Anyone who starts prepping pretty much starts out the same way, stockpiling food and water. That’s actually a very good starting point, but it doesn’t take long for anyone to realize that when things go bad, they are going to need a whole lot more than just food and water to stay alive.
If you think about it for just a moment, you realize that there’s a huge amount of products that we use on a daily basis. While some of those aren’t necessary, many are to some extent. If any crisis situation comes along which disrupts the supply lines, we won’t have those items available to us. In that case, we’ll either need to have them on hand or come up with some sort of substitute for them.
In most cases, it’s easier to have them on hand; or at least have enough of them on hand to keep us going for a while. After that, we’ll have to come up with some alternative way of functioning without those items.
So, what sorts of items should we be stockpiling, besides food and water?
- Fuel – Any kind of fuel you can think of. If you’ve got a gas barbecue grille, then you should have extra fuel for it. Try and keep some extra gasoline on hand, even though it doesn’t keep well for long periods of time. Make a pile of firewood in your backyard for heating your home. You need to have fuel for anything that you own which needs fuel. There’s no telling how long available fuel sources will last.
- Batteries – This kind of goes along with the fuel. The two most common sizes are AA and AAA. But if you’ve got a red dot sight on your gun, it probably uses some sort of lithium battery. Make a list of all the different battery sizes you need and stock up on them. Fortunately, Alkaline batteries are now rated at a ten year shelf life, so they’ll last you longer.
- Cleaning supplies – It’s going to me harder to keep your home clean, because you’ll be doing more manual labor. You’ll also have the doors and windows open more, allowing more dust to blow in.
- Personal hygiene supplies – Cleanliness is an important part of maintaining your health. Stock up on soap, shampoo and toothpaste, as well as some extra tooth brushes. If you’re planning on shaving, you’d better have a goodly supply of razor blades on hand. Stockpile deodorant as well, or just buy one of the deodorant stones so that you don’t have to worry about it.
- Feminine hygiene supplies – While it is technically possible for women to live without these, using rags instead, they’ll be much more comfortable and much happier if they have the right stuff to take care of them that time of month.
- Toilet paper – Another important item to keep the women happy. Toilet paper will be like gold in a crash where the supply lines are cut.
- Matches – You can’t have too many matches, especially the strike anywhere kind. Those are getting harder to find and more expensive, but in a survival situation, they’re worth having.
- Plastic bags – You’re going to generate trash and need something to put it in. Make sure you have a good supply of bags, in all sizes, for everything from dealing with human waste to putting away some important papers in a waterproof covering. For trash and human waste, you’re better off with the heavy-duty kind.
- Heirloom seeds – No matter how much you stockpile, there’s always the possibility that the disaster will outlast your stockpile. Heirloom seeds will allow you to keep a good vegetable garden going, providing food for your family. Don’t buy hybrids as you won’t get seeds from them that you can use the next year; buy only heirloom. That way, you can harvest seeds from your crops and keep on planting.
- Basic building materials – If your home becomes damaged, you’ll need a way to fix it, even if it isn’t fixed correctly. A few basic things will make it possible for you to cover a broken window or fill in a hole in the roof.
- Duct tape – Great for 1,000 uses or more
- Candles & oil lamps – You’ll need some sort of lighting after the sun goes down and flashlights go through batteries quickly. Get a bunch of candles so that you can see to read or work at night. Oil burning lamps are great as well, and most will burn just about any type of oil you can find.
- Ammunition – You’ll want enough for hunting and for protecting your family.
- Water purification filters – If your water purifier uses filters, you’ll need a goodly stock of them on hand. You can make those filters last longer by only using them to filter water you are drinking. Water for washing doesn’t have to be filtered.
- Recipes – You’re going to be eating a different sort of diet and cooking in a different sort of way. Make sure you have recipes that you can use for the cooking methods you’re going to have available and using the types of food you’ll have available.
- First aid supplies – Medical services will be overwhelmed, so you want to make sure you have supplies to take care of yourself if anyone in the family gets sick or injured.
- Vitamins – Vitamins will go a long way towards making up for a poor diet. Make sure that you have good ones, as some of the lower cost ones don’t even dissolve in your system.
- Medicines – Everyone needs a good stock of over the counter medicines. If anyone in your family has special medical needs, make sure you have those medicines on hand as well.
- Clothing – Your kids are going to be growing, even though there’s a crisis going on. Shift your buying patterns so that you are buying clothing a couple of sizes larger than what they need right now. That way, you’ll always have a couple of years worth of clothing for them to wear.
As you can see, there are a lot of items on this list, and I won’t even claim that it’s complete. The thing is that we need much more than just food and water to survive. Start looking at what you use on a daily or weekly basis and think about what you would do if you couldn’t get it. If you have another alternative, that’s great; but if you really need it, you’d better start stockpiling it.