Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Monday, September 15, 2008

What Would You Save?

A recent post by Terry Thornton at his Hill Country of Monroe County blogspot inspired me to write the following post. You can read Terry's daily posts at Thanks, Terry!

During the past few days, we have all seen the devastation and flooding caused by hurricane Ike in the coastal areas of Texas and Louisiana, where many people have lost their lives, their livelihoods, their homes, and their personal belongings. The most unfortunate situation, other than actual lives claimed by the hurricane, is the fact that some of the people affected by flooding on Galveston Island do not know when they can return to their homes.

Although we are well removed from the effect of recent hurricanes, we did have some personal concern during this last storm, since one of our daughters and her family live in Houston, Texas. Fortunately, our daughter's husband is a Houston policeman, and he was very well-informed about what the city expected after the hurricane's landfall. Based on their location, a zip code northwest of downtown Houston, and the storm results anticipated there, our daughter and her family were encouraged not to evacuate before this storm.

She and her husband had carefully planned for the days after the storm's arrival by having on hand an ample supply of drinking water and food that could be kept without refrigeration and prepared without a stove or microwave, since power outages were anticipated for an unspecified number of days. One of the keys to their preparedness was that they had an adequate amount of planning time.

But what if you didn't have time to prepare to leave your home? And you had only an hour or less??

So, my husband and I started a discussion about what we would want to save if we had only thirty (30) minutes advance notice for leaving our home, knowing that nothing would be saved, except what we could take with us. The type and amount of items that we would take with us would be very different, we decided very quickly, and would vary according to the amount of notice time we had and the type of emergency situation that was imminent.

We also decided, up front, that a house fire, a home invasion, or a terrorist attack would be situations where we would just want to make sure we got out of the house safely.

My husband's first response was that he would want to save our two cars and my jewelry, before he forgot that insurance would cover the jewelry. Next on his list was were our golf clubs. I reminded him that he should probably make sure he has his wallet and his car keys. He added that I should make sure that I have my purse, all my credit cards, and my makeup.

At that point in time, my husband's logical thought process and knack for planning kicked in, and he thought about more important, sentimental items, such as our wedding picture and albums of family photos, along with a few framed diplomas, certificates, and awards. A hearty discussion followed, and he said that he would definitely want to take our signed Kinky Friedman books and other memorabilia from Kinky's race for Governor of Texas a couple of years ago, along with several of his collectible golf clubs and a few special golf balls. I added that I would take along a copy of Eudora Welty's book, "Delta Wedding," given to me by my grandmother and signed by the author during her time as Writer-in-Residence at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS.

My husband then decided that he would definitely save save a bottle of expensive French wine, good until the year 2025, that he is saving for a "special occasion."

And so the discussion continued. Our 30 minutes of hypothetical preparation time for leaving the house was almost up, and we didn't even have the list completed.

Now what would you take? Choose any amount of preparation time you want........I would love to hear from you.

And we will continue to keep the hurricane survivors and their families in our thoughts and in our prayers.

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