Natural disasters can occur anywhere, any time. No matter where you live, you should keep a stash of emergency supplies on hand to get you through a couple of days on your own. If you're stuck in the house for a while, you'll need to rely on yourself until the crisis is over.
Listen to ON EMERGENCY KITS or read the text below:
Your most important need is for food and water for up to 72 hours. Don't kid yourself that an extra case of small plastic bottles will do the job. You need two or three gallons of water per person per day. That means a family of four should have ten or twelve gallons of water on hand-that's a lot of water! You also need enough non-perishable food for you and your family, which means a good supply of canned goods or other food that doesn't need refrigeration or cooking.
Don't forget a manual can opener, too. Also keep on hand a basic first aid kit, some candles and waterproof matches, flashlights and plenty of batteries, and a hand-crank radio. Consider a hand-crank charger for your cell phone, too. You'll probably never need any of your emergency supplies, but if you ever do need them, you'll be glad to have them.
Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to-or reading-Bob's 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.
For more on disaster preparedness, consider:
Be Prepared for Natural Disasters
Everything You Need to Know about Home Backup Generators
Riding Out the Storm