With a devastating season of fire in the Southwest and a hurricane bearing down on the east coast last week my wife posed the question, “What would you take if you only had an hour to evacuate our home?”
I think an hour might or might not be a bit optimistic in the case of a wildfire but you would likely have a lot longer than that to think about it in the case of a hurricane. Other disasters and accidents would leave you with varying time frames for you to ponder the question.
My wife worried about hurricanes all through the summer and fall when we lived on the Gulf Coast. Instead of sleeping at night, she rehearsed the things she would do when the storm came. She worked out the details so closely that she could have directed and produced the feature length movie in a few short days.
We had a hurricane box or two stuffed with survival essentials but somehow I don’t think canned Spam and flashlight batteries are what most people have on their minds when you ask what they would take.
After comparing lists it’s obvious she would take survival stuff with her and I would take sentimental things.
She said after getting her dogs loaded she would pack some drinking water, clothes, the iPad, her battery operated radio and — get this — makeup.
She might be homeless but she’s going to be well fed, well informed and look good.
I would grab my guns, the family photos off the wall, the boxes with the photos and photo albums, the family Bibles, the jewelry box with a few keepsakes in it and the computer with more photos and writing on its hard drive. Then I guess if there was still time I would grab a few clothes.
I guess we’re on such polar opposites that it’s likely nothing would be duplicated and we would scoop up a lot of stuff.
I can’t say which one of us has their head straight on this matter. I think she’s pretty callous for not prioritizing keepsake stuff she can’t replace. She’s just interested in having what is needed and isn’t tied to the material things.
The fact of the matter is that when disaster strikes whether it’s natural disaster, accident or illness most people never have the time they thought they would to work it all out. In the end, escaping with all your loved ones unharmed is what’s important and that’s truly the only thing we’ll focus on when under pressure.
In the bigger picture, when the Good Lord calls me he’s not going to wait while I pack a bag. I am certain he won’t have the patience to wait on my wife to apply makeup and fill a water bottle either.
That leaves us with our memories and our love for God and each other as the only things we have a chance of taking along. That’ll do.
Karl Terry writes for Freedom New Mexico. Contact him at: