Today marks the nine year anniversary of hurricane Katrina striking the southern coast of the United States. Claiming 238 lives and causing billions of dollars in damage, this proved to be one of the most intense hurricanes in the history of the United States.
Katrina provided us a glimpse at three things: 1. How large scale disasters can completely upturn our lives from the chaos that follows suit, 2. How it is not the event itself to fear, but the breakdown  that occurs following the disaster, and, 3. How truly unprepared our local and federal government are at handling the aftermath of a disaster.
From the mass evacuations, to the structural damage, to the levees breaking, the Superdome and, ultimately, the descent into societal breakdown; Katrina was sombering and eye opening to say the least. Needless to say, this event triggered many of us to wake up and no longer wait for the government to come to our rescue, but to rescue ourselves.
This is where many of us began to clearly see that it was common sense to prepare for disasters.
A Journey Begins With a Single Step
For many years, I have stressed the importance of starting your preparedness endeavors at the very beginning – that is, creating a preparedness plan for your family to follow. This is the first step in your preparedness journey and one of the most important. A plan can help you stay organized and keep you in check financially. In The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster , I emphasized how your preps are your lifeline when everything else is in turmoil.
We’ve seen many disasters over the years from the safety of our living rooms. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina struck closer to home, and we saw how quickly we go can from civilized to the status of a third world country…We became aware that help was not always a simple “9-1-1” call away and that government relief efforts might not arrive as quickly as we’d previously expected.
In a society filled with people waiting to be rescued, planning ahead can mean the difference between being together or separated, frightened or confident – even alive or dead. To begin to prepare for this short term disruption, you must begin with a plan. Consider this emergency plan as a map that will help you and your family navigate efficiently through a disaster. You will know what to expect from one another, know how to perform, and know how to get by.
Why I stress starting your preparedness efforts from the beginning, is to create a foundation of knowledge and supplies that you and your family can depend on. This helps you become less dependent on assistance from your local government because you have what you need to live through the ordeal. Many of the supplies suggested for disasters are dynamic and can easily be used in tandem to help during other disasters. Therefore, the investment into preparedness is constructive.
To help others better prepare for disasters, I have provided two free chapters from The Prepper’s Blueprint. In the link below you will find the information you need to create a well-rounded preparedness plan for your household, how to make emergency identification cards, what to expect during a short term emergency, as well as the supplies you need to live through a two week ordeal.
The Prepper’s Blueprint Chapters 1-2  (Click here)
Some of the suggested preparedness items within the two chapters are:
- Emergency preparedness binder 
- Flash drives 
- 1 gallon of water per person per day for a two week period. 
- Peanut butter 
- Cans of juice 
- Cans of meat 
- Canned meals 
- Cans of fruits  or vegetables 
- Non-perishable items such as saltine crackers , graham crackers , etc.
- Cold cereal  (1 box per family member)
- Pantry staples (flour, quick oats, beans, baking powder, salt, sugar)
- Applesauce 
- Protein powder 
- Just-add-water meals (macaroni and cheese , Ramen noodles  or pancake/breakfast mixes , etc.)
- Powdered drink mixes  (Tang or Kool-Aid)
- Baby supplies (diapers, wipes , formula, baby food )
- Protein/calorie drinks 
- Prescription medications
- Additional toiletry items (toilet paper , feminine needs , etc.)
- 1 large container of dry pet food for cats  and dogs