Today with the advent of the Chilean earthquake, there were apparent signs of what is of major vital importance.... 1) Preparations...water, food and emergency shelter. 2) Communications...and a redundant back-up system/s. In any major event like this, water will become scarce very quickly, and a loss of power and such, prevents getting clean (potable) water from most sources. It may not be practical or even feasible to try to boil water at the time. Food will become secondary as it is not wise to eat unless you have sufficient water supplies in order to digest that food. Shelter is needed in most cases, as in this particular case the structures quickly became un-safe to re-enter. In a situation where it may be raining or have sme form of precipitation, it's wise to have a place to go to stay warm and dry. Then comes the inability to commiunicate with others...this was apparent when their cellular systems failed due to overloads. All people should have an AM/FM radio just to receive additional warnings and news of the situation. Batteries may just become a life saver in this scenario. There is a real need for being able to communicate to others and the only way is with some sort of radio which does not depend on local power supplies. Since all of this occured according to Murphy's and O'Briens laws, the worst possible thing at the most inopportune timing.... Night. Early morning. Dark. People are asleep and most are pretty foggy and not able to react clearly in just a few seconds... Have a bag ready, and have not 1, but more flashlights, ready and tested for emergency use. Instinctively grab the bag and get away from the danger. This was a real eye opener for many, as you compare the 2 disasters side by side, Haiti, and Chile. Haiti was sorely prepapred and are still in a serious mess. More than likely due to the ruling class there. They may never completely recover and will be holding out their hands for some time to come...for food, and aid in so many areas. Chilean's on the other hand, were much better prepared and had early reponders trained and prepared to react. They are already beginning to get back to their lives, albeit quite a disruption. All of this was a case study in point.... like that old saying goes: "It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it"! Now, after the initial impact has passed and there is time to take a look and see where we lack, and what we need to do to "get it right the first time". Not everyone gets a second chance.