Great article! I’ll be trying out several of these soon, since my family is in a tight spot financially and I’ve made the decision to stop buying dry goods or canned foods for the next several months in order to reduce spending. So we’re eating from long term food storage whenever I can incorporate ingredients into meals — one of our family favorites is canned meat fried up with rehydrated potato shreds & eggs & cheese to make sort of a corned beef or Spam hash! And we’ve already had good experiences with using cheese powder & dehydrated potato slices from the grocery’s “bulk food” section (very similar to the same items in our long term food storage) to make au gratin potatoes.

Documents and IDs– Create copies of all important documents, things like deeds, titles, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, diplomas, degrees, and such to keep either in a sealed, weather protected case or on an encrypted flash drive. Keep it secret and safe! That would be a major blow to your personal security if compromised.
I prep on two levels: first, for events that might cause a bit of social unrest and all of the food in my local supermarket to quickly disappear – a financial collapse, say – and, second, for something bigger: a national pandemic, a major environmental catastrophe. For the first scenario I’ve organised a reliable supply of clean water and a store of long-shelf-life food, and then some practical stuff: stitches for wounds, analgesics, antibiotics, a whole range of meds you wouldn’t normally have, various kinds of equipment needed to start a fire. I have go-bags at home and in my car, because you never know where you’ll be when something happens, and I’m part of a prepping community that has an equipment cache stored in a secluded spot near to my house. If there’s some kind of cataclysm? I’ve organised escape routes, away from the general population. You’ll find me above 900ft – or out of the country.
Documents and IDs– Create copies of all important documents, things like deeds, titles, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, diplomas, degrees, and such to keep either in a sealed, weather protected case or on an encrypted flash drive. Keep it secret and safe! That would be a major blow to your personal security if compromised.
Trauma Kit- Items to treat serious trauma and injuries. Nasal airways, occlusive dressings, decompression needles, IV lines and solution, splints, suture kit etc. You must have appropriate skills to utilize these items without causing more harm. If you lack those skills, there is a chance that someone in your group or a good Samaritan might, and having these things on hand may make the difference between life and death.
outisde of the local systems, all newer cell phones in the US should be Wireless Emergency Alerts capable (WEA). Check with your carrier to make sure that your phone is capable (there is some variance by carrier on some phone models.) Then make sure that the service is turned on in your phone settings. These alerts are sent by authorized agencies through a dedicated infrastructure, and there is no need to sign up. If you are in a Tsunami affected alert area, you will get the alert, and the phone does not stop the alert until you acknowledge it. It is important to keep your phone on and charged 24/7. If in the US, Warnings will also be broadcast by NOAA weather radio.
One can infer from commentary in newspapers and writings of folks commenting on the current scene that weather was bad. I can remember folks still talking about the winter of ’88 when I was a kid. I do believe as a personal belief that war creates world wide different weather patterns. I believe it is due to the smoke and dust thrown into the air by shelling, now also bombing, and fires that create some temporary misalignment in world weather patterns. I know from personal observation in the desert that contrails can affect the temperature on the ground locally.
That spirit of self-sufficiency runs through the history of American food culture. Lydia Maria Child’s 1829 manual The Frugal Housewife, one of the first American cookbooks ever published, instructed women to contribute to their family’s finances by making sure no scrap of food was wasted: “Nothing should be thrown away so long as it is possible to make any use of it, however trifling that use may be.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints* encourages members to keep a three-month food supply on hand at all times, and even sells dehydrated food products on its official website. This Mormon connection may be why Utah is such a freeze-dried food hub: Of 21 freeze-dried food companies I counted online, 16 were from the state, and Bedford told me she first learned about long-term food storage by reading blogs by Mormon women.
In the next decade Howard Ruff warned about socio-economic collapse in his 1974 book Famine and Survival in America. Ruff's book was published during a period of rampant inflation in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. Most of the elements of survivalism can be found there, including advice on food storage. The book championed the claim that precious metals, such as gold and silver, have an intrinsic worth that makes them more usable in the event of a socioeconomic collapse than fiat currency. Ruff later published milder variations of the same themes, such as How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years, a best-seller in 1979.
My OCD side has often obsessed over the years about my prepping to the point of actually hurting my progress. See items #12, #13, and #14. Yes, you CAN procrastinate in an OCD manner! As you brought up, you can study study study to the point where nothing actually gets done. A favorite saying of mine is that “I hate do-overs”. I’d rather thoroughly examine a situation and do it right the first time instead of taking four tries to get it right. But that often accomplishes exactly what I’ve suggested…nothing.
Also, what about a bike – perhaps with a electric generator that can couple to it, with a nice rack on the front or back to carry things in it? I really appreciate preparing and actually stepping into a lifestyle more reliant on my own skills and power, rather then something like a diesel generator that would be useless in the event of total system failure.
Resources abound.  With a modest amount of computer knowledge, you can Google around the internet to find all sorts of emergency food and food storage advice.  Be an informed consumer.  Learn about the foods that store well and also about pre-packaged meals that only require a bit of hot water to create a good-tasting and satisfying food experience.
I would add just a few things though, if you use creamer in your coffee add a few bottles of the powdered version, some dried fruits or a couple large bags of trail mix, pie fillings in a few fruit varieties (awesome in oats!), crackers are great for kids who won’t eat a tuna, spam or other canned meat sandwich but they may be willing to eat “lunchables” DIY of course!, and other all in one items like spaghetti O’s, canned stew, canned ravioli, and ramen. It may not be the healthiest solutions but if you need these items you will be exceptionally grateful you have them!
Just because we are all gonna die does not mean we need to eat junk …. ditch that high carb and super processed junk food. There are many choices of decent food out there … particularly the foods packed by Mormon canneries. Do a google search for where to find the best deals. Really, get rid of the raman noodles, progresso soups, spagetti-o and other junk … you’ll have enough problems living through SHTF without killing you gut microbio ….
I have been prepping and studying almost daily, prepping topics for three years and find this article to be the most comprehensive, reasonable and thorough list with detailed explanations I’ve ever found. My personal prepping checklist and bug out bag inventory stocks are typed up with quantities of each items and expiration dates of all medications and food supplies. The lists are specific to each bug out bag or duffel bag locations for easy of finding, when I need them quickly. Having spent thousands of dollars in my bug out bags and packs! I appreciate your effort and thought in designing this very creative list for prepper’s needing guidance. Remember folks … It’s always up to you!!! Don’t be standing there with a dumb look on your face when your family and friend look to you for help.
Lastly, this list is primarily for Sheltering in Place and the requirements/resources the average person would be able to lay their hands on. This doesn’t take more extreme climates into consideration but should still provide a base regardless of where you live. For other lists you can check out our Resources page. For something more specific to the Bug Out Bag checklist, click here. Also this list is going to be missing the specifics of the amounts because each family or individual is different. So without further ado, here we go.

4. Weather Radios ($35 – $80, alerts are free) or Weather Warning Apps (free) – Weather radios have channels to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA provide coverage to government-designated weather channels 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Weather radios can be programmed to beep loudly when extreme weather is expected. They can report on multiple counties or just one county. There are also multiple options for the sound alert. Internet and cell service might be interrupted during extreme weather so a battery operated weather radio is a great option.  Click here to learn more about how to get weather warnings from a radio.
MRE stands for Meals Ready to Eat and they are essentially military food. This is the type of food soldiers are provided with when they aren’t near a facility or camp that has a mess hall. MREs come in cases of 12 and each waterproof foil bag contains one three-course meal. When you get MREs, you can choose from so many options that the variety is pretty decent. There are even vegetarian meals available. Brands of MREs include:
Honey is one food that never spoils! Although the look of your product will change somewhat over time, it will never actually spoil. It will begin to look yellow and cloudy instead of golden and clear and will get thicker and grainy over time, eventually looking white and hard. But, it is still good. In this form, the honey may have started the process of crystallizing.
The main home is a modest 1,860-square-foot brick structure, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. But the property, roughly a two-hour drive southwest of St. Louis, consists of a whopping 160 secluded woodsy acres full of wild turkeys, deer, foxes, and squirrels, plus two ponds and multiple storage sheds. Most intriguing of all is the 30-by-60-foot underground concrete bunker, which is reinforced with metal I-beams and comes equipped with electricity, water, and two airshafts. It’s described by the realtor as “practically impossible to find.”
Precious Metals – Investigate this for yourself, but I find the arguments and historical track records against fiat currency and the current rumblings of Government wanting to take care of your investments for you very compelling. Gold is easier to transport with the high cost to weight, but you might have problems cashing a gold coin for a tank of gas. Silver is where I have chosen to invest in precious metals.
I watched a man get promoted to black belt in my grandson’s dojo. He was pitiful. My son and I both agreed thet we hoped he never stood up when someone said, “Shut up.” because he was going to get seriously hurt. It was a mercy promotion done to keep him coming back. He had been going for two years but he still had so many bad faults that he should have still had his beginner’s white belt.
Atlas Survival Shelters has hundreds of dealers worldwide and every one of them is factory-trained and certified to install our shelters. We do not know where our shelters are installed, therefore your privacy is guaranteed. WARNING: Be careful of any company who claims to install all their shelters, this means they know where your shelter is located, including their employees.
I don’t get paranoid about what I put back but if God gives me more than I want, and I can’t give it away, I do what I can to save it. I figure there is a reason for it. I know what hunger is and it’s not pretty. I’ve learned to forage and raise most of what we need. When the time comes, we’ll be ok and being elders, we might not be able to have access to things when it all falls apart. No one can prepare for every scenio, just prepare for what you can and pray you’ll never need it.
It helps. I’ve never had to panic-buy when snow’s been threatened and everybody else has raced to the supermarket. And I could cut back on the food shop when my husband was temporarily asked to work three days a week instead of five, reducing his pay. Perhaps it’s hereditary. My parents have a year’s worth of food in their store cupboard, including 50kg of wheat, which they can soak to make a vegetarian supplement or grind to make flour. My eldest daughter keeps a 72-hour bag in her car.

There are a wide range of these available. This is essentially the MRE category. I like the first strike Meals, these are a full day of rations in a single package, the non essentials have been stripped away and they are a pretty compact package for the content. There are a lot of options available, however, so you can pick what works for you. I don’t recommend MREs as a staple of your food storage program. Shelf life is marginal and fluctuates with temperature, they are bulky on a per calorie basis, and they are cost prohibitive. However, they are very convenient and have a place as a supplemental portion of your food storage program.
The 3 most important immediate needs are water availability, water purity and food to feed the family. I am starting a business to be an authorized dealer for items that meet these needs – as a way to help out friends, neighbors who have not started preparing for immediate needs if the power goes off for more than a week. Hand pump on the well head, Water purifiers and a home freeze dryer which will pay for itself in a year or 2 based on the prices of freeze died foods. I really, really want to freeze dry my own highly nutritious food without preservatives instead of buying commercial freeze dried foods.
Regarding the general category of water purification, you have essentially combined reverse osmosis with UV disinfection PLUS the necessity for solar and/or gas generated power. Take away the essential electrical power and you still have to boil your water. If you do the math, you could invest up to $2500 for your version of water purification. That’s a “big ticket” indeed. Once again, there are abundant information sources that provide instruction for long term water purification that cost far less.
Of course you'll also need light when the power's out. Martin recommends keeping a stock of cheap candles on hand so you don't burn through your pricier good-smelling candles. More practical, though, are LED flashlights (be sure you have extra batteries and know where they are) and another product called a Mule Light. Like a hybrid of a glow stick and flashlight, he explained, “it's designed to save on battery power.” Why not have them all? Martin suggests having two to four sources of light.
Mountain House, Wise Food, My Patriot Supply, and Ready Store need to get better in this regard. In some cases, we had to call a company and dig deeper than reasonable in order to find out calorie content — or we had to look at individual nutritional labels to reverse engineer the math. In other cases they called something a “1-month bucket” but that was based on silly calorie numbers.
Coffee and Tea. I am a dedicated coffee drinker and hate the thought of a coffeeless existence! One pound vacuum sealed bricks are the most convenient way to store coffee, they stack well or can be kept in plastic totes efficiently. Tea is another good source of caffeine, and I love a cold glass of iced tea on a hot day. Remember that in a true crisis, you may have to maintain 24 hour watch, and caffeine is a big help in this.
Pat I felt the same way you did about becoming a prepper. One day something inside of me said ok look, it’s time to start making a list and to get going on this endeavor. I started with the basics. I have been prepping for about a year + and have collected quite a lot of supplies. I educated myself in ways to store food. I am a You Tube watching fool, always looking at videos on how to do this or that. I’d like to know how to meet others who are prepping as well. I don’t really know… Read more »
I would agree that the moral ground of choosing to not have a firearm is great for some people. I have a family and am prepared for our needs with supplies and learned skills and would not expect to need assistance of others. I am currently working on extra supplies that I might be able to distribute to others in need. I like to help others and do not see the world as an evil place. Unfortunately with a catastrophic event law enforcement is often not available. History and current events in less “civilized” areas has proven that without law then anarchy and predatory animals are often unleashed. I feel that it is my moral obligation to protect my family. If I took the stance that I would go firearm free for moral reasons then I don’t think that I could live with myself if I was powerless to stop thugs from overpowering me then stealing our hard earned supplies necessary for our survival and then brutalizing my wife and young daughter when I might have been able to stop it with force. If accepting the risk of being less able to protect your family is acceptable to you and your family for moral reasons then god bless you and I support your decision. Could I live with the “stain” on my soul for protecting my family from predatory animals using force? Yup. How many “stains” could I tolerate….depends on how many predators and how many bullets I have. I do not live in fear and do not think that my commitment to my family protection as a husband and father makes me psychotic, paranoid, pathetic, a coward or a sociopath and feel slighted at the suggestion otherwise in your post. I would say that each of us must make the moral decision themselves about use of firearms for protection. I don’t judge others decisions and wouldn’t expect others to judge mine. I think I am a realist. A protective firearm can be like a fire extinguisher- you don’t have one because you want to use it or expect a problem but stuff happens.
Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, ignited an uproar when he was granted citizenship after spending just 12 days in the country, prompting allegations that New Zealand’s passport was for sale. Thiel, 50, owns a $13.8 million home on 477 acres (193 hectares) in the lakeside town of Wanaka, with views of snow-capped mountains, and purchased another property in Queenstown, outfitted with a safe room.
2. Supplies for sanity: Just because the SHTF doesn’t mean we need to depend on the bare essentials and feed our family beans and rice every day. When the SHTF we are going to be stressed enough as it is so having some supplies like coffee and sweets will help take the edge off, at least until you become more accustomed to the new lifestyle that was forced upon you.
Water ionizers are appliances attached to kitchen faucets. These appliances produce ionized water by treating regular tap water with minerals and electric current. Ionized water is alkaline or low pH water which consists of a large amount of electrically charged hydroxyl ions. What is alkaline water? Alkaline is highly effective in maintaining body pH level. […]

#10 Wow, who to trust and how to meet those “truth worthy” people?? This one hit home. Due to various experiences with people from ever walk of life and every religious persuasion I’ve become a very distrusting person. So to even consider trusting someone, these days, I don’t know with the lives and safety of my family would be nothing short of a MAJOR miracle. Anyone else like me?? How do you over come that natural mistrust??
So, here is my list of indispensable foods to store in quantity for hard times. I have tried to take into account caloric as well as nutritional content, ease of storage, shelf life, and the intangible of enjoyable to eat. Let’s face it, it doesn’t have to taste good to keep you alive, but it does to keep you happy! Never underestimate the power of a good tasty meal to make things seem better, and never underestimate the power of a positive outlook to help survive in hard conditions!
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