What would you take if a Category 4 Hurricane threatened to destroy your home?

I’d spent a lifetime in Florida and read the National Weather Service suggestions: “Make a list of valuable, irreplaceable items to gather if only given 15 minutes to pack and leave.”

But when my husband decided we needed to evacuate in the face of Hurricane Matthew, I suddenly felt paralyzed. There was paperwork, of course  – insurance policies, checkbooks, an ancient marriage license – but what was truly “irreplaceable?” More importantly, what would fit in a plastic storage bin in our car?

I pulled my children’s baby albums from the closet shelf and my wedding album from under a bed. Framed photos of our deceased parents and one of my beloved grandfather were wrapped in tissue and placed on top. Without negatives, none could be reproduced and my history might disappear with a storm surge.

Four days later, I unpack the plastic storage bin (grateful that Hurricane Matthew didn’t damage my home) and I’m astonished at some of my choices. But I’ll make that list of items today and pray that I shall never need to use it.

What would you take with you?




Co-authored with architect Tom Szumlic, my book, “Sweet Beams: Inspiring everyone who lives under a new roof,” is available on Amazon.com.