With all that’s going on hurricane-wise lately… first Charley (which hit hardest just south of Tampa, Florida), then Frances, most recently Ivan (which destroyed the city we used to live in – Pensacola, Florida), and up-and-coming Jeanne (who knows where that one’s headed!), I’ve done a lot of reflecting lately about my time spent in Florida and a couple close calls with hurricanes while I was living there.
In March of 1998, the part of Orlando that I lived in was just a few miles from a wildfire that was burning out of control. (To this day, there’s still evidence of the widespread fire damage — all the way from Cocoa Beach to Orlando.)
For days, it was touch and go whether we’d have to evacuate or not.
Since my little apartment in Orlando was a bit too close for comfort, here’s what I packed for the impending evacuation:
- Swimsuit (I waited 5 years to find one I liked… figured I’d never find one that fit me like this one again!)
- Camping gear — to have a place to stay
- Favorite biking shorts, tops, and jerseys (bicycling is my hobby, my exercise, my life right now)
- Biking shoes — cost $200 and everyone wants a pair like these, but they don’t make them like this anymore
- “Simplify Your Life” book — because I might have no choice
- Favorite work clothes — Tom (my boss) would’ve been proud, I packed all of my UCF polo shirts!
- A year’s supply of underwear
- Black heels, navy heels, black flats, navy flats (for work)
- My cameras (I’d be lost without them. I often say that my only memories are those I’ve saved in photographs.)
- Old high school and college yearbooks (one of my few ties to the past)
- All my photo albums (9) and negatives (many boxes!)
- Scrapbooks (8) and all craft supplies (a couple huge plastic tubs)
- Favorite clothes in 2 suitcases
- Dog food and Jersey’s favorite toys, brush, and nail trimmer
- Computer files & documents I’ve saved on disk
- My favorite framed pictures
- Old love letters
- Corded phone (I’m too practical for my own good!)
- Universal remote and instructions (…we’ve all got our priorities)
- Insurance papers
- Receipts for everything I’ve saved for years
- All credit card statements with account numbers and balances
- Credit cards to buy new stuff
- Van Morrison CD’s
- 5 of my favorite videotaped movies
UPDATE: It’s funny to read this list so many years later…
(I’ve always been one to make and keep lists – for everything!)
Looking back, I was lucky that I had an SUV, and it was just me and the dog!
What The Experts Say You Should Pack
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).