The continuing crisis at the Oroville Dam in California reminds us how quickly Mother Nature can change her mind about the weather. After years of drought, the water came back furious.

While the unfolding emergency is a continent away, it serves as a good reminded to be prepared for whatever might come our way. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that every household be able to take care of itself, including all family members and pets, for a minimum of three days in case of a true emergency.

So, are you ready to take care of your family and pets for three days without trips to Wawa, take out for dinner, or power?

States come up with new ways to issue reminders each year to all attention to the need to be prepared. This year, an Illinois lawmaker has suggested that October be Zombie Preparedness Month in Illinois. His resolution, which only tongue-in-cheek mentions zombies, is focused on what every family should do to be prepared.

Preparations include making certain that you have a minimum of three days of non-perishable food for everyone including pets. You should have at least a gallon of clean water per person for each of those days, all necessary medications, warm clothes, and extra blankets in case of a winter emergency. You’ll also need a flashlight, batteries, and a first aid kit. Many emergency preparedness kits also suggest including things like a manual can opener, plastic sheeting and duct tape, in case you need to seal off the house.

Earthquake and hurricane preparedness kits should also include heavy shoes and gloves for all family members in case of broken glass, tools to turn of gas mains and toys and books to entertain younger family members. In no time at all, your emergency kit can be rather large.

In most cases, emergency preparedness experts suggest storing the kit under your bed so that you can easily access it if an emergency starts at night.

So what does that have to do with storage units?

Have you looked under your bed lately?

If you’re like most people, under your bed is cluttered with sweater boxes and old shoes, extra exercise gear and pretty much everything else you wanted to put away and forget about. To make room for your new emergency preparedness kits, that stuff needs to find a new home. If you’re not quite ready to toss it in the dumpster, you might need a storage unit.

Storage units that are near your home can also be very useful for those who take emergency preparedness very seriously. Want to stock up on canned goods in case the new import tax goes through and grocery prices skyrocket? Your storage facility can be a great place to keep extra non-perishable foods, tents and sleeping bags, and other gear that makes it easier to handle a long-term emergency. Just remember that anything stored for a future emergency, including water, can get old. Rotate your stock every three to four months.

So whether you’re stocking for the zombie apocalypse or the next bad hurricane, preparing for an emergency just makes good sense.