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Zombies? Probably Not, But Emergency Preparedness is a Big Deal

Friday Apr 26, 2013 | BY |
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I don’t consider myself a doomsday prepper or a conspiracy theorist.

In fact, I recently deleted all my Facebook friends who were posting Boston Marathon bombing conspiracy garbage.

I don’t think the government is “out to get us” either. I actually think it’s too bulky to get out of its own way. Or at least too into itself to worry enough about the people it’s supposed to assist and protect. (Sounds like a lot of people I’ve come across too.)

I don’t really subscribe to too many American extremist beliefs either — only when it comes to health — but in that case, I think it’s a good thing.

So when I told Annmarie that I wanted to start a small preparedness cache in our 600 square foot apartment, she obviously wanted to know what happened to me. Had I been talking to prepper cells at the coffee house in North Berkeley? Had I taken a trip to visit at least one of my friends who feel like at any time the government is plotting against us? Had I hit my head too hard walking to the bathroom one evening?

Nope. None of it.

It Just Started to Make Sense to Me

I never really thought about being prepared for any type of disaster in the past. I grew up in Connecticut. The only “disaster” we had was Hurricane Gloria in 1985. We lost power for 2 days. It was, well, fun. I was young and I got to miss school.

As I grew older and traveled around the country, I realized that there was a heck of a lot of people who were thinking proactively about their own safety in case of a disaster. Many of them, weather disasters. Some of them for religious reasons, namely our Mormon friends. A smaller group for nuclear fallout. And, of course, a few for the zombie apocalypse.

I Never Judged, I Just Listened

What I learned is that even the zombie apocalypsers had some good ideas — even though their intentions are probably a little misguided. But I did give them credit — even if the attack was wrong, at least they’ll be prepared for something more likely — a tornado, flood, hurricane, or earthquake.

So the idea of preparedness sat in the back of my head for a while. Every time I listened to someone talking about storing food, I felt a little tinge — the one that I feel when I know I need to take action but haven’t yet. It happened too often for me to ignore.

Then we moved to Berkeley — which is right on the Hayward Fault. One that is expected to have a 6.9+ earthquake in the next 30 years. In fact, there’s a community-wide drill that they do every year where emergency response is simulated. Pretty serious stuff.

But, even still, this wasn’t enough to get me off to Amazon.com and get a Marine battery charger or some mylar blankets.

What did that was having a baby.

Hudson Changed Everything

Yes, you’ll hear it from every parent. Their child changed their lives. And, yes, we’re the same. Our child changed our lives in so many ways — many ways that I’m not going to cover here. The way he changed me — that is relevant to this article — is that he finally inspired me to make a emergency preparedness plan and take action.

After he was born, a few nights of the week I would lie in bed thinking about what would happen if there was an earthquake and what I’d do to get my family to a safe place. Granted, you might think I’m neurotic, but I think — and hope — most parents think this way. (If not, please get me mental help, LOL!)

I had already bought an escape ladder, since at the time our apartment was on the top (3rd) floor. This put my mind at ease in case there was a fire and we couldn’t get out the front door.

But, I still kept thinking about what would happen if something worse happened. A major earthquake in our immediate area. There would be fire, collapsed buildings, injuries, looters, no food, no banks, no gas and a host of other unpredictables. And if it were to happen, I’d be in a position that many people — of all types generally find themselves in — knowing what they should have done after the fact, but totally screwed because they never prepared for it.

That was unacceptable for me and my new family.

So I Took Action

I financed my own emergency preparedness cache. It actually didn’t take a long time, just some cash. And now I want to tell you about it.

I’ve been struggling how I would gather all of the data I’ve processed to create my cache as well as how to organize all the goodies I have.

So what I’ve decided to do is categorize all my items into three categories. These are:

1. Water / Food / Health
2. Personal Safety
3. Medical / Community

In each category, I’m going to break down what I have, why I have it and where I’m short — at least from my perspective. This analysis will come over the next week.

Why am I Writing About This on a Health Blog?

For one, sometimes it’s fun to switch things up. I’ve been writing or making videos about health for over 7 years. Sometimes, there isn’t much to cover. Over the last year or so, my attention has moved to other cool things and I imagine — as long as you agree — I’m going to share them with you here.

Secondly, I truly think there is a health lesson hidden inside my preparedness.

It’s the total elimination of stress around not being prepared in a region where I really should.

I no longer think about getting prepared or stress about it at night. This equals sleep. I know I have done at least enough and made a solid effort to protect my family. It’s entirely possible that if there is a disaster we might have missed a few things, but that’s much easier to swallow than if we had nothing and needed something very simple for survival.

For instance, a friend was over the other night and she told me one of her biggest fears was being in the bathtub when an earthquake happens. The last semi-noticeable earthquake happened when she was taking a bath — so her fear is for real. She was afraid that she’d somehow be stuck in the bath or in the bathroom and freeze — or at least be uncomfortable until someone could rescue her. I think it’s a legit fear, and one that was destroying her relaxation time. In this case, her stress was interfering with her life.

I had a simple solution. I went back into my storage room and pulled out a mylar blanket — the kind you see at the end of road races that keep people warm on cooler days. I told her to keep it in her bathroom just in case. She took it and thanked me. It was almost instant relief. Now she had some kind of plan — instead of being worried about being naked in the bathtub — trapped and cold — she knew she had something. Will that something be the thing that saves her life in that instance? I don’t know, but it’s a step toward safety and relief that she didn’t have before.

If you take this to a larger scale, then the question can be what do you spend your time worrying about and what can you do about it to end the stress? What can you do to pacify yourself from your thoughts so that you live relatively stress-free?

It may be some heavy stuff, or maybe lighter, but regardless, it doing something about it will definitely ease your mind.

The Reality

I said above “in a region I should” be prepared. But sometimes the most unprepared take the biggest hit. Keep in mind what’s happened in the last 10 years in New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina), Virginia (5.8 magnitude earthquake in 2011) and the U.S. Atlantic Coast.

The last two Hurricanes in the Northeast U.S. devastated the area. There was also an epic snow storm that put the power out for over a week for some. I have many, many friends who were completely unprepared. Some ran out of food. Some didn’t have water. They all had dead cell phones. Granted, for them it wasn’t life or death, but believe me, it would have been a lot easier for them if they had some of the items that I have here now.

So I look forward to sharing my thoughts on this — as well as getting yours — do you think I’m crazy, prudent or somewhere in between. I know there are a few of you just like me out there lurking around waiting to share your wisdom.

Your question of the day: Do you have any preparedness plan at all? Yes or no?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

60 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Emily says:

    My husband and I have some elements of a preparedness plan for a natural disaster. We have a couple of weeks worth of food and water in our house, flashlights, batteries, campstoves, fuel, etc. But the thing we’re not quite prepared for are the issues that will arise due to climate change. Our lives have been changed since last fall by reading information from James Hansen, former NASA, scientist and Bill McKibben, enviornmentalist author. But the most accessible information we have is from Guy McPherson, professor emeritus of University of Arizona in Biological Sciences. Here is a youtube I urge everyone to watch: http://guymcpherson.com/2012/12/the-twin-sides-of-the-fossil-fuel-coin-presenting-in-massachusetts/

  2. Liz says:

    I don’t think you’re a nutter at all, Kevin. The way you explained everything sounded very sensible. I immediately thought of an escape ladder – we don’t have one and sometimes I think that if we we had a fire in our downstairs we would be trapped upstairs, so I’m going to get one today!!

    Also, the blanket idea is a terrific one.

    I think there are lots of nutters out there who are saying all sorts of dangerous things – but this is very different – it’s about taking prudent steps to ensure as far as possible your safety in an emergency.

    I will be reading your further plans and comments with interest.

    Liz

  3. Denise B says:

    Hey Kevin,
    I’m looking forward to reading what you have in your kit. I must say I’ve thought about it but haven’t done anything more to put anything together. I live in the mid-Atlantic area. There have been a few storms come through that have left me without power for a few days and have been able to tolerate it. However, you just never know what storm will come through and rock my world. It’s good to be prepared in some fashion. Thanks for putting this back on my radar!

  4. Kathleen M. Pagan says:

    I was born and raised in Florida land of hurricanes and black/brown outs!! The concept of preparedness didn’t blip on my radar until someone wondered why I wasn’t racing out to the store for supplies for a threatening hurricane and I told them I already had stuff… they were impressed with my “preparedness”!! Huh??? Apparently what I thought of as normal behavior fell into this enigmatic category of preparedness! No one even realizes I am prepared until the power has been out for a week and the perishables are gone and then it dawns on them that the nonperishables I always have on hand are…well… always on hand! A first-aid kit is another thing I just have always had on hand. Using all of the things I would need in an emergency keeps all my “supplies” up to date and also doesn’t stigmatize the items or, particularly when my kids were small, raise unnecessary fear. When my kids were small and power would get knocked out my sons would just grab a flashlight and we would play a game and have peanut butter crackers… whether it was hurricane or just a random black out… they learned to have respect for emergency situations but not to fear them! Fancy or simple it is good to have a plan and make it a part of day to day living!

    • Ananda says:

      That’s actually quite practical. I have two small children and I think that being prepared for any disaster (especially for their sake) is necessary but I never wanted to seem like a nutcase or instill unnecessary fear in my children (I Can be quite the conspiracy theorist at times lol!). I think you’ve got the right attitude towards ‘preparedness’ :-)

  5. suzanne says:

    I knew it! I said to my husband as I started the article that Kevin’s new thinking can be attributed to becoming a parent. So, no you are not a mental case. I live in the Pacific NW where we have our own dire future warnings. I keep putting off the “plan” (always something else I have got to get done first). Feel it is vitally important though. I even purchased Daniel Vitalis’ Survivthral and have only listened to an hour. Looking forward to reading more about your preparations.

  6. Zyxomma says:

    Yes, I have a plan. During Hurricane Sandy, we were without electricity for five days. We had gas and running water, so we could cook. I had several bags of ice: one for the freezer, one for the fridge, and one for the cooler. All our food stayed edible, apart from a little handful of salad that I had to compost. We had a wind-up radio, a battery radio, and candles. I’d fully charged my computer beforehand, and was able to charge the mobile phone on the Mac, which I used for texting (2 days before I could get or make a call) and internet access. The land phone was down for two months (yes, you read that right). I have a go bag, several sacks of chlorella tablets, and edibles in jars. Health and peace.

    • Zyxomma says:

      I forgot to mention my two wind-up flashlights — a home sized with 5 LEDs and a pocket version with 2 LEDs. Since they’re a normal “part of the furniture” I didn’t think of them.

  7. kat says:

    Oakland and Berkeley both have great emergency preparedness classes. I took the 3 part Oakland class which resulted in me being certified as a first responder. (In fact tomorrow is a big city wide exercise, but different story) The great thing about these classes are they give you practical plans, and if done in tandem with neighbors, create an action plan about what to do to take care of each other. An emergency is when a community needs to come together. I don’t want to be a walking zombie in the aftermath. I want to be informed and useful. I found these classes very useful (http://bit.ly/WHWKKY). Though it was several years ago, and I need to refresh, I feel better with the knowledge. And having a few basics around, I still have not compiled everything suggested.

  8. Barret Vollmer says:

    I find it interesting that you would delete Facebook friends solely based on the fact that they post articles and opinions that differ from your own. I’ve been subscribed to this website for a couple years now and have very much appreciated all of the wonderful information you have presented on human health and well being. However, this mention of deleting Facebook friends seems to disregard a very important aspect of social health. If you shut people out of your life, you lose contact with that person, thereby breaking any possible communication connection that may help to sort out important issues and information about events such as the Boston bombing. When you label certain groups of people as conspiracy theorists just because they are presenting questionable information about an important event, you are making misconstrued judgements based on premefacie associations you hold with a very loosely based stereotype. This behavior can be detrimental to our overall social health, evolution, and well being. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy your articles and appreciate everything you’ve done for the Internet community, but I believe this is a point that should be addresses from a more critical standpoint.

    • lkkmnlnkj says:

      I am totally in agreement with BV. Do not shut yourself off from avenues that may lead you to new perspectives. Categorizing people without listening to their facts and figures is as dangerous as not taking care of your body. I’m glad preparing, “prepping”, has made sense to you. More and different things might make sense to you as you look at information more closely.

  9. Mary says:

    I grew up in San Francisco where they told us ask kids to get under the table in the event of an earthquake. So when I worked for Ma Bell in San Ramon during the huge 1989 earthquake I tried to get under the computer table. I realized that the computer table had no legs and was only a platform attached to 2 sides so I got out. I just started to walk out of the building only to be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic out of the parking lot, crawling on the freeway back home. Once home, there was no power, tv and phone service (bc cell phones). I had no idea what really happened or how serious this was. All I had was a camping stove and canned goods. That was the extent of my preparation and I was pregnant at that time. Since then I have been through the Oakland fire in 1991, a wild fire evacuation and 3 feet of unexpected snow that caused no heat or the ability to leave the house. Do you think I finally got a hint of the need to be prepare? No, not until I read this book “Great Waves of Change – Navigating the Difficult Times Ahead”.
    http://www.greatwavesofchange.org
    The book didn’t just provide a picture of the converging forces that are already in process but it addresses the need for inner preparation. I don’t know any emergency preparedness type messages that provide the resources for the inner preparation to see and know we must do in the difficult times ahead. It gave me the strength and inspiration to be able to face the future. I can do it and I must. It’s a free download too so there is no excuse not to read it and consider its message.

  10. ron says:

    You might want to watch this!
    http://www.hulu.com/watch/392812

  11. Judy says:

    I have thought on the importance of a preparedness plan….BUT I have never been able to decide where to place the Physical Stuff for easy access in the event of an emergency. The obvous is near the door, in a closet, food in the cupboards but in the event of an earthquake with building damage OR fire how would you get to your STUFF … suggestions????
    In my First Aid kit I have added Potassium Iodide Tablets in the event of a Nuclear Emergency like the recent in Japan. (if you want to research this go to http://www.LEF.org for info) QUOTE fom LEF site “Safe, inexpensive, and highly effective, potassium iodide should be an essential part of every family’s anti-terrorist emergency preparation strategy”). Hopefully will never have to use vital to have on hand.

  12. Vedanta says:

    Hi Kevin, Yes I think one should think about these things. Of course one should not become paranoid and be able to keep the situation in context. I have thought about preparing for a while now and reading your article as tipped me into the actual doing. The other point is to be able to prep with the thought of being able to help others who might be in need without risking our own welfare.

  13. Sue says:

    Welcome aboard, lol!!

    I got my “stock up” mentality from my grand-mother, who raised several kids during the Depression. However, just because its been an ingrained habit since I was a kid, that doesn’t make it any less intelligent!

    One hint – and its one few even consider!! Be sure there are some items for entertainment – especially for the little one!! Of course as he grows you’ll need to replace with more appropriate items – but NEVER UNDERESTIMATE the value of simple recreation… for him, for you, for your wife and even a neighbor or two!

    Be the ultimate do-it-yourself-er and have tools, seeds, jars and such along with extra batteries, generators and food stuffs! And be sure to have a few books on hand for things like first-aid, and skills you might need but don’t want to learn “by heart” –

    Being prepared is just one of those things where it saves on tons of levels, and costs very little. How hard is it to buy a case of something rather than a can/bottle? (In my case its usually glass jars, and most of my food is home-made anyway).

    Is it really that bad to have skills – growing/canning/preserving, sew/knit/crochet, bandage/stitch/wrap?? This is part of your preparedness kit, too!

    Even if you never need your stored up skills and materials, someone else might – and what are we here for if not to help each other?!

    I’ve been in situations where my stockpiles (not as huge as “doomsday” preppers, but still not tiny) have fed several neighbors, provided power and even recreation – and communication/information in the aftermath of storms and floods. Never underestimate the good that can come from being prepared yourself!

    What surprises me most in these situations is that you have to volunteer… People would still rather suffer alone in their homes than ask for help. Scary – beyond anything Hollywood and the CTs could ever come up with…

    And your kit might not just be for people… I’ve been known to nurse an orphaned raccoon, skunk and opossum before, too, and had I not had a ready supply of what I needed already on hand, I would have been worthless to those little buggers.

    Preparedness saves you time, money, energy, worry and only costs a little space and planning.

  14. Bill says:

    No conspiracies here, no Siree. Move along now, please, nothing to see …

    Ancient philosophy from China:
    “The inferior man rises only because the superior man does not regard him
    as dangerous and so lends him power. If he were resisted from the first, he
    could never gain influence.”
    ?? ? ????? (44)

  15. Renata says:

    Kevin, you are awesome! Thinking about your family and having the foresight to prepare just in case. Sweet!
    I live in Downtown Vancouver, even though I am 1 block from a hospital, 1 block from a firestation, and there are at least 300 restaurants and 5 grocery stores within walking distance, there are boats constantly coming into port so there could be a place to get supplies … even if all 4 bridges went down there could be supplies sent in by boat to the downtown port….

    What one might suggest along with just being prepared for yourself and your own needs, it is a good idea to possibly know or even start a small community – even 20 people in your immediate area that you know so you can share things – or just to have help in case you are stuck and cannot help yourself – it could be a cost effective idea if 20 people had at all times able to share items of food or medical supplies instead of buying everything yourself… share the costs with 20 other people… even if one person had a generator great, one person had certain medical supplies great another had other supplies great! ..in case of a serious earthquake you choose NOW where to group together or a meeting place. So in case of a disaster, you all immediately meet there, then you know everyone is accounted for, someone other than your wife or child has your back. So if anyone is missing from the group you know they are not able to get to the meeting place and you go and help that person out. They could be stuck or hurt and need assistance.

    Here is my idea…. say you Kevin are hurt, stuck under a collapsed roof or something heavy and your wife and child are not able to help you… if you had 19 other people who could immediately help you, instead of waiting for fire fighters which may not come, that gives you greater peace of mind. Do you see the importance of building small communities? The most important lesson we are about to embark on is to move from separation into unity consciousness. Why wait until there is a disaster to do this? If you just knew of 20 people who had each others backs in a time of disaster THAT my friend is greater peace of mind instead of all relying on just you.

    Take the time to just be a friend with just a few people in your very near community… select a meeting place in a time of disaster and do a test run….so in the time of disaster if you are stuck in your house and you can’t get out someone is there to make sure you are accounted for…make a common sense plan to put aside some water, some food that will not waste in 3 days or even 3 weeks like peanut butter or chic peas and crackers, some health bars, organic juice boxes, some medical supplies, warm clothing in a waterproof bag, tampons, pads etc. toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, candles, matches, pain relievers like advil, flashlights with batteries, a radio, umbrella, a knife to cut things, couple of garbage bags, hats, sun glasses, tupperware with a lid, anything you need daily in one or two bags you can grab if you need to go and leave your home. Or even enough to survive for a few weeks at home. And just camp in your own home. Hope this never happens but the likely hood is it will and you remove fear and worry if you have just a few things prepared. It will be only an “Oh shit” experience instead of a “HOLY SHIT” experience ya know? lol.

    Just a thought…. PEACE.

  16. lisa says:

    Glad you started this thread. I’ve been living near the Hayward Fault my entire life and remember the ’89 Loma Prieta quake, which was not the BIG ONE. I’d like to share a couple of preparedness hints from that experience. Get a communication plan in place. Phones may not work or they may work intermittently, so you need to figure out a way to be in touch, both locally and with friends and relatives who are far away. I was fielding calls a week after the quake from family who saw the shocking images on TV and who could not get through on the phone. You should tell people that this is likely (and not a sign of your death or anything), and ideally you will set up one phone contact elsewhere who can contact others, so as not to swamp the local overtaxed phones. You also need to figure out a plan, especially if you are across bridges from where you want to be. I work in SF and live in El Cerrito. It is very possible that the quake will hit when I can’t get home so I have neighbors who will feed the cats, cut off the gas and do whatever else that needs doing. Make sure you have plans because bridges and highways may not be functional. This leads to the last and most important thing. I think that neighbors and community are the most important part of preparedness. When I was stuck in SF in ’89, I went to a friend’s house in SF. Her neighbors busted out a battery powered TV, vodka and a variety of other supplies. The block was in the street, in part because it was scary inside but in part because being around people is exactly what you need when things get scary. I’ll never see those people again, and they were wonderful. Rather than buying everything, use this as an excuse to get to know your neighbors. Share their crank operated radio or other supplies so that you won’t need to spend as much money. Find out who the elders are on your block or the people with mobility issues so that you can make sure they are ok.

    These are my un-extreme prepper suggestions (in addition to the standard ones like food, first aid and water). While I know that disasters can bring out the worst in people, I also know it can bring out the best. I have no intention of sitting on my porch defending my cling peaches with a shot gun. I’m hoping that when it hits, I can make a fruit salad with neighbors.

  17. Nick says:

    I applaud you for taking the responsibility to keep you and your family safe. You are one less family that will need additional resources if something should happen. There is a disabled, elderly, young person that will need the help in times of emergency. Thank you for not being selfish and dependent on those to save you.

  18. I guess, this is not living in fear…

    I am reading a book about Bahá’ escaping from Iran. It’s written through the eyes of a little girl.

    I guess we need to deal with reality. I personally just froze when I heard it happen.

    A little girl (5h grader) from my neighborhood got so upset, that she got sick the following day after the bombing.
    I am glad I was able to heal her by helping her release the trauma.

    It just does not make any sense for me…

    Good suggestion, Kevin. Thank you. I’ll think about doing it.

  19. Cyndi says:

    We survived an inland hurricane 4 years ago with very little preparations. We were without power 10 days in late Junewith 90+ degree temps. Our freezer was full of meat and our generator was buried in our barn under one of the hundreds of trees that fell. FEMA gave us one case of water. (Big help) I decided during our recovery that I had to plan for my family so we would never get caught in that situation again. We also live near the New Madrid fault plus tornados are frequent in our area. I didn’t know it was called prepping until I found a website. We are much better prepared for most emergencies. But it has become more a way of life now. We are on our way to a self sufficient, off grid life. Not necessarily because of any one type of disaster, but because we know that we can’t depend on anyone but ourselves if a disaster happens. And the idea of fresh food that we know is safe makes the homesteading lifestyle even better.

  20. Sher says:

    We live in an older neighborhood and were sick of our power going out with a bad nor’easter or bad thunderstorm, and never really had a preparedness plan. We finally decided to buy a whole house generator. When Sandy hit, we had everything running that we needed and more. However, now I’m thinking what happens if something knocks out the generator? I have some supplies, but not enough for a back-up plan – looks like I better get started. Thanks for the reminder.

  21. jackie says:

    No, I don’t think you’re crazy. I’m somewhat prepared…

  22. Josh says:

    Kevin,
    I’m surprised you’re using the derogatory term of “conspiracy theorist”. I realize you have a business and you want to have a broad audience, but don’t be disingenuous. You have interviewed Charlotte Gerson about cancer cures. Do you know that you have to go to Mexico to get the treatment? Of course you know that. I guess it’s a “conspiracy theory” to say that alternative cancer treatment is being suppressed. Don’t insult my intelligence.

    Obama hired Monsanto’s Michael Taylor to advise the FDA. I suppose that is a wild conspiracy even if it is true.
    Maybe you like not being able to know if there are GMOs in your food.

    You don’t have to talk about the use of martial law in Boston. You don’t have to talk about Donald Rumsfeld getting aspartame into the food supply. You don’t have to talk about fluoride in the water. But don’t say there are no conspiracies. I expect integrity from you.

    • ssdsdsfdsd says:

      YES JOSH, YES, YES AND YES!

      You don’t have to harp on them, but to say there are not evil forces at work is a form of “ignorance” we do not expect from you Kevin!

  23. Carole says:

    A couple of years ago, I had an old oak tree fall on the house during a bad storm. We had trees down all over, roads blocked, and no power. The stores were ransacked pretty quickly.

    Now the thing is, where do I keep everything? We never know if we won’t be able to get upstairs or downstairs. We had water last week downstairs.

    Of course, the other problem is that we don’t eat packaged foods, so even if I bought some – we wouldn’t use them to rotate stock.

    We have a lot of extra blankets. We have a wind up flashlight. We have a battery operated radio, but I have no idea if the batteries are any good.

    Then, there are the animals.

    We could have an entire room set up, and not be able to get to it.

    I look forward to reading about your solutions.

  24. Not Mormon says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I have to say a little something about our good old Mormon Friends at LDS.org (Monson & Co.) All I can say to anyone considering this church is do your homework! I was a Mormon for 25 years of my life, until 3 months ago. Joined when I was 12 years old. Went through the temple and everything and did everything they asked. I recently found out about Joseph Smith (the founder of the church) being a 33rd degree mason (33 degree masons are Satanists). I didn’t know much about masons so did a little (lot) of homework. And found more and more stuff (found out about Joseph Smith’s polyandrous wives & 15 year old wives), his peepstone, glasslooking, an all-seeing eye on the Salt Lake temple, complete with a masonic handshake and upside down pentagrams, Joseph Smith & Brigham Young’ Illuminati bloodline and on and on. The Mormon church is a front for freemasonry. Don’t give them your money or time. I wasted half my life with this church. They hurt me emotionally, financially and in many ways. They brainwash their members. They don’t tell the truth about anything. Everything in the church curriculum has been whitewashed to be “faith promoting”. If it isn’t “faith promoting” it is hidden. They tell you never to look outside the church for information because you might “loose your way and go to hell”. You must only trust the church for truthful information about the church and have some faith!. It is a con job to the highest degree. I was brainwashed into giving them my time, money, in fact the church asks you to give them your lives. Before 1990 the temple ceremony used a slitting throat signal (masonic) to signify what should happen to you if you break your oaths in the church. This church has ironically (with all it’s lip-service to families) torn apart many families. My family has been torn apart by it. And now that I’m not a member it is even worse as some of my family is still in it. All in all I’m disgusted I believed in this church and gave them so much of my life only to find out it really is a cult and that I was brainwashed. James E Faust was purported to have told Bill Schnoebelen’s wife (Bill was a former witch, Satanist, 33rd degree mason, and a Mormon) that the God of the Mormon temple is Satan. Here’s a picture of Monson engaged in a Mormon (no freemason?) handshake with Bush:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickleus/4586320400/
    Think that was just a mistake?
    Here’s Hinckley & Cheney doing it:
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ucll_cheney-hinckley-hand-shake_shortfilms

    They expect you to pay tithing on your inheritance too. I being the faithful Mormon gave it to them. I’m extremely mad at finding out all this stuff only months after giving it to them. Wrote Salt Lake to ask for it back. Do you think they even bothered to answer me??? This wealthy masonic church. Now I will say that most of the members (at the bottom) are good people, who are not Satanists, just deceived, nice people who are being used and taken advantage of. It is very sad…
    Also the history of Las Vegas (it was founded by Mormon members working with the mafia)! DNA analysis shows that Native Americans are descended from Asians not Israel as stated in the Book of Mormon. Of course, you don’t hear about any of this in Sunday School. The Mormon church is a con-job, and a very dangerous and damaging one at that… LIES ARE VERY, VERY DAMAGING, even if they are “good lies”.

    If anyone is a member or thinking of becoming one please DO YOUR HOMEWORK before supporting this church or giving them anything that is yours.

    Sorry I don’t have much to say about preparedness but as a “good mormon” albeit ex-mormon, I still have my boxes of food. And yes it’s a great idea, the church want’s to preserve it’s wealth (tithe-paying members), you know. Sorry for the rant, had to get that off my chest. Arg!

  25. Rob says:

    Love the post Kevin. We’re on the same page as far as the conspiracy theories and the government too. They’re just very obviously not that smart and definitely not even close to be organized or coordinated enough to do even basic planning let alone vast conspiracies. That being said I also am pragmatic enough to have the same nagging thoughts that I need not have some level of preparedness even if just for a natural disaster or a partial grid shutdown like a few years ago. I look forward to seeing what you’re doing as we too have limited space to store. Thanks.

  26. mtnplanner says:

    You do not have to be a ‘survivalist’ or a ‘prepper’ to take action to protect your family from the ordinary disasters of life. The reality is that there are 45,000 disasters annually across the USA. Some are very local like a house fire or a temporary power outage. Others are massive events like Hurricane Sandy or large floods.

    Federal, State, and local government agencies realize that formal response times will lag 3 or more days behind a major disaster, even one that’s anticipated like Hurricane Sandy. In California, with any major earthquake we would be on our own for at least 3 days. Learning from recent disasters, agencies are beginning to recommend that families keep 2 weeks worth of supplies on hand. 2 weeks, not 3 days.

    Getting prepared for disasters and emergencies is the ‘grownup’ thing to do. You and your wife are taking positive steps towards family safety. There is an abundance of good solid information from Ready.gov, the CDC and the Red Cross on how to assemble kits, store food and water and create effective evacuation plans. None of these entities are prone to Zombie scenarios. They are simply trying to keep people safe during disasters. When people plan ahead fewer lives are lost.

    Most cities, including Berkeley, have good disaster planning resources:
    http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/disasterresistant/ Marin County has great community disaster planning resources: http://www.getreadymarin.org/

    I’ve lived in California for 50 plus years.We’ve been through a number of significant disaster events. Fortunately I and my family have never been injured, but we have been isolated by flood for a week on the Klamath River, and stuck for days inside an earthquake impact area (Loma Prieta). We’ve evacuated out from wildfires more than once, been in severe snow storms with no power, and more. My point is that we have pretty ordinary lives, not unusual lives. The older you get the more likely you’ll experience some form of disaster.

    Being prepared is simply part of our daily life and our level of preparedness is common for our region. Most people carry a jack in the car in case of a flat and have a smoke detector in their home. Many people carry water in their car especially in summer. Some people carry jumper cables, and some tools because their real world experiences have shown them it’s a good idea to be ‘more’ prepared when they travel. In their home they fasten down bookshelves so large furniture doesn’t tip over on their kids. They turn down their water heaters to prevent accidental scalding. That’s part of family preparedness.

    We carry maps, a jack, plus food and water, and a basic emergency kit in case we are stuck somewhere for a couple of days. We keep the car tanks filled above half. We keep evacuation bags at home with critical items already packed because our biggest risk is wild land fire and evacuation is a possibility every single summer. We keep at least 2 weeks of nonperishable food on hand, and roughly a months supply of pantry foods. We store water. Lots of water. We clear vegetation to create ‘defensible space’ around our house… because we are in a fire-prone area.

    We aren’t preppers. We aren’t survivalists. We aren’t preparing for TEOTWAWKI. We are simply prepared to be on our own for a couple of weeks if some serious disaster occurs or if our power is down from a storm. We keep in touch with our neighbors, and we are available to help each other in emergencies. We don’t live in fear. Being prepared does reduce stress. Having a family disaster plan reduces stress. Unprepared people become a part of a disaster. Being prepared makes you a part of the solution. Being prepared makes you an asset.

    So Bravo for bringing the topic of disaster preparedness up in your blog. Lots of people read it and hopefully some of them will follow through and develop at least a minimal plan or at least take note of what disasters might occur where they live. 20 somethings are going to plan differently than families, or seniors. Any plan is better than none.

    And as a last word of advice, acquire a good portable radio. Lack of communications is one of the most frustrating aspects of any disaster. Nobody knows less about what is going on inside a disaster zone than those who are there. The Loma Prieta earthquake taught me that. Uninjured people within a disaster area need some way to get accurate information about what is going on around them.

    Keep up the great work, Kevin! And the rest of you, quit procrastinating and get prepared. You’ll be glad you did.

  27. Patti says:

    Kevin, I love the way you are willing to admit to requiring changes in either your life or your thinking. I think that is why so many people appreciate you…you don’t stick to something just because you took that stand once. I would like to encourage you to explain when being a parent changes your thinking, because people without kids need to be aware of how someone like you can be affected.

    As for preparedness, remember Y2K? We stored water, food, and emergency stuff. I thought about what I would do for ongoing food and supplies. Since I live in the Midwest, and have become friends with a lot of farmers, I didn’t worry much about that. I wondered what I would do for refrigeration in the Summer; my mother in law laughed and said, “you just put everything in the lake (which is pretty cold), just like everybody used to do before refrigerators. There are a lot of answers out there, but as you say, we just need to think them through, take care of the gaps, and then we know we can be ready. I’m excited to hear what you did there in California.

  28. Paltrow Bock says:

    So your first choice is to delete anyone who is telling your something different than the accepted story? Actually, you are a prepper now. But I respect the advice of those who own their beliefs and are not ashamed to voice their questions. Instead, you simply help color all those who ask questions and make sensible choices as “crazies”… Well Kev, you can keep your cool friends. Congrats. Feels a little pathetic huh?

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Guys, they’re “Facebook” friends I don’t even know. Lighten up. :-)

      I’m willing to have a discussion with people who were there who thought otherwise, but posting about lame, contrived stories 2-3 days after the event is pretty shallow and particularly disrespectful to the victims.

      Kev

      • Ginny says:

        Kevin I normally don’t comment on your blogs even though I love reading them. But as I was reading along this morning and read your comment “lighten up”, I just laughed and laughed. You are TOO funny!! I love that about you… :)

        Looking forward to your preparedness posts.

        Blessings…

  29. Tiria says:

    Good for you!! I also don’t think preparedness is crazy – I think it’s just plain wisdom. People plan for huge things that, odds are, will never happen to them. But it’s things we don’t think about that are more likely. In 2008 my husband woke up one morning with his hand looking like a blown-up latex glove/balloon. He spent the next 10 months in therapy before the Dr. would release him to return to work. We were SO glad we had prepared in buying major and supplemental insurance. Even though his weekly paycheck was reduced to a THIRD, we still GOT a paycheck. We had a crazy idea (or so we thought at the time) to convert a closet we had into a pantry. We had never done that before. But we began buying things on sale and in bulk. Three months later is when his hand was injured – right when we had finished PACKING that closet full. My second experience was in 1989 – Hurricane Hugo. It came SO far inland and I was near Charlotte, NC. I was 8 months pregnant and there was NO power, NO gas, NO ice, NO water for 3 weeks!!! Saw a lot of great community though. People emptied their fridges and freezers and got out their grills and all of our neighbors combined & shared everything for every meal. No one went hungry. We were ZERO prepared for that one. And most recently (July 2013) we lost our home to a flood), in SC. We were only going to be in this rental house for 2 years, then we were going to buy so when I called to get a renter’s quote, I decided against it. 2 months later the home and our possession were destroyed by raw sewage. Our insurance agent said they would have covered our possessions even without a flood policy (which they said sewer doesn’t apply). I’m learning: Make Better Decisions for Your Family in the Event of the UNKNOWNS that WILL happen!! Our grandparents were wise: “Save for a rainy day.”

  30. Emily says:

    Hello dear folks, I’ve followed Renegade since the beginning and am a fan not only of Kevin and Ann Marie, but of the intelligent folks who respond in the discussions. I left the first comment here about climate change with a link about info. But I’d like to add that although we are not hearing this info in the mainstream news, it is the opinion of the world’s top scientists that we are in for dire circumstances very soon (in the next 5-10 yrs) due to the rapidly changing climate scenario. Again, I urge everyone to check out Guy McPherson’s website http://guymcpherson.com/2013/01/climate-change-summary-and-update/
    There is info and there are youtubes on the website. I hope especially that Kevin will look at this info, as he is a respected voice in the health world and is very helpful in spreading important information. Please do look at it!
    Peace and love to you all!

  31. Suzie says:

    Previously living through a lot of major earthquakes in L.A. for 27 yrs. taught me to be prepped. My daughter’s unsecured bookcase atop her desk sailed across the room and deeply gouged her dresser. Had it sailed her way, it very possibly could have killed her as it only takes a 9lb. blow to the head to do that. After that wake-up call, I made sure the 3 of us had bike helmets within reach of our beds; sturdy shoes under the beds; crowbars (cheap and effective!) under each bed and around the house to dig out from under debris if necessary; 40 gal of safely stored potable water; ready to eat healthy foods for 3 wks; strategically placed fire extinguishers and wind-up flashlight/radio combos; i made up a really good “natural” emergency kit, including Rescue Remedy for shock and upset for each bedroom, also 2 gallons of water for each person in the bedroom as well as food AND SUPPLEMENTS in sturdy containers plus tall and wide tupperware “portapotty” plus toilet paper stored inside for makeshift sanitation. Fallen bridges can cut one off from any route home, so in my car trunk I carry another homemade “natural” emergency medical kit; change of clothes and extra shoes for 2 persons (don’t want to be hiking for miles in pumps and evening clothes!); a small tent; mylar blankets; 2 gal. of water and lots of good granola bars, more dried fruits and nuts; salmon jerky–all get rotated out every 2-3 months. Hope this helps motivate others to prep-up.

  32. Liliana Toler says:

    I have to agreed with this article, I don’t think you are crazy I am a mother of 4, I feel that my husband and I have the responsibility to protect our love ones !! I am part of CERT community emergency Rescue team, I am not a professional in this I just meet with people from our small town to have classes for a month to be part of this group that care for their own families and our local people! We have trimmings every month so is a great deal!! Been prepare is a must for anything. I live in an area of tornados, floods and we have the Madrid fault so definetly need to be prepare ! The only questione I have is the food I found oneof the many links from emergency essentials !! Great stuff all you need for any kind on disaster! Just because we eat organic in an emergency is eather freeze dry or can or no perishable foods like beans and rice and wheats all kinds Of things. My concern is that in case of a weeks maybe months of emergencies we had to eat all this fiferents foods; kind of questioned this to myself every time I am going to my emergency kit !! I really want to hear your feedback in the subject!! Thank you

  33. Patsy Ann says:

    Yes to your question. It’s just good common sense to be prepared for any disaster. I grew up in California and live in Florida so be ready for anything. Bottle water is a must. You can’t live very long without water. And I never trust tap water after a storm or flood as the underground water tables can get contaminated. Can foods that you can eat without heat (like beans, olives, etc) last for about a year and a half and you can rotate easy. Can even get freeze dried foods to store. Wind up flashlights and lots of safe candles (put them in sand or metal cans with holes in them – candle flames that get too close to glass will pot the glass and hot wax will run all over everything). Extra blankets and clothes in sealed plastic bags. Have a good (sealed) first aid kit. (make sure you have Lugol’s, DMSO, Oregano Oil, Silver Water Gel for infections and cleaning). And hide in a very safe place (I like a deep hole in the back yard – in a sealed plastic or can) lots of money in small dollar bills. You always need cash in a disaster. And in the ground it will not be washed away with water or wind, even a tornado. And what to do about GMOs, climate change, etc. get involved, make some noise, buy local, grow your own food (at least some of it) buy organic. Support the do goodiers that are working hard to help make this a better world. Buy their books, and DVDs, etc. The more they are heard and people know of them the more it helps all of us. Do not waste time on things that don’t work. and most of all THANKS Kevin for all that you do. :-)

  34. Tanya H says:

    Hi folks – I don’t think you’re crazy, but prudent. Not to prepare for only natural disaster but in our high tech world, if the power grid goes down/out it will not only affect the lights. Every household should be able to sustain themselves for at least a year. Looking forward to seeing what you in your ‘stash’. I’m still building mine.

  35. sandy says:

    I think planning ahead just in case is a great idea. The only thing that sounds crazy is living in an earthquake prone area.

  36. Pauline Romo says:

    Setting yourself up for success…makes life a whole lot easier (stress free).
    I’m new to the raw diet, and i think this article is great ! Eat a rainbow & have a happy day everyone! ;-)

  37. Shelly ooi says:

    Yes, now you got kid, you should think of all these things to protect your family. Here in Malaysia where I live had so many disaster which most people never prepare. Flood, landslide etc etc. There are so many you can named it.Then u are thinking what is in the movie where bad people came into your house, you must have a secret place to hide your child, food to eat during flood period. I think you should go ahead with you are think and want to do. Good, very good, help yourself and others. Thanks of giving what you think which make me start thinking too.

  38. Cath King says:

    As someone who has survived the major earthquakes in Christchurch NZ in 2010 and 2011, I speak from experience when I say that having an emergency preparedness kit is essential. Nothing what-so-ever can prepare you for the shock of a major disaster – the immediate shock, the worry over family and friends one can’t contact because the phone lines and cell towers are out, the difficulty moving around – getting home if you aren’t already, over damaged roads and bridges, the day to day necessities of food, water, toileting, keeping warm and washing when amenities like water, sewerage and power are damaged. There are too many people all needing help at the same time. People had died. Houses and buildings had collapsed. Then comes the weeks and months of living in a “State of Emergency”. I’ll always remember walking for an hour carrying as many containers as possible, to cue for many more hours for water, only for them to have to run out and having to walk an hour back home again with no water for my family for that day. So, yes, I now have an emergency preparedness kit. And I think that anyone who doesn’t is very foolish.

  39. Marilyn says:

    I just led my community in a disaster preparedness exercise. I live in Oakland, next to Berkeley where Kevin and his family live. City of Oakland has a website at http://www.oaklandcore.org with downloads on how to do something one would do anyway–help one another–but in an organizational format that would prepare make it easier and less chaotic. Another item that a community should have are walkie talkies (FRS or GMRS radios) so that they can communicate with one another simultaneously. It’ s like a conference call to everyone. Cellphones don’t do that. However, the range of the walkie talkies are liimited to local areas. If you have any ham radio interest, that would be good to develop. Begin a community radionet in which people turn on their radios and practice good etiquettte and use radio lingo and just communicate short messages. Kids can practice too.

  40. cPMT says:

    I will like to know more about the protocols, methods, foods, medicines and alternative treatments you have found in your travels. Do you have a website or blogs to be able to read some of the information (you found). I will really like to know and learn. I read every health tip i get in my emails. But I will like to know more (to improve my health, which is not that good ). THANK YOU. cp younger

  41. Brianna says:

    This is GREAT. I do have a plan, but I have not taken action yet. Finances are tight – all extra money is going towards blood tests, supplements, and the occasional pair of shoes for running (which I am in desperate need of at the moment!). I’m totally excited about this and will be sharing my thoughts along with you as you reveal your plan. Very cool :)

  42. Vicki Marburger says:

    The government is not one homogenous whole but there are factions you appear to be ignorant of. Go to Youtube and search Lt Col Potter and see what he has to say about the Boston bombings. It was clearly an op like Kennedy’s assassination, 9/11, Oklahoma bombing, many of the shootings including Sandy Hook and the Batman movie shootings. The ’93 tower bombing was an admitted government op. Lt Col Potter is a retired officer that used to work directly under Petrayus and know how the government works. Listen to Infowars. You should be aware since you speak to many people.

  43. Kari says:

    I think the most likely disaster scenario we need to prepare for is economic collapse. Our society has become so interdependent that any major disruption in commerce will leave most people with no food source and within just 2 weeks or so people will be starving. In the short run we are preparing by having extra food and water, etc. available but long term we hope to buy some land for our escape destination. Hopefully we will never need it.

  44. phyllis says:

    would love to have you list what you have done to prepare!

  45. George says:

    As the Scouts tell us “Be Prepared”. Being prepared for disasters of a minor, major kind is to be commended, but we must be careful not to tip over to being paranoid. I would have to agree that the potential in the world today for a major collapse is very great and that is only reinforced by looking at the economic situation. As one correspondent commented such an economic collapse could effect the food distribution very quickly. Even H G Wells “Modern Utopia” had its problems and it only had a population of about two billion people and this was controlled. There is no such control on this planet, even in China with its “one child” policy. Like yourself, Kevin, I see the seeds for much hardship if our world system goes “belly up”, but I hope it never happens because the climb back to stability again will not be an easy ride. How much resources can you stockpile for an apocalyptic scenario such as some people predict and fear? We could also see the installation of martial law and control of a rigid, even brutal kind to control food distribution. Then someone else will raise the spectre of corruption in high places where the powerful get the “best pickings”, while the masses barely survive. There is material there for a science-fiction epic. What is the shelf life of bottled water, and can you be sure of its origin? Today I received an email about “Black Mica” and it seems to be the “flavour of the month” for water purification. So it might be wise to horde a few bags of that as well in your stockpile. Canned food can keep the body alive, but with the worries about the lining of the cans being possibly carcinogenic, it is another worry. I think it follows that without some fresh food in the diet the body will sicken. It is indeed a dilemma. So let us hope that the ultimate “doomsday scenario” never happens because few of us would survive with our survival skills stripped away by centuries of easy living.

  46. Carol Hazel says:

    Hey Kev,
    That was a very well wrote articular. Thanks for sharing. Yes, we’re prepared for about any emergency. My husband and I bought a log cabin home surrounded by 150 acres for forestry two years ago. Our closest neighbor is about 1/2 mile away. We wanted to be secluded, which is what this property gave us, in an area where the population is about 2 people per square mile. We’ve stored up about a years worth in food, the cabin has a well for water plus a rain fed underground cistern. We also have about 100 gallons of water stored in the basement so we should have water. We also bought a Big Berkey water filter to help us with any water problems. We also felt the need to store up lots of medical supplies, personal needs, seeds for growing and canning jars. It get’s pretty cold here in Southeast Ohio so our cabin has an electric heater in the basement & a whole house wood burning furnace, we also have a fireplace in the living room. We bought big generator last year and have a few gallons of gas in the barn just in case we need it. We’re going to buy 10 baby chicks next week so that will give us food plus we have a large garden. We own a few guns, ammo and a Rottweiler so I think we’re pretty much set up for security. I hope you and Annmarie do well in any emergency you may have. Stay safe. Carol

  47. Carol says:

    Kev, I didn’t see you mention anything about having a “get home bag” in your car. It’s backpack that you keep in your car at all times just in case of an emergency so you can take care of your family and get them home. The supplies you would have in your bag are such things like clean socks, good walking shoes, a coat or sweater, sun screen, water, first aid supplies, supplies for the baby, a flashlight & extra batteries, some cash, some food & water and a compass. I think that in these times of natural disasters happening everyday everyone needs keep with them a get home bag. How would you or your family get home if there were no roads, stores, cell phone coverage, and your couldn’t drive home? I don’t believe we should EVER depend on our government to take care of us. We have to be ready to look to our self’s & each other for the help.

  48. Patti Doyle says:

    Kevin, I believe in being ready so I can be calm. I used to worry a lot…but my new philosophy is to try my best and then don’t think about it. So to answer your question…I don’t think you’re over the top. I think your wise. And with one can of zombie spray, you can let any doomsayer know you’re completely covered. :)

  49. mary says:

    I know that I should have an emergency plan, but I don’t. I keep running out of $$$$$$$$$$$$. Ps where do you get those blankets you mentioned. They would be good to keep in one’s car also. I don’t have a car.
    Here we are surrounded by mountains. Here in Washington state. Near Seattle. Beautiful. But they are expecting earthquakes. When ever. The BIG ones are due. They say about every 130 years and we are more than due. Anyway. you asked if we are ready. I am not. They are trying to get everyone to prepare.

  50. Hey, Kevin, I’ve emailed you some links previously, hoping that you or your staff members may examine and give their feedback. Labeling (specific example: conspiracy theorist) is a cop-out and an easy way to dismiss real information because it’s too scary for some of us to face. Many of us fortunate to have benefited from an academic education, can see that there is a lot wrong with our world, and the reasons are being kept from us, or distorted by influential sources (i.e. mainstream media). Thank you for having the courage to acknowledge the dangers that exist for us and our children. Please watch “Zeitgeist Addendum” and share your thoughts.

  51. Personally I have come to realize the more “loose ends” I take care of in life the less thoughts continually cycle through my brain. Redundant and of course worry based thoughts can of course be a stressor and that alone can effect one’s health. I am a big “lister” for the same reason. Out of my head and relegated to the paper. A clearer mind is a healthier one. Glad to see you address the topic Kevin, it is one that seems to have a real stigma, or polarizing effect with people. One of the many important things in life we all intuitively know we should do, but sometimes when we aren’t doing the responsible things there is self created discomfort. I hope to hear more from you regarding the subject :-)

  52. Sandra Goldstein says:

    Very informative and well thought out post, I would like to have seen your list for the things you purchased. Most people go through life thinking that what they see on TV will never happen to them. The truth is you never know. A natural disaster could happen at any time and anywhere. Today, with public bombings and shootings becoming repeated more often it is a good idea to be prepared for anything. I have a friend who is convinced that the zombie apocalypse is coming. But he did admit that if it doesn’t happen, at least he is prepared for whatever does come his way. It’s not a bad idea to begin stocking up on certain items that could be helpful in a disaster. You may not have the money to buy everything you need at once, but it is important to formulate a plan and to buy what you can when you can.

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