So while I am glad that I am not in Germany (their recent immigration policy or lack thereof was a complete disaster), the message in this article is appropriate for everyone on the planet and should be heeded.
After a disaster of any sort (natural or man made) the government probably won't be getting to you any time soon if the disaster is larger than a small incident. They are still just barely starting to clean up after the massive flooding that hit Louisiana two weeks ago, and individual help (aside from emergency care and the emergency shelter system) is a long way off.
This means that you need to be prepared to take care of yourself for a period of days to weeks should a disaster happen. The more you can do for yourself the less you will need to rely on a system that may or may not be able to help you (and certainly not quickly).
- stockpile bottled water
- stockpile easy to cook food
- have alternatives for shelter, cooking, and heating
- be in as good health as possible
- have insurances (of all kinds)
- keep good records (a home inventory, all financial and insurance records, etc)
- be prepared to defend yourself and your family
- keep cash on hand in the event ATMs don't work
- stockpile critical medications
- develop alternative communication plans to reach friends and loved ones
- develop an evacuation plan
- have basic medical and survival skills
- know which friends and neighbors you can depend upon during a disaster
- know which friends and neighbors may need help during a disaster
- teach your kids all of the skills you have learned (they may need to help YOU during a disaster)
- make connections in your community (there is an advantage during a disaster to being on a first-name basis with the fire chief, police chief, local doctors, governor, etc)
- be able to stay home for a month if necessary (note this is harder to do than it sounds as people are so unused to doing this sort of thing)
- know what resources are available in your community (water sources, food sources, in addition to emergency shelters, etc)