Emergency Evacuation: What Would YOU Take?

images Emergency Evacuation: What Would YOU Take?Teri Hurly of Minot, North Dakota, found the McQ & A page in our September/October issue very timely. In it, the McCall’s Quilting staff was asked what 5 items from our sewing spaces we’d take with us if an emergency evacuation was ordered. Teri recently found herself in a real-life emergency evacuation situation, and wrote to us about her experience:

“On June 20th at about 7 pm, most of the city I was living in got notice that we had 48 hours to move everything out of our homes in preparation for a flood. As we worked feverishly to box things up and get the city moved, the time was decreased to 36 hours because the water was going to come sooner than we thought. So, the question, “What 5 things do you take?” hit home really hard.

I couldn’t find it in my heart to leave a single thing in my sewing area. It all went as quickly as possible into the few boxes that we could find for sale in the city. Every empty drawer was filled, as well as garbage cans and huge construction bags. Thank goodness I already store all my stash in plastic containers as the reality of an emergency evacuation is that you couldn’t buy a plastic container to move stuff in if you had all the money in the world. I grabbed every quilt book, pattern, spool of thread, scrap of fabric, and tool I had as fast as I could and headed for the hills.

A little after 12 noon on June 22nd the water breached the dike. It went to the ceiling in my garage, 6 and a half feet in my sewing room, and the water got up to the upper one third of my kitchen cabinets and ruined everything in the entire house. But I SAVED THE FABRIC STASH! If you’d like more details about our town’s emergency, check out Flood, Minot, North Dakota on the internet.”

Teri, we are so glad you and your stash are safe! How about the rest of you…have you thought about what you’d take along if your sewing area had to be evacuated? Tell us on our Facebook page or leave a comment here…we’d love to read your thoughts.

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19 Responses to Emergency Evacuation: What Would YOU Take?

  1. Jean says:

    I would save my machine (Heywould Janome) for sure. Also my seam ripper and thread collection. I’m a thread-a-holic (major!)….

  2. Sue Leenders says:

    Pfaff 7570, Featherweight, tub with Antique Quilts & tops, sewing boxes & tools collection and cloth dolls.

  3. Susan Ioanou-Silver says:

    my sewing machine, rulers and my go cutter and fabric and tools; so my entire studio, as small as it is….wouldn’t move the furniture but definitely the machines and fabric and cutters

  4. i was in a flood that took everything i had in 2001 i lost everything except the clothes i had on water was four feet in the house i even lost my car. but the most i lost was my mothers sewing box . If i had had some notice that would have been one of the things i would have taken . One of the other things would have been my new electronic sewing machine most of the stach of cloth I was able to wash and save.

  5. Rachelle jones says:

    When Cyclone Yasi was bearing down in us in February, I packed plastic boxes with our important documents, food and clothes for a few days for humans and animals and started filling the car. Then I found 2 more boxes and packed my sewing machine in one and my apple Mac in the other….. I wasn’t leaving without either of them :)

  6. Kristen says:

    About 10 years ago we had a fireman come to our door and tell us the entire neighborhood was being evacuated because of a gas leak. We had 20 minutes to take what we wanted and get out…if we were not out by the time he came back, we would be escorted out. I backed my car up to the back door and ran from room to room grabbing all the finished quilts and cross stitch projects I could, ran them to my husband who packed them in the car. We got them all and my sewing machine before the 20 minutes were up. Since that time I have plastic containers ready and waiting to be filled if need be. I guess at that point in time all the finished projects I had were such accomplishments because they were actually finished…

  7. Sue says:

    My beads, Bernina and my butt. That’s what I took when the Cedar fire was fast approaching my home in 2003. I had no animals, needed a new computer and wardrobe, everything else was expendible. I did pack a small suitcase with clothes and toiletries then headed out. House was not burned but it was a week before we were allowed back in. Glad I had a change of clothes and a toothbrush!

  8. barb Jansen says:

    This March I was on my honeymoon in Hawaii. we had been ordered to prepare for evacuation because of the Tsunami.I had been to a great quilt shop in Maui the day before, and spent several hundred dollars on gorgeous hawaiian batiks. I had only a little carry on to pack for evacuation. My new husband couldn’t believe his eyes, when I started packing that fabric in with my “essentials”! i bet there’s not a quilter alive who wouldn’t have done the same thing!

  9. Christine Patterson says:

    When I thought about what I would take I thought, ‘ How do you get prepared and remain prepared for such a disaster?’ Then I realized that I’ve done just that by building in a place not subject to floods and to an extent away from bushfire areas. There is no way that I can avoid disaster completely, but if I had to leave because of imminent disaster, I would take my grandchildren, my photos, and probably my stash.

  10. Maria says:

    My Mom and Dad live outside of Atlanta and were flooded out in 2009. Mom travels with her business so she was lucky that two machines and some supplies were still in her trailer. Other than that, all she had time to grab was a pair of clean undies and a ziplock baggie of dog food – both of which she crammed in her purse – before she rushed the dogs into the truck, hitched the trailer, and left. The part that made us all laugh later is when she realized she had the cookbook that has been collecting family recipes since before I was born. I asked her what on earth made her think of that? She told me “I didn’t think of it, I was looking for a recipe and never put it down!” The water was 8′ in their bedroom and above ceiling height in her sewing studio. They lost almost everything, but they got out.
    This has taught me a lot about what matters! If it breathes, it goes in the truck. If it doesn’t, and it is not older than I am, I can replace it. The things Mom regrets are things that were her parents’ …. If there was time I would try to grab their artwork and my photo box, but anything else can be repaired or replaced. It is the loss of tangible memories that hurts – but if I get out I can make more.

  11. lizen says:

    Since we go through severe weather on a regular basis, we have an emergency plan that allows us to grab essentials and can’t-be-replaced items within 15 minutes flat. That doesn’t mean the system is foolproof, but after living through the mile-wide tornado in Oklahoma, not to mention having several friends who had to evacuate New Orleans and Galveston when Katrina came through, I feel better knowing we have a plan. I would leave my sewing machine behind, but after securing the cat in his travel cage, quilts, UFOs, quilting journal, and fabric stash all go with!

    Teri, glad you’re safe! What an ordeal!

  12. Shirley in Canada says:

    You know I think I would do just as Teri had done! I mean the insurance will cover the furniture….but can NEVER replace your stash or equipment you are use to working with! Happy to you know you are safe, Teri!

  13. Joyce says:

    When we were camping in Ohio a couple of years ago we had 9 inches of rain in a few hours, and we were camping in a valley 300 feet from the river . The bridges over the river were closed so we could not take the motorhome, but we had 5 minutes to gather what we could to take out in our car. I grabbed our medications and the dog, my husband grabbed money, my one son took the book he was reading, and my other son grabbed his quilt. I gave him a quick hug and we left for our night in a red cross shelter.
    When we got there they would not allow the dog inside, so I spent the night with the dog in the car with the quilt while my husband and sons slept in the high school/shelter.

  14. Donna says:

    Hi- Being that I recently moved to Alaska (a Year ago), most everything is still in Boxes. I have kept all boxes as will move again when my retirement home is built. I also have most fabric, yarns, etc packed in Plastic Stoage boxes, so it is ready to go. My Sewing Machine, Serger, tools, computers, a few clothes, toiletries will go. Being I lived out of Suitcases the last seven years (back onActive Duty w/ the Miliary), I am used to packing and moving quickly. I will be so (sew) glad to get moved into my retirement home. Then they will have to pry me from it to get me to leave!

  15. Judith Douce says:

    Our 14-room home burned in February, 1971. We carried “things” out for two hours as it burned. The electric company had someone there to disconnect the electricity, and he left lights on as long as he could. We got two sewing machines, a knitting machine, garbage bags of yarn and fabrics out (and a lot of furniture)…but could not rescue my grandmother’s antique pie safe filled with great-grandma’s quilts.

  16. Debbie says:

    I had just that situation with fire in the neighborhood a couple of years ago. Less than an hour to evaculate on a Saturday morning.

    I packed my computerized sewing machine and computer, but forgot my dongle. My husband tells everyone how I packed the sewing machine.

    We knew our house was o.k, when we called our answering, and it worked on Sunday.

    It’s amazing how many things you do not think of in instant evac. My husband said his left his check book behind.

    Now, we keep emergency supplies packed in our vehicles.

  17. teri hurly says:

    I just KNEW there were a lot more quilters that had been in the same situation as I found myself in. My heart goes out to all of you.
    A brief update: As of September 25th: We have a ton of FEMA trailers here, none of them will last through the winter as the temps will dip to -40. Our city has also been part of the oil boom so there are NO hotels, houses or apartments available.
    Storage units are at premium and springing up now. This of course is good newsl

  18. teri hurly says:

    I don’t know what I did, but I hit a button that cut me off.
    The rest of the good news is that the streets are now open, not all repaired. We have clean water to drink again. We had to boil it for a month. The Minot Community Foundation has raised $5,ooo,ooo for the people who lost their homes. The Black Eyed Peas came and did a concert that raised 1.3 mil. Fergie is married to Josh Duhamel, a Minot native. He can now be seen in Transformers and previously in Los Vegas. The city will rebuild, they plan to do a lot of change to the valley, including widening the river and making a HUGE space for water internally. My home will be torn down and I will rebuild out of town as soon as the construction firms can fit me in. Hopefully next year. There were 4000 homes damaged, they are now constructing 1900 new ones on the north side of town.
    What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
    Thanks for all the replys

  19. Thanks for the information on Emergency Evacuation: What Would YOU Take? | McCall’s Quilting Blog, it’s going to be truly beneficial.

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