The news from Japan is tragic. It is also a warning and reminder that we must be prepared to take care of ourselves and our families under emergency conditions. We made preparations for this several years ago.
- gasoline powered generator (with gasoline siphon tube)
- portable water-purification system (will provide water for six people for six months)
- extended use emergency lighting equipment (hand-crank flashlights and oil lamps)
- canned and dried foods for 3-6 months (depending on how many family members join us)
- portable communications equipment (hand-crank radio and battery-powered amateur radio transceiver)
- expanded first-aid and medical care kit, including surgical supplies (wife is an experienced surgical nurse who can sew)
- home defense shotgun and ammunition
That last item may be somewhat controversial. I don’t plan on having shootouts with our neighbors. But think about what can happen if there is a complete breakdown in social order and dilution of government protection. Those who are pre-disposed to criminal activity are likely to take advantage of the vulnerabilities associated with a natural disaster. The intimidating slide-action noise from a pump-action shot gun could be enough by itself to scare the lowlifes away. Also, our home defense weapon can also be used for hunting, if needed.
The most important resources are the stored food and water source. In my opinion, it is not feasible for most people to store enough clean water for an extended period of need. Instead, invest in a high-capacity, gravity flow water purifier that does not use cartridges that must be replaced after limited use. You can dump water in it from almost any lake, pond or stream and have usable water for cooking or drinking.
We also need to do a better job of always having at least one vehicle with a full tank of gas. We may need that gas to reach our home at the lake and to siphon for use in the generator.
Take care of yours and pray for our friends in Japan.