If disaster were to strike, are you prepared with basic necessities in the event of an emergency?

The survivalist mentality is back big time thanks to a trifecta of factors involving politics, the weather, and doomsday predictions.

Gun sales are soaring in the aftermath of the re-election of Pres. Obama. Applications and background checks are up 18%. That is a political reaction, of course, but there's a whole different angle going on that's a reaction to Hurricane Sandy.

If you go to Costco, they have emergency supplies of non-perishable food for sale. Meanwhile, do you have an emergency medical kit?

If something happened in your home, what preparations have you made?

Some people are going to extremes. I read in The New York Times about people buying luxury bunkers that are stocked to the gills to get through Armageddon in luxury. But that's not for most of us.

Most of us just need to do basic preparation. You don't have to be into extreme theories or worry about the end of the world. Many times when the moment of need comes, it will be far less dramatic than you might imagine, but still really disruptive to your life.

For example, people didn't have power for 15 or 16 days in New Jersey after Sandy. So I love things like the hand-crank flashlights and radios, or hand-crank devices so you can charge your cell phone even when there's no power.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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