In the wake of the many disasters* occurring the world over (the most recent, of course, being the heartbreaking devastation in Japan), know that green living practices are welcome allies to emergency preparedness.
When looking at emergency home evacuation think of how much "stuff" you have. The more stuff you have, the harder it might be to keep track of what really matters. The more stuff you have, the greater the loss, the greater the insurance hassle, the greater the clean-up and the greater the cost to replace all that was lost.
If you are accustomed to living a simpler life, however, then you are better able to adjust--practically and emotionally--to a disaster-related emergency (i.e. simplified use of limited resources like water, food, shelter and creature comforts).
Being skilled in basic home repairs can be an asset in an emergency. Knowing somewhat about plumbing, electricity, and rudimentary carpentry will increase your ability to help your own family. Instead of waiting around for skilled help to come to you, you can meet those needs immediately, and hence, be available to extend help to a neighbor.
When transportation infrastructure is damaged or in the event of fuel shortages, having and maintaining a bicycle can offer relief. Practice with your children. Use a bike trailer--once the children have out-grown it--to transport emergency supplies. If you have to evacuate and the roads are at a stand still with a traffic jam, biking could work as an appropriate alternative to driving.
Reducing the amount of toxic chemicals brought into the home translates to fewer contaminants in the water, streets, and soil. Think of all the things in your house that are technically "hazardous wastes"--adhesives, paints, stains, chemical cleaners that you should "KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN." Those items may end up in the water you are desperate to drink. There are many non-toxic alternatives available (i.e. baking soda and vinegar). Switching to such products or alternative methods (i.e. plunger vs. chemical drain cleaners) will save you money, storage space, and harmful side-effects.
Community. Green living lends itself well to community. Interdependence of skills/resources and a shared sense of goals foster a brotherhood and sisterhood among community members, which is vital in a time of disaster. People are inspired to work WITH each other instead of AGAINST each other. We need that.
Whether a disaster is man-made or caused by a tempestuous Mother Nature, principles of green living can help prepare you, your family, and your community to weather the storm.
(*Though Utah will never experience a tsunami, its woes include annual regional threats like wild fires, flash floods, and mudslides as well as potential large-scale disasters like earthquakes and flooding from broken dams.)