PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Deputies knocked on Michael Kuras’s door without warning.
“At 8:30 Friday morning, approximately. They said you have 15 minutes to leave the home,” he said.
Kuras lives on the edge of a massive sinkhole that opened in Land O’ Lakes, but that morning he didn’t know what was going on.
When he eventually got the news, he did the best he could to quickly grab items he considers to be essential.
“By the time I had grabbed those things, taken them down to the car and was driving out, the entire two story home had collapsed into the hole, half of the other home had collapsed into the hole and the sinkhole was moving across the street, toward my property,” said Kuras.
Now he’s warning the public to be prepared because you never know when disaster might strike.
“Please speak to anybody that lives in your home with you and walk around the home now, today, soon, and decide what things would you have to take with you, what things are essential, Because there is no time to argue, for one person to say ‘we need that’ and the other person to say ‘no we don’t’ and vice versa. You will not have the time and trust me, under that kind of stress level you will not make a good sound decision if you are arguing about stuff,” said Kuras.
Judy Mauer helps people declutter their homes for a living and says in a moment of crisis, she would know exactly what to do if given just 15 minutes.
“I’m a professional organizer, so for me that would be very easy,” she says.
Mauer recommends putting important things together in one place.
“One of the key things about becoming more organized is to get all like items together with like items. So, even if there is somebody who has a lot of belongings and they are not willing to let them go and because they are passionate about them all, that’s really fine, as long as you try to keep it in some sort of order, so that you know where to go to get those things that are most important to you,” said Mauer.
Keep in mind your medications, financial papers, birth certificates, keepsakes and photos.
“Most people, their old photos are tucked in files here, or over there, in a cabinet here, some of them out in the garage. They have no idea how they are going to grab those up, they are going to be lost,” said Mauer.
To stay organized and prepared for this type of situation, going through papers is key.
“That means everybody getting into those boxes of papers that they are avoiding and don’t want to look at and going through them little by little,” Mauer says.
Kuras said he didn’t have time to think when disaster hit next door and he is urging everyone to think before something bad happens.
“Make your plans now. Walk through your home and decide what things would absolutely be essential within a 15-minute period to go away with you,” said Kuras.
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