Last updated on February 26th, 2018
You should setup your home so you have enough resources to live for 3 to 6 weeks.
Emergencies happen. Most are over quickly, but sometimes they drag out for a few weeks before emergency services can respond.
To secure your home you need
You are not trying to live well during the 3 to 6 weeks. You are just trying to survive. Your food does not have to be particularly healthy or nutritionally balanced.
Food for each family member to have 1200 calories per day.
I recommend foods that do not require any prep.
Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) are a good choice.
Boxes of raw ingredients like rice or canned ingredients are an alternative.
If you choose to store food that requires cooking you will need something to cook with and fuel.
These meals technically require hot water, but they are usable with room temperature water. Just let them soak for 20 minutes or so.
Another option is meal heat packs. You would need one “heater” per meal you intend to heat up.
And lastly you could use a micro stove or classic propane camping stove. Make sure to get some fuel to go with it. I generally do not recommend open flames in an emergency as the fire department is unlikely to show up if you set your home on fire.
Water for each family member to have 1 gallon per day.
You can get inexpensive 55 gallon drums. You can also get 275 gallon tanks pretty cheap too.
A 55 gallon drum would provide for 2 people for 25 days.
Some method of providing heat. I recommend propane with an indoor-safe heater. Other options are kerosene or even electric heat if you want to use a generator with gas, diesel or propane. If you go with propane you might also get this adapter so you can use 20 pound propane tanks in addition to the small bottles.
You are not going to try to heat your whole house. Just a part of it.
In fact, humans produce about 100 watts of heat each. So if you have
4 people in a room you have a human 400 watt heater. Often this is enough all by itself.
LED based lamps & a supply of batteries.
So what about candles? Candles are good, but you increase the risk of accidental fire.
A couple of simple radios & a supply of extra batteries.
In an emergency there will likely be a lot of interesting information on the Amateur Radio service or HAM radio bands. You can use the Beofang UV-5R to listen in for around $25. (You do not need the newer F8 model). However listening with a HAM radio is not necessarily easy. If you get one you should learn to tune in some of the local HAM radio repeaters.
A typical shovel. Not a survival shovel but a regular shovel with a 5 foot handle.
A portable potty with a supply of “chem” packs.
Now there is something you need to be aware of which is a little more complicated.
You need somewhere to put your poo and other waste water. I know it normally goes down the sewer line but what if the sewer system stops working? The fact is you are going to have to dig a hole somewhere and pour it in. If you live in an apartment or otherwise do not have a place to dig a hole you are probably going to die of Cholera or some other waste born disease. Pouring it out on the street is a bad idea. However, unfortunately, that is what everyone else will be doing.