When Disaster Strikes, What’s Really Important?

Which possessions would you take if you only had 15 minutes?

This question comes to you from Kari Henley, an author over at The Huffington Post, and comes in the wake of fires in both California and Colorado.

She asked this very question on Facebook and here were some of the answers:

“My wife and kids. And my homeowners insurance policy.”

“My purse that has everything in the world and then some in it!! Could live out of it for a while!”“I have often wondered about this. Obviously my pets and people, but after that I would attempt to gather family treasures — photos, books, etc. I could care a less about ‘Important documents,’ you can get a new Social Security card; you can’t replace Grandma’s recipe box. I think any tragedy that causes loss always makes you grateful for what you were able to salvage, particularly if there are no injuries, and later rue those things that were lost, regardless of what they were. I suppose I would be particularly sad about those things that would be too difficult to take in a hurry: special furniture (my great great grandmother’s hall tree), things that are buried in my basement (like my wedding gown) and children’s baby things.”“Live alone — no one else to worry about but me — however there is a picture of my grandmother that hangs in my kitchen taken in the 1920s, she looks like a flapper, and a few other pictures on my walls I would take. And my laptop — everything else is insured.”And from Kari herself: “Surprisingly the one thing that floated to the top is an antique fountain pen that sits on our piano and holds a treasured family story. My father in law used the cap to hide a special diamond inside when he immigrated to the United States from Poland. The diamond was purchased with all of the money they could scrape together as Holocaust survivors after the war, and represented everything they had, and is an ultimate symbol of love, survival and faith. The diamond sits on my finger now, and will sit on my daughter’s one day.”So what’s your answer? While the most practical item might be your disaster kit or “go bag,” what’s the most meaningful thing you’d grab and why is it important?Photo from the San Bruno gas line explosion, Virginia Hart/American Red Cross