Having been deployed to numerous presidentially declared major disasters has given me some insight into what you might consider important in a time of crisis. The one thing I would tell everyone to have is the Ready Pack. That includes every member of your family including your pets. This is the reason why. The Ready Pack can serve as a sheltering-in-a-place cache, a drive-out or bug-out bag or a walk-out pack whenever the gas runs out or the road ends.
A Ready Pack is going to be designed for the geographical environment in which it will be needed, such as a Gulf Coast pack versus a Canadian border pack. There are many kinds of survival packs for a variety of responses. It may be a full dress stand alone pack or a companion pack to a full dress or a customized child's pack or a necessity pack for a pet. A Survival Instructor we studied under was the head of a state Search and Rescue Branch. He stated that he had six Ready Packs. Each for a different type of search and seasonally adjusted accordingly. His survival and that of the lost or injured person depended on those Ready Packs.
What makes our Ready Pack structure different is that it is tailored after a little known community, the thru-hikers of the Triple Crown Trails (Appalachian Trail 2,167 miles; Continental Divide Trail 3,100 miles; The Pacific Crest Trail 2,650 miles). These individuals traverse these trails hiking from beginning to end in one continuous journey. They are the civilian experts in wilderness long distance hiking and survival. We have studied and gleaned all that we can from these experts. We are not thru-hikers of these trails, however, we have section hiked all three from their trail heads, trail end and in between.
It is important to remember that if all you have is a pillow case, a bottle of water and a can of pork n beans; you have your first generation Ready Pack. We are currently on our fifth generation Ready Pack. We suggest that you build it over time as finances allow. You can utilize birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries as vehicles to build depth into your Ready Pack.
Since 2002, Steve has been warning our nation that it will again enter into another Great Civil War and that it will be one of Lawlessness vs Civil Order.