

Jeruba's avatar

What would you grab?

Asked by Jeruba (50600points) November 15th, 2008

My day began by seeing a picture of my cousin in the news coverage of the Montecito fire. All she had time to do was rush into the house and grab a few papers and the dog. Today her family is ok, but her house and all her belongings are a pile of ashes and rubble.

If you had only two minutes to evacuate and take what you could grab, do you know what would be most important to you and where it is? Besides children and pets, what would you take?

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17 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

My external hard drives. They have pictures and work stuff on them. Time permitting I would get my iMac out too.

And I am sorry to hear about what happened to your cousin.

laureth's avatar

I actually keep my important paperwork (insurance forms, birth certificate, some irreplaceable pictures, etc.) in an accordion file that folds into a sort of case with a handle for just this reason. It’s always on the path between the bed and the door. Granted, we don’t have wildfires here, but there’s tornado threats every year and that’s what I was thinking of when I did that.

If I had a few more minutes I’d also yank my computer’s (internal) hard drive, but that’s not always an option.

But definitly the dog – and my husband. If I have him, that’s most important!

stratman37's avatar

Family, guitars, hard drives. In that order.

SuperMouse's avatar

My kids, Jack the Pug, photo albums and my laptop.

augustlan's avatar

My file box, my husband’s grandfather’s gun, my CPU, photo albums. (after hubby, 3 kids and two cats of course!)

bythebay's avatar

@Jeruba: My sincere sympathies to your cousin, what a tragedy; but a blessing they are safe. Wow, that’s a tough question. Assuming kids, hubby & dog were out; my external drive with all my pics on it, my car keys, the box w/ birth certs & passports and some old framed family photos.

stratman37's avatar

Oh yeah, forgot. The guns.

asmonet's avatar

Hard drives and photo albums, sketch books, my first oil painting, and my mini-file (I have one just like laureth) of important papers. I did a test run a few months ago. It takes me eight minutes to grab all those things and run. Two minutes? I could grab papers and the photos….but I’d risk more time to be honest.

The albums are the most important though. In particular I would save my brother’s albums. My mother lost almost all of his baby pictures from birth until about the age of four in a foreclosure after my father stole everything she owned and all of her money. We have maybe four or five pictures of him when he was about two and then it jumps to age four. I know what I look like my photos aren’t as important… my brother is having a lot of challenging issues in his personal life and has been for a few years. Those pictures always get me up because he’s just this perfect little boy in them. I see those pictures and it helps to give me hope for him. It’s like I can see who he really was and still is before all the misfortune.

I’m very sorry about your cousin. I’m glad she and her family are fine, that’s what matters after all.

Spargett's avatar

Fire extinguisher.

cinderflubbin's avatar

seeing as how living creatures are assumed safe, i’d probably grab my bag, Jude, which is full of my favorite art-related stuff, and my tae kwon do certificates that are certified by the WTF. Maybe my clarinet, laptop, and a book . . . depends on how close to destruction the house is.

AHH! I almost forgot! my favorite stuffed animals, too, if time permits.

AstroChuck's avatar

My ass…
and hightail it the hell outta there.

Adina1968's avatar

#1)My pets
Then if I have time…
#2) My wedding photos
#3) My laptop

cdwccrn's avatar

I am sorry for your cousin’s loss. My mother gave me jewerly- her wedding set – just before she died. I would want that, pictures, Bible, art book, computer stuff. Maybe something precious to my child. Maybe my child. Definately the dog. ( just kidding).

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks for all the words of sympathy and concern. The extended family is pitching in to lend help to my cousin and her family, but nothing will ever make up for the devastating losses.

This has really made me think because I do not have important stuff in one readily grabbable spot. @Laureth, I commend your practical foresight. I’ve tried to keep a regular backup of my in-progress writing on a flash drive, but I’ve let it slide, and I don’t think in an emergency I would even remember in which drawer my husband keeps the important papers. I might not manage to snatch up anything but my purse and a couple of pictures.

It’s time to do some remedial planning. This could happen to me as easily as to anyone else. It could happen to any of us.

AstroChuck's avatar

I kind of sped read your question and didn’t see that this was a family member of yours. It makes you stop and think that when you see and hear some of these stories on television, there are real living, breathing, feeling people involved. It’s so easy to distance yourself from these things and not process that real people are suffering. I am truly sorry for this disaster for your cousin but am pleased to know that she came to no bodily harm.
Best wishes to your family.

tinyfaery's avatar

Well…I’ve been evacuated due to fire twice in the last 5 weeks. It’s was so scary, and my mind was so frazzled. After all of the living things were out of the house we grabbed important papers, a few valuables and the computer. In the moment, the stuff you have doesn’t matter. It must be instinct, but I just wanted the fuck out.

Stocky's avatar

I had to rush out recently, right after I moved into an apartment (less than a week), I grabbed an old football equipment bag (very large). Took my Mac Mini, LCD and external drives and my guns, My AppleTV along with my macbook pro that was already in my work laptop bag along with alot of other important stuff. put one bag on each shoulder and grabbed the plasma and out the door. our apartment was saved but I realized the only thing I would have missed all that much is my King size bed and my clothes/sneaker collection I also realized than when a fire breaks out the first things in my hand all say Apple

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