Recently NASA emailed all of its employes asking if they had emergency preparedness plans in place. This is not to suggest they something we don't. But the question has real and significant consequences for you and your family if the answer is no.
If a sudden emergency were to impact on your family tomorrow, or if you were suddenly cut off from food, water, shelter and communications would you be ready? Could you survive a day, a week, a month?
The year 2011 has brought destruction and havoc to many sections of the country with excessive flooding, fires, and tornados. No amount of preplanning could have helped families that lost everything in an instant in the Joplin tornadoes, however there were many families whose homes were not completely destroyed and were suddenly faced with survival immediately afterwards.
There are basics that every family should have in place in case of an emergency. First and foremost is water. Having enough bottled water on hand for each member of your family is the single most important part of your plan. One can live in extreme weather and live without food, one cannot live without water.
The best websites on family preparedness suggest that your family have a bug out kit for each member. The kits should contain items like toothpaste, TP, medicines as needed, a warm change of clothes, a blanket, a rain slicker, flashlight, candles/matches, energy bars and dried fruit, sleeping bag, and radio. Don't forget your pets; they will also need food and water.
One point about bug out kits. They are usually considered to be back packs, but not everyone in your famiy may be old enough or strong enough to carry one. Consider storing items for these family members in small suitcases that have wheels and can be rolled as an alternative.
FEMA has produced a 204 page guide on family preparedness which can be found here. The government suggests that you should be able to survive at least three days providing your own shelter, food, water, and first aid. This is an excellent resource that covers every conceivable emergency we could face.
What if your family has limited resources? You can still do something to prepare as the Modern Survival blog details. The other site I suggest you visit is The New Survivalist where you will find videos, photographs and detailed plans to suit your family needs.
In these uncertain times, the Boy Scout motto of "be prepared" has tremendous signifance.