May 11, 2011

Disasters and Our Stuff

It seems there have been numerous disasters hitting our world this year: the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the Alabama tornadoes and now the Mississippi flooding. When faced with these types of disasters, whether we are in them or watching them on the news, we wonder how we would react to an act of nature destroying our lives and worldly possessions.

I was recently watching a documentary on the Katrina disaster and I wondered about the people who chose to stay in the city even after being warned about the hurricane's strength. I hope most of these people were not staying for their things.

Imagine losing everything you own. How would you feel? Of course, it would be difficult to lose your house and all the items you've worked hard to obtain, but what about the things in your house? Are you so attached to your furniture, TVs, computers, knick-knacks and dinnerware that you would risk your life to stay with them? If you feel that you wouldn't miss these items at all, you might react differently during a disaster than someone who holds on to everything and sees value in everything they own. No matter what you do, there is no physical way you could save your house from a tornado or an earthquake.

Tammy of Rowdy Kittens has a great post on putting together an emergency/disaster bag and in addition to her list of items to pack like food, water, first aid and copies of personal paperwork I would like to add the following:

Children and pets
Make sure your children and pets have their own supplies including emergency backpacks for the kids and carrying cases and food for pets.

If you can't take your computer, make sure to back up important files from your computer to DVD or to a free Dropbox account.

Personal photos
These should also be backed up digitally.

Your purse or wallet
During a disaster, the last thing you want to leave behind is your ID, some cash, keys or a cell phone.

Your safety always come before your things.

Photo courtesy of [Fox News Insider/Flickr]

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