Some people believe that being prepared for bad times means that you're pessimistic or paranoid. I don't believe I'm either of those things. However, I want to make sure that my family has the things they need in an emergency. There are folks that believe in extreme preparedness. To them, my own version of preparedness is woefully inadequate, but I think we have enough to get through a short to medium length interruption of services. Remember, that when an emergency happens, everyone will be trying to obtain basic necessities. Lines to buy water and canned goods in Hawaii were hours long once the tsunami sirens began going off, according to MSNBC.com. A bit of planning along with a little space, and you can avoid those lines when an emergency hits your area.
- flashlights-several, within easy reach in various rooms, kept in working order
- extra batteries
- candles/oil lamps- The oil lamps are some very cool antiques that can come in handy if power is lost for a long period of time.
- an emergency light/radio- Ours is from Black and Decker.
- basic first aid supplies- rotating anything that might expire
- pantry of food- I would have this anyway, I use it extensively for cooking and meal planning, but I do make sure to keep some items that don't require cooking.
- alternate cooking sources- anyone with a BBQ grill has one!
- drinking water- I generally don't buy plastic bottles of water; this is the exception. I rotate it periodically. The fish tank often gets a super-cleaning on days coinciding with the rotation.