A Fire Threatens Your Home...What Material Possessions Do You Take?

When I was a sophomore in high school, my best friend’s house caught on fire during the night. Her mom woke her up but because she was half asleep and didn’t really understand what was going on, in her confusion she only brought down her pillow.

They couldn’t have taken the PC, because the lightning strike that caused the fire had aready ruined it.

Her mom took a few picture albums, but that’s all they had time for.

I would grab the hard drive from my PC and my fraternity paddle.

If I had more time, like enough time to pack my SUV full, I would probably try and get the more valueable things first such as:

Stereo equipment
Golf clubs
Firearms and Ammo
Bow and archery gear

By carefully packing the SUV, I could probably save 10K or so in replacement costs of stuff.

My computer hard drive Everything is on there - my photos, my homework, my music, my favourite web pages …
My digital camera I could probably buy a new one, but this one was a present from my boyfriend.
My clothes. My clothes are absolutely irreplaceable. I’m not even sure if insurance would pay for them - I might get a token amount that wouldn’t even begin to replace what I had lost. I’d start with my favourite garments, then my expensive ones, and just keep taking as many as I could. I’m all panicky at the thought of losing my clothes now.
Wallet With my ID, credit card, money, and license.

Sorry Debaser, but fu*k that. All that crap can be replaced. I’d grab all photo’s, including our wedding album, and some clothes. Everything else will be covered by insurance. While I’d morn the loss of my books, we’re insured for more than enough to replace all that. Same with most clothes and other items. Sure there are a few things that come from different countries that I’ve been to, but while I’d miss them, they’re not enough to jepordize my life.

I’m in WI, but I had to think these very thoughts when a wildfire was headed for our house this spring. (It was contained about a mile from our house. :eek: ) Here’s what I had ready to toss in the van:

Four dogs and paraphernalia
Purse, cell phone, etc.
A few day’s worth of clothes*
Desktop CPU and laptop*
Current work projects
Two or three irreplaceable CDs
One sentimental book, personally inscribed to Mr. S and me by the author
Insurance video*
Photo albums and memorabilia from mother’s and father’s side

When Mr. S came home (having left work early because his house might burn down!), he added a few heirloom musical instruments and more photo albums.

It was pretty scary, even though we never had to evacuate, although a sheriff’s deputy came by and told us to be ready. I’ve always felt lucky in my life, and wondered if this was the shoe that hasn’t yet dropped.

*Yes, I do keep backups and the insurance video in a safe, fairly disaster-proof place, but I’m self-employed and without my computer, I have no job. I figured if I could grab them and take them with me, all the better. Clothes – I went with practical, although I would certainly miss the collection of unique and sometimes expensive ethnic clothing that I’ve accumulated.

15 minutes - that’s a lot of time

Cats, guns, jewelry, stereo, photos, filing cabinet, tools, art, computer, VCR tapes, cell phones, diplomas.

Probably should get the jugs of race fuel out of the garage.

I would definitely have to have my cats and my photo albums first. Then probably as much computer equipment as I could get. It’s probably the most expensive thing I own!

A full-on destructo fire would destroy my present life. If it happened, I’d start fresh, with the clothes on my back. The only thing I must grab is a black ball of polished obsidian my father gave to me.

As silly as this may sound, the only things I would HAVE to grab are two stuffed toys I’ve had since i was born, because I always feel safe if I’ve got them.
Apart from that, my CDs, because I’d need to have some music if my house burned down, the photo of me and my grandad that was taken a few months before he died, and a couple of Terry Pratchett books to take my mind off things.
I know books and CDs don’t seem that important, but my cousin’s house burned down to the ground a while back, and she said she wished she’d had something like that just to keep her sane.

Cats and wedding album.

As Hubby tries to drag Dog to car, I’ll grab the cell phone and the “dry cleaning” bag. Always on the way to the car - and dirty won’t matter for a few days.

In the car is copies of our marriage liscense and my birth certificate.

Everything else can be replaced.

The kids. A couple of particularly important quilts (out of the many I have). The photos, both albums and files. Documents. Maybe some of the water I have stored on the way to the car. Out the door. We have a 72-hour emergency kit, but it needs updating.

All that would be in the car, ready to go, if I lived in LA. We’re having some serious fires up here, too, but nothing like that and not near our home.

–genie starts a mental list of stuff to do, to prepare…–

My computer hard drive has photos on it, as well as lots of other irreplacable stuff. My fraternity paddle is important to me for many reasons and is not replaceable either.

Your clothes are replaceable. Why do you want to bring some of them?

I was simply pointing out that in any scenario where you need to evacuate your home due to wildfires you would have time to load up the family truckster and I listed what I would bring. 15 minutes, as the OP mentions, is plenty of time to pack a lot of stuff if you hurry.

I’m not into clothes, $1000 at LLBean and I would be pretty much fully equiped. For me, filling the car with clothes doesn’t make sense. Grabbing just my golf clubs, or just my PC, or just my guns would be more important to me than all of my clothes.

Kayeby obviously feels differently about his/her clothes than I do. For him/her, it makes perfect sense to pack them.