Evacuate now? What would you grab as you left the house after a tsunami warning?

James Poulson

The wee-hours tsunami warning and coastal evacuation Saturday that sent scores of Sitka residents rushing to high ground caught many by surprise, reports KCAW. Among the community conversations in the aftermath is one prompted on Facebook by John Straley, the former Alaska writer laureate: What would you bring with you in the event of a rushed evacuation? 

Within minutes, his friends – also awake, also rattled, also fresh home from the evacuation centers or hillside homes of friends – began to comment. Guitars, cameras, guns, ammo, food, pets, important documents, photos. One said she brought her knitting bag, in case it was a long night.

So on Monday morning, we posed Straley’s question to people downtown Sitka – What did you grab in the evacuation?

“I grabbed clothes for my kids, and my daughter’s pink bunny, and both our computers, and left my cell phone charger behind,” said one woman.

As for Straley, he brought, among other items, three bottles of champagne -- which "came in handy," he said.

Read more from KCAW: Are you prepared for the next evacuation?