In Minimalism

What 5 items would you take in the event of an emergency?

Nothing like a little panic room situation to get you thinking about your stuff, especially when you think about all the awful natural disasters that have happened as of late — That massive tsunami in Japan and Hurricane Sandy.

Yes, I love my things, having my things and using them, but when push comes to shove, it’s my life, my family’s life and perhaps if there’s time, only a few other things I’d really consider bringing if there was no space.

Given time, and if I were only allowed a few things (this does not include people, that goes without saying that they would be the first!!!), here are the five things that have the most value to me:

rich-pearls-jewellery-money1

  1. Godmother’s necklace of pearls she gave to me before she died
  2. My current and old passports
  3. My wallet — I’m practical…
  4. iPod Touch
  5. 1 hard drive copy with my computer backups (has all my scanned files too)

That’s it.

(They’re also all within fairly easy reach..)

There is not much else I’d grab, and there’s not much else of value to me than those 5 items.

I am not that attached to my things enough to give my life away for them.

Minimalism has taught me that everything can be replaced.

Even all of the above can be replaced, because the sentimental thoughts and feelings associated with her pearls and with my passports, will stay with me.


The only things that will be tricky/hard to be replaced or replicated fully, are my scanned documents, which is why I am considering paying for a small vault in the bank to store these backups.

What 5 things would you take in an emergency?


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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14 Comments

  1. M
    Michelle's Finance Journal

    This is really hard, but a good question to think about.
    I would take my 1. hand bag (it has my cell phone, car key, my wallet with debit card, insurance card, ID, and etc), 2. lap top (has all the pictures, taxes, and etc), my 3. diary, 4. naturalization paper, and 5. blanket

    Reply
  2. The Asian Pear

    Gosh…

    1 – My purse (because it has everything… My phone, my USB, wallet, bandaids, antibacterial stuff, medication, etc)
    2 – Emergency Backpack (where I have my passport, spare cash, insurance cards, manual flashlight, a few bottles of water, oat bars, etc)
    3 – My Hard drive
    4 – Two photo albums (the really old ones)
    5 – My Europe Travel Journal

    Reply
  3. Tania

    (1) Purse
    (2) Laptop
    (3) Wedding ring (I’m divorced but was with my husband for most of my live, it’s important to me
    (4) Ruby & diamond ring (a gift from my boyfriend)
    (5) My grandparent’s wedding picture

    Reply
  4. Melissa

    If I had enough time, I’d shove my 2 cats in a carrier and grab my phone, hard drive and old photos.

    If I didn’t have any time, I’d grab a cat under each arm and boot it out the door. I wouldn’t be able to carry anything else!

    Reply
  5. Morgaine

    1) My bunny
    2) My purse (currently contains my wallet and passport)
    3) My wedding and engagement rings if I don’t already have them on (I don’t sleep with them on)
    4) My laptop if I can (not a big deal if I can’t get to it)
    5) I think I should create some sort of back up for files too (on the hubby’s computer since mine has a “cloud”) mostly pictures over the years that haven’t been uploaded.

    Reply
  6. anna

    1) wallet, 2) phone, 3) hard drive with my pics and music, 4) running shoes/gear, 5) my bike. Thought-provoking post!

    Reply
  7. Miss Amanda

    1. My 2 cats
    2. My fire-safe (it has USB sticks with photos, passport, important papers, etc.)
    3. My lap-top
    4. Purse (car keys, wallet, cell phone)
    5.

    Ugh… I honestly can’t think of a 5th thing. I’ve been meaning to put together an emergency back-pack, so I guess that would be my 5th thing if I even get around to actually doing it.

    My dad was a fireman, and has instilled a (healthy) fear of fire in me, so I keep most important things in that fire-safe that’s about the size of a shoebox.

    Reply
  8. Leslie Beslie

    1. External hard-drive mainly for the irreplaceable photos
    2.. Cat #1
    3. Cat #2
    4. Shoes
    5. Cell phone

    Reply
  9. cj

    A fun, yet serious question, Mochimac!
    -my guitar
    -my compositions
    -my wallet
    -my ext hard drive (I need a new laptop anyhow)
    -my phone

    Reply
  10. Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde)

    Having experienced a pretty big emergency (hurricane Katrina) I can say that everything we missed the most was personal (ornaments we made as kids, family albums, etc.)

    Reply
  11. E
    Elizabeth

    I love this topic!! I’m afraid of all severe weather in our area and I fear nuclear disasters.

    I currently have a rolling backpack that has:

    2 days change of clothes
    1 pajama
    1 fleece-type jacket
    a few pairs of undie things/socks
    1 pair of flip flops
    1 hat
    1 travel pillow
    1 set of travel toiletries/ladies things
    1 stuffed toy from childhood (in ziplock bag)
    1 set of electronic chargers (in ziplock bag)
    1 book (really long, to read if in a shelter area to pass the time)

    I’m working on how to stuff the actual important papers I own in it (medical/insurance/passport).

    I also try to keep my purse nearby so I can grab that in an emergency.

    I don’t have enough room left in the bag for anything else, the jacket takes up a ton of space, but I would like to pare it down a bit in case I had to carry it on my back. But, I see all of this as necessary…?!

    Reply
  12. Pauline

    laptop, wallet/credit card, passport, comfortable shoes, I can’t even think of a fifth item! I came here with one suitcase of the basics so don’t have pictures or sentimental items around.
    I thought about toothbrush or clean clothes but you really can buy anything if you leave with your card.

    Reply
  13. Liquid

    If I could only take 5 things with me in an emergency I would grab my wallet, my phone, my keys, my insurance papers, and my passport 😀 Three of those things I usually have with me when I’m not home anyway.

    Reply
  14. S
    Sense

    Oooh oooh! I love this topic and work in this arena. 🙂 But where are your emergency survival items? Are you relying on a shelter to provide everything?

    I’d take:
    1) my survival backpack with first aid items and everything I need to survive for 3 days on my own
    2) my every-day backpack (contains my wallet, passport, phone, etc.)
    3) my laptop (photos and tax documents!) and charger
    4) my great-grandmother’s heirloom diamond ring
    5) Not sure…my high school/college paper journals? back up hard drive? any other suggestions here?

    Everything else can be bought or holds no sentimental value to me.

    Reply

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