Natural Disasters

So many stories of natural disasters going on lately.

Tornadoes destroying most of a city, a la Joplin.

Earthquakes causing such destruction in so many areas.

Flooding destroying so much, so many homes and so many people's livelihoods, not to mention taking lives.

Tsunamis wiping out cities, and killing so many.

It is really scary.

So much destruction. Never underestimate the power of nature to make us realize that even with all our technology we have, we can't control everything.

Yesterday, there was a massive wildfire in my area, and some of my friends just a few blocks away were evacuated from their homes. I also live on the outskirts of my village, and as the fire spread closer and closer to my area, I started panicking more and more. Our telephone and internet service were knocked out, and my husband was in the city and not answering my frantic calls on my cell phone.
I started wondering- what if, what if? What if my home gets destroyed? What if everything I own gets burnt up and I have to start over from scratch with my family in a new place?
In retrospect, I see that I over dramatized just a little bit, making a bigger deal out of the issue than it really was, but still, it got me thinking.
(For the record, no one got seriously hurt. A lot of land and farming area and nature was destroyed, but no houses got damaged, fortunately. The worst that happened was that a few people got hospitalized because of smoke inhalation, but thank God that was the worst of it!)

Last night, I packed up a bag with the few things I decided I'd take with me should we need to evacuate our home on a moment's notice. Just in case the fire got out of hand and there was a risk of my home burning up with everything of mine in it.
What did the frugal me pack, the me that knows we don't have so much extra money to spend on whatever it is we'd need should we lose everything we own aside for what is in the bag?

I packed:
A change of clothing for myself and the kids. (My husband was in the city, as I said.)
My cell phone.
My pocketbook, including my wallet, debit cards, bank cards, social security card, cash, my checkbook, and my local ID. (No clue where my passport and Lee's passport is, or I would have taken them as well.)
Some cloth diapers for Ike (enough to last a day).
My laptop and charger.
My small jewelry box, containing the most valuable jewelry I own, mostly received as a wedding gift/engagement gift/inheritance from parents and in laws.

Other than that, nothing.

When someone needs to get out of the house quickly, because they're being evacuated because of a disaster, there's a limit to how much they can actually carry.
I'm not so worried about the things in my house. Yes, there are sentimental things, but I try not to get attached to too many physical things, as I live in a small home, so there aren't so many of those. Additionally, if I could only take a few things, I'd put practical before emotional, because if I need to start over, having sentimental things wouldn't help me out much, but having practical things would.
Furniture I mostly got from the trash, craigslist, and second hand stores. Replacing them wouldn't be so expensive if I went about it the same way I did it this time.
Clothing for myself and the kids are mostly from second hand stores and hand me downs, again, easy to replace.
One of the biggest benefits of living the lifestyle I do is that very few things I own are worth a lot and would be expensive to replace.
If I was running from danger, I wouldn't bring along things that are easy and cheap to replace.
I packed my jewelry, because if push came to shove, I could get a decent amount of cash for them from a jeweler, and I'd use that money to help start over. (I've gotten an exact quote from a jeweler friend, but fortunately things have never been bad enough to make it worthwhile for me to sell the jewelry.) And I know I'd be able to stretch that money far.
I packed my laptop because that is how I make money, via my writing job. Without my computer, I'd be stuck up a creek without a paddle, so that is something I definitely wouldn't leave behind.
My pocketbook and ID because the things inside are not easily replaceable.

Other than that, there isn't anything I would bring if I would need to evacuate my home in an emergency, possibly never to return.

If you needed to evacuate your home in an emergency, and there would be the possibility that your home would get destroyed, what would you pack to take along? Why would you bring those things? How do those 
things play into your being frugal?
Have there ever been any natural disasters in your area (even if not immediate vicinity) where you worried you might need to evacuate? What type of natural disaster was it?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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