There are many ways people choose to prepare for a disaster like earthquakes, hurricanes, pandemics, terrorist attacks etc.
Some store food. Some get survival kits. Some people build their own bug-out bag. And some people even designate a place outside of the city they can go to should things get ugly.
Regardless of how you choose to prepare, you're going to need survival supplies. When choosing your survival supplies, you need to address 5 main basic needs that every human has. These are:
#4 Warmth/Climate Control
There are other things as well including first aid supplies and money or barterable items. However for this article, we'll be covering tips on the 5 basics that you must cover when getting survival supplies:
Imagine that for whatever reason, the grocery stores are closed (including any store -drug stores, Wal mart, etc. - that also sells food). Maybe there's a blackout, maybe the store shelves are empty, it doesn't matter. The main point is you can't get food. What do you do?
Having a supply of food available in your home will keep you and your family going through the worst of times. Not only will you get to avoid going out into the possibly-crazed crowds but you'll have the strength to keep going and do what you have to do to get through the crisis.
Possible options for emergency food rations include storing up freeze dried foods or MREs (meals ready to eat). Canned goods are also an option however they don't tend to last long and you have to keep changing them out - or else you may be left with bad food.
Freeze dried foods can have a shelf life of 10 years or more and retain most of their flavour and nutrients because of the freeze dried process. They're also easy to prepare and light to carry since all of the water has been removed.
MREs or Meals Ready To Eat are also an option. They have a long shelf life than canned goods but shorter than freeze dried foods.
Regardless of what you choose to do, make sure you can store your emergency food away from prying eyes in a cool dry place.
There are a number of options here depending on how much water you think you'll need (3 days, a month, 6 months, etc). For drinking water, you may want to have several large plastic containers stored away on a shelf (don't store them on the concrete floor).
Again, it may be a good idea to keep rotating these containers out every 6 months. You can also use the water in your hot water heater to clean clothes or dishes. Survival supplies stores also often sell water purification tablets and water filter systems that can be used in a pinch.
Most of the time, it's safe to assume that you'll be able to stay in your home so shelter isn't much of a problem. However if you're on the run, you'll want to have some form of shelter like a tent. A tube tent is lightweight and compact and you don't need to carry poles so this is a great option to store in a backpack.
#4 Warmth / Climate Control
This is one most people don't think about but it's actually the one thing that can kill you the quickest - exposure to the elements.
If you're in your home you might be able to get away with lots of clothes and blankets, but again, if you have to run, you'll definitely need to think about keeping warm. Emergency blankets, sleeping bags, portable heaters, matches and even handwarmer packs are all something to consider here.
This is the one most people don't want to think about. Unfortunately the reality is that when disasters occur, chaos reigns. And that's when people get desperate - and ugly.
The guy you thought was a great neighbour will think nothing about slitting your throat to get his hands on your food - so he can feed his kids. It's survival of the fittest.
So you've got to think about security needs. For some people this can mean some sort of survival weapon. For others it means taking a self defense class. Other people may just want to buy a few large guard dogs - which will definitely make most people think twice.
The best form of security, in my opinion, is to not let people know you have anything in the first place. Don't talk about getting survival supplies. Don't leave your food and water stores out in the open for your house guests to see. Just be smart about revealing anything to anyone except your family.
So those are some tips on what to look for when getting survival supplies. Remember to cover you 5 basic needs first - and then go on to other survival gear like radios, lights, first aid kits and barterable items.