Wednesday, September 7, 2011

GET OUT NOW!!!--What to pack in case of evacuation

About 30 miles away from me, a wildfire began to burn in Bastrop, Texas on Sunday afternoon. It started out small, and got huge quickly because of high winds blowing off of the outer edge of a Tropical system. Within 10 hours, 6,000 acres and numerous homes had burned. This rural area is full of pine trees and ranch land.

This area of Texas has had the most numbers of days with 3-digit temperatures in the history of record keeping. The previous record was 70 days. This year, this record was shattered. Accompanied by little to no rain, the conditions were perfect for the perfect fire-storm. The beautiful pine trees became dry, standing firewood.

As I write this, 600 of homes have burned and approximately 45 square miles have gone up in flames. This information comes from At any rate, devastation is a mild description.

I have friends who were evacuated in advance of the fire‘s imminent arrival. I am grateful that they were evacuated and not injured..

When notified to evacuate, they all had to make immediate decisions about what to pack. They didn’t have long. They were told to grab what they had to, and go. Several took time to put out an email to message groups of which I am a member to ask others, “ What do you recommend that I pack? What should I take? “

What a question! How do we make a decision that will reduce our lives to 5 minutes of packing, taking only necessities and a few keepsakes? What would I take What would you take?

For me, I know that my main priority would be to get my children and get out. I would probably try to get my medicines and a Bible. As for anything else, I have no clue what to pack. This is an overwhelming decision that has to be made at one of the most stressful
times in a person’s life.

Here are a few lists of what people shared that they chose: 1. The cat 2. Cat supplies 3. Wedding rings that had become too small to wear. 4. Framed wedding photo 5. A bowl that belonged to a grandmother. So, that was a combination that included the practical with the sentimental. Another lady said that she got a few changes of clothes, 6 pair of underwear, and a lot of her electronics. She is a writer, so a lot of her electronics are her livelihood. One lady told her friend, “Grab the credit card and GET OUT!!!”

Another lady said that she had not had to evacuate yet, but she was preparing in advance. This is what she selected:1. Small bag with a change of clothes 2. Netbook 3. Purse 4. Grandmother’s ring 5. Passport 6. Digicam 7. Car titles 8. Home and car insurance policies 9. Flash drives with backups of vital computer files.

Everyone has different priorities. We would all pack differently. We all hope not to ever be in this situation. A recommended list can be found on the following website:

What would you take if you have 10 minutes to pack knowing that everything that you leave may be destroyed?

copyright 2011 by Kathy Robbins


  1. Thank you Kathy for the idea of putting a list together NOW instead of trying to pack while under the stress of having to pack in 5 minutes. I will have my "List" complete before I leave for work today.

  2. You are welcome. This has been a hot topic for many of my friends. Thank you for reading and for the comment.:)

  3. I hope you are safe. It worried me to hear that you are only 30 minutes away.

  4. Thank you, Marcus. Actually, we are safe. The fire is traveling in the opposite direction from us. They have it under 30% containment as I write. They have more assets coming in to fight the fire. I think that they will be getting it under control soon.