I spend a lot of time thinking about emergency planning. It sort of feeds into my general "what if?" anxiety about the world, but I think emergency planning channels that anxiety into something positive. There will be lots of emergency situations in a person's life. Maybe not Hurricane Irene emergency, although there may be some of those. But there may be fires, there may be tornadoes, there may be zombies, there may be children who accidentally run through the plate glass of the patio door. Life happens, and sometimes it is messy.
We have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, even before I attempted cooking, because I "what-if-ed".
We have a first aid kit that has burn gel packets and a special pad that helps stop bleeding. We have a radio/cell phone charger and lanterns that don't require batteries to work. I've taken as many of the free online classes offered by FEMA as possible so that I have an understanding of the system that emergency responders use. I actually know what ICS and NIMS stand for, and that is an accomplishment for me, with my horrible memory.
They say that you are supposed to stockpile enough food, water, etc., for three days, and I'm working on that. I've got the water put aside, even some for the cats. The food has been a little more tricky, but I've heard that Wal-mart sells MREs(meals ready to eat), and I am going to check it out.
All just in case. It's better to not need it, and have it, than to need it and not have it. If that makes any sort of sense.
In the event of an emergency, as far as I'm concerned, knowledge is power. The more you know about what to do, the calmer you will be. That is more than half the battle! Hysterical people do stupid things. Children take their cue from the adults they see. If the parents are calm, then no matter what happens, the kids are more likely to believe that they will eventually be okay.
I do not want to be the hysterical parent. I want to be the center-of-the-storm-calm parent. I can get hysterical and down a case of whiskey later.
Unless the zombies drink it all.