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Valuable Possessions - What Would You Save in Case of Fire

Updated on May 18, 2014

Most Valuable Possessions from a Child's View

"If I was going to lose everything, because of fire, or any other reason, what possessions would I want to save? "

That one question led to a very interesting conversation and a wonderful insight into who, and what, my Grandkids value.

I asked my 5 Grandkids to answer,"If Granma's house was burning, what would you want to see Grandma save and what should she try to take with her?"

I also asked them to answer the same question in regards to what they would take from their own home. The following are their answers, some surprising, and some heartwarming.

It's important to know what items you and your family value enough to take with you in case of a fire or other emergency. If you know in advance what the most valuable possessions are to your family it's easier to remove them.

Although not my most prized, certainly one of my most valuable possessions - Contact with others is important

When we were talking about possessions, I had to think of one thing I didn't want to leave without. The Phone without it I couldn't do my job, nor be able to communicate with my friends and family, therefore it is one of the things I would take with me if I had to evacuate my house.

When I asked the kids, their answers surprised me, as so often we think the things we give them, the material things, are the most important to them.

Often we underestimate our kids

Often we underestimate our kids
Often we underestimate our kids

Grandma's Hair Flower

Sentimental items are irreplaceable

Often times we talk about how materialistic kids are, but when I asked my 14 1/2 year old Granddaughter what she thought I should take if my house was burning and I had to get out, this is what she said:

"If I was going to save anything during a fire it would be: My Grandmothers Hair Flower -it is a memory that I have of my Great Grandmother and it is a piece of her."

From her own house she wanted to take her collection of Indian Barbie Dolls "because they're collectible."

Many years ago this art form was popular. My Grandmother would take the hair from her hairbrush and put about 150 strands for each "piece" that she braided. She made patterns and sewed the braids together, forming her piece.

You should take yourself

so you don't burn,

because if you burn

you can't see your Grandchildren.

Cierra 9 years old

Take Your Dog - Pets are dependent on us

"Take your dog or he will die." This is from the 6 year old who spent the week playing with and taking care of my dog, Mr. Boone.

Indian Pictures in Dining Room

The 12 year old wants to save the Indian Pictures in the Dining Room. Most of these pictures were gifts to their mother as she was growing up. The kids are very aware of their heritage and apparently at least one of the kids would want to save these pictures.

She also wanted to save an oil painting of her family, and her Doll "Joseph."

Save Irreplaceable Family Photos

"I would want you to save the pictures and photo albums. Those pictures are of our family and some of them have been passed down and we would want to save the memories."

Shay 12 years old

And Mementos that can't be replaced

And Mementos that can't be replaced
And Mementos that can't be replaced

The True Value in Life

When everything is said and done apparently the material things aren't as important to most people. Yes, we worked to buy them, some people harder than others, but in the end it is just "stuff."

Talking to our kids, and grandkids, sharing stories and memories are the things that are really valuable for my family as they probably are for yours also. Many years ago I swore that if I cared about someone I would let them know before it was too late, and I would never stay angry with anyone I cared about. You only need to lose someone to know what's really valuable.

Ask your kids and Grandkids what's valuable to them, and you too might be surprised.

What Possessions would you save in case of an emergency? - Comments Appreciated and Feedback Welcomed

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    • yayas profile image


      5 years ago

      What a great idea to ask your grand kids for input on what the most valuable possessions are. I never would have thought of asking my grandchildren what they would save in case of a fire. This is a very helpful and inspiring page. It has me lookin' 'round to see how I can better prepare for an emergency. Thank you!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I think that children are often far wiser than adults. We really should listen and appreciate the voices of young people much more than we do. They could teach us so very much. Beautiful article and just what I needed to read this morning.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @anonymous: That's a great idea!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My father scanned ALL the family photos we have and put it on an external hard drive. If he saves that from the fire, he saves all the photos

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      thank you so much. this is not so selfish. the conclusion says it all in terms of what we pride in.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Well, first, I'd get the people out. Then I'd save photos, important documents, and things that are essentials for life or to carry on my business (certain flash drives, etc...). We've been living low in this recession and I don't have many possessions that I'd consider worth risking my life to save. I'd rather just make a hasty exit from the flames.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 

      8 years ago

      I have to admit I've never given this any thought before. It is really interesting to get your grandchildrens thoughts. I guess anything that is irreplaceable is worthy of saving. The rest boils down to just"stuff". Perhaps it's loss would be an inconvenience but it's still just stuff. Great lens.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy McGraw 

      8 years ago from California

      @jptanabe: Oh I hear you..leaving my computers and work files would be a major inconvenience too. I finally bought a small portable hard drive that I back up most things to, so as to help mitigate a potential loss in case of an emergency :)

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      8 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Yes, I'd have to make sure all the pets were safe first. Good point about bringing the phone. Yes, most of the stuff in my house is just stuff, but some of it is the necessary stuff to work and keep track of money. Unfortunately that would be such an inconvenience to lose. But it would be heartbreaking to lose all the irreplaceable photos and keepsakes that belong to our family. Your grandkids certainly have the best ideas!

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 

      9 years ago

      I love this lens, Kathy! And I love that you got the grandkids involved!

      When I was little I kept packed backpacks of all my favourite things because I was scared the house would burn down! (I'm not sure I should be revealing my neurosis in a guestbook but nevermind!). Now in a way I think it might be a release to be free of all this stuff I've accumulated. Time for an early spring clean, I think!

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 

      9 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Beautiful lens...I'd take my dog and my photos...course I couldn't CARRY all of my photos so...Once my neighbor's house was on fire and the firefighters got in there and knew JUST what to grab. I watched one walk out carrying a huge stack of photo albums ...then the next guy was priceless...huge and filthy firefighter carrying an armload of the little girl's dolls! If it weren't such a tragic moment I might have grabbed a photo of THAT.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You know, if I was asked this question when I was a child, I didn't have anything valuable -- aside from our Norwegian elkhound, a New Zealand bunny rabbit, a black crow, and a transistor radio! Time is a great leveler.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      9 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Lovely Story! Thanks for sharing your valuable possessions. Your little mementos are real treasures!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I heard about that beautiful hair piece from your great grandmother from Bert. I had never seen a picture of one before but heard about them being made. Its certainly an item that I wouldn't want to leave behind, it so valuable in sentiment and could never be replaced. Your dog is so cute, what a keeper! Save the phone and take your purse too. Pictures are something that my kids love to look at from time to time and enjoy the memories. I wouldn't want to lose the pictures either. It's a good topic that makes me really think about what's the most important things to save. I'd have to try to save my strongbox as it has important documents in it.

      Hoping you will have a nice 4th of July, Kathy!


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hello, Kathy! What a beautiful hair flower and from your great grandmother yet! Yes, she is still with you. I have heard that in some circles hair has a certain power, thus locks were saved and worn in a medicine bag around the neck. With the items presented I would rate it thusly; the the dog and hair piece would tie for 1st as your great grandmother and Mr Boone love you, secondly grab those pictures and you can always get another phone. Great topic! Your friend Bert!

    • mariaamoroso profile image


      9 years ago from Sweden

      Such a lovely lens and such lovely way to present the valuable things!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very nice lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Kathy, nicely presented -- it's interesting to see what matters to different people and kids!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      9 years ago from USA

      You've got some amazing keepsakes! Nicely done.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      9 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      sweet and beautiful lens!


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