I suggest that you develop a personal preparedness plan, and have prepared the following checklist which may be printed from this web site's “Articles” section:

  •  Place 72 hour Grab-And-Run emergency survival kits in your car or home.
  •  Determine a local meeting place with a large open area, such as a park or school, where your household can gather if you are separated and do not have access to your home during emergencies.
  •  Make sure that all capable members of your family know how and where to shut off the water, gas, and electricity for your home in the event of an emergency.
  •  Stash spare keys to your vehicles somewhere on the vehicle and an additional supply of keys somewhere outside of your home (securely hidden).
  •  Store at least one week's supply of food for your household.
  •  Store a combination of water, water treatment chemicals, and water-purifying filters to provide for your household for at least a week (see Chapter 5, “Water,” for more information on filters and purification).
  •  Keep a survival manual in each car with your 72-hour kit.
  •  Get proper first aid and CPR training for all capable members of your family. See the American Red Cross for first aid training and assistance with local emergency planning.
  •  Arrange for an out-of-state emergency contact to reach for coordination and communication. After an emergency, it may be easier to call long distance than locally, or your family may be separated and need an outside contact to communicate through.
  •  Locate your nearest emergency shelter (call your local Red Cross for this information). Practice the route to the shelter, if it's not conveniently located.
  •  Make sure that you have smoke detectors in your home. Change their batteries at least once each year.
  •  Store your important papers in one easily accessible location, preferably in a waterproof and flameproof box.
  •  Discuss your emergency preparedness plans with all members of your household. Keep the discussion light and positive.

You may also use my book, When Technology Fails, as a guide for further preparedness planning:

1.Prepare a 72-hour emergency survival kit, including a hand crank or battery-operated radio, first aid kit, clean water and water purification chemicals or filter, matches, wool blankets, flashlight with spare batteries, candles, toiletries, multi-tool knife, map, compass, whistle, sewing kit, towel, cooking utensils and can opener, tent or plastic sheeting, extra outdoor wear, garbage bags, and rope. (See pages 31-34).

2.  Stock up on dried and other nonperishable food.  You can store enough food to feed a family of four for a whole year in a relatively small space without refrigeration. (See pages 35-40).

3.  Have on hand methods of purifying water. You can boil water to kill bacteria and viruses. Various types of filters and distillers can be used to remove other types of contamination, such as chemical poisons and radiation (see pages 70-89, includes very specific recommendations).

4.  Learn basic first aid and have handy a first aid kit (see pages 33-34 for items to include).  See pages (176-199) for instructions with clear diagrams illustrating first aid for various types of injuries, from stabilizing a broken arm to giving CPR.

5.  Learn how to prepare your home to use renewable energy for heat and power.  There are simple things you can do to be prepared in the case of a total power failure.  See pages (277-307). For emergencies, you can use a tent, tipi, or yurt. If you are planning to build a new home, consider one using alternative energy, such as solar power.  (See pages 137-166)

6.  In case of extreme emergency survival in the wild, know emergency measures such as how to tell if a wild plant is edible, how to safely eat things like worms, insects, and grubs, and how to make simple tools (see pages 46-65).  

7.  In the case of long-term disruption, learn how to live off the land through proper growing, hunting, foraging, and storing, without electricity or other modern technological advances.  (See pages 97-127).

For several easily printed handy lists and information about preparedness, check out some of the articles listed on this web site, such as Preparedness Checklist, First Aid Kit, Grab-And-Run Kit, Earthquake Precautions, etc.