Thursday, December 29, 2011

Virtual Disaster

This article is about  enterprise disaster recovery, but you as a homeowner, what is your recovery plan? I have written before about saving your important documents in multiple places (see here).  While I think that recovery of your important documents is important, maybe treating your home more like a business is the way to go.  We have Ipods, Ipads, Iphones or their equivalent, so what happens when you lose your Itunes collection?  
It's a new year take a few minutes this weekend and look at some options to extend your recovery, none are  perfect, but a mix of cloud and hard backups (jump drives, portable hard-drives) is smart.
Some options:

disaster dave

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Add "talk to humans to your calendar"

(This one is for the EM who read my blog for the non-EM :) )
So I have to say, I am not one for "New Years resolutions- things you promise then forget by the 15th of January." But I am okay with making changes to how I do things to improve my life and work. I love blogs and twitter because it exposes me to lots of new information and ideas in a short time, but...this year I am going to get out from behind my computer more often.  This article lists some very good reasons to make this improvement. why-in-person-socializing-is-a-mandatory-to-do-item

You need a real Third Place - too many distractions at work, ringing phones, people, that screen thing. Get away and talk face to face.

You need to argue your ideas more - While it is easy to send out a document for "comment",having a discussion with peers sharpens and most likely will improve your work.

You’ll do better work - See above.

My goal will be to find a group of EM professionals to meet with quarterly to chat, bat ideas around over lunch, coffee, drinks...
What will you do?

Disaster Dave

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Disaster Party

Christmas  is here and parties abound, but just a quick thought spurred by this article I read on Disaster Party.
Just think about having neighbors over and hosting a party to build kits. The next day they have a present that lasts throughout the year(s).  Don't know anyone at the Red Cross? You could call them or go to their website and download some of the great documents they have on the  Red Cross Site- free!

Have a happy holiday and make a plan - build a kit and pass it on.

disaster dave

Friday, December 9, 2011

Spring will be here soon

noaa-chief-2011-was-harbinger of things to come  So just in case you forgot how this year went in the disaster field.  Take away the Earthquake, and we still had a pretty tough year.  Take a moment and read the article by the folks at NOAA.
We (as individuals) have to be prepared to take care of our self.

Disaster Dave

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Go Bag (something to keep your bugs in)

A somewhat tongue in cheek look at what famous people in NY have in their go bags got me to thinking. How many of us have a go bag (bug out bag)?
Did you buy one and store it in the closet or the car? Amazon has over 400 hits if you type "go bag".

So what to put in it. Think what do I need to get away! Think what can I carry (very important; anyone who has served in the military knows these two things don't always go together)
  • I wrote this blog in July- it  is one of the things that should be put into your go bag can-you-find-all-your-important documents
  • clothing for your environment
  • Food
  • Water
  • Medication you need for living
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sleeping bag or blanket
  • map
  • compass
  • Charging cables for your electronics
If you are on Twitter try looking in  #SCEemergencykit  for some ideas from others; and of course please add your own ideas to this resource.

Sunny here today, think I'll go pick up a few things for my new improved Go Bag

Disaster Dave

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What about your parents (grand parents)

I recently came across this article and thought that it would be worth a read.  Now first I want to point out that there are many systemic changes going on both in the Red Cross and your local government to answer this question, but the question still stands. 
Who will care for your elders in a disaster? What will they do if their power is out for a few days and it is too hot or too cold? How will they cook for themselves, or take care of themselves? What if their drop in caregiver can't make it to check up on them? What if they don't want to go to the shelter?

Give some thought to how you will care for them? From a distance? They need a plan too!
Get involved locally and find out how you can help locally.

Disaster Dave

Friday, November 25, 2011

Do we have a culture of survival in America?

I watched an online story of survival of one region of Japan during the Tsunami, and it made me really stop and think. (If you have the time, please watch the film; it has many points that will help you) Do we have a culture of survival?
A recent story of people at a concert in Indiana who watched a storm approach and did not leave suggests maybe not.
As pointed out in the film, in Japan, their sense of family is so strong; families die together because they are so worried they put their lives and their family’s lives in danger.  However, in one region the schools taught a different way of surviving a Tsunami called “Tendenko”.  A code that says the highest order is to think for yourself and survive so you can help.
If we do not survive who will care of our family members? Who will help them recover and move forward?
Do you have a muster point for your family to meet at after a disaster? Do you have a secondary? Do you have a communications plan? If the phones do not work, what is the next communications method? If that doesn’t work, then what?
·         Plan for each member of your family to know the plan
·         Plan for each member of your family to think for themselves and make decisions
·         Plan a communications method that doesn’t depend on your current phone
·         Plan to meet somewhere (you do it when you go to the mall J)
·         Plan for a second meeting place
Plan to survive!

Disaster Dave

The Name of the Game

It is the holiday weekend, a time I usually take to reflect on the things I do.  I have been looking at my blog to see how I am doing in my mission to simplify and get people to take steps to survive the next disaster.  I seem to be fairly heavy in preparedness tags...
As I think through the steps we use in Emergency Management (Preparedness, Response, Recovery, Mitigation) it is apparent to me as an individual you have less to do during the last three steps; not that you have nothing to contribute but your power is in Preparedness.
Your biggest impact in helping your family and community make it through a disaster is by making sure you are prepared! While I want you think about the other steps your government takes during a disaster, I need to continue to guide you through becoming more prepared for the hazards you may encounter.
So I think I' am writing about the right things to guide you. Happy holiday- lets get prepared one step at a time.
Disaster dave

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

“We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.” -Winston Churchill

Why wait for for suffering to learn a lesson we can see before it happens?   Why wait?
You know your car will quit running without gas; so you put gas in it.
So if we know that when it rains/snow/blows the power may go out what have you done to plan for that?
  • Bought a generator? (and understand how to operate it safely)
  • Identified "Day places" to go to warm up? Library, community centers,malls, etc.
  • Extra Blankets?
  • Have a gas fire place?
  • A friend or hotel that has power?
So that's an easy "disaster" to deal with, do the work. Then look at something more serious that may affect your family.

Disaster Dave

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Technology marches on!

Recently I was issued a new cell phone at work and after learning the basics, I just began using it. One feature I have learned and used over the years is texting. I have answered a few texts on the new glass phone and during the Emergency Managers Conference I was attending, I turned on the phone to send a text and man was I stumped; where was it?
So I did what any 50 year old would do I found a 20 something and had them help me find the text program (buried with 100 other program preloaded on my phone.  I put it on my “desktop” and now I can text.
The lesson, getting a new phone every couple of years, old habits don’t transfer to the new phone; take the time to find the program and test it.
While we are on the subject…texting that is; learning to text, during a disaster it will get through when a phone might not.

Disaster Dave

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Winterize now

In Seattle we have been blessed with a week of 50-60 degree days this week, and thoughts of winter were far away; until last night. Dark clouds, wind and sleet fell in West Seattle right at rush hour.  This heralds that winter in the northwest has arrived. Which begs the question is your car ready for winter?
Now I am lucky that during a winter storm even in the worst circumstances I could walk home from work in a couple of hours , but my wife is another story, often she is as far away as 40 miles from home. And in the Northwest that might as well be 1,000 miles during snow. So we make sure she is prepared for anything
 Things you need in your car to take care of you:
Extra clothes( jeans, sweatshirt or fleece, socks)
First Aid kit
Flares or reflector triangles
Shoes to walk in the snow in (high heels not so much)
Charger for your phone
Small shovel like an entrenching tool to move snow (beats using your hands) 
Snacks/bottled water
Cash (keep it in an envelope in the spare tire well)
Friends phone numbers who may live near your route of travel (beats sleeping in your car)
A couple gallon bags of sand or cat litter (to help you gain traction)

Did I forget anything?
Disaster Dave

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Recovery...Do it now!

We often think of Recovery as something that comes AFTER!
But in order to recovery quickly and effectively, you need to do some planning during  your preparedness phase.
I have written in other blog posts about getting your password and important documents in the "cloud" or on a jump drive (secured with a password).  Because when its time to file the paperwork, does your spouse know your Social Security Number? Do you know your account numbers for banks, insurance, car's VIN#?
Think of all the things you can easily put your hands on by walking to your filing cabinet...What if its under the pile of rubble that was your home (from a quake, tornado or fire) you need to have all this info somewhere safe.
This weekend pull out an excel sheet and start listing all of the things you may need to file for help with the federal government, get it written down and then protect it with a password. Then put copies in several places. A jump drive in your car or at work. In the cloud by emailing it your Yahoo/Gmail/Hot mail account. And tell your better half the password too.
To find out what you need check out

Lets get ready to recover
disaster dave

Friday, October 28, 2011


I work in a preparedness section for Public Health and our manager periodically calls a meeting and hands out a scenario with multiple problems and has us talk through what we have in the way of being prepared for the scripted disaster.  All in a very low stress way.  He knows we spend a lot of time worrying about other people, and he wants to make sure we focus on our families.  Pretty cool.
Well this week he had one of those sessions and the subject of having a land-line phone in the house came up.
The reason to have one is simple. If you have an old fashion phone that plugs into the wall with out plugging into the power it will probably work when the power goes out and cell towers are down.  When the phone company runs that line into your house it carries its own power to run the phone.
When we went around the table it seemed that fewer than half of our section had land-line phones

A survey released in June by the FCC shows that 51% of Americans aged 25-29 do not own a land-line phone, I am sure the numbers for my age group are lower, but all are increasing as cells and Internet phones get more powerful.

So whats my point? Before you cut off that lifeline consider going to the cheapest plan and keeping it, it might be worth it for that one call for help during a moment when cells are down.

Something to think about
Disaster Dave

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Three Deep-updated

Yesterday I was talking with a friend/coworker about the windstorm in 06 here in the northwest (10's of thousands without power for days in 30 degree weather).  She was talking about where she and her husband got dry ice to protect the food in her freezer, and someone else at the table said "Fred Meyers has dry ice too." My friend said "yes but they have a big sign and will be out in no time."
This made me think about one of the planning assumptions we used at the Red Cross and that was "All suppliers should be three deep."
You too should be Three Deep for your supplies in a disaster. I got a couple of responses to this so am updating to make it clear you should have three suppliers for each category.
  • Where do you get your propane for cooking outdoors
  • Dry Ice for your freezer?
  • Gas for your car? 
  • Places to fill your subscriptions?
  • Hotels that allow pets?
  • Emergency care?
  • Veterinarian?
Consider looking in a circle of a couple of miles around you for suppliers who offer the above services.  
So your task today while you are watching your favorite football team win/lose is to search the Internet and find three deep in these areas and others that are important to you.
This is a list that will not only serve you in a disaster, but is also useful in everyday life.

Start Searching
Disaster Dave

Thanks for the inspiration Fran

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Do a little everyday to make you and your family more resilient

 In a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) this has been a record year for disasters, of course we all know that from the news.While you may not have been directly affected by one of the 86 declared disasters, it doesn't mean you should relax.
As the article points out, pretty much wherever you live you are in danger from some type of natural disaster.  The website in the link below is very informative for the homeowner, halfway down the page is a search engine, put in your zip-code and it pulls up the natural disasters you should focus on.  Granted it's a pretty wide ranging list but still useful (my zip-code lists wildfires, not likely as I live in the city).
Think about what you can easily prepare for and then work your way to the harder issues.

Record # of Disasters in 2011

Do a little everyday to make you and your family more resilient


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Escape Muscles II

Here in Seattle we are getting ready to watch the Viaduct begin to be taken down.  While this is great because it is a danger in a quake, it will cause traffic problems.  So a few weeks ago I talked about escape muscles.  And I am working on them, but these escape muscles are to escape the city.
If it snows, its a 6 mile walk home, better than sitting on a bus overnight
During the viaduct take down the commute home will be terrible as cars and my bus snake through the city.  So I am taking the water taxi across the bay to West Seattle and walking two miles home.  To prepare my "escape muscles" I have been walking/running (mostly walking) 6 miles on Sundays and the 2 miles from the West Seattle Ferry dock at least twice per week.
What are you doing to prepare for your "escape"?
This is a great FREE application I am using

Disaster Dave

Building a Resilient Organizational Culture at Home

Dr Everly is someone I am familiar with, he instructs at FEMA courses and is a thought leader in disaster stress, while this article is about corporate culture, there is much to take from it for the individual.  I want to focus on one of his thoughts for you to consider:  people learn while observing others.
Have we as individuals learned anything form watching the events of the last year, with major quakes in Haiti, New Zealand and Japan?  Have we made ourselves any more resilient? 
Well a recent (2009) survey by FEMA and the Citizen Corps shows that 57% of people surveyed have supplies set aside for a disaster! That means only 43% have not done anything.  Okay that means we are moving to a positive # of people ready.
42% said they would need help to evacuate or move to a shelter and 61% said they expected Police & Fire to help in the first 72 hours. 
Some positive some negative from the survey.  But one thing stands out; if 57% have supplies why do 61% say they expect the first responders to be there?  Maybe part of the 57% don't have faith in their supplies?  FEMA/Citizen Corps Survey

There are some interesting findings for those of us in Emergency Management and for those of us who will be waiting on the first responders who may not be at your door after a disaster.

Check your supplies
Disaster Dave

Sunday, October 2, 2011


  When we as homeowners or renters plan for disaster we can't afford to plan for the easy.  Planning for the small disaster will not protect your family in a major disaster; but planning for the big one (your local big one) will protect you from the small ones.  Having seven days of food and water will help get you through a hurricane landfall, a tornado strike on your community or the big quake we look at on the west coast. It will also help you during a 1 day power outage.
Just do a little everyday. Plan, store, think about how you will react.  But above all PLAN FOR THE BIG ONE

Disaster Dave

Think big

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Great article showcasing how the government and non profits practice for disasters. When was the last time you practiced with your family for disaster?  Now I am not suggesting you practice climbing out your fourth floor apartment (but how would you get down?)

Do a couple of walk throughs:

  1. How would you get out of the building without lights or power (elevator). Go to your stairwell grab the hand rail and close your eyes and walk down a few steps.  Its a bit scary.  Imagine things in your way too. Solution- know where your flashlights are.
  2. Where would your family meet?  I would get my wife (and Komet) out then go back to help others out of our building. Our condo plan (I wrote it for the association for free) identifies a rally point close by, but out of the way of emergency traffic.
  3. How would you find each other if not together?
    1. Learn to Text and practice
    2. Identify an out of area contact
    3. Set a few places to meet/leave messages
Sounds like a nice evening task before dinner.

If its good enough for the government its good enough for your family

Disaster Dave

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Your Disaster Debt

I know few of us think about recovery and everywhere you look  in the news the Federal Government is giving disaster aid.  But closer reading will tell you they are NOT giving you back everything you lost.
This article talks about the amazing recovery Japan has made, but what about the business people. Should Mr Abe (from the article) join the community garden to make a few dollars or wait and see if the government will bail him out.
What will you do? Do you have sufficient insurance on your home? Business? Who will rescue you...

You have to rescue you, by planning for the worst

Disaster Dave

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We Should have Known

It is amazing to me that  after 10 years of preparedness folks telling us what to do, people still do the wrong things.  Today we can watch the weather approach on our computers or phones and yet here is an article by a presumably intelligent person who did the wrong things.  Well she actually didn't do anything.
She supposes that she has too much information to make a decision.   But is she, like a lot of Americans just depending on someone else to "help them"?  If so then we will always be waiting on someone to come, when it may be too late.
Not me and I hope not you.  Remember "Only the strong will survive".  And that strength is preparedness, for whatever is coming, not sitting in your living room waiting on help that may be too late.

PS: Her Dad and the family got lucky.

Disaster Dave

Planning or not for the next disaster

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Escape Muscles

Recently in the 13 story building I work in we had a fire alarm go off which meant evacuation; 13 floors of people going down, that's another story.  In fact I made two trips down thirteen floors in an hour and while I felt fine, two days later I woke in the middle of the night with my left calf screaming, and had to think for a moment where the pain came from.  Then this week (the week of September 11) we were in Vegas for four days and I began to think about "escape muscles" as I sat and watched the media replay some of the film clips.

While I have talked about getting in shape, this is a different set of muscles I want you to consider.

Quick escape muscles-
 The calf muscles needed to quickly make it down however many number of stairs there are in your building, whether that's home or work or a hotel.  But what if you have to carry someone down 20 floors? Even an 12 pound child can put a strain on your muscles. 
So what do I suggest? While not being a physical fitness person, I am going to make it a point to go down the thirteen floors of my work building a couple times per week. And as I posted a couple of weeks ago,  I have renewed the weight lifting that I was "too busy" to do. Building my arms and shoulder girdle muscles. But the walking down stairs is another screaming thing all together.
Get walking down.

Disaster Dave

Monday, September 5, 2011

Now for a different weather report

The links below provide a look at weather that we normally don't consider.  We can be affected gravely by a large solar flair and the arrival of the electromagnetic wave as it hits the earth and overloads our power grids.

defining-space-weather There really is space weather, read this.

What it could look like for us A hit like the one discussed in this article from 1859 could take much of our electrical grid off line for days, weeks or months.

Knowing the hazards around us can make us stronger...if we take action.
Preparing is the answer.

Disaster dave

Monday, August 29, 2011

Password II

So of course I just wrote a blog post about passwords and I found this article.  It is a funny article, but a really scary one in this on line world when you consider how much of your personal info is online..  Take a few minutes and read the article, then go to the second link and try your password.

password article

How strong is your password

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Out at dinner this week we were talking with a EM friend and mentioned go kits, I proudly said we were pretty set. My wife gently reminded me that it had been some time since I had updated my password file for her.  She is right (she always is), I had let this slip, while I may not change my passwords as frequently as I should I do change them.  And in this world of online, if anything ever happened to me i want to make sure she can access all the important things. Like:
  • Any savings accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Insurance(house,car,life)
  • My retired military account
  • my Blog and email accounts
So now of course how do we save them without making them easy targets for someone other than us.
I place the passwords in an Excel sheet and turn on the password protection.  Then I only have to remember ONE password and it protects the others.  Then I email it to her(of course I tell her the password) and she puts it in a folder in an online email account. So now its protected by two different passwords, and available from anywhere in the world should she ever need it.

Got my check mark for the day, and you?


Preparedness & CNN

I have been watching the storm track on all the channels, flipping channels like a junkie.  And while I must admit I am taken in by the "storm porn" on CNN and other channels.  I also want to give Kudos to those channels for elevating the conversation around both preparedness and using social media in a disaster, they have followed the new message. 
Those of us in EM have seen the change in message/conversation coming since Craig Fugate took over the reigns at FEMA.  He made two interesting changes, one internal and one external. 
The second (external), he changed the conversation from the public being dependent to being a partner. FEMA is not a rescue machine; we as the public need to take charge of the aspects of a disaster we can which releases FEMA and the other responders to do the things we can't.
So now we have seen a spring of tornadoes and floods, and a fall of quakes and a hurricane where we don't expect them.
Its time for those of us in the public to become the partner we are and get prepared. For what? for everything!  Its called self reliance.
Take 15 minutes from whatever you are doing this weekend (watching "storm porn" like me) and do one step of preparedness.
I'll blog about my step later today


Friday, August 19, 2011


"Only action that is immediate, real and very substantial will prevent that doubt from morphing into hopelessness. That feeling can create its own reality".

In a recent Op-Ed in the New York Times, Warren Buffett writing about the debt and taxes included the above sentence and he wasn't talking about disaster preparations.  And while I am not going to get into a political discussion here; I have given a lot of thought to that one sentence; in fact it's been bugging me, following me to meetings and to my work on planning for disasters.
One of the things we in Emergency Management discuss is the feeling that due to the media coverage, a large part of the public expects up to snap into action ASAP and fix everything, saving you, grandma and the kitty in the tree.

When disaster happens, the immediate action you expect may not happen.  Why not? We have spent millions since 9-11 and Katrina preparing for disaster you might point out.  Yes the government has spent millions (I have no idea how much), but what have you spent ?
Consider if you will the emergency management folks (Fire, Police, Public Health, Non Profits) who live in your community will be affected by the same disaster.  Their houses will be as damaged as yours, their families suffering the same things your family does. 

So lets review "Only action that is immediate, real and very substantial By you!  will prevent that doubt from morphing into hopelessness.Caused by not having a plan that feeling can create its own reality"Helplessness.

Okay I feel better now; believe me there is more we in Emergency Management can do to help and we do every day (well most everyday, you need day off once in awhile). I know that you have started your preparation, so move it forward this weekend.

Disaster Dave 


Twice in my career I have deployed to disasters outside my area for the American Red Cross and among all the feelings and emotions of serving a community in need is one that came back to me when I read this
I remember after the first week feeling sore and by the second week feeling bloated and over fed. Dining on a disaster scene is not exactly a meal for your health, its a meal (often very good) high in calories and something quick.
So think about that as you prepare for disaster in your home, your office and with your family.  If the worst happens, it will be like nothing you have experienced. Lots of stress, lots of unfamiliar food, sleeping arrangements and feelings.
 So take the time now make it part of your preparation! Exercise! As we used to do in the Army, build your upper body for carrying a pack.  Build your leg muscles to walk long distances. Build your ability to persevere.
If the worst happens, it will be while before you can jump on the tread mill.

Disaster Dave

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Getting your financial house in order

 I wanted to point you to another blogger (the Survival Mom) who writes about preparedness that I read often.  I think she is very prolific and while I think some of her advice is a bit too far out there for me, we all have our views and education of the public is her goal.  This article gives some good advice on preparing financially.   It does seem that the mainstream media is spending a lot of time talking about wall street, and not much time about those of us not wall street traders.  So take a look at her advice, and get your financial house in order. I'm all over #2,3 & 7; but can't quite do #8 yet :).

13 ways to prepare for hyper inflation

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Build your supplies

One of the reasons people don't prepare a disaster kit is they think it costs so much.  What I want you to do is change the way you think about your kit.  
Yes you can spend several hundred dollars to buy survival food; freeze dried, packaged and ready.  So when some folks see that they think "I can't do that, why bother?"  Now before the hard core preppers write me, I'm not saying this isn't a good idea, but if the alternative is to do nothing...

So lets change our thoughts, how about just doing a little when it makes sense.  First lets focus on having food and water to keep you comfortable for a three day shelter in place (snow storm, civil unrest, short attack form outer space).  For instance in the northwest QFC, our local grocery chain is offering two 24 packs of bottled water for $5.00 with their store card.
Small step, and doesn't cost much, and you build muscles carrying it home.
Next week look for some canned food on sale.
The next week, food for your pet.

Just take it slow but do something.

Disaster Dave

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Resilient SF

In a recent post by the Emergency Manager of San Fransisco, he listed out his beliefs of which I pretty much agree.
People are more prepared than they think- Do you typically keep food in your cabinet beyond this weeks menu? Are you a camper? Backpacker? Fisherman or hunter? If yes  then you are on the way.
Strong Communities are strong after a disaster- I have talked about knowing your neighbors, its important.  Reach out and meet them. 
Relationships are the key to everything - Know your local shop-keep (they might sell to you for cash when the power is out, your local repairman, police officer, pharmacist. It is easier to ask for a favor or help if you know someone
the only people that can drive change are people themselves -  if you want to be more resilient its up to you. No federal programs available, look around your community, are there things that would make it more resilient? Look at your neighborhood level first and work out from there.

It is up to you

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Are we in store for more weather disasters?

 With so much being written and said about the disaster in the other Washington, its easy to forget about other types of disasters that may affect us (Plus I didn't want to add to the flurry).
In a recent article published by Reuters, the whole spring weather flurry of disasters was brought into focus. Not only have we had tornadoes, wildfires, droughts and floods this spring but the impact of each of those disasters spawns another disaster.
Tornadoes besides the obvious terrible death toll and the economic impact, there is also an environmental impact of  the debris removal and disposal.
Wildfires create a earth prepared for flooding since there is nothing there to slow the water as it runs down the hillsides in the rain to follow.
Droughts decrease our food crops grown in those areas as well as drying up the aquifer that provides water to those crops, animals and humans.
And as noted in the article the floods (which are still going on today)while not only causing local  flood damage and economic lose will cause the dead zone off the coast to grow as pollutants and fertilizers run down the rivers to Gulf.

How does this relate to preparedness?

Even if you are not directly affected by one of these disasters this spring, you will be. Higher cost of food as the cost rise to produce the food both in the drought areas and seafood will have to be caught farther out in the gulf.
Think about your choices in the store, look for vegetables and meat prices to rise? Stock up with sales when they show up, especially canned foods (they will last longer) 
What would really be a good idea is to have a garden and learn to can and freeze foods.  Even if you live in a apartment/condo (like me) there are pea patches, community gardens to grow your own.
If we become a little more self sufficient every day we become more prepared.