How to Prepare for an Emergency
Keep your survival essentials handy. Store the goods in a waterproof container and place it in an easily accessible location. “Your kit should allow you to be self-sufficient for at least three days,” says Keith Robertory, an emergency-preparedness expert with the Red Cross. (For a list of items for a comprehensive emergency kit, see Emergency-Supply Checklist; for a pared-down version for the car, the office, or on-the-go, see Grab-and-Go Emergency Kit.)
Do a disaster dry run. One weekend night, unplug the phone, turn off the lights, don’t use any faucets or the stove, and see how well packed you are. “You’ll discover little things, like you packed C batteries when you needed D’s for the flashlight, or you could have used a deck of cards for entertainment,” says Robertory.