Self-Sufficiency: Preparing for Severe Weather Season

The danger is not over when the storm has passed. Witness the unstable devastation of Joplin, Missouri, almost a year ago. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), it's a good idea to have a basic "bug-out bag" for the aftermath. Keep in mind that in a natural disaster, there's a good chance basic services such as electricity and even water will be out. FEMA recommends you have:

-- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation

-- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

-- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both

-- Flashlight and extra batteries

-- First aid kit

-- Whistle to signal for help

-- Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant

-- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation

-- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt to help filter the air

-- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

-- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

-- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

For cold climates or winter, you should add one complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:

-- A jacket or coat

-- Long pants

-- A long sleeve shirt

-- Sturdy shoes

-- A hat and gloves

-- A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

I will add that given the looting that almost invariably occurs in major cities following a disaster (see Hurricane Katrina), a gun is at least worth thinking about.

It's always best to be prepared for bad weather and the disruptions it can bring. As Joplin proved, even if you don't need the kit, someone else may need your help, and a few simple items can make all the difference.


So You Want To Own a Gun