Monday, October 22, 2007

What Would You Take With You?

Anxiously awaiting word from local officials on a very possible mandatory evacuation... with only a few minute's notice, we had what we thought were our life's immediate must-haves - prepared and ready to go.

Stacked in the middle of the livingroom are:

  1. Computers
  2. Hard drives
  3. Master RAW tapes
  4. Important Documents (passports, birth certificates, etc.)
  5. 3 paper bags of files
  6. 4 plastic bins of Photos, software, archived cd's
  7. 1 backpack's worth of clothes
When the news coverage stated that all residents in our area were to prepare for an evacuation, it was a surreal feeling. You see things like this on the news all the time. But of course when it happens to you, it's different. So, faced with the idea of having to gather everything that you think is important at a moment's notice - this is what happens:
  1. you develop the stress of a one-minute all-you-can-grab shopping spree
  2. the thought of "Is that really important?" crosses your mind when you reach for things that you think is important
  3. you can't remember just where all the 'important" things are
  4. you think about your life and what you have to show for it
  5. you forget about all the small stuff that just five minutes ago you thought were extremely important
  6. again..."Is that really important?"
  7. what clothes you want to spend the next week in
  8. you wish you were more organized
The first thing that came to mind when I found out that we might evacuate was to take a shower. Weird. It must be all the years of water and power outages during typhoons while growing up on Guam. It's become some type of "Jason Bourne" reflex to take a shower when subjected to a natural crisis. So after the shower, I calmly went around the house looking for all of the important things that I needed to take with me. While making my rounds I discovered two crucial things:
  1. I wasn't as organized as I thought (Now where did I put my wedding video?)
  2. I own way too much junk
But I didn't have the time to sit and ponder on the validity of each item, so I ended up packing a lot of stuff. Not a smart move. this is what happens when one does not have a contingency plan for evacuation or a quick getaway.

I'm just glad we had the sense to organize all of our film files, archives, tape storage and hard drive mapping from day one, so that all we had to do was easily disconnect the drive from the Mac and box it up. Everything else came in a close second.

So I suggest you take a moment to think about it yourself - without the threat of a wildfire in your backyard of course - and decide what you would take with you. The shower thing is optional.