10 Minutes

I meant to write about this a few weeks ago, but time as escaped from me. However, I still find it worthwhile so here you go!

A number of weeks ago, the forest fire season began in earnest across the country. Perhaps the most noted was the large fires in Colorado. These fires appeared relatively quickly and ravaged the land, destroying homes and changing people’s way of life. I do not remember the final number, but the fire left behind hundreds of destroyed homes and will cost well into the millions.

Due to the proximity to the fire, many people had to be evacuated and did not know if they would have a home to return to when the fire had passed. During this time of evacuation, I heard stories of families who had 10 minutes to evacuate their homes…that is 10 minutes from the time there is a knock on the door to when they had to be driving away…10 minutes.

This got me thinking: what would I do with only 10 minutes to pack and leave. 

Honestly, it was difficult to think at first what I would grab and what would I leave behind, knowing full well that I may never be returning to my home. So after some thought and walking through my house, here is a rough idea of what I would grab:

  • My dog would be the first “thing” I would grab, she would go in the car right away to reduce the chance of her getting in the way
  • Photos. Many of my families photos are in albums and in one place in our home, I would grab all I could and get them in a car. Many of our photos do not have digital backups and could never be replaced.
  • Irreplaceables. There are a couple things in my house that could never be replaced and things I would hate to loose…jewelry from past generations, couple of books (first editions/autographed and my Bible) and a couple random trinkets (Ken Griffey Junior signed ball, Eagle Scout medal). I would only go for the small ones that I could quickly grab, toss in a box and put in the car.
  • Electronics. I would not grab my x-box or tv, but would make an effort to grab my laptop, external hard-drive and the tower component to our family computer.
  • Anything else. Time depending I would make an effort to grab anything else that would be hard to part with or replace…quilts my mom made, awards, etc…

Now I know it is one thing to think of these things when just sitting at home and looking around, but during an emergency it would be entirely different. Above all, and above myself, I would make sure my family was safe and out of harm. We do have several cars and actually talked about who would take which car and what would be in each, based on the amount of time we would have to pack and leave. Each of us have different ideas of what is important, it would be interesting to see what we ended up with. In all honesty, I would want to pack up the rest of the family and get them on their way before I left.

So there are just a couple thoughts I had regarding having to pack and leave with only a few moments notice. It is a good reminder to remember that overall stuff is just stuff and nearly everything can be replaced, but chances are there are some things that would be difficult to replace and may be worth grabbing as you head out the door.

Now here is my question for you…there is a knock on the door, someone tells you it is time to go and you have 10 minutes to pack and leave: What do you grab?

You have 10 minutes.

Go.

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