Faced with a possible disaster, what would you grab?


Few of us will ever have to grab just a couple of favorites and run for the door. But if you did what would you take in an emergency?

I live in earthquake country. There is no warning that we are in danger. It just strikes. Keeping my selection to what could quickly be snatched and easily carried, that amounts to three pens. The Montblanc 220 OB, a Levenger Kyoto True Writer with a Masuyama Stub nib, and a Pelikan M-215 with a custom italic nib would fill a pocket and are always front and center on my desk. The Lamy Safari with a custom italic nib is a terrific writer but its odd size makes it an awkward fit in a small space. That one would come along only if I had extra room. A pen case to protect the lot would be nice but not essential.

Bottles of ink are more cumbersome but if I thought my inventory was going up in smoke, two discontinued favorites, Montblanc Racing Green and Parker Penman Ruby, would top my list. Just because I love the color and it would make me a little happier despite my losses, Iroshizuku ku-jaku would be number three.

If I had plenty of room, a pad of Rhodia paper would provide space to vent frustration, doodle for relaxation, or enjoy the elation of surviving a disaster.

If you had to grab your pens and run for the hills, which ones would you choose?



  1. Probably a cyclone (hurricane in the Eastern Pacific) or house fire is the greatest danger here. Floods are not a concern as I live at the top of a hill. Eathquake well not likely as I live on one the most seismically stable landmasses in the world . After ensuring that my wife and dog are safe I would grab just four things, my work messenger bag containing a bottle of Waterman Blue Black and my penevelope six (my current in use pens). I would throw in my 40 pen case with all my Pelikans and Auroras and the nib box that contains my spare nibs. I wouldn’t worry about any other inks as once I use up the blue black you can always write with blood… 🙂

    I do have insurance for the pens so worse comes to worse I could got go through the saga of recollecting them all.


    • That would be quite a load, Davey, but I can appreciate keeping a bottle of WBBk at the ready. It works well in all pens and that would be valuable under the circumstances.


  2. As I sit under Hurricane Sandy, my pens are mostly in cases I can stack I the car in the Rubbermaid containers with the important papers & emergency kit. I’ll leave the ink & paper for the insurance.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • I was wondering how you and Sandy were getting along. Sounds like you are okay so far. Whew!


  3. Nice question. Me too, I am living in an eartquake zone on south of Turkey. I was thinking about for very very long time but in fire disaster.
    For me; 3pcs. of my childhood photo and my grand father’s TAZ Penkala FP. Thats all.


  4. I do grab pens and head for the hills on a regular basis, since I take a writing kit with me on bicycle tours. My two vintage Parker 75 Italics always go along (and would in an emergency since they’d be hard to replace) in a heavy Cordura nylon pencase. Inks go in one-ounce Nalgene bottles (sold in camping stores) which I’ve never had leak on me. Plus a blotter book, like a 5″ x 9″ book without pages and 100 lb. blotter paper where the end papers would be, with a few paper towels and an extra blotter in it.

    Confession: I do carry one of those write-upside-down-and-underwater ballpoints and a Rite-in-the-Rain notebook in my emergency kit.


    • You certainly are prepared, Joseph. Are the Nalgene bottles empty or do you keep ink in them?

      That use of a ballpoint sounds perfectly acceptable. Is that a Space pen in your kit? They come in all sorts of styles and would be a good investment for such a use.


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