As a necessity of writing for a site with a diverse readership, my knowledge in certain areas is dismayingly shallow and broad. When it comes to drilling down deep into a particular topic, it is often a handful of Core77 readers, expert in that area or card-carrying members of a relevant subculture, who can provide some seriously in-the-know information.
There are of course different levels of disaster you prepare for. I've chosen, as your average non-survivalist urbanite, to stop at the relatively mild one-week-with-no-power. Others are ready for far worse, like the human-vs.-human situation frequently discussed in survivalist books. (The scenario where, to paraphrase the comedian Bill Burr, you stock up on a lot of supplies so that someone with a better gun can take them from you, like lunch money.) Despite people's perceptions of New York, I think the city—particularly the neighborhood I live in—would have to be off the grid for at least two weeks before we saw that kind of citizen-on-citizen violence. I'm trying to picture Soho vs. Nolita residents wielding stale baguettes to fight over the last scrap of mortadella.
If I had to prep for a disaster with money no object, I'd pony up for a generator. Previously I'd have opted for a gasoline-powered generator, but after reading through some survivalist books—ignoring the shrill political invective and seeking only the practical information—it seems propane may be a better way to go for reasons of shelf life.
With no cause to learn about generators and gasoline as part of my daily life, I'd have never found this stuff out without exposure to the survivalist subculture, as they eat, sleep and breathe that stuff. So I'd like to ask you design-minded Core77 readers, whether urban or rural, and regardless of what subculture you belong to, what your preferences are for disaster-prep objects. Anything you can tell us about one object's superiority of design over another is the most valued.
Please let us know in the comments what level of disaster you're prepared for, and what your go-to items are. Also, if you're willing to answer some questions on the topic as part of a roundup entry, please send me an e-mail at [rain] at (core77) -dot- com with the subject line "Disaster Prep."