For those of you new to this game let me list the rule's,
Those are the rule's, it is easy for anyone to follow them, now I will break this all down for you.
To Prepare for an Emergency takes a lot of work, but in a time of need you will be glad you gave up that time now as you may not have much of it when you need it the most. You can set food stocks aside now in a safe place in your home in case you may need them in a time of disaster. Some website's like F.E.M.A.s and the American Red Cross's tell you that you should call your local office to see what type of disaster to prepare for in your area. This is a waste of your time, you should make a general preparedness kit for your family and include in that kit all of the basic's your family would need to survive on their own for no less than one week and up to one year if you can.
Things that must be in your kit would include all of your prescription as well as non prescription medications like anti acid's, pain relievers, anti bacterial ointments, Rubbing Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, Iodine and Glycerin, most of which comes stranded in a top of the line family first aid kit , but on top of having the kit you should have extras as well to suit your family's needs. Remember that bad things happen and emergency personnel may not be able to get to you as fast as you would like so you need to take precautions, like stocking up on Maxi pads that can be used to stop or slow the bleeding of small to medium size wounds. Take a C.P.R. and First Aid course and learn those skill's, then practice them from time to time with your family.
Take stock of the things you have in your home right now that may not work in a time of need, like all of your electronics. When the power goes out what are you going to do with the food in your fridge? Do you have more food in your fridge than in your pantry? can you eat it all before it goes bad and if not how do you dispose of it properly as not to make more of a problem by bringing in insects and mold to your survival environment.
Can you cook what you have without your stove? Propane grills are great for B.B.Q.'s but in a disaster situation you may want a smaller version that is more economical and easy to transport like the Colman three burner family stove. This type of stove uses smaller propane bottles and can be easily hooked up to a larger propane tank with a simple hose adapter.
Your cell phone may not work at all so how do you communicate with your family? F.R.S. radios are a great low cost way of communication that everyone should have in their kit along with a stock of good batteries. Solar power is FREE so use it, places like Harbor Freight sell low cost solar kits that can be set up on the ground to charge batteries and run small electronic devices like an emergency radio, Emergency radios range in price but most are low cost and some are solar, hand crank and battery powered and all you really need is a basic am-fm radio to get updates from the government or media on the situation you are dealing with and it does not need to be a large or expensive radio so keep it small.
Your pantry is your life blood in a disaster situation and should be stocked and rotated from time to time. Stores like Big Lot's, 99 Cent's Only and Dollar Tree are great places to stock up and do it cheaply. Canned food will last on your self longer than the date on the can tells you it will and in some extreme cases caned food that was over ten years old was eaten in disaster situations and the people were able to survive on it.
Water is by far a need you must take stock in, municipal water supplies run low in times of need and you may not be able to just turn on the tap, so stock up 2 times as much on water and learn how to do things without it. You can use and should have baby wipes for cleaning yourself as well you can stock up on cleaning wipes for dishes to cut back on water use in times of disaster.
Shelter can be as easy as a simple tent but other things that can be used as shelter. Tool sheds like the ones sold by Tuff Shed or even the simple sheds sold by building supply store's like Lowe's are great shelters in time of need. Rubermaid has a line of well built sheds that could be used as great shelter and can also be used to store your Disaster Supply's in as long as it is anchored to the ground and able to keep pests out. When using a shed as a shelter always make sure there is proper ventilation before sleeping in it and never sleep in a shed with chemicals of any type in it. NEVER seek shelter in a shed during a WIldfire for any reason!
Use common scenes when putting your kit together and plan for the worst possible disaster situation, Flood, Fire, Earthquake, Civil Unrest, and store your kit in a safe place in your home. Also think about making a kit for your car, we refer to these as Bug Out kits, include all the basic supplys as your primary kit but in smaller quantities. You may also want to make a small kit to keep at your work place. All three of these kits are essential to your survival in disaster situations.