You have probably been asked some variation of this question before, but I still find it interesting to hear the different responses. Over time I have found things I used to think highly of are now much less relevant in my life, and are not things I would risk life and limb to save. Actually, it’s worth noting that none of this is really worth risking life and limb to save. In a sudden emergency such as a fire, getting yourself and your family out is a top priority. A life is the only thing on this list that cannot be replaced.
Here’s the scenario: You just found out your house will be demolished by fire, a storm, a flood, or some other catastrophic event in the next few minutes. You have just enough time to rescue three things from your home (not counting your family and your pets) and flee. What three things would you round up to take with you? Here’s my list:
- A “bug out bag.” Every family should have a bug out bag, preferably one for each person old enough to carry it out of the house without slowing them down. My go bag includes survival gear items such as fire starter materials, a first aid kit, weather radio, survival knife (with can opener attachment), my emergency credit card, some cash, a roll of quarters, two flashlights, batteries, travel kit (soap, shampoo, travel toothbrush and toothpaste), copy of the SAS Survival Handbook, a couple back up prescriptions, and a change of clothes. Other family members also have a change of clothes packed, in addition to one other category of survival needs. For instance, another spouse may carry water, and an older child may carry non-perishable food such as dried goods or MREs (meal, ready-to-eat). Be sure to rotate foods and prescriptions so the ones in your kit don’t expire.
- Our fire-proof lock box. This box contains things like insurance policy forms, deeds and titles, copies of birth certificates, social security cards, a list of bank account numbers and contact info, a copy of our will, etc.
- Pictures. Young people probably won’t understand this, but we actually have boxes of 4×6 pictures taken by family members and passed down. These are memories that can never be recreated, and pictures that are not stored digitally like practically all pictures are these days. If given enough time I would grab these items on the way out, but only after our go bag and fire-proof lock box were safely retrieved.
A decade ago I might have opted to save things like my computer, my camera, some game system I really loved, or some other material item. However, I now recognize all those things could be replaced by insurance money, or future earnings. They are just things. I’d rather focus my energy, and precious time, on rescuing things that could help us survive, and documents that cannot be easily recreated.
Your turn…which three items would you save from your home?