Flood warning - what do you grab on your way out the door?

Like some others, we live in a flood zone. Our house is on the river's edge. After 2 days of heavy rain this week, the river's level rose alarmingly quickly. Last week, the Orbieu was a gentle trickle in this quiet and serene part of the Aude. Last night, the sound of rain hammering down on the roof was accompanied by that of the river gushing past at high speed. Météo France website confirms we are "Vigilance Orange", so I follow the link to "Vigicrues", find the Lagrasse station, and monitor the rising level of the Orbieu. In about 8 hours, it had gone from zero to TWO metres! Helpfully, VIgicrues lists the three highest levels of the Orbieu - in 1999 it was over 7 metres high! So, I started to think "What if we had to leave in a hurry? What to bring? What to abandon?". So I poured a glass of wine (naturally) and began to make a mental list:

Laptops, handbag (for me), wallet (for him), mobile phones + chargers. I paused, thinking there must be other essential items. Think! So I had another glass of wine, and added:

My jewellery (don't have much and nothing very valuable except for sentimental value), toothbrush, hairbrush, do I need the hairdryer? If I need the hairdryer, should I bring the styling mousse? What about Henry's shaving gear? After all, what if we had to evacuate and couldn't get back for, say, a week or more? So I had another glass of wine and envisaged myself calmly grabbing a suitcase and throwing in some clothes (yes, we would need a change of clothes for sure) and if we were going to pack a suitcase, then I could bring all sorts of stuff. I had another glass of wine and moved on to mentally packing a second suitcase. By this stage it was midnight, so I had a nightcap of Armagnac and checked the river level again on the Vigicrues website. If the river had continued to rise at the same rate as earlier, it would have been TOO LATE! We would have been trapped in the house. Thankfully, on this occasion, the level was dropping off.

So, given short notice, what should you bring with you in an emergency?

My wife, of course!

Cats, phone, & the filing box with all the important stuff, insurance policies, house deeds, ets

Brilliant - and so sensible!!

We too live on a river's edge; fortunately for us though, the house is on split levels, so the rising water will go into the lower level, which is the garage. When we were in Florida some years ago, we had a mandatory evacuation order because of the approach of a big hurricane. My husband was away on business at the time, so I had to decide alone what was important in the Grand Scheme of Things. The dog, the cat, important papers like passports, birth certificates, car papers etc., credit cards, any medication you use as well as prescriptions, money you have lying around, jewellery of value or sentimental importance, and that was about it. Cat or dog food can always be bought later.

ha ha I like that!

Apparently someone asked a famous museum curator once what painting he would grab in case of a fire. His pithy answer was "The one closest to the exit of course"

ooh like the Chanel perfume, will have to add Coco to my list - sure my travel bottle will still fit in the case.

laptop, iphone, passport, bank cards, chanel perfume, pearls, handbag, my two crazy little shihtzu dogs, one under each arm, photographs and my sports car (on my head!!!).

Kids, cat (plus bag of food), mini computer, handbag, box of important papers (including birth certificate!), change of clothes for all, into the car and head for the hills. I live on a hill already though and not near a river so I'm probably safe...

1. Kids with warm clothes, nappies & baby wipes

2. Cat with biscuits

3. Emergency food pack, baby milk & water

3. Insurance documents, Passports, Birth Certificates etc

4. Hard discs off our IT network and good old photo albums

5. Spare set of clothes and a hairbrush

That would fit in a piece of hand luggage and would be all the things we would need immediately I guess.

Things that can never be replaced. Bon chance.

Me dog and me passport the rest, well is there anything else that's important?