How To Survive Anything

Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes and other disasters can turn a region upside down in a day. And for some unlucky families the crisis may last for weeks if not months. Smart disaster planning can help you thrive—not just survive—in the aftermath.

A. Disaster planning begins before you even choose your home, with a simple investigation of the risks that you will face. Is the house in a flood zone? Is there a history of hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes? Then, once you’re settled, you steadily build up resources, secure what’s important to you, and turn your home into a survivable system. And when disaster hits, you’ll be prepared.


FEMA suggests you store at least 1 gallon per person per day in the event of an emergency—28 gallons per week for a family of four. But that wasn’t nearly enough for Conway Yee’s family in Weston, Conn., after Sandy knocked out power lines and disrupted his well-water supply for a week. To keep hydrated and clean, “we went through 20 gallons a day” for drinking and washing, he says. They ended up driving to the local high school to refill their supply.

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