PREP 101: Part 4, Suggested Equipment To Purchase
Don't forget the wonders of layaway if money is a problem. Check out flea markets, garage sales, eBay, and newspaper ads. Secondhand works as good as new if the previous owners took proper care of their gear.
Grill, charcoal, fire starter
Alternative heat source: there are many options available. You are limited only by your needs, desires, and what you can afford to spend. If money isn't an issue, go for one of those stylish propane ventless fireplaces. Or a kerosene heater. Propane heater heads put out a lot of heat.
Generator - this is probably your most expensive item
Coleman battery powered lanterns
Coleman Extreme Ice Chest - keeps ice for 5 days in 90+ heat
Sleeping bags/extra blankets
Tent: don't dismiss this as silly. If Hurricane Hades hits and the power goes out, it may be too hot to sleep in your house! We camped in our yard after Floyd because it was cooler. If your home is damaged, this will enable you to remain on your property and guard it. In cold weather, pitch a tent in your living room and stay in it for extra heat!
20-gallon plastic tubs with rope handles - K-Mart, about $8. Get 2 for laundry
Fire alarms/carbon monoxide alarms
Good quality radio and batteries
Portable battery powered tv - Wal-mart, about $45. Mine also has a radio. I love it because during natural disasters I can still see other people, which is very reassuring, and also get a visual on the actual damage to my area
Plywood if you live in a hurricane zone. Measure your windows now, fit the plywood, and pre-drill nail/screw holes.
Extra gas/kerosene cans
32 gallon trash cans for water storage
Above-ground pool for extra water. Yes, these can run into money, but there are plenty of decent inexpensive ones.
Chainsaw or hand saw to cut up fallen debris
Extra heavy-duty extension cords (to run appliances to generator)
This is one of the most, if not THE most, important yet difficult decisions that you will have to make. If you've never been around firearms but always wanted to learn, now's your chance. Sign up for a class and learn basic care and feeding of your firearm, how to use it, and more importantly when to and when not to use it. Teach gun safety and responsibility to EVERYONE in the home, especially young people. Part of gun ownership is RESPONSIBILITY, not just marksmanship.
If you don't think you can shoot someone, then you've got no business having a gun in the house. Decide what other means you're willing to use. This can include something as primitive as a baseball bat or taking karate lessons.
Consider a Neighborhood Watch program. Meet with your neighbors. Know who they are, and make it clear that you'll watch out for them if they watch out for you. Most people are willing, even eager to do this.