You have 5 minutes max to get out of your home. What do you grab to head out the door? Not a question most of us think about, but one we really should.

Recently there was a fire at my apartment building. The fire started in the apartment above me, and thankfully there were no injuries and minimal damage. For me, the fire resulted in water damage to my apartment, and easily cleaned up, but still a scary situation.

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When I heard the sirens and saw the fireman outside my door I realized one thing, I had absolutely no idea what to take with me as I headed out the door. What in the world was I supposed to prioritize what to take from my entire home in a matter of minutes? At that moment of urgency, would you know what to grab?

What Should You Grab if Your House is On Fire?

According to Backwoods Home magazine, the easiest thing to do is stick to "The Five P's". A good starting point to have in case of a quick evacuation is, in order of importance: People, Pets, Prescriptions, Photos, and Papers.

Many insurance companies will say at the top of the list should be more tech-driven as well with wallet or purse, car & house keys, laptop, and of course cell phone and charger. Be sure to grab glasses and dentures as well.

Another thing to consider, which I completely forgot about, was a change clothes for each member of the family. If things end terribly wrong, the only thing you will have is the clothes on your back.

It's a good idea to store documents, passports, and other important papers in a fireproof box that you can just grab in case of an emergency. You may also want to consider having a bag already packed in the closet with items such as clothes, extra phone chargers etc. that you can quickly add to as you head out the door. Using a checklist may help simplify what to grab based on time, and could be a lifesaver. Click here to download.

At the end of the day, things can be replaced, people can't. Be smart and move fast, and know that being prepared can make all the difference.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.




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