Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic
Watching the evening news last night, I was struck by one thing in particular about the fires in California: if they're lucky, evacuating residents have about 4 to 7 minutes to gather the things they'll take with them and leave their homes. 4 to 7 minutes. If you're lucky, you might get to return for 5 minutes, with an escort, when your neighborhood's still too dangerous to inhabit. It's mind-scrambling, to me anyway, to think about what I'd take. This happens with some regularity around the country, as floods, hurricanes, fires, and tornadoes pound, burn, and change the landscape. Really, it could happen to any of us. Have you had to leave your home in a hurry, without knowing when, or if, you'd return? Or if you'd even have a home to return to? If you haven't, it's an interesting exercise... Prescriptions and pets are essentials, but what else would you grab? My meds and my Winston would certainly make the cut, but if I had time for just one more thing, I'm really not sure what I'd choose. A treasured necklace? The teddy bear I've had my whole life? For me, it's more about sentimentality than material worth, but maybe that's because I own so little. What would you try to save?