In the early hours of last Tuesday morning a text message arrived on our household's three mobile phones, follwed closely by a voice message left on the landline.
A message from the Rural Fire Service: "You are now in the Catastrophic Zone".
Evidently they were referring to the forecast 46 degree temperatures for the new day and not commenting on our lives in general. :)
As morning melted into afternoon many fires were burning out of control in the region, driven by strong dry winds that could blow embers 20 kms ahead.
People in the catastophic zone were advised to prepare for the worst but still had some time in hand to contemplate what to take.
Applying only one criterea 'Cannot Ever Be Replaced' we packed the cars accordingly.
And guess what? Photos pre digital age, some sentimental gifts given by people since gone, our memories and Wee Doggie, our teenage son's teddy from childhood ddn't take up any room at all.
So the critera was extended to 'Cannot Be Replaced Without Major Hassle.' And apart from current laptops, cameras with photos from Christmas, kindles, passports and documents, we didn't add much more to the pile.
Plenty of room for we three and the dogs.
The lesson we learned is this...when push comes to shove pretty much all the stuff we think we value can be replaced.
We could have left on Tuesday, confident of this fact because insuring our home, our salaries, our possessions and ourselves has never been negotiable.
It shouldn't be for your family either.
It turned out the fires didn't reach us. The brilliant NSW Rural Fire Service did an amazing job yet again.
They risk their lives to protect your future.
All you have to do is make some calls.
See a Mortgage Choice Financial Planner This Year.