In the last 7 years I have experienced 2 floods of the century, an ice storm of the century, a tornado, and now a severe drought. If I've learned anything it's to over prepare. I stocked food that requires little to no preparation and that uses a minimum of water. A few items that I found helpful (besides the usual items for disasters) are a water purification system, cat litter and a 5 gallon bucket to use in case the water treatment system is down, and a radio that plays a local television station. I also stored extra fuels for heating and cooking. Several gas containers were purchased prior to the storm and these items are often unavailable after the disaster because people buy them to store fuel for the generators. And having extra fuel is a big bonus because often the fuel is rationed for a period of time following disaster clean up. In addition I have cold/flu remedies and vitamins as the cold temps will tax the body's defense system. During the ice storm in which I lost power for a week, I battled the flu and many others did as well. People in our community were without power for over a month, despite the 16 hour days the utility workers put in trying to restore power to one of the hardest hit disaster areas of the ice storm.

I wore merino wool which has a comfort zone of 40-70 F and wool can be worn several days before it needs laundering. One of the nice benefits of wool is that it does not hold body odors like other fibers. And should it get wet it will keep you warm. A goose down jacket, goose down slippers, and wool base layer will help you sleep comfortably, even when you can see your breath in your home. Stocking up on technical, easy care fabrics and good sleeping bags are high on my list of disaster preparedness. I purchases a 3 part sleeping system with a bivy sack at my local army navy surplus store. The bivy sack acts as a vapor barrier and will keep me dry and toasty. Please take into consideration that you will need to eat every 2 hours or so just to keep up with the demands of your body trying to stay warm if your home is not heated. Adding more protein to your diet will be beneficial.

During the floods I learned that it takes at least 2 weeks before goods and services are readily available. I could count on one hand the number of stores and gas stations that were open for business and those that were open had to ration goods because fuel and food could not be delivered. It took well over 7 weeks before the waters receded under the flood stage. During that time I used every Coleman cooler to keep my leftovers and perishables refrigerated. (During an ice storm nature provides one big outdoor refrigerator and it's easy to store perishables.) Water was one of the most sought after products, along with bleach and cleaning supplies. Having a water filtration system is worth it's weight in gold.

During a disaster you will find yourself in a lot of down time so it's good to have games and books available to preoccupy you time.

If you are a coffee drinker and you are used to grinding your beans each morning, please consider purchasing an old fashioned coffee mill. I forgot to do so and had to resort to the redneck method of grinding: I put the beans in a heavy duty ziplock and drove the car over it. Since then I keep a can of ground coffee in the pantry and I have a mill.

If you lose power and need to charge your cell phone, you may be able to charge it up in your car without turning on the engine. Check for "hot" outlets in your car.
There are cell phone generator chargers available and are often sold in stores that carry NOAA/FEMA approved hand crank radios and flashlights.

I am praying for all of those who are in the path of this terrible storm. Please stay safe and let us know how we can specifically pray for you.