Plan and conquer
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Three additional tips from Arthur Bradley to ensure you're ready in an emergency.

Establish a network: Meet with neighbors today to get contact info and draw up a disaster plan that maps out the steps you will all take in an emergency. "The goal is to foster a sense of 'We're all in this together,'" says Bradley.

Pack your freezer: Storm imminent? Jam water bottles of all shapes and sizes into every nook and cranny of your fridge, freezers, and coolers. This will practically double the shelf life of perishables. Plus, you'll have water when the ice thaws.

Carry a wad: If electronic banking systems fail and resources become scarce, there's simply no substitute for paper money. Be sure to keep some handy. "It could mean the difference between getting help or getting left behind," says Bradley.