If you live a preparedness lifestyle, you already know the basics of stocking up on food, ensuring you have batteries, and understanding the ins and outs of having a secret money supply so you can purchase goods without a bank or credit freeze.
That said, it’s always important to double-check your preps and ensure you’re not missing something important. The last thing you want to find out is that you’re not as well equipped as you thought you were heading into an emergency--at the same time that everyone else does. Dealing with the resulting chaos at the grocery, hardware, and other specialty stores will be just another obstacle during a time of crisis when time is all too short.
Let’s cover 15 of the top preparedness items that disappear quickly off of store shelves when a crisis occurs. As you read below, bear in mind that each and every one can be used as valuable barter items as well. This will especially be the case if the emergency were to lasts weeks, months, or longer.
If stores closed for months, bartering will become the default method of exchanging products and goods. This was the case for our ancestors, patriots that built this country, and for many today around the world.
Having these 15 essentials on hand ahead of time leaves you and your family in a good spot for these barter negotiations.
Now that I’ve covered that key point--read on so you can be fully prepared the next time disaster strikes. Let’s run the checklist…
#1: Water Filtration Systems
About 60% of the adult human body is made up of water. On a cellular level, it’s a vital and critical ingredient to our survival. Most people can only live without drinking water for 3 to 7 days.
When it comes to the methods for treating water so that it’s purified and drinkable, you have several options. Certain situations and settings call for different methods of purification.
Water treatment tablets, personal water straws, and gravity-powered filtration systems are a great on-the-go treatment solution whether at home, in your car, or in the wilderness. Tablets work to kill microorganisms in water to prevent cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and other waterborne diseases--so you can drink water without worrying about negative side effects. Better yet, a personal water filter like the Survival Spring is easy to pack or carry and is relatively inexpensive.
#2: Flashlights and Batteries
In case your plan for a backup generator goes awry, you’ll need other solutions for maintaining visibility during power outages.
Flashlights may seem like a no-brainer. Having a solar flashlight that is also a 9-in-1 multi-tool would be handy.
However, it’s important to ensure you have enough working batteries for your flashlights, in case you need to use them for an extended period of time. Having a solar battery charger and sets of rechargeable batteries provides plenty of backup. There’s even a battery charger that works with water or urine. Yes, I said urine. See that one here - it’s one of those you have to see it to believe it items - and it really works!
Some chargers can power three devices and have 20,000 mAh of backup power.
Oftentimes, cooking off-grid during an emergency means using a camp stove. Or your grill.
If you have those--great.
However, a camp stove won’t do you any good if you don’t have the fuel to power it. Whether you’re using a canister, liquid fuel or cooking fuel, have enough on hand to last you and your family for several weeks or months.
In addition, you’ll need to make sure you have enough gasoline or propane on hand to run your generator for an extended period of time.
Take the time now to look into your fuel supply for your various items and determine if you have enough. And don’t forget to have a fuel preservative handy too, especially if you plan on store gas for up to a year.
#4: Guns, Ammunition, and Knives
Unfortunately, when people reach a certain point of desperation during a crisis, things can turn violent.
In order to defend yourself and your loved ones, it’s recommended to have at least one weapon safely locked, secured, and stored at home.
And if you own a gun, it won’t do you any good without ammunition. During times of crisis, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find ammo anywhere...and you can bet your neighbors won’t want to share their supply. Ammunition is a top barter item--always. During a long-term emergency a larger supply will come in handy.
#5: Baby Supplies
If you have little ones at home, you know how essential the following items are to keep their delicate and sensitive bodies healthy and strong:
- Diapers and Wipes
- Formula and Baby food
- Blankets and Pacifiers
For peace of mind regarding your children or grandchildren’s well-being during an emergency, be sure to stock these necessary items sooner rather than later. There will always be an infant or toddler to care for and comfort during a crisis.
#6: Personal Hygiene Products
Never underestimate the importance of personal hygiene products.
Toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, hand soap, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products are not something you want to be without should you be without power for weeks or should supplies be unavailable for an extended period of time.
Bacteria is hard to avoid. Keeping your hands and body clean will make all the difference when it comes to surviving during times of crisis. Not to mention, being able to clean up will make the situation a little more comfortable. Calculate how many of these items your family uses within one month and stock enough to last you for several.
#7: Portable Toilets
Improper waste management brought about by plumbing issues is a real threat to your physical health during disasters.
If the power goes out and you’re reliant on a septic system, using your toilet at home is not an option. While you can pour water down to flush, if you have a diminishing water supply, you’ll want another option.
In the event of a prolonged power outage or water shortage, portable toilets or pit toilets will be lifesavers when it comes to keeping your home sanitary and livable. A quick Google search will produce a wide range of sources for portable toilets.
We rely on power for a wide variety of activities--from having light to navigate in the home at night to keeping fridges and freezers cold enough to store food and medicine.
Because generators are in high demand during a pending disaster, it’s not uncommon to see them fly off the shelves of hardware stores during emergencies. For example, in anticipation of Hurricane Florence, hardware stores in the Carolinas rushed to make an emergency order for more generators and sump pumps due to demand.
Whether you select a permanent or portable backup generator, having one or the other in anticipation of an emergency is a must.
Even if you have a fridge, freezer, and backup generator, you can always benefit from an extra layer of preparedness.
Coolers will come in very handy in short-term emergency situations to keep temperature-sensitive goods--such as food, drinks, and medicines--in good condition for several days if your fridge or freezer fails. Whether made of foam or plastic, make sure the cooler is airtight and has thick walls in order to keep things as cold as possible.
For major disasters where power is out for an extended period of time and ice is unavailable, coolers can also be used to collect rainwater or store items to protect them from water damage.
#10: Fishing Supplies
While hunting is a whole other ballgame that takes practice, safety, and precision, fishing is an excellent and relatively easy way to source your own food.
Along with a trusty fishing pole, stock your fishing tackle box with basic supplies such as extra lines, hooks, bobbers, sinkers, and plastic worms. And if you don’t know how to catch, prepare, and cook your own fish--there’s no time like the present to learn. Start with a basic fishing and hunting kit.
#11: Sleeping Bags
Knowing you’ve selected comfortable, insulated, and waterproof sleeping bags will quite literally, help you rest easier. Heat may be off in your home for days leading to cool nights.
In some emergency circumstances, you may be forced to leave your home--and it will be both mentally and critically important to have a warm place to lay your head.
At the bare minimum, have a compact emergency blanket or two handy. They’re fairly inexpensive. Keep one in the glovebox of your car too.
Whether it’s a tree falling on your house during a storm or a loose screw on a key appliance, in many cases, it will be up to you to fix what’s been broken during a crisis.
You’ll have an easier time fixing and crafting things with the aid of certain tools, such as…
- Axes and Saws
- Hammers and nails
- Rope, twine, poly cord, and wire
- Drills and Screwdrivers
- Homesteading tools (plow, rake, etc.)
Visit your local hardware store to replenish or create your collection of basic tools--you never know when they might come in handy. Remember that you might have to power them. So having hand tools or a way to recharges batteries or run electric off a generator should be part of your consideration process.
#13: Canning Supplies
Preppers know that learning to cure, pickle, and preserve your own food via canning is an important skill set. Doing so long before a crisis hits is the best way to go.
That said, if you don’t get around to it or in the case that your time off the grid is prolonged, you’ll want to have the right supplies (such as a water bath canner, jars, canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs, and lid lifter) to can your food. As with all your emergency preps, practice makes perfect. Since it is fall and apple season, start by canning some apples this season.
#14: First Aid Kits
Hopefully, you and your loved ones won’t have any medical emergencies during a disaster. But these things do happen--and it’s important to have a first aid kit to take care of cuts, burns, scrapes, fevers, colds, and more.
It’s always good to have a comprehensive kit, but at the very least, make sure the kit includes the basics:
- Pain relievers
- Rubbing alcohol
- Band-aids and Ace bandages
- Waterproof medical tape
- Safety pins
- Disposable sterilized gloves
- Gauze dressings and a bleed stop
#15: Buckets for Water Collection
If you can no longer access running water in your home, you’ll need to resort to other water collection methods.
Having a few extra buckets on hand will be a huge help for your water collection efforts. Five-gallon buckets or collapsible containers will come in handy should you have to collect rainwater for drinking, washing dishes and hands, bathing, or storing grey water.
And don’t forget--collecting drinking water is only the half of it. You’ll also need to purify it to mitigate health risks.
How did you do running through the checklist? Don’t wait for a crisis to happen to stock up on these preparedness items--they may not be easily available.
There are only 15 items on this list. Arguably, there could be many more. We’d love to hear your feedback on what you would add. Please comment below.
Have a great day. Please, stay safe and alert!
Grant Miller, My Patriot Supply