This summer we’ve had four fires within a 10-mile radius of our house. None of them threatened us directly, but close enough for K and I to sit down and think about our evac plan should that happen. It was an enlightening exercise. Living in Montana, my brother and his wife recently did that, too. What he wrote me seemed to sum it up nicely:
‘When we were thinking we'd be evacuated last month, we started thinking about what stuff we'd bring. In the end, we actually don't have any real "valuables" that we couldn't leave behind.’
That mostly held up for K and me, too. We’d grab our (ironically) fireproof box, the hard drives that hold our 100,000+ photos, and our binders of film negatives (yeah, we’ve been photographers for a while). Maybe a few odds and ends. The point we realized is that, like my brother and his wife, we don’t have much of what we’d really consider valuable. Which made us ask the question, ‘What makes something valuable?’
I’ve done this exercise before, most recently when I left REI after 16 years. Admittedly, there were only a few things I took with me that I guess I deemed valuable. It’s not to say everything else I had there or we have in our home is crap. I think what’s important is in asking myself the question every once in a while so I can keep tabs on essentially what I’m prioritizing.