The only thing about life that is certain is uncertainty. As many victims of Hurricane Sandy recently found out, there is no guarantee that life will be business as usual when we wake up tomorrow. Things we take for granted, like our homes, health, employment, and even the ability to go to the store for groceries, can all disappear without warning. But this is no reason to throw up our hands and shout “que sera, sera!” Preparation can make the difference between unexpected events becoming a future tragedy or a future inconvenience.
Everyone should first become prepared for a major catastrophic event, such as a storm, fire, flood, or earthquake. You need to have a comprehensive first aid kit, the medications your family needs, and enough food, clothing, and cash for at least 72-hours. If you have an infant, add diapers and formula to your supplies. All of your 72-hour kit should be something you can pick up and take with you in case of an evacuation, and it should always be ready and easy to reach.
Once you are prepared for a catastrophic disaster, start preparing for a longer term emergency. There are any number of reasons that you could find yourself without power, food, or water, even without a wide-spread disaster. You could, like the employees of Hostess, suddenly lose your job and be unable to afford groceries. Long-term food storage can feed your family whether the roads get washed out or if you have to choose between your house payment and food.
One thing you can’t do is rely on the government to take care of everything. In a serious emergency, they may unable to reach you in time to help. And sadly, there may come a time when they’re not in a position to help anyone. Listen to the Boy Scouts and be prepared.