Monday, October 31, 2016

Sidebar: The Fire Drill Test

As I young child I'd always worried about my house catching on fire. We never had one (thankfully), but for some reason I felt the need to be prepared in case there was one. I'd spend a lot of time thinking about how I'd escape from my second-story bedroom window. But I'd also spend a lot of time trying to figure out how I would get my cat to safety and then my stuff (mostly stuffed animals).

As an adult I continued to wonder what to do in the event of fire - our apartments frequently had fire safety drills so it was often top of mind. And I would mentally run through a fire drill just to see what I would save, if I could save anything.

Not surprisingly, over the years, it varied little.

In order of importance and in the order I would "save" it, here is what I would take:
  1. My guy (assuming he was incapable of saving himself) and my pets - I refuse to move any living being I'm responsible for down to #2 on the list.
  2. My loved ones' ashes.
  3. My computer + portable hard drive - it has all my photos and home videos on it. (Yes, I digitized most everything.)
  4. My wallet - identification, bank card, credit cards, cash are hugely important items.
  5. My keys - to either return home or to get into my car.
  6. My phone - to call loved ones to assure them I'm okay and to let them know what happened.
Of course if I had more than a minute, I would stack my furniture dolly with my 3 bins of photo albums and scrapbooks and keepsakes/mementos. And maybe grab my Kindle.

Everything that has real value to me that is non-living I could fit in a small backpack. Everything is in easy reach should I have to vacate quickly.

While I may need other things to live comfortably - clothing, bedding, toiletries, some furniture and electronics - they are all replaceable.

And while I might feel a financial loss at their absence, or be annoyed that I had to buy them again, I wouldn't miss them. Not really.

Which is why this is a test that I need to "run" often, especially when I am feeling particularly forgetful.