I’ve completely borrowed this post title from a SurvivalistBoards thread with the same title as it got me thinking about the inevitable, last-minute, pull your hair out “discussion” that I’m sure my wife and I would have (and probably you and yours too) about exactly what we will and will NOT be taking with us in the event that we ever have to evacuate.
If you’re anything but new to prepping, you’re definitely come to the conclusion that you may well need to evacuate in a variety of circumstances and very shortly thereafter you’ll realize that there just isn’t enough room for everything you wanted to take, so you need to prioritize… and prioritize I did.
While I’ve tried to simply this process with a ready-referenced list (which you can utilize as well with the reThinkIt! Preparedness Tools if you like) it goes without saying that I’m sure a few items will find their way into the “necessary” gear that winds up in the cars as we pack. In fact, I’m worried that a lot of unnecessary stuff will end up there. For example, there are a few things that my wife generally refuses to part with, including her numerous photo albums and other hanging pictures. While I don’t see them as even remotely necessary my wife does. I’m sure she will see them as very necessary in all but the most dire “get out immediately” scenarios.
Granted, photo albums are on the “pack it if we have time and space” list but they’re way down there. To be honest, I’ve never tried a full dry run to pack all of the items we would want to take with us, which is a mistake, I know. I have tried to pack the high priority list items and, along with the children, wife, and pet, we’ll all fit. To get everything on our list we would need both cars and a UPS team to play tetris with our gear.
I should be fair, there are likely a few items (especially equipment bins) that I would want to take in place of a wide variety of items my wife may choose instead. In this instance, however, I do believe I would win the argument as prepping is my domain and, although she does typically hold veto power in my life, sometimes you just gotta’ put your foot down.
The question, obviously, is what can you do when a family member feels very strongly about including something deemed “unnecessary”?
Certainly, the first thing one should do to alleviate this problem is to make a list. Sit and think about precisely what you need/want to take with you. I like to break it down into lists of 15 minutes, 1 hour, and 24 hours to prepare and you can see the idea in the reThinkIt! Preparedness Tools referenced previously.
The other important thing you should do is to actually talk to your significant other (and maybe the whole family) about what’s important to them so that everyone is on board with the decisions made. I’m guilty as charged with not doing this one. I merely ran it by my wife and she generally says “whatever” and I go on my merry way. That’s not the right plan.
The last thing one can (and should) do is a dry run. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I haven’t tried to pack everything we would take and probably won’t. I really don’t want to haul all of our stuff to the cars and try to arrange them to fit properly only to drag them immediately back to where I got them. I know I should I just don’t want to! If you have the time and inclination then consider it. You and I may be surprised at exactly what DOES NOT fit.
So, back to the question/statement. Expect an argument from your family members about what they’re trying to take with them if you haven’t actually talked to them about it beforehand. Who knows, maybe they have some good ideas that you haven’t considered.