With the recent attention around hurricanes in the southeast and fires in the west, news and social media are flooded (sorry about the wording:-) with photos of people having to evacuate their homes quickly. Some have minutes and are only able to take the clothes on their backs, others with a bit more time, can fill their cars with what they deem important and worth saving. I hope you are never in a situation like that, but what if you were. Have you thought about what you’d take? Have you thought about what you could not live without? And if you have thought about it, how easy would it be to gather those items? These are tough things to think about, but in the age of climate change, and natural disasters becoming more commonplace than not, maybe you should.

To make this easier on you, take a tour of your home. What are some of the things you might notice?

Many items can be replaced

– A great example of this is your kitchen. Likely the items in your cabinets and drawers could be repurchased and thus not work taking. Some goes for items in your bathroom. Even if you have a favorite dish or a plate you use every year for your kid’s birthday cake, you’ve likely captured that memory in a photo, and although you’d miss it the memory is captured.

Are your “treasured items” really treasures?

– The china you inherited from your grandmother that is buried in your attic. You likely would not take that if you were trying to make a quick exit of your home. But if it’s been sitting there for years and you’ve never used it, or even opened the box, should you really be holding onto it? You likely don’t want to lose the boxes of photos you’ve collected over the years, but how long have you been saying you should go through them and convert them to digital? Maybe it’s time to deal with them if they are truly important to you.

Is your digital life replaceable?

– Remember life before the cloud? If you lost your computer or damaged it in some way, your information (including photos and important documents) could be gone in seconds. In today’s world there are so many options for cloud storage, and backup drives can fit in the palm of your hand. Make sure what is important to you is backed up in the cloud or on a device you can easily grab in an emergency. Besides using cloud storage for many of our documents and photos, we have a fireproof safe with backups of some of our more personal items that we don’t want to put in the cloud. I know if something were to happen, I could easily grab what I needed.

I Need To Make a List

– Yes, there will be things you want to take and in a panic you won’t likely remember what or where they are. In the event of an emergency you’ve likely thought about where to go and put together an emergency kit (If you have not, you should.), adding a list of things to take with you is a great addition.

I Have Too Much Stuff

–  One result of this exercise is that when when you look at the items in your home with an eye towards what is meaningful or important to you, you may suddenly realize how much excess you have. Maybe it’s time to pare down. How’s that for motivation?