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.