View Full Version : If you had to flee your home what would you take?

02-01-2009, 10:49 PM
I'm not infusing this question with theological overtones, if you want to infuse them into your answer that's fine, but I'd like the thread to stick to the question if we can :D Think of it along the same lines as the famous "If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take so many things" question.

So . . . what would be important to you to have?

and I'm not putting a number on it, but I'm wondering what you'd want before you got to the optionals.

ETClarify since it was asked: by flee I mean you may never be coming back and you have to take it now or lose it.


02-01-2009, 10:52 PM
computer (pictures, etc), scrapbooks/photo albums, and camera. the rest is all completely replaceable.

02-01-2009, 10:55 PM
laptop, my important document folder, a sling, a blanket, a small bag of clothing for the girls (mainly something to keep them warm).

It's hard because flee my home could mean many different circumstances. If we're talking FLEE as in RUN RUN, I don't know that I'd bring my laptop. More likely just a backpack with my important docs, some warm clothes and a sling.

02-01-2009, 11:09 PM
Depends on why and how mcuh time, of course. Isaac's adoption papers and keepsakes from Guatemala. The computer (pictures), albums and camera. Some clothes and blankets. A couple of cars for Isaac to play with. Our medicine.

Heather Micaela
02-01-2009, 11:48 PM
Yeah, the computer for sure, my cat, photo albums, journals, at least one bible, our navajo weeding vase, my ketubah, the mezzuahs if I had time to remove them. Jewelery box (it be eaiser than picking out the few heirlooms), pictures painted by my mom and grandpa, 2 toys from my childhood, my dds american girls, whatever toy ds loves. Two outfits per person

NOte to self, put all imoprtant docs in one place

02-02-2009, 01:27 AM
Thats a tough one :think if we didnt have much time Id probley only grab the kids & the dog! If we had say an hour or two Id grab my computer, camera and some clothes & bible.

Heather Micaela
02-02-2009, 01:41 AM
Thats a tough one :think if we didnt have much time Id probley only grab the kids & the dog! If we had say an hour or two Id grab my computer, camera and some clothes & bible.
If it were a split second, it would be kids, cat and computer tower. Althoughsadly, I think trying to get the cat might be too hard and I woul dhave to leave her :(

02-02-2009, 01:47 AM
yeh, I think dogs are probley a little easier to catch and throw in the car :giggle unless you have a very obedient kitty! :hug2

02-02-2009, 02:03 AM
If I was able to have time to fill a box I would put my diaries and scrapbooks of pictures before digital and everything in our little safe. Anything else I could replace. I would hate to loose all my scrapbooks but those since I got a digital camera I could technically redo.

If I had a split second I would grab my diaries...

I am not counting people in this as that would be obvious :)

02-02-2009, 08:27 PM
depends on the circumstances, how fast, transportation available, how much help I had to gather things.

besides the children and dog....
important documents, food and basic cookware, minimal clothes, tent and blankets, matches and firewood, toilet paper, soap & towels, photo albums,
my folding rocking chair, my children need rocked when they are insecure, and fleeing would definitely trigger that

02-02-2009, 08:49 PM
Photo albums are the absolutely last thing I would grab, especially if we're running for the hills. I'd be after the food, blankets, matches and whatnot.

If we're running because there's a cloud of chemicals coming from an overturned train, or a hurricane a coming, then I'd have a mini-home kit going, the items that re-establish a new location as home. Important papers, children's toys, comfort items for living in a shelter, Josh's laptop.

Charlie U
02-02-2009, 08:50 PM
I think about this often. It's one of those things that helps me stop obsessively worrying.

Computers, purse, dh's wallet, meds (mainly his because I can live without mine), snacks that can be eaten on the road, water bottles, jackets, hats, mittens, boots, cell phones, iPod and charger (no, seriously). Photos, removable hard drive which most of the pictures are stored on, books, the girls' Leapsters and headphones, toys for the girls, Bible. I'd also bring three change of clothes per person and personal care products. The dog and dog food, too.

If I've got 15 minutes, I'm set. If it's less, it's just people, computers and portable hard drive, purse and wallet, and whatever toys the girls can grab. (Of course, I over thought this and am now picturing having to leave something behind and the girls hurting over it. :blush )

02-02-2009, 08:51 PM
I'm in the process of gathering up just those items. I am backing up my computer, and printing some stuff off to have in hard copies. And I'm copying down some family recipes. And all the important documents.

Clothes, food, water. Not much of any of those to not be overburdened. I'm not sure what else at this point- I wish I could take all my books! :)

Lantern Light Mama
02-02-2009, 08:52 PM
If everyone is out and safe...

The dog
asthma medication

02-02-2009, 09:00 PM
Photos, dd's favorite quilt I made, the girls' baby boxes, hard drive, a few books, and enough clothes for us all to have several changes. That's all. :heart

02-02-2009, 09:06 PM
depends on why and how fast.

kids and dh in a real rush and hopefully the dog if we could.

if i had more time diapers and that sort of thing.

Mother Duck
02-02-2009, 09:12 PM
Interesting thread!
For us it would be the girls, the dogs, the girls backpacks which have their special toys in, camera and computer, address book, diary and bible. If time some clothes.

02-02-2009, 09:22 PM
See, I didn't even include my bible, because if I had my computer I'd have access to the computer. I guess I was thinking less in terms of natural disaster/emergency, but more of a house fire. Food and clothes I wouldn't worry about in that case because I know I'd be surrounded by family and friends who would help replace those things. My only irreplaceables are really the pictures which all currently live on the computer, and the few scrapbooks I have.

02-02-2009, 09:31 PM
Our wedding album or the negatives (we don't have digital copies)
The picture my grandpa painted
Dh's computer and the two external hard drives with all our pictures
My grandma's hand-written recipe book
Dd's baby box

If we had time, I'm guessing dh would take a few extra sentimental things. There's a bottle of 1967 port that his dad bought years ago and left to him when he died, for example.

02-02-2009, 09:38 PM
Dh and I already have emergency 48 hour kits in our vehicles. Things like flashlights, bottled water, nonperishable food, first aid kits, change of clothing, hygeine/personal care supplies, cash in small bills/roll of quarters, collapsable drinking bowl for dog, blankets, activity bags for kids (books, coloring stuff, choc chip granola bar treats, bubbles...). I keep our cat carriers in quick reach near our basement stairs, with collars & ID tags plus old towels inside.

I am actually in the process of creating a checklist of other things to grab, like pet food, our emergency plan notebook (which has copies of insurance, mortgage, accounts, etc., birth and marriage certificates, emergency contact info, etc.) and a rubbermaid storage bin where I keep my treasures (wedding Bible, family pics, baby books/pics/videos, wedding album, honeymoon pics/videos, jewelry, a teacup my grandma gave me before she died, camera, camcorder, misc.precious childhood items for everyone in the family). I started compiling and storing things in the bin when my in-laws (who have stolen from us) visited and I didn't feel safe leaving those things at home when we were gone and inlaws were there. Then I liked the peace I got from knowing all these things were in one safe (and easy to find anytime I wanted any of them) place. :)

I'm also creating 72-hour kits for our family, and a home food storage system that I've learned about from this wonderful website someone here shared recently:




02-02-2009, 09:53 PM
if it weren't something like a fire and i had a little bit of time i would take (obviously ppl first and then):

important documents
my cats and dog
my laptop (has pics and financial info on it)
a toy bag for dd
clothing changes
a food bag
if we had time, i'd grab a few favorite books

i could prolly get all that together in 30 minutes. :)

purplebutterfly, i like your idea of having everything in one bin and ready to go. when we are in a bigger place and have room to have something like that, i will work on it! dh is all about being prepared and he regularly stresses that we have nothing ready if the stuff hits the fan.

02-02-2009, 10:02 PM
I would take my girls' scrapbooks I am making for them, pictures, computer, camera (all of which have irreplaceable photos), video camera, birth tapes, important documents. I would also take a lovey for each girl.

02-02-2009, 10:32 PM
This is so good to think about! We had a slew of fires near us this summer, and I was concerned about other people nearby, etc, but it didn't hit home, and then one broke out a mile from our house. I should have made a list, as what I compiled made little sense in my frenzied panic around the house. Everyone had a lot of socks and underwear, but that was about it. :giggle Luckily the wind changed and the fire was contained. And I still haven't written a list, so thanks for the prompting with this thread!

02-03-2009, 01:53 AM
See I was thinking of things that I could not replace vs things that would help in a disaster.

Blue Aurora
02-03-2009, 05:01 AM
:think I guess my answer would depend on what we had access to after we left.

Wonder Woman
02-03-2009, 07:10 AM
it would depend on why we were leaving, you know? For instance, when I was a child a train carrying chemicals derailed down the road from our house, and we nearly had to evacuate. Instead they decided that the other side of the road was the boundary, and that extra 30 ft. made us safe :rolleyes We had birds dropping dead in our yard...it was icky.

Anyway, in a situation like that, I would grab clothes and food because it's a finite situation and we'd be back.

If I had to leave and know that I may not ever return , because my home would be lost in a fire? I'd grab my son, my husband, laptop, tower to my primary computer, and family photos. I know photos sound weird, but truly, so many of my family lost their homes in Katrina. And the thing that broke my Gram's heart was no longer having a photo of her mom. :( The computers because that's my work, I can do it from anywhere in the world, and I'd want to have access to all client files to generate some income to help replace stuff :shifty

If I had time (half hour to an hour) I'd also throw all of my needlwork/craft stuff into a bin - I've done so much over the years, and have some heirloom pieces, plus so much stash. Another bin would hold Jaden's stuff - any toys he could fit in there that he wanted. He doesn't have an attachment to one specific item, so :shrug Whatever he could grab.

Another bin of clothes...food...that's it. Dh really isn't attached to *things* - he maybe would grab some of his toolboxes or something, but he isn't a sentimental person at all when it comes to things. As long as Jaden and I were safe, he'd be fine :yes

If I had to flee for my life because bad guys were after us? Family, clothes, food. That's it.

02-03-2009, 07:23 AM
Well, since I've btdt, I now have a carry-on suitcase with wheels that I keep all of our original documents and copies of credit cards and ID's, external hard drive (which we update regularly,) original videos and negatives of the kids, maps with directions to different areas printed and highlighted, money, phone card, (would have a gas card if available around here,) passports, a few diapers, wipes, travel size shampoo, travel sized packs of medicine, a notebook with all the extra things around the house to grab if there is time (listed in order of importance and location,) and probably some more things I'm forgetting at the moment. I also keep the babybooks and photo albums close by.

So, in order of importance:

Kids and DH
Carry-on suitcase
Babybooks and photo albums
Cell phone
72 Hour Kits (depending on the reason of fleeing if these would be needed)
Family Hierlooms that will fit into one bag
Good walking shoes and jacket for each person
Backpack of clothing and blanket for each person (if there was time)
Mei Tai or Sling

02-03-2009, 07:29 AM
Kids and DH (Of course!)
Tools (basic tool box)
First Aid Kit
Computer (has all the family pics on it...though if it were a true emergency it would be left behind)
Books/Toys to entertain the kids

02-03-2009, 07:31 AM
All my pics albums. If I had to pick something small then all the negatives at least.
I want to someday buy a fire safe box and put all the important papers there and al the pics negatives there too.

Mama Calidad
02-03-2009, 07:59 AM
Money (cash, credit cards)
Flash drive (has important documents and photos...and it's somewhat lighter than the whole computer)
My external brain (binder)
~ Some clothes
~ Some food

That's all that we'd have to take. There's lots more that I'd take if I had time and means of carrying it. :yes

02-03-2009, 10:51 AM
Like PurpleButterfly, we have kits in our cars with enough food/water/supplies for our family for 72hrs.

If it was a grab and run NOW situation - we live in earthquake country - I would take only my kids and our BOB (bug-out bag). It stays in an alcove near the front door and contains minimal supplies (flashlight, crank radio, all-in-one tool, DH's meds, small first-aid kit, mylar blankets, four 3000-calorie energy bars, and 72oz of water) as well as a DVD of photos and a very special teddy bear... which has $400 cash and a flash drive with scans of all our important documents sewn into the stuffing. ;)

If I had more time, what I would grab would depend on the situation. If it were a quake or other situation where we would be homeless for some period of time, likely without services, I would take the BOB, our big rolling bin full of emergency supplies, and our Berkey water purification unit. If it were a fire or some other situation where we'd be heading out to stay with friends and family, I would take the BOB, the birds, the external hard drive, the box of family heirlooms, a small suitcase of clothes, and the kids' favorite stuffed animals.

02-03-2009, 11:28 AM
I honestly am not prepared for a widespread natural disaster type of escape (we're not in a floodplain/earthquake zone/coastal area) so I'm going to answer with "there's a fire - what do I grab?"

(Family is a given)
1. Laptop
2. Wedding album
3. Diaper bag & keys
4. Small safe (it's a carry-size, with a handle) that has our passports, marriage & birth certificates along with a few small keepsakes.

I could carry all those things + youngest child in a sling, so I could get us all out in one trip as long as the big kids follow my orders :giggle

Other things in the house are certainly sentimental (my wedding dress & jewelry, large family antiques) but they really aren't necessary for life or security so I would be very sad to lose them, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Heather Micaela
02-03-2009, 04:21 PM
I didnt count disaster supplies, I was thinkng also of improtant things. We dont have warnings for our disasters here. So after a quake of enough magnitude to requre evacuation, I woould likely have enought time to see what I could salvage. If that caused a fire, it would be what I could grab quickly.

But the only other local disasters that could happen - flood or wildfire - are highly unlikely where I am

02-03-2009, 05:00 PM
Wow, this is a great thread. I don't think much about this cuz there aren't many natural disasters that happen in the Phoenix area, but I probably should. Although, DH and I have a meeting location that is not near our house in the event that we can't make it home. We decided on this after 9/11 and so many family members had trouble locating each other.

Since we know where to meet I guess I would grab:
important docs/fireproof lockbox
whatever dd could grab
good shoes

I think the 48 hour and/or 72 hour kits are a great idea. I might have to make one.

02-04-2009, 12:49 PM
Not exactly sure. But our pictures and insurance policy, our laptops, cell phones and my purse. I guess that'd be it :think

Mother of Sons
02-04-2009, 01:08 PM
Photo albums, important documents, camera and baby keepsake boxes if I had time. Can't think of anything else that is needed or couldn't be replaced.

If I had a little time to pack before leaving, I'd take a few toys and clothes and a few of my skillets and maybe my sewing machine so that I could earn some money wherever I went (same with camera) Makes me want to really declutter my house lol

02-04-2009, 01:23 PM
If I had a little time to pack before leaving, I'd take a few toys and clothes and a few of my skillets and maybe my sewing machine so that I could earn some money wherever I went (same with camera) Makes me want to really declutter my house lol

Wow, good thinking !! :tu

02-04-2009, 01:24 PM
If I had a little time to pack before leaving, I'd take a few toys and clothes and a few of my skillets and maybe my sewing machine so that I could earn some money wherever I went (same with camera) Makes me want to really declutter my house lol

Wow, good thinking !! :tu

:yes Such smart women here on GCM! :grouphug

02-17-2009, 09:43 PM
When I speak of fleeing this is what I would grab:
*Birth Certificates, ID's
*Tennis shoes and socks for all family members and one change of clothes, x-tra underwear.
Pillows and blankets, how many would depend on if we were on foot or traveling by car.
Cell phones and chargers plus outlet adaptor for vehicle. Laptop.
Sq ft gardening book
Water. Pot to boil water in. Wooden spoon. 4 bowls to eat and drink out of.
Dog and cat if they are willing.
Laminated baby pics of the kids and a FEW other favorite pics, laminated ones only.

*if we were in an immediate rush!

02-17-2009, 09:59 PM
def birth certificates. medical records, any bank info you don't want someone else to have, basically any and all paperwork that you deem important and even some you may not. Then I would go to any pictures, family videos you don't want to lose. then go with clothes to last at least 1-2 weeks for everyone going, then any pets, I am sure someone else will have more info but that is what i would do :hugheart :pray4

Heather Micaela
02-17-2009, 10:06 PM
Just pondering, why birth ceritficates? These are pretty easily replaced :think

02-17-2009, 10:16 PM
Just pondering, why birth ceritficates? These are pretty easily replaced :think

I was thinking if a mama had to do an emergency run from an abusive DH or SO that way they do not have them. If it earthquake or tornado then I would leave them.

Heather Micaela
02-17-2009, 10:28 PM
Just pondering, why birth ceritficates? These are pretty easily replaced :think

I was thinking if a mama had to do an emergency run from an abusive DH or SO that way they do not have them. If it earthquake or tornado then I would leave them.

Welll mentioned them too and then realized that all I have had to do is stand in line for an hour, pay like $30 and that was it. For abuse I totaly get that though

02-17-2009, 10:39 PM
so many great replies in this thread :grouphug Thank you!

we are stocking up at least a year's worth of food and I haven't known how we would take it if we needed to go somewhere but we have decided to get an RV and keep quite a few things loaded on it. We live in a major city and if anything causes us to need to get out of the city quickly we want to be ready.

We also have two safes--one with weapons and other things; one with documents and photo negatives
My purse
My laptop
clothing for everyone
things we need for celebrating Feasts and Festivals

It's not easy for us to go away even for a weekend :doh So setting this stuff up has been something we've wanted to do for a very long time--even when we travel a state away it's really challenging. We want to have going away be easy, and getting out be prepared for :think

02-17-2009, 10:49 PM
Depends on the situation. If we were running running, just clothing to keep us warm, blankets, flashlight, some food, map, compass, matches, etc. And I'd dump a bag of catfood and leave the toilet seat open for my cat, along with a window cracked so he could escape if need be.

If it was like a flood or hurricane type thing, I'd attempt to take the computer (not the monitor and all that, just the computer part), important papers, my cat, photos, and then the above.

02-17-2009, 10:50 PM
so many good suggestions! We would totally bring our Bibles. Also a flint is a great idea. Our water jugs...And we would totally bring our guns too!

02-18-2009, 05:11 PM
I just read "The Unthinkable: Who survives when disaster strikes, and why" by Amanda Ripley. It was great, and ALL about this thread, people being prepared because in emergencies we can't rely on our brain and have to fall back on previous training. We also have to rely on regular people, emergency services don't show up right away depending on the disaster and it's us and our neighbors and coworkers who are going to be dealing with anything that happens, at least initially. So good job everyone! I'm so inspired! Here are some cool websites she suggests: Her website: www.theunthinkable.com which leads you to www.72hours.org which is San Francisco's emergency preparedness site, and also linked is Ready.gov which is from homeland security but gives a lot of good info about keeping safe/evacuating, etc.

02-18-2009, 05:20 PM
thanks for that link--it looks good :think

02-19-2009, 11:05 AM
Like others, it depends on what we are leaving for. I'm going worst case scenario where we are leaving forever and fleeing to the hills, to *ahem* hide.

I'm thinking I've got one hour to prepare.

We already have all important paperwork and photo backups in a firebox. That would be the first thing in the car. Five outfits for each person, for the kids in two sizes large than they are currently wearing (I actually already have this ready to just grab and go.

Three buckets of emergency freeze dried foods (should last us three months)

Hand grain mill


as many matches as I can get in the van.

my cast iron cookware skillet. One sauce pan.

As much aluminum foil as I have on hand.

two toys per kid


extra gasoline

pillows and blankets, already stored in a rubbermaid vacuum sealed

thread, needles, extra fabric


a large tarp

newspapers for firestarting

one bible

laptop if there was room

whiskey, probably around ten bottles

ten cans of baby formula


Strong shoes, two sizes to big for the kids

yarn to make socks

The rest of the van would be filled with as much food as we could get in it.

And if I've only got fifteen minutes, I could probably get most of that in the car (I'm already prepared for the *possibility*)

If I've got no time, the kids and the firebox and my faith that God will preserve us.

02-19-2009, 11:37 AM
Wow, erin! :rockon I'm taking notes!

02-19-2009, 11:57 AM
Dh and I have been seriously talking about this so much in the past couple of days.

We've decided to buy a little RV. We'd like one of those small Toyota ones, if possible. We're going to go looking sometime next week, towards the beach. (people have them parked everywhere for sale)

We will fill the RV with everything we'd need. The only things we would grab is the important papers/photos, the cat, and our guns.

I will come back later to this- gotta run