5 Minutes to Evacuate!

Mortgage and Lending with Extraordinary Processing MB-116250

There are several fires currently burning in and around Spokane, WA tonight. A rather large area of Spokane Valley has been ordered to evacuate and the fire is said to have burned 1,000 acres and burned at least 4 homes. The high winds are not helping matters.

My neighbors and I were outside watching our children playing and looking at all of the smoke to the south and west of us. We began discussing what we would need to grab if we were forced to evacuate and how much notice we would have. Interestingly, my neighbor said that she would only be concerned with grabbing what she, her husband and their three young boys would need to survive for a week. I said that I would grab my important papers, my scrapbooks and photos and most importantly, my computer as it houses my business information, personal information and pictures! I don't know that I would really be able to get my two kids in the car and do all of that running around (as my husband is working late), but I would sure try.

One of my neighbors is sleeping with a suitcase in her room so she can throw items in it if need be. As the fires are still pretty far away and the winds are dying down a bit, I feel pretty safe tonight. This situation does make you start thinking though.

If you had only 5 minutes to evacuate your home, what would be important to you?


Posted by

business port 

Libby Cousins

Extraordinary Processing - Spokane, WA

Contract Mortgage Processor, licensed in WA

phone:   509-465-5585

email:    LCousins@comcast.net

Comments (8)

Tim Grossglauser
Professional Realty Services Idaho - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Personalized VIP Service

Best of luck.. what part of Spokane is on Fire?  I had spent 9 Years there and Coeur D Alene, ID before moving to AZ in 2001.

Well for me, I would say pictures, priceless items, and computer (laptop) most likely has your whole life on their as far as work!

Dont forget vehicle titles, Birth Certificates, Social Sec Cards... Take the pets!

Jul 10, 2008 06:49 PM
Caroline Y. Hampton
Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate Company - Hephzibah, GA

Oh my goodness, my prayers are with you. I think I would try to get my important papers and pictures also my video tapes. Things like this we don't often think of...we get comfortable. I believe I am going to get a storage bin for pictures and tapes and just store them together. I hope everything works out for you and your family and neighbors, stay safe.

Jul 10, 2008 06:52 PM
Laura Karambelas
Baird & Warner Downers Grove - Downers Grove, IL
Realtor - Downers Grove

I hope the fires die down before getting closer to you!  I would first make sure my husband, kids and dog are out and then if I had time I would probably get my important papers and a bag of clothing...with a few items for each of us.  Be safe!

Jul 10, 2008 10:57 PM
Libby Cousins
Extraordinary Processing - Spokane, WA
Contract Mortgage Processor, licensed in WA

Tim -  The major area burning was Dishman-Mica and they evacuated from around Sprague to 48th Ave between Park Road and Dishman-Mica Road. As of this morning, only 13 homes were lost which is amazing considering the wind. 16th to 32nd Aves are still under a mandatory evacuation though.

Caroline - It made me think about the way that I have my items spread throughout the house. I am working on consolidating items as well and it is a good idea. The fires that were closer to us have been contained though the major oone is still burning in the Valley. Thank you for the well wishes!

Laura - That is pretty much the order that I would do things too! We were not in any real jeopardy, especially once the winds died down, but it does make you worry when you see the big plumes of smoke in the air near your house! Again, thanks for the well wishes!

Jul 11, 2008 08:18 AM
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells


This definitely give me food for thought, but off the top of my head I'd have to say:

  • Dogs
  • Hard Drive
  • Jewelery
  • Photos
Jul 12, 2008 09:28 AM
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

Libby, as others said, I'd take my computer, important papers, and my scrapbooks--- although I now have too many to fit in the car.

If I had time, I'd try to take my favorite clothes & shoes!

My kids are grown and out of the house, no pets, so it'd be easier for me to pack.

Best of luck to you. As a former San Diego resident, I've been through the whole fire/ smoke thing, Not fun!


Jul 14, 2008 10:43 AM
Todd Clark - Retired
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

Welcome to the rain and wow, what a question to start out with. I think I would grab the entire picture CD's from my kids' childhood and my computer for like you said my business. What would be hard to leave behind though would be my record collection, but the family and the memories are more important.

Todd Clark, Helping Families Home - www.IFoundYourNewHome.com

Jul 24, 2008 01:41 AM
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

That must have been very scary Libby.  Your post is very thought provoking.  If I only had 5 minutes to evacuate, I'd grab my hubby, pets, laptop, purse, cell phone, digital camera and memory cards and a change of clothes.

Aug 15, 2008 01:17 AM