The following lists are some things you should have in storage before an emergency grid down, war scenario, petroleum energy crisis, currency/banking collapse type situation develops (these items are also good to have on hand in case of job or income loss, extreme weather situations, or earthquake-tsunami-volcanic events:
A. Emergency Survival Food list
_1. Grocery Store & Bulk Foods
• Legumes: Pinto beans, Black beans, split peas, etc.
• Oatmeal, cornmeal
• Canned Fruits (lots), various canned vegetables & canned tomatoes, soups & stew.
• Milk: Canned/Evaporated, powdered, sweetened/condensed
• Eggs, powdered
• Peanut Butter, nuts, popcorn
• Dehydrated fruits & vegetables
• Jerky, Trail Mix
• Wasa Multigrain flat bread, Graham crackers, Saltines, etc.
• Chocolate, cocoa, Tang, punch
• Honey, syrup,white sugar, brown sugar
• Spices (the basics: salt, pepper, cinnamon, garlic, onion salt, etc,)
• Soy Sauce, vinegar, bouillon cubes or granules
• Canned Meats: Tuna, chicken, Spam, ham, etc.
• Cooking Oil & spray
• Baking Supplies & flour, yeast, packaged muffin mix & pancake mix
• Coffee, tea
• Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements
• Water: Quickly figure 1 gallon drinking water/person/day. As cases of bottled water, or from a filer unit like the ‘Big Berkey’ (Google it), a 55 gallon ‘rain barrel prefilled with public utility water, water purification with household bleach or boiling. Don’t store everything else first and skip the water. You can live a month without food, but only about 3 days without water…start out with the proper priorities.
_2. Long Term Emergency Foods (MRE’s and/or a mix of Freeze Dried and Dehydrated foods stored in either nitrogen packed #10 gallon cans or in 5 gallon plastic buckets, depending on the product.)
B. List of 55 other, sometimes overlooked items you should maintain in stock
1. Toilet Paper, and other sanitation items such as feminine hygiene products, diapers for infants, etc. These are items that should be mass stored if possible.
2. Paper Towels. Too many uses to mention, store as many as you can.
3. Coffee Filters. For those drinkers of coffee of course, but these are excellent filters for many other purposes.
4. Trash Bags. All sizes. You can also store many free plastic grocery bags from the store every time you get them after shopping. Important for bagging up refuse and preventing disease.
5. Zip type Freezer Bags. Lot of uses.
6. Coolers, various sizes. If you have room, can be used to keep things cool or cold, but also used to keep items from freezing in very cold weather.
7. Shovels. All sizes from small garden type to those used for digging. Very important to have after a disaster.
8. Soaps and Cleansers. Sponges and other scratchy pads. You are likely not going to have a dishwasher after a disaster and you have to have some means of cleaning pots, pans, dishes.
9. Cotton Rounds. First aid uses, Excellent Fire-starter (mixed with Vaseline).
10. Paper to write on. This includes note pads, index cards.
11. Pens and Pencils, especially the click pencil type that don’t need a sharpener.
12. Rubber bands. This also includes hair bands. Used to keep items organized and from flying apart.
13. Tape. All kinds from duct, masking, electric, to scotch. Many uses.
14. Sewing Kits. Threads, needles, buttons, zippers, you are going to need them.
15. Matches. Keep them dry and store lots of them.
16. Salt. You won’t believe in certain areas how hard it is to get this necessary mineral for survival. Store as much as you can.
17. Aluminum Foil Wrap. Good for cooking and many other uses.
18. Candles. All sizes. Not only for light at night, but can be used to heat small items up in small cookware.
19. Can Opener. Without many of these you will have a bad time trying to get your canned food out.
20. Basic Tools. This includes hammers, screwdrivers, saws, axes, utility knives, scissors. Anything extra that you can store from your tool chest.
21. Small hardware. Nails, screws, hooks, wires, etc. Store in clear jars with lids or in original packages.
22. 5 or 6 gallon plastic gas containers. Can be used for gas or other fuels as well as for water that are durable.
23. Magnifying glasses. Use to see small items, main use to start fire if matches are wet or out of them.
24. Envelopes. All sizes for storage. Smaller for seeds you can get from the wild as one example. Tough postal envelopes are also good for storage after a disaster.
25. Empty boxes. You are really going to need this if you have to suddenly move somewhere quick for clothes and other items. Many grocery stores will give you free fruit boxes that are sturdy and have lids. Also large plastic boxes with lids. Try to store empty boxes within the empty spaces of each other.
26. Shoe laces. Many people have shoes that are still wearable and need shoe laces. Shoe laces are also good for tying off material with other purposes.
27. Paper plates, plastic eating utensils, disposable drinking glasses and cups. IF you can store enough, excellent way to save your soap supplies by not having to wash the dishes.
28. Bedding. Blankets, sheets, pillows, pillow cases. Just because you are in emergency does not mean you have to live like a refuge.
29. Bathroom towels. All sizes from hand to bath. You will be very grateful to be able to dry yourself off with something you are used to.
30. Fishing line and string. Lots of uses.
31. Nylon rope, cord, clothes lines. Do not be without.
32. Dental needs. Toothbrushes, dental floss. Even without toothpaste you can still keep your teeth healthy.
33. Q-tips. Not only personal use, but uses for fine detailed work.
34. Honey. Lasts practically forever and a good sweetener for many foods.
35. Spray bottles. Use to disperse insect repellent as one of many uses.
36. First aid kit. Most items such as bandages, gauze, tweezers, nail clippers, scissors, wrapping tape, etc. can be stored without rotating.
37. Newspaper. Yes, newspaper for starting fires, wrapping delicate items, insulation. Keep dry and preferably in sealed boxes.
38. Safety pins. Fastening of almost anything that has broken. Bobby pins also good.
39. Cheap plastic sunglasses. You will really need to protect your eyes after an emergency, glare is something that people forget about
if they have to be outdoors for extended periods of time.
40. Hats. One size fits all baseball type caps, scarfs, ski caps. A lot of heat is lost through an uncovered head, also sunburn.
41. Gloves. So important from keeping hands warm to protection of your hands from hazards such as broken glass.
42. Extra clothes that you will not wear other than after a disaster. Don’t forget the extra comfortable shoes, socks, underwear, warm jackets.
43. Small hand-held mirrors. For signaling but also for personal grooming and seeing what your eyes can’t without a mirror.
44. Cloth grocery bags with handles. A very good way of collecting usable things such as food from the wild.
45. Stapler with plenty of staples. Also paper clips to seal off small items and fastening paper. Your package of survival seeds as for example.
46. Electric extension cords. You may actually still have electricity from some source such as a generator. Can be used as a substitute for light duty style rope also.
47. Brushes. From nail, paint, to hair brushes.
48. Measurement devices. Tape measurers, rulers.
49. Games & pastimes.
50. Books, eReader: Anything that will give you information and instructions on survival, cooking, plant identification, map books. Your bookcase may not be around after a disaster, store information you will need someday.
51. Wind up clocks and watches.
52. Closable plastic containers, Ziploc, Tupperware, etc., anything that can air seal something, several sizes.
53. Note pad, Sticky notes. Use to label what you have after the disaster. Secure it better with scotch tape if you want.
54. Money. Store a few hundred $$ at home in small denominations. Cash may be the only way to buy anything following a disaster.
55. Plastic tarps. Big enough of r a tent (12×16+) and others sized to cover a table (10×10), to collect rain water, have several and leave them unused in their store wrapping.
C. Pet Supplies
• Extra Water for Pets (About 1 cup/day for a 10 lb cat. For dogs under 20 pounds, the rule of thumb is 1 cup of water per each 5 pounds of body weight per day. Dogs over 20 pounds consume between 0.5 and 1 ounce of water/ pound/ day, so a 50 pound dog would consume between 25 and 50 ounces (about a quart) of water/day. )
• Pet Food: Extra dry or canned food
• Pet Food storage containers, already in use
• Pet Emergency Medical supply kit (for ticks, fleas, deworming, topical antibiotics, antibiotic pill or powder)
• Portable Pet Crates (a must for pet emergencies)
• Basic First Aid, pet first aid booklet.
Also, look through the following ‘100 Things’ list, and buy those items your specific conditions will require or best serve you, in a SHTF scenario.
D. 100 Things that Disappear First in a Disaster
1. Generators: Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of thieves; maintenance, etc.
2. Water containers: An urgent item to obtain. Any size. Hard plastic only. Minimum storage volumes of 1 gallon/ person/day. Plan accordingly.
3. Water Filters and chemical purifiers.
4. Hand pumps and siphons: For water and for fuels.
5. Portable Toilets: Increasing in price every two months.
6. Toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels: Imagine life without TP.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats and Slingshots
8. Big dogs and plenty of dog food.
9. Honey, syrups, white & brown sugar: honey is a very long-term storage item.
10. Rice – Beans – Wheat (flour): Quick start, get 15 lb each.
11. Vegetable/olive oil: for cooking, without it food burns/must be boiled, have at least 2 quarts
12. Milk – Powdered and Condensed: Shake liquid every 3 to 4 months.
13. Canned goods: Fruits, veggies, soups, stews, meats (tuna-in oil, salmon, chicken, spam), etc.: While shopping, buy a couple extra cans every week in order to ‘double stock’ your cupboards.
14. Baking supplies: flour, yeast, salt, baking powder, baking soda: Have at least a double supply of the basics.
15. Pet food, bedding, waste disposal and vet supplies; Double supplies on canned, and long-term with the dry goods.
16. Garlic, spices (esp. cinnamon), Soy sauce, vinegar, bouillon/gravy/soup base.
17. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
18. Coffee, Tea
19. Aluminum foil (Reg. and Heavy Duty): Great cooking and barter item.
21. Wine/Liquors: For bribes, medicinal, etc. Tradable units should be in smaller volumes/trade
units, ie, 375 ml. or ½ pint.
22. Chewing gum/candies
23. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix, Jerky
24. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
25. Vitamins: Critical, due to potential of having canned food diets over an extended period.
26. Hand-Can openers and hand egg beaters, whisks: are life savers!
27. Garbage bags: Impossible to have too many.
28. Cook stoves: Propane, Coleman and Kerosene
29. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder: Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item.
30. Propane cylinders, Coleman fuel: Definite shortages will occur. Safe to store, with long-term shelf life.
31. Propane Heater(s), i.e., Mr. Heater: and all accessories that go with it: extra propane tanks,heads, hoses, etc.
32. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. : Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.
33. Grain Grinder: Non-electric
34. Cast iron cookware: Sturdy, efficient, adapt to camp fire use.
35. Matches, butane lighters: “Strike Anywhere” matches preferred, boxed, wooden matches will disappear first.
36. Charcoal and Lighter fluid: Will become scarce suddenly.
37. Gasoline containers (Type II, Metal)
38. Seasoned Firewood: About $250 per cord; wood takes 6 – 12 mos. to become dried, for home uses.
39. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps: First choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!
40. Coleman Fuel: URGENT $2.69-$3.99/gal. Impossible to stockpile too much.
41. Fishing accessories: line, hooks, bobbers, etc.
42. Lighting sources: For short-term and long-term: Flashlights, hurricane lamps, light sticks, etc. Have Mantles and common repair parts on hand.
43. Batteries: Rechargeable: if possible, try to have all devices work from one or two battery sizes, i.e., AA and/or AAA.
44. Solar panel, storage battery & inverter kit: to recharge your AA & AAA batteries; cell phone, iPod, lap top and other small electronics.
45. Paper plates/cups/utensils: Stock up, folks.
46. Bow saw, axe, hatchet and Wedges, honing oil: For preparing firewood.
47. Seasoned firewood, 1+ cord: (4 ft x 4 ft x 8 ft) Cut & split, takes 6-12 month to dry for use.
48. Coleman’s Pump Repair Kit: 1(800) 835-3278
49. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery-powered)
50. Fire extinguishers: In every room…In a social breakdown, services may not be available.
51. First aid kits: Topical skin treatments, anti acids, Tylenol, Vagicile, antibiotics, antiseptics, bandages and gauze, anti diahhreal, laxative, eye wash… Google “Patriot Nurse” and see her many YouTube videos.
52. N95 disposable face masks, ½ face respirator/full face respirator with N100 and All hazard filters, Tyvek suit, rubber gloves, Potassium iodide pills: For pandemic, radioactive dust, biological agents.
53. Coleman lantern, kerosene lamps, lantern hangers.
54. Guns, spare clips, ammunition, body armor, Pepper spray, knives, extendable steel baton, bats & slingshot.
55. Writing paper/pads/pencils/solar calculators. Journals, Diaries and Scrapbooks: To jot down ideas, feelings, experiences of the historic times!
56. Insulated ice chests: Good for keeping items from freezing in wintertime.
57. Candles: 9 hour lantern candles are available through Amazon and in Wal-Mart camping
58. Plastic containers: bathing (per person); communal: laundry, dish wash & rinse, misc.
59. Laundry detergent, liquid.
60. Garbage cans Plastic: Great for storage, water, transport – if you buy one with wheels.
61. Atomizers: For cooling/bathing.
62. Fishing supplies and tools.
63. Mosquito coils, repellent sprays, creams.
64. Duct tape: Several rolls.
65. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes: Tarps large enough to make a tent (12×16+) others for ground cloths, to catch rain water, other.
66. Backpacks, Duffle bags (BOB): If no BOB, then a back pack for each member of the family.
67. Scissors, fabrics and sewing supplies.
68. Clorox Household Bleach: Plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite. Water purification, sanitation.
69. Garden seeds (Non-hybrid): A must.
70. Garden tools and supplies.
71. Canning supplies: Jars/lids/wax.
72. Knives and Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel.
73. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc.
74. Sleeping bags and blankets, pillows & mats.
75. Cots and Inflatable Mattresses: For emergency ‘guests’.
76. Survival guide-book(s), Boy Scout Handbook.
77. Board games, cards, dice, books, crossword puzzles: To help pass the time. The greater the disaster, the more time you’ll have.
78. Baby Wipes, oils, waterless and Anti-bacterial soap: Saves a lot of water.
79. Feminine Hygiene, Hair care, Skin products: Tampons, shampoo, lip balm, moisturizing lotion, sun tan lotion.
80. Men’s Hygiene: Shaving supplies, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, mouthwash, floss, nail clippers.
81. Basin, washboard, mop bucket with wringer: for Laundry.
82. Clothespins, clothes line, hangers: A must. Have clothes pins in stock and eye bolts for line
installed ahead of time.
83. Adequate clothing: Work boots, belts, Levis denim trousers and durable shirts for cool weather.‘Tennis shoes’ and light twill, khaki pants and light-colored shirts for hot climates.
84. Spare glasses, reading glasses.
85. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
86. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc: Extras
87. Thermal underwear: Tops and bottoms.
88. Hats and cotton neckerchiefs. Polymer filled, ‘Cool wrap’ neck bandanas.
89. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens.
90. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
91. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit, clear and black plastic sheeting: Enough to cover all windows and entry doors.
92. Lumber: All types, a couple of sheets of plywood, some 2×4 and 2x2s.
93. Wagons and carts: For transport to and from open Flea markets.
94. “Survival-in-a-Can”/compact survival kit.
95. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws, nuts and bolts.
96. Paraffin wax
97. D-Con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer.
98. Mousetraps, Ant traps and cockroach magnets.
99. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
100. Small livestock: Goats, sheep, chickens
D. 72 Hour Emergency Kit
One storage category often discussed in prep circles is the 72-hour kit. The homemade kit comes in two basic structures, 1) A relatively light Bug Out Bag that you could carry, maybe one per person. The BOB (emergency evacuation kit) is used if you have to run out of the house with very little warning. 2) Shelter in Place. This kit structure presumes you’ll be staying in your house to weather the after effects of the disaster. The storage items can be bulk stored in large plastic boxes, plastic or metal trash cans or even cardboard boxes slid under the bed.
_1. The basic B.O.B. for natural disasters
The US Government’s Homeland Security website provides a list of in-home emergency kit items. The list focuses on the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and materials to maintain body warmth. The recommended basic emergency kit items include:
• Water, at least one gallon of water per person for each day for drinking & sanitation (should be rotated every 3 months)
• Food, non-perishable food for at least three days which is not required to be cooked or refrigerated
• Emergency Food Bars, preferably the products with 2,400 or 3,600 calories and contain no coconut or tropical oils to which many people may have an allergic reaction, in addition to non-perishable food which does not require cooking or refrigeration
• Battery- and/or hand-powered radio with the Weather band
• Flashlight (battery- or hand-powered)
• Extra batteries for anything needing them
• First aid kit
• Copies of any medical prescriptions
• Whistle to signal
• Dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
• Wrench or pliers to turn off water valves
• Can opener for canned food
• Local maps
• Spare Keys for Household & Motor Vehicle
• Sturdy, comfortable shoes & lightweight rain gear, hoods are recommended
• Contact & Meeting Place Information for your household
_2. Your ‘Shelter In Place’ household disaster kit should include:
Store at least one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking and two quarts for sanitation and food preparation. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more). Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using anything that may decompose or break. Water should be replaced every six months.
Store at least a 3-5 day coordinated as complete meals, supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that are compact and lightweight, require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of Sterno Canned Heat, but use outside and away from flammable objects, otherwise have a Coleman (or similar) propane or white gas camp stove.
• Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables.
• Emergency food bars
• Canned juices
• Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, etc.)
• Food/formula for infants
• Food for family members with special dietary requirements
• Comfort/stress foods to lift morale (chocolate)
• Remember to pack a non-electric can opener.
c) First Aid kit
• (20) adhesive bandages, various sizes
• 5″ x 9″ sterile dressing
• Conforming roller gauze bandage
• Triangular bandages
• 3 x 3 sterile gauze pads
• 4 x 4 sterile gauze pads
• Roll 3″ cohesive bandage
• Adhesive tape, 2″ width
• Anti-bacterial ointment
• Cold pack
• Germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Six (6) antiseptic wipes
• Pair large medical grade non-latex gloves
• Scissors (small, personal)
• CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield
d) Medications, medical supplies, and information
• Keep enough essential medications on hand for at least three days (preferably seven days).
• Keep a photocopy of your medical insurance cards or Medicare cards.
• Keep a list of prescription medicines including dosage, and any allergies.
• Aspirin, antacids, anti-diarrhea, etc.
• Extra eyeglasses, hearing-aid batteries, wheelchair batteries, oxygen tank.
• List of the style and serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers.
• Label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes or walkers that you would need.
• Instructions on personal assistance needs and how best to provide them.
• Individuals with special needs or disabilities should plan to have enough supplies to last for up to two weeks (medication syringes, colostomy supplies, respiratory aids, catheters, padding, distilled water, etc.).
e) Tools and supplies
Keep some of these basic tools:
• Battery operated radio and extra batteries
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Cash or travelers checks
• A copy of your disaster plan and emergency contact numbers.
• Map of your city and state (to evacuate the area and/or to find shelters)
• Utility knife
• Non-electric can opener
• Fire extinguisher: several ABC type
• Pliers and wrench
• Waterproof matches
• Paper, pens and pencils
• Needles, thread
• Plastic sheeting
• Aluminum foil
f) Sanitation supplies
• Toilet paper (enough for a month anyway), towelettes
• Soap, liquid detergent
• Feminine supplies
• Personal hygiene items
• Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
• Plastic bucket with tight lid
• Household chlorine bleach (gallon)
• Hand sanitizer
g) Clothing and bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and a pair of sturdy shoes per person. You also want to consider packing blankets or sleeping bags, rain gear, hats and gloves, thermal underwear and sunglasses.
If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:
• Jacket or coat.
• Long pants.
• Long sleeve shirt.
• Sturdy shoes.
• Hat, mittens, and scarf.
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person).
If you live in a hot, desert climate, dress to reflect the sunlight and keep cool.
• Light colored, loose-fitting clothes
• Several layers of clothing for the cooler night weather.
• Wide brim light-colored hat.
• Bandana or cool tie neck-band with water absorbing polymer beads
• Thin leather gloves.
• Desert shoes or boots with canvas tops and durable, heat-resistant soles.
• Sunglasses rated to reduce UV as well as overall glare.
h) Important family documents
• Keep copies of important family documents in a waterproof container.
• Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
• Social security cards, passports, immigration papers, immunization records
• Bank account numbers
• Credit card account numbers and companies
• Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
• Medical insurance and Medicare cards
• Deck of cards
• Books, eBook readers
• Small personal electronic device with music
• For children, include a small toy, stuffed animal or coloring book and crayon
• If you have a small solar charger you’ll be able to continue using your small personal electronics for music, prerecorded podcasts, reading eBooks and games.
In addition to your 72 hour kit, whether it’s a BOB or ‘Shelter In Place’ type, keep a written list of information including family and important contacts, emergency bug-out-plan, and encrypted information of your insurance and financial accounts. Record this information in a small spiral notepad that you can keep dry in a zip lock bag.
If you’re interested in more information on the lists above read the 4dtraveler posts listed below (all found in the category shown):
(Survival Manual/2. Social issues/Checklists and things that disappear first)
(Survival Manual/2. Social issues/Your 72+hour emergency kit)
(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Bug Out Bag, generic)
(Survival manual/4. Shelter issues/Tarp and tent)
(Survival manual/3. Food & Water/Water)
There are general categories of disaster scenarios, some require practically no back up, other my find you in a few day to several week situation, and some could become horrific very gradually (major volcanic eruption) or quickly (EMP).