You’ve got seconds to evacuate your home: What do you grab?

By Andrea Michelle for Olay


It’s one of those hypotheticals that’s sometimes posed at dinner parties along with “who would your dream dinner party guests be?”, yet not one you’d think you’d ever be confronted with in real life. But just recently it happened to me.


It was mid-afternoon on a stormy Saturday, and my home was in happy chaos. The electricity in our building had just come to an abrupt halt – as had the water – but my two little boys didn’t care as they were excitedly packing for the sleep overs they were having at friend’s houses that night.

I shrugged on my raincoat and trudged outside to investigate, and found myself being whipped by winds so strong they nearly threw me off my feet, heavy rain and chunks of building debris falling from the sky, and a screaching alarm.

On the street there was a huddle of police men, emergency teams, and news crews. I squeezed past a fireman who was taping off our driveway to try to move closer to the action and find out what was going on.

The gale force winds coming off the ocean near where we live had knocked over a couple of power-lines, which were now draped languidly over a few unsuspecting parked cars in the front of our home leaving us without electricity. Shrug. I didn’t get what the drama was. It’s a Sydney storm. These things happen all the time.

Within moments I was approached by a camera crew from the ABC news asking if I lived there and what I knew about the roof? Turning around and following their gaze I spotted the big deal. What looked a large heavy sheet of metal was hanging off the roof of our building precariously over the exact spot I had just walked, rattling in the wind. The roof of the apartment block had been ripped off in the storm like the lid on a can of baked beans.


By then some other residents were milling around, with disbelieving expressions on their faces, wondering what to do next. Some said they had been told to evacuate and were gathering their belongings.

A serious looking police man said it was ok for me to stay, but to remain in doors and be careful to walk under the covered path back to my apartment.

The kids went bezerk with excitement when I told them what had happened. They grabbed their sleepover bags and raced out side, hoping to appear on the news “We’re gonna be famous!” they squealed as I followed them outside. I convinced one of the police men to let me get my car out of the garage and past the tape while my boys photobombed our neighbour who was being interviewed by the news crew.

Kids photobombing TV interview

Our neighbour being interviewed by the ABC news with my boys doing The Robot in the background


I returned to a darkened home several hours later having dropped both children safely to their friends’ houses, and stopped off to buy a bunch of torches, candles and some takeaway food expecting to bunker down for the night. Yet the darkened apartment block was deserted except for a lone police man. He shone is torch in my face as I approached asking why I was there, explaining the building wasn’t safe to enter.

The roof of our home blew off in the storm

The roof of our apartment block as it appeared on the news


Stunned, I explained that my little dog Sushi was still inside, and I didn’t have anything with me. I ‘may’ have got teary at this point…

He gave me 30 seconds to run in and out and get what I needed “don’t muck around lady, that roof could come down with any gust of wind” he said gesturing through the rain to the blackened sky.

Shaking, I ducked inside, grabbed a basket, tossed a few things in, nestled the dog on top and ran.


A new meaning to ‘Sushi on the Run’


Hours later after dropping Sushi to a friend’s place and checking into a hotel, I emptied the rest of the contents of that basket onto the bed: a clean pair of knickers, a t-shirt, my glasses, and a night-time moisturiser.

emergency kit

What was inside my bag


As I poured myself a well-deserved glass of wine from the mini-bar I laughed about my priorities – specifically the inclusion of the night cream – and cursed myself for not taking my computer holding all of the family photos.


I’d been trialing Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Night Cream for the previous week or so, with the intention of doing selfies to show any improvement it would make on my skin, as the manufacturers claimed it would boost skin renewal by 60% in just 5 nights.


But I don’t think there’s any better testament to the efficacy of a product given that it was one of the few things I grabbed when I evacuated my home.


And looking back on a couple of shots taken of me before and after trialing it, it’s apparent the difference it made to my skin – specifically it looks smoother. So little wonder it was one of the few things I tossed in on the go.

Olay Regenerist before and after

Yeah, it’s tricky to get an exact same before and after shot – same lighting, angle, expression etc – but it’s clear to see the impact the product had on my forehead in particular.


While I trialed Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Night Cream the rest of my skin care regime remained the same: specifically I’d continued to use the rest of the Olay Regenerist range – Miracle Boost Youth Pre-Essence and Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream- since I reviewed it a month or so ago back here. I was stoked to try the night cream to see if it lived up to it’s claims, and also as night-time products work differently.

During the day our body is focused on doing other functions, so when we are sleeping at night is the prime time to use a different product that focusses on skin renewal (as compared to skin protection). And because the DNA in our skin is more active at night it’s more likely to repair and renew itself given ingredients tailored for this job.

Without getting all techie, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Night Cream contains a bunch of ingredients based on Olay’s pioneer research in cellular bioenergetics so it’s formulated with exactly what our skin needs to slow down the aging process and speed up renewal, like Vitamin B3, Olive extract, Amino Peptides, Dill Seeds Extract, Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerol. Using the Miracle Boost Youth Pre-Essence between cleansing and moisturizing helps prepare the skin to absorb the active ingredients in the mosturiser.

Plus, I like it because it’s got a lightweight gel-like texture that absorbs fast, so you can go to bed without feeling like you’ve got a thick layer of greasy night cream all over your face, yet you can feel it feels rich and moisturizing. I can’t stand that feeling of tight dry skin at night!

olay regenerist micro-sculpting cream moisturiser night

OLAY Regenerist Micro-sculpting Night Cream 50g RRP $48.99

Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost Youth Pre-Essence, RRP $39.99

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, RRP $48.99


Back to our adventures during ‘Stormageddon’, the kids and I ended up staying in a serviced apartment for a week till it was safe to return home.

During that time I did sneak back to our place (against the advice of the SES) to grab a few more things – namely the boy’s school bags and uniforms, their baby books, a couple of their favourite cuddly toys, my laptop, a few clothes and some other toiletries.

In the second grab-and-run I realized how little we really needed and how few of our material possessions were of real importance. The main thing was that we, and all of the other people in our building, were ok.


Have you ever been faced with having to leave your place in a hurry? What did you take?

And what would you take if you’d been in the same situation as me?


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