Amanda Ripley

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What to Take with You

14th Oct 2008 posted in Disaster Behavior

I did an NPR Talk of the Nation segment today about what people take with them when they evacuate. The wildfires sweeping southern California have made the question urgent for thousands of people. But every year, for people all over America, evacuation has become a semi-annual ritual. Interestingly, people don’t usually pack very well on the first try. By the 2nd or 3rd disaster, though, they are experts in what to take and what to leave behind.

It got me thinking, and I figured it might be fun to make a short list of the less-obvious essentials—all things that people have said they wished they had taken or were most grateful they had remembered.

My own pillow
Play Station
Crossword puzzles
Kids’ immunization records
Battery-powered TVs
Cat litter (for use by humans)
Ear plugs
Ziploc bags!
The wine we were saving for special occasions

Special thanks to the New Orleans Times-Picayune for collecting some of the above must-haves.

Got any of your own to add?