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The top five things people regret leaving behind in an emergency.

Discover how to ensure you remember your most important items if you need to evacuate.

Monday January 16, 2017

Trees burning in bushfire
Photo: iStock/Thomas Hogg

You'd like to think that if you had to leave your house in an emergency, you would take your most important items with you.

However, Red Cross National Preparedness Coordinator, John Richardson says people can find it hard under the stress of evacuation.

"We've helped thousands of Australians through all kinds of emergencies. We've found people's distress in the heat of the moment confuses their thinking and they can make decisions they later regret," John said.

"Our research has found that 80 per cent of Australians believe it's important to prepare for a disaster but in fact only 20 percent actually do it.

"I've spoken to many people after an emergency and they have many regrets when they realise what they've left behind."

The top five things that people tell us they regret not taking are:

1. Their mobile phone

2. Passport and documents

3. Family photographs

4. Family memorabilia

5. Personal memoirs

John Richardson says remembering your most important items can help the recovery process.

"Of course the most important thing is to save yourself, your family and pets in an emergency. However,  we have found that recovery from a disaster can be easier if people still have some familiar possessions with them."

"This is easier to achieve when you've thought about it, planned for it, and everyone in the household knows exactly what is important and where it is."

John says one easy and effective strategy is to create a Red Cross RediPlan before a disaster strikes.

If you do need supplies for an emergency, you can always visit the online Red Cross shop.