People keep asking me to tell them what they should have in case of disaster.
Let me be clear...I am not one of those crazy preppers...we don't run drills, etc.
But first, you need to identify potential catastrophes in your area. For example, we live in the SF Bay Area. There is threat of nuclear meltdown, Yellowstone Mega Volcano eruption, Earthquakes and rain monsoons, local to this area. In addition, since we live near Silicon Valley, we are at risk for atomic bombs by terrorists. And all of us are at risk for Solar Flare Coronal Mass Ejections.
You can check daily solar "weather" at: http://www.spaceweather.com/
Basically, our Earth's magnetic field protects us from much of the suns radiation. However, it is entering it's most active phase, which happens every 10,000 years. It's happened in the past, that the sun throws out these Mass Ejections that aren't blocked by our magnetic field, and when that happens, if it heads toward us, it knocks out power grids. It's like an EMP, and can knock out anything with a battery. With our declining power grid, and our reliance on technology, this is what I believe is our biggest threat overall for a major shutdown in the US. Electric transformers are on a 3 year waiting list worldwide, so if large ones go down, especially widespread, this would alter the way we live. Most of us would be out of work.
Imagine a country without electricity. How would you get money? Gas? Food? Water?
No computers, phones, nothing.
This is potentially a real situation. People would riot.
Your best bet is to keep enough food and water stored for at least a year. Large bags of rice, tuna, beans are easiest to keep, and least expensive. You can get 5 gallon water storage containers at Walmart for $10. You will need food for pets. You will need some method of cooking, like a firepit or propane powered stoves and the propane to go with it. Vitamins are a good idea.
A stash of medications and a good first aid kit are a must.
You need some method to protect what you have, because others will want it. Guns, knives, slingshots, stun guns, pepper spray.
You will need things to barter with. Small bills in cash, gold, silver. Things of value. Even food could be something to barter with.
Then you have to think long-term. Hunting and fishing gear, and seeds to plant a garden. Hand tools to use.
Your best bet if something happens is to group together. Form a neighborhood watch immediately after a catastrophe to lessen the chance of gangs of people invading your territory.
No one likes to think about this stuff, but look at New York and NJ. Look at the state of the world.
Bottom line...you have a better chance at being a survivor if you are prepared.
The clock is ticking...