“Be Prepared” Isn’t Just for Scouting

We’ve been told (and told again) that hoarding is a bad thing. But there’s nothing wrong with being prepared, right? Stocking sturdy supplies is something we should make a habit, not just for pandemics, but for any type of crisis. 

If it helps, just think about how incapacitated we feel when the power goes out for a few hours. We already know it’s wise to have plenty of cleaning supplies and paper products, but following, courtesy of a mix of almanacs and prepper handbooks, are a few others to consider purchasing—in times of plenty—to have on hand. 

  • Disposable Butane Lighters – Fire is not one of the top three survival needs, but it is useful for all three. It’s much easier to start one with a disposable lighter than any other way.
  • Firewood – Heating and cooking are a necessity, so remember, it takes four to six cords of firewood to heat a home through the winter.
  • Salt – Salt is nature’s #1 food preservative. Ironically, it can be extremely hard to come by in nature. 
  • Canning Jar Lids – Canning jars can be used over and over; but the lids (seals) are not considered reusable. 
  • Batteries – Ok, batteries aren’t really a survival necessity, but they go in many things we use every day. Stocking AA and AAA will make life easier.
  • Personal Hygiene Supplies – Don’t forget things like soap, toothpaste, and shampoo. Cleanliness is important to combat disease, and maintain personal dignity.
  • Plastic Bags – Something we can’t substitute. In a crisis, they are good for transport, food and water storage, removing refuse, and keeping things dry. 
  • Work Gloves – Cheap ones are not worth the effort, and you can’t make them yourself. 
  • Over the Counter Medicines – Self-diagnosis and treatment is not ideal; but sometimes it’s all we have. Having a good assortment of over-the-counter medicines will make it possible to treat at least the symptoms of common ailments.
  • First-aid Supplies – Any place hit by a disaster is ripe for risk. People find themselves doing things far outside the norm, many of which can lead to serious injuries. Be prepared for more than scraped knees.
  • Hand Tools – Many people don’t have hand tools anymore. Do you have a crosscut saw? How about a hand-crank drill? You’re may need them, if you can’t plug in.
  • Rope – Always useful. Paracord is excellent.
  • Sewing Supplies – There probably won’t be any shortage of clothing, but there will be of sewing supplies. You’re going to want to fix your good stuff.
  • Vitamins – Our diets probably won’t be well-balanced in a crisis. Best to find a way to get those micronutrients that nutritionists tell us we need. 
  • Bullion (soup stock) – Anything can be turned into a soup or a casserole if you have soup stock. Generally, beef and chicken flavors are enough, as they go with everything else.
  • Flashlights – No such thing as enough flashlights. They don’t last forever and you really can’t fix them.
  • Oil-burning Lamps – A good oil-burning lamp will work with just about any flammable liquid to provide you with light. The best is oil, of any sort; but if you have something else, it will work, but test carefully first. 
  • Insect Repellant – There are more of them in the world than there are of us. 
  • Charcoal or Propane – Whatever fuel your grill runs on, be sure to have plenty on hand.
  • Cast-iron Pots – Okay, this is more like ‘gear’. But if you’re going to cook on a grill, it would be a good idea to have some on hand. Grills are rough on Teflon.
  • Chlorine Bleach – Bleach is not just good for cleaning, it’s the easiest means of purifying water. Just add 8 drops (1/4 tsp) of standard (non-scented, non-color safe) bleach to a gallon of water, stir it and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. That will kill all the microscopic pathogens, making it safe to drink; boiling alone will not remove all chemicals.