What Would You Save?

Like many people recently, I’d followed with horrified fascination the footage of the carnage and devastation wreaked by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma et al.  It’s difficult to imagine losing your home and all your possessions in such a savage and immediate way.  It’s difficult to imagine losing your home and all your possessions full stop.

But watching the footage made me think about what I might save in the moments prior to an emergency evacuation.  My initial thought was, “the scrapbooks”, which sounds both a little precious and self-indulgent.  But it’s neither really.  All our marriage life and every inch of The Boy Child’s life are in those albums.  Future generations might be glad to have a period of life recorded in every detail.  In reality, saving the scrapbooks wouldn’t be practical. At the last count I have 46 (yep, you read that correctly) 12×12 scrapbooks.  Not to mention the smaller December Daily albums and assorted travel journals.  They take up a lot of space and taken as a whole, are extremely heavy.  In order to take them, what would I have to discard?

Obviously, it makes sense to regularly back up photos onto an external hard drive (I’ve been doing that for a number of years), USB or in a ‘cloud’, but there is still no way I could ever reproduce 42 albums worth of layouts.  While I don’t envisage ever living in a place that has an annual hurricane season, floods and worse can happen in anyone’s home, and that thought spurs me on to put together an ’emergency exit’ package – passports, birth certificates, marriage certificate, house deeds, copies of our Wills, details of all financial accounts – right alongside that external hard drive.

Let’s suppose that your loved ones are safe and accounted for; what would you save, prior to an emergency evacuation, if you had the time?

Becky Higgins recently wrote a long and detailed blog post on Memories and Natural Disasters, sharing stories from those who lost tangible memories in a natural disaster, tips for prevention and tips for recovering memories.    

Image via time.com.

3 thoughts on “What Would You Save?

  1. The fireproof box that lives close to the front door. It contains the deeds to the house, insurance papers car paper out of date passports, birth and marriage certificates, photographs of my parents, copies of our wills. It is tucked under other stuff including a bag that has a tin kettle and two tin mugs, two enamel plates and two sets of folding cutlery, a plastic bag that contains waxed matches and a striker – yes the ones that come in compo rations – and two water bottles that would be filled before leaving. We call this the camping bag because it went with us when we took the tent and had a holiday. Now we can't kneel so the tent has been sold but the camping bag remains as the emergency bag. All the rest of the stuff that fills the house is just stuff. I do not let things have a hold on me.


  2. I grew up in a hurricane zone & my sister was in the midst of Harvey this year. If I had to grab things quickly it would be important papers, external hard drive, and at least one of the quilts Mama made.

    I'd love to save the scrapbooks, but at least I'd still have a lot of our memories recorded on my blog.


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