It is well known that the Boy Scout's motto is "Be Prepared." It's not as well known that this is the Girl Scout's motto as well. According to a survey taken last October, men are more likely to report that they are prepared for a disaster than women (Sun Herald, 2008): 36% of men vs 22% of women reported that they were "well-prepared" or "extremely prepared." Men and women also answered very differently on the a question about what item they would carry from their homes in case of emergency: 39% of men vs. 27% of women said they would grab financial documents first. 32% of women vs. 14% of men said they would save family or wedding photos first.
What people say they would do may not match up with what they actually do. Although no gender differences are extractable from these stories, Time's "What to Save From a Fire" (2007) (by Amanda Ripley) documents some of the choices made by those displaced by the California wildfires last fall. New Orleans' Times-Picayune also published Hurricane evacuation tips (2007).
I don't normally encourage indulging in the kind of heart-wrenching pathos that reading the two articles above inspires... I expected to have a "but" clause in that sentence. Nope, I don't encourage it. I know that I heard the "what would you save from a fire" game a lot in college. It was one of those "deep" questions that was supposed to reveal a lot about you. I also recall that I didn't answer it often. My family had gone through a house fire 3 months into my freshman year of college. The firefighters noticed the small bookcase of photo albums in the kitchen and threw it (through the window) into the front yard. I'm glad they did. Of course, a single house fire isn't comparable to your entire neighborhood being displaced; my family was able to get enormous support from the neighbors.
Personally: I keep my financial records and my irreplaceable photographs online. I've still lost data, but it's a solution I can live with.