If you've ever seen the Sex & the City episode where Carrie's computer crashes (she got sad-mac'd), you know my worst fear. We've had this particular Dell for about 4 1/2 years and we've gotten the blue screen before and we had to pay Dell to fix it over the phone. But it was a good wake-up call, because it made me realize that we have pictures, journal entries, videos and music on this computer that cannot be replaced. So for Christmas I asked for a portable hard-drive and got one with 300 gb of free space. And even after transferring all our digital photos and videos (including Topher's entire life), TJ's i-tunes collection, and every document we've ever saved, it only used up 22 gb, so there's plenty of room to grow. I also routinely transfer all of our digital pictures to dotphoto, so that they are stored safely somewhere else. Now all I need is a fireproof, waterproof (and maybe bulletproof) box to keep my portable hard-drive in, and I'll feel pretty secure.
I've always been this way. Before the flood, I had an emergency room under the stairs. It had our sleeping bags, tap lights and windup flashlights, blankets, extra food and water, a fire extinguisher, and our 72-hour packs that were soooo cool. Unfortunately, that room was for any and every disaster EXCEPT for a flood, and it was all ruined that night. That still makes me sad because I was so proud of that room. It was fun to go in there, tap on the lights and just look around at all our emergency gear. I didn't look the day they were clearing out the downstairs. I didn't want to see all the things I had lost. But I have to remember that they were just things.
I guess it probably looks like I'm always preparing for the worst, but really I'm just trying to anticipate the worst that could happen and then eliminating as much stress from those situations as possible. Computer explodes? Darn, but at least I have everything backed up that was important to me. Purse gets stolen? That sucks, but at least I have a list of every single card in my wallet and all the numbers to call if they are lost so no one could charge things to my account. And if the lights go out, our windup flashlight is always in the same kitchen drawer and it has a wrist-strap (I remember the night of the flood I couldn't find a flashlight and then when I did I was so frantic that I kept putting it down and then losing track of it.)
At some point I'll need to order new 72-hour kits. One of my favorite things to do is to empty out the backpacks, look at everything inside and think about how I would survive out in the wild, and then put it all neatly back into place. Gosh, it's almost as much fun as organizing my pencil box was at the start of every new school year (with my name neatly printed on everything--why didn't I have a label maker??). I still feel involuntarily drawn to school supplies every August. I'm such a nerd. But at least I'm a well-prepared nerd.