“Which brings us back to a theme Popular Mechanics has been driving home for years: self-reliance. If you’re at the scene of a major disaster, it may be a long time before outside help arrives. But one person is sure to be there: you. And nobody cares more about helping you and your family in time of disaster than, well, you. So it makes sense for you to be prepared to take care of yourself—and look out for your neighbors—for some time afterward. That means having adequate stocks of food, water and basic tools on hand. (Experts say that Haitians should have had at least two weeks of food on hand, but of course many Haitians can’t afford to keep such reserves. Americans, generally speaking, can.)”