What Would You Grab?

home-heartI think many of us in the Western world take our homes and belongings for granted. I know I do. My own little house is located just a few miles east of the famed San Andreas fault line, but I assume in the next “big one” that my house and stuff will be fine…which may not be the case!!

I’m sure most of folks who’ve lost their homes in the California wildfires had never imagined when they woke up and went about their day that in less than 24 hours their house would be gone. One woman stood before the ashes of her parent’s house and said tearfully, “All the family heirlooms are gone. Everything. I have nothing to hand down to my children.” I felt her pain.

Even though I know it’s just stuff (and I’m sure she knows it’s just stuff), still some belongings in our lives have a strong sentimental value or are so darn special we can’t imagine not having them.

So this got me thinking: What would I grab if I had only 10 minutes to evacuate? Of course legal documents, photos, my laptop and my purse (with my phone, credit cards, etc.) are the boring “musts”, but I wasn’t sure what else.

I asked my 24-year-old daughter and without hesitation she said “Radar.” He’s a small teddy bear she received one Christmas from her uncle Dan. Though well worn Radar still brings comfort.

So I put on my thinking cap and came up with a few possibilities of things I’d grab. My jewelry because I love it, wear it and it’s small!

I’d try to grab at least a few of our paintings. This one is by friend and plein air painter Kevin Courter.


And I might grab some of the knives my Dad made me and some of my favorite antique sterling smalls.

I wouldn’t bother with clothes, shoes, books, DVDs, electronics, etc. That stuff is all easily replaceable. I suppose it’s not surprising that most of the things I would try to save are either vintage, antique or unique!

What special things would you grab in an evacuation??


  1. Things of sentimental value, like some special photos or old documents, possibly my jewellery, important documents… don’t know.
    Actually I just thought that I should prepare a box with such things in it, ready to be grabbed!
    Recently the storage buildings where part of my possessions were housed went up in smoke, totally unexpected… it was quite a shock. I lost some unreplaceable things but luckily not all


  2. Oh Gabriella, I remember reading your post about that. Shocking indeed! 😦 I know I really should have a disaster plan in case of an earthquake or fire, but at least now I know a few things I’d want to grab…but it’s a tough thing to think about. – Karen


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