While in the Philippines I had an interesting discussion with a local copra farmer in the back wood of Leyte Island. We got into the discussion of typhoons and severe weather. I asked him what he did in the advent of severe storms and how his nipa hut did in the adverse conditions. A nipa hut is a bamboo slat house with a palm thatched roof. The home was built on stilts for rain but did little for wind. He said when it blew hard enough the roof would blow off he said laughing. What then I asked. He told me they would gather the family and run to their neighbor’s house; if their roof blew off they’d run to another house; kind of a big bad wolf situation.
For some reason this small story has stuck with me over the last decade. In our possession obsessed world we occasionally lose track of what matters. The highest priority for most of us is family. What is important in life after family and self?
My wife and I, or me and my wife, or we; English is my second language. Anyway; we were able to come up with what was most important to us. I think our list matches what many of yours would; SS cards, birth certs, graduation certs, passports, substantiation records, and really anything a person needs to pick their life back up after a for reaching or localized disaster strikes.
I thought back again on this man and his family. He was a working class man in a poverty stricken situation but he knew what was important, and we can learn from his example.
At any office supply store you can find small and relatively cheap safes built for just such a specific purpose. I have one I paid around one hundred dollars for that is both fire and water proof; how many Americans suffer every year from fire and flood damage? If a criminal were to open it, I don’t typically worry about keeping it locked, he would probably be disappointed. I don’t keep money, precious metals, or really anything of monetary value in it; that stuff belongs in a mattress. Most of us keep our money digital but some things have to be maintained hard copy. I realize that what is important for us will vary from person to person; so sit down and draw up a list. Say to yourself if I had a floor safe what are the most important items I need to keep safe from any disaster?
I hope you will consider safe guarding what matters. After the alarm goes off and you’re able to rush your family out into the night sky and you watch a home with fire pouring out of the windows; find comfort that your loved ones are safe and the documents that matter will weather the adversity.