I'm not really a person who plans ahead. Not practically anyway. As much as I had big dreams of where my life would be by now, I didn't really set up a schedule or plan on how to get there. Hence why I am still driving around lost. And as much as I can always jump to the worst case scenario first (I tell myself I'm just able to see all the angles and therefore prep for any potential problems before they actually have a chance to arise), I rarely do much about it. I mean, I don't even have an earthquake kit, and my first aid kit is pretty much cupcake bandages that are more like stickers than health aids and some Tylenol tablets that probably expired by now and possibly an Ace bandage, but honestly, I haven't looked in there in awhile. The point is, I haven't gone to confession (ever) in case the Rapture comes; I don't get yearly exams to make sure I don't have any weird moles or high blood pressure or anything; and I don't have an overnight bag packed in case of an evacuation or fire. But I do know where everything I would need to grab in a fire is. Realistically, I'm just not sure how I could carry it all.
Hands down, the first "Things I'd Grab In A Fire" (inspired in part by last night's episode of Modern Family, which by the way, is now best the kids are on-screen) are Madison and his favorite toy, a now-kind-of-falling-apart red bean-bag doggy that he picked out himself and used to cuddle with at night before he started sleeping in my bed and cuddling with me. But those are kind of a given. The others may surprise you...
My iPod. As much as I don't really listen to music much (honestly, I've been playing the same three albums over and over on a loop on drives around Los Angeles, and I feel like 70% of 8000+ songs I actually own are ones I've never even heard), I use this as a secondary harddrive, and it has every one of my 12000+ photos backed up on here (including childhood and family photos), as well as manuscripts for unfinished novels, drafts of unfinished screenplays and television show pitch packets, raw files of video interviews I conducted, shot, and edited, and yes, music, movies, and episodes of TV shows. It's small and portable so in a pinch, with my arms full of other stuff, if I can't grab my laptop, at least I know I have all of my creative memories and projects and can just upload them into a new (and let's face it, a fire is a perfect excuse to use insurance money to upgrade to a faster) computer.
Tim Riggins' Panthers sweatshirt. Chances are, if there is a fire in my apartment, I have been sitting around in pajama pants, a swag tee shirt from NBC, and if it's winter, aloe vera socks. So I would need to take something a bit warmer with me in case I can't come back in and have to sleep in my car overnight. This isn't just a raggedly old sweatshirt; it's a piece of pop culture history! It needs to be preserved! I don't even like it when it smells smokey from a beach bonfire; I'm not letting flames get anywhere near it.
My glasses. Lenscrafters won't let me refill my prescription without a new eye exam since my old one expired, so I wouldn't be able to easily just buy a new pair (I hate doctors, and I hate things near my eyes!).
Stephen King's "It". I know what you're thinking: a book? If you're going to grab something that can be replaced, why a book, TV writer? And why not your own book!? But this story had such significance for me growing up that I finally tracked down a first edition copy of it a few years ago. And those are rare, so while most books can be replaced, first editions are one-of-a-kind. And in truth, I'd want to grab both the first edition I bought second-hand and the original supermarket paperback that meant so much to me when I first read the story. Pages are falling out, the binding having melted a bit in the sun on that warm Hamptons weekend I first devoured the story, but that's part of its charm. And my memories.
My tennis bracelet. It's superficial, maybe, but I had a special dual layer tennis bracelet made up a couple of years ago with sapphires and aqua marines, the latter of which represents the birthstone for the month I adopted both my dogs. I wear it every day. It's my day bracelet. But I feel dumb just wearing it around the house, so chances are, I wouldn't have it on on a random day. I would most certainly slap it on in a pinch, though.
Custom DanielleTBD action figure. I just really, really like this, as narcissistic as this may be. Plus, you know how much I love miniature things. And this one has a really cool miniature laptop tucked under her arm. And she's wearing my favorite leather jacket-- one that, oddly, I wouldn't grab over my Tim Riggins sweatshirt if I could only grab one thing from my hall closet on the way out the door.
My mother's ashes. I don't mean to bring it down a few thousand notches here or anything, but when my mother passed away, she wanted to be cremated, and I was supposed to buy an urn, but I didn't see any I really liked, so instead I split her ashes into two smaller containers. One is a marble vase that was vacuum sealed for safe keeping, and is now so heavy it is the deadliest weapon I own, and the other is a small, much more portable vase shaped container. In a pinch I could easily grab the small one on my way out the door. It's not everything, but it's better than nothing.
Fleece blanket. This thing is the best thing I've ever had wrapped around me. I got it at a Black Friday sale in Target, and every year I go back hoping to get a second one, and they never have the same brand/size. It fits a king size bed so I can literally wrap myself up in it like it's a sleeping bag. And then wrap it around again for another layer. It's super soft. It is a makeshift Snuggie. Madison also loves to curl up in it. It's soothing and can make any place we end up feel like home.
Credit card. This should be a given, but you know... It's how I'll rebuild and re-buy.