This post is about surviving indoors, say in a power outage or flood situation.
Things to have on hand just in case: (don’t expect to be able to buy these if the threat is widespread, stores tend to run out fast if a hurricane or other natural disaster is forecast)
Flashlights, with extra batteries.
Battery operated radio or television, with extra batteries
Candles and matches (or a non-electric lighter of some sort)
Non-perishable food (shelf stable or canned food that can be eaten without cooking if necessary)
Perishable food (this may need to be purchased shortly before a forecasted event, or it may be the contents of your freezer and/refrigerator)
Cooler and ice
Water — recommended amount is 1 gallon per person per day
Card games, board games, craft items, books, magazines (especially important if you have children, if stuck inside the house they will probably get bored easily)
Non-electric kitchen utensils (such as can openers)
Barbeque grill with full propane tank or charcoal briquettes (could also use a camp stove which is usually powered by a small propane tank) DO NOT USE ANY OF THESE INSIDE THE HOUSE DUE TO FUMES.
Extra supplies of all required medications
Extra supplies of all special health items such as eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries
Extra clothing (1 set of clothing per person per day)
Extra pair of shoes (1 pair for each person)
Extra blankets, comforters, or quilts (may not be necessary if you heat with wood or gas, or if your emergency situation happens in the warmer months)
Extra sanitation items (such as moist towelettes and toilet paper)
Extra food/water and other supplies (such as medications) for pets
Working cellphone and/or corded landline phone (cordless phones do not work without electricity)
Cash, coins, credit/debit cards, identification
Extra tobacco or cigarettes (if you smoke; nobody wants to be around you if you can’t smoke!)
*First Aid kit and manual
Laptop with working battery
Extra supplies for infants (diapers, wipes, formula, pumped breast milk, bottles, pacifiers, etc)
Extra supplies for toddlers (diapers, wipes, pacifiers, etc)
Don’t leave your house unless and until its declared safe to do so. Unless your house has been so damaged that it is not safe to remain, it provides shelter, some warmth (as compared to being outside), and protection from the elements.
If you must leave, make a plan beforehand
1) Where will you go and how will you get there?
2) What will you take with you? Many of the above items are still necessary if you are leaving by car or on foot.
3) Communicate with someone that you are leaving and where you are going–take your cellphone with you if you have one. Make a plan to contact them when you get to where you plan on going and give them an expected time of arrival (if you want them to notify authorities if you haven’t called them by a certain time, be sure to tell them to do so)
4) If possible, take your pets with you (on a leash or in a carrier) when leaving. If not possible to take them with you, leave them plenty of food and water.
Personally, I have a wood stove and a small barbeque grill so that cooking most food would not be an issue for me or my roommate. The wood stove also makes staying warm a non-issue.
* recommended items for first aid kit
1) assortment of bandages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_aid_kit
3) antibiotic ointments such as Neosporin
4) Face mask
5) Tweezers (plastic or metal)
6) Needle (for removing splinters)
7) Antiseptic wipes or sprays for cleaning dirty wounds
8) Cotton Swabs
9) Medications such as antihistamines, pain killers, anti-diarrhea medications, etc.
10) Water purification tablets