I grew up in the Midwest, third generation American, from working poor and blue collar folks. I grew up in the land of blizzards, summer gardens, and preparedness. My Mom canned whatever she could grow, and nothing tasted better in December than chilli made with home canned tomatoes. I grew up learning that you NEVER let your gas tank get below 1/2 full, you had better pack emergency items in your vehicle, and if it is going to storm you fill your bathtubs full of water. This sort of advice may not have helped those that did not evacuate the Gulf Coast, but emergency preparedness is something to think about.
Here is a great reference you can use, they even have lists of needs according to your type of disaster. Backwoodshome magazine. One of my favorite magazines. It is full of practical advice, recipes, and lifestyle suggestions. There is a great article online this month about BUG OUT BAGS....by Claire Wolff. Here is another, list of great references. While you may have a better list, or suggestions to add, I think this list is a great place to start for those of you that may not have an emergency kit.
Dear Husband has always preached to me the benefits of emergency preparedness, and the great need for every American to have a 72 hour emergency kit(at LEAST). For my lifetime, I have had people all around me, touting the benefits of being prepared. While I would shake my head in agreement, I myself have never had to live through any sort of disaster. So I am going to say this now.....50% of my brain knew preparedness was important, but 50% of my brain was saying "boy they are sure paranoid". Guess what, I am paranoid now.