Last Tuesday, while standing in line to refill our 5 gallon bottle of water at a grocery store in Sonoma County, my mind was swirling with thoughts ranging from worry to panic:
Will we have to evacuate?
Where will we go?
What will happen to our home?
After two days of listening to the radio updates on spreading fires and growing areas of evacuation, it was nice being surrounded by people - there was a sense of camaraderie not usually present - we made purposeful eye contact, looking for support in this chaos, as well as willing to give it on a moment's notice. I've never felt so at home in a grocery store.
Yet seeing people lined up by the water station to fill their jugs (normally I'm the only one there. red flag!), hearing talks about smoke masks and backup generators, made me spin out to the panic side of things.
To do something with my time in line (something other than breaking down and sobbing on a stranger's shoulder from this new sense of helplessness) I got practical - If we have to evacuate what will I take with me?
I scanned our home in my mind.
I looked at everything starting at the front door, scanning every wall and every corner, all the way around and back. Nothing grabbed my attention. In fact, everything left me quiet and unattached - I can live without it.
(in a matter of life and death it's interesting how few things seem valuable).
I repeated the inquiry: What's really important?
I scanned again, now getting pragmatical and imagining life after fires.
And just one box stood out.
One box with essential and important stuff: documents, financials, back ups.
A wave of relief washed over me.
A relief of knowing what I would need to take and knowing that it would be easy. Amidst the panic and not knowing what the next hour will bring I finally knew something. That one box of stuff that I would grab running out of a burning building brought me a sense of peace and confidence.
Thankfully, we never had to.
But I'm grateful for the newly discovered sense of readiness for an emergency, whatever the circumstances may be.
PS: with our beloved pets the box would have to be in one hand and them in the other, more so reasons to keep it compact.
What about you?
Where are your essentials and would they be ready to go when needed?
Would you be able to guide someone to your most important things if you weren't home?
Would your loved ones be able to find the important documents if you weren't there to tell them?
Emergencies are never expected.
But there is a way to be ready that will take one more stress off your list when they arise.
Give yourself and your loved ones a peace of mind - create your box today:
For more info, here's a short article by Dave Ramsey highlighting the most common paperwork and ways to organize it.