Things to consider:
Loss of Income
Few people see it coming. In this day and age, it's sadly common for a two-week notice to upset lives. Even if you qualify for unemployment, it takes several weeks for your paperwork to be processed and you'll still have a gap without a paycheck. Hopefully, you have a savings account to help you along, but you don't want to spend it on groceries and basic needs if you can help it. What would you have to fall back on if your car broke down? Or if you needed to take a trip to the Emergency Room? Without a job, many people don't have health insurance.
Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Ice Storms all have a way of upsetting daily life. Hopefully, the worse that happens is loss of power. But loss of power can be more than just annoying. If it lasts for more than a few hours, you start to get hot in the summer, cold in the winter, hungry in the always. Once a disaster hits (or hints that it is going to hit,) grocery stores become madhouses. This is because most families only have enough groceries to last a day or two. If you have a couple weeks worth of stockpiled food, household necessities, and medicine then you can happily avoid the mad grocery store-scramble.
Be it from earthquake tearing up roads or loss of power preventing trucks from getting gas, there could come a time when trucks aren't able to enter your town. And when when trucks stop, you'll notice. We all depend on trucks to bring us what we need...food, medicine, etc.
You don't have to become fanatical, just pause to ponder a few scenarios and come up with a game plan. It's actually very interesting dinner conversation with your family. For instance, if you wanted to be prepared for a day or two without electricity, you're family will probably say they are pretty content with using the outdoor grill to cook with until the power comes back. And this is fine. But first, do you have a grill? Extra charcoal or propane? Once the grill is all fired up, will you be able to meet your coffee addiction needs? If you plan to eat canned foods for those few days, do you have a can opener that isn't electric? Do you have a pan you can put on the grill? Perhaps your family would want to consider a second or third alternative option for cooking, such as sterno stoves?
As you know, water is the most important need to think of first. It's always wise to have at least a few days worth of water stored. You'll want to have enough water stored to provide 1 gallon of water, per person, per day.
See? Those aren't crazy things to think about, are they? Notice how a zombie apocalypse didn't even enter the conversation? I encourage you to introduce the topic with your family throughout the upcoming week. Be sure to discuss:
- Locations of Mom&Pop-type gas and grocery stores because these will not be hit as hard as the big box stores during emergencies.
- Where you could store water and other stockpile items (under beds, top of closets, pantries, etc.)
- What you would do about going to the bathroom if your power went out for a week. Eww.
- What would you want to eat and how you would go about cooking it.
- Where and how to meet back up if family members were separated during an emergency (school, work, etc.)