July 26, 2006
WITH BLACKOUTS IN ST. LOUIS AND NEW YORK, and hurricane season still looming, it's time to talk disaster preparedness again. Here's a blackout survival guide from Popular Mechanics, and here are some guidelines for safe home generator usage. Still more on disaster preparedness from the PM folks can be found here.
Here's a disaster survival kit put together by Target and the American Red Cross, and here's a somewhat more comprehensive one, though both lack sufficient food and water. I've got this emergency radio and it seems to be pretty good. You should have at least a week's worth of those. There's some good advice on other items -- and be sure to keep a stash of cash in small bills -- from Amy Langfield, too.
For general knowledge, you can't do better than the U.S. Army Survival Manual, though it's not really adapted to disaster recovery. There's lots of good information here, though. I haven't read this book, but it sounds pretty good. There are also a lot of useful recommendations from the American Red Cross. And here's more from Winds of Change.
I will stress, though, that as important as having adequate supplies is, it's not enough to buy stuff. You've got to think ahead, and acquire the basic skills to get along in times of trouble. The books help, of course, but there's more to it than that. With luck, any effort you put into this will be entirely wasted. If you're unlucky, you'll get to use it. But that's still a lot luckier than needing those supplies and skills, but never having bothered to acquire them.
Meanwhile, some earlier posts that you may find useful are here and here.
UPDATE: Here's a worthwhile post from Les Jones, and here's some useful information from the Mormons, who take this subject seriously.