The government, since we rely on them so heavily, should tell us that we should prepare for a disaster. Any disaster. Assume that we will need five days of food, water, and whatever else we might want. Suggest an emergency med kit. Recommend additional items for storing.
Then they should be told what the Japanese and Americans living there are:
In Japan, what we’re told is this: A disaster may render you unreachable. It may cut you off from communication networks and utilities. The appropriate government agencies (starting at the neighborhood level and moving upward depending on the magnitude of the damage) will respond as quickly as they can, but you may be on your own for days until they do. Prepare supplies. Learn escape routes. Then learn alternate escape routes. Know what your region’s points of vulnerability are. Get to know your neighbors (especially the elderly or infirm) so you can help each other out and account for each other. Follow directions if you’re told to evacuate. Stay put if you aren’t. Participate in the earthquake preparation drills in your neighborhood.
I have seen many good suggestions for your BOB, bug out bag. Many people have updated their recommendations since Katrina. So, get it together, people. Do we really want the government to wipe our behinds for us? Or do we want to be able to pick the toilet?
There was KdT’s grab and go bag. But it is gone. This has three days of food, household products, and hardware. He reminds you to have your medicine on hand. Since Katrina he has updated his grab and go. Now he says, have gas cans, a bigger first aid kit, and additional batteries. He does an excellent job of suggesting what to have.
One of my favorite blogs, the Common Room, has a round of of disaster preparedness posts. These include a discussion on duct tape and a link to all the medical ways to use duct tape. She includes things to do if you have little money, four basic items from your grocery store, and water storage.
There are probably millions out there, but my two blogger recommendations are very good. If you want more:
Tere is my post on expanding your bug out bag for perhaps never coming home, because there is no home to return to. It’s ideas I’ve gotten from being in Houston after Katrina and listening to folks who left with an overnight bag.
FinallyThe Federalist Patriot has a disaster preparedness link page. They also have a Personal Preparedness Guide which talks about preparing for your comfort zone–then proceeding to scare you out of it by discussing air filters and detection devices, etc. So if you want to go all the way prepared, start here.