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Personal Safety and Security
In some emergency situations your family's personal protection needs to be considered.  Stay in contact with your friends, loved ones, and abreast of the emergency situation by using walkie talkie radios and emergency radios. Check out the article titled "Personal Security--At Home, On The Street, While Traveling" by U.S. Department of the State; and useful information from the National Crime Prevention Council.

Personal safety and your family's safety will be a priority in an emergency.  Be proactive!  Think ahead! 

Home and Self Defense
We all heard about what happened to people after Hurricane Katrina.  While there were many good stories of heroism and rescue, the media focused on the horrors of attacks when people are vulnerable.  It is indeed a sad thought that you might need to protect yourself.  Pepper spray is a good choice for self defense, whether you face an emergency situation or not.  You can carry it with you in a pocket or a purse if you are going to be out late at night, or keep it handy on a night stand.  Defense pepper spray is one of the best non-lethal defenses available.
The biggest advantage of defense pepper sprays is their ability to keep an assailant a safe distance from the intended victim while disabling him and stopping the attack. Most defense sprays have a range of 8 to 12 feet and will stop an attacker within seconds. Mist and fogger sprays make it possible to lay down a protective barrier which the assailant must pass through to get to the victim. These are also good for multiple assailant and home defense.  Other advantages of sprays include small, convenient size, easy to carry, non-lethal, no permanent affects, easy to use, just point and shoot, no long-term or continuous training required, no psychological fear of hurting someone.

Possible disadvantages include user may be affected by spray, especially in wind, quality and effectiveness vary between brands, accidental discharge always possible, illegal in a few jurisdiction, illegal to take onto airlines or in luggage. 

Overall the pepper defense spray is the best non-lethal defense available.  In fact, a good argument can be made that some OC sprays can actually stop an attacker more surely than a gun in some cases.  And they're certainly better than a firearm from a legal standpoint.  Their use is not considered deadly force and a permit is not usually required to carry them. A good pepper spray can be better for residential defense than a firearm. For one thing, if a spray is mistakenly used against a resident or non-assailant there are no permanent consequences.  Also, a spray doesn't have the severe danger of a firearm if a curious child gets a hold of it.