If disaster struck right *now,* are you prepared? Take this simple test to find out. Mentally shut off all the utilities to your house - no telephone, no electricity, no gas. Now, walk through your house and take inventory of your supplies. For purposes of this test, we will assume a three day cold-weather emergency that keeps you shut up totally inside your house.
- - Water
- Do you have at least three gallons per person stored?
(this is based on a minimum of 1 gallon per day)
- - Food
- Can you feed the house for three days with the food on hand?
Can you *cook* for three days? (charcoal grills are marginal for this exercise)
- - Heat
- Can you keep the family warm w/o the utilities?
- - Light
- Do you have candles, oil lamps, lanterns, etc. to see by?
- - Shelter
- Is your house sturdy and livable?
Do you have fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, etc. to stay
safe while restricted to being inside?
- - Communication
- Do you have a battery-powered radio for listening to official
- - Medical
- Do you have a home "medical chest" well-stocked to deal w/
common ailments and injuries?
- - Defense (optional)
- Are you prepared to and capable of defending your home against
looters who are taking advantage of the emergency?
Three days (72 hours) was chosen for this test because that is the time FEMA estimates (rather optimistically) it will take to put local & national disaster response plans into operation. A more reasonable timeframe for the test would be at least one week.
These supplies should be stored in easy-to-transport containers, in case the emergency forces you from your home.