An urban prepper and rural wannabe, Karen has been working as a freelance writer for a decade and prepping for about half that time. She has gathered a wealth of knowledge on preparing for SHTF, but there is always more to learn and she has a passion for gathering and sharing that knowledge with other like-minded folk. Karen lives in London, Canada with her two children and plethora of cats. In her spare time she is writing the next great apocalyptic novel of our time, full of government conspiracy and betrayal at every level.
Young’s observations rang true: Though the Wise Company meals would keep me alive in the event of an emergency, they were simply a lot more carbheavy, with a lot less animal protein and a lot fewer vegetables, than what I eat on a typical day (many of the Wise meals I bought substituted small globules of vegetable protein for actual meat). For the next two days, I supplemented my diet with freeze-dried vegetables, fruit, and yogurt I’d bought from another company, called Thrive Life, and felt the low-bloodsugar sensation dissipate. (Wise Company also sells individual ingredients, in addition to full meals, but I thought I’d diversify my sources.)
The primary purchasers of the product are water treatment plants. Pool owners are just discovering it, but most aren’t seeing the advantage of having a non-degrading bleach supply. Once they start figuring out the savings from buying calcium hypochloride, and the retail price comes closer to the cost of pool chlorine, calcium hypochloride will become a hot seller.
We have several of the shelves from Costco/ Sam’s Club. They are great! Put the thin bar across the front of your shelves, not the back. We have some shelves from Thrive Life that rotate the food for you too. Love those! Bought on Black Friday sales. In the end, do what works for you and you budget and space. Ours has changed many times over the years.
Maps- Local and regional level road atlases and topographic maps. If you need to move or travel for any reason, things may not be as clear as they once were, or you might necessarily be forced to move across unfamiliar terrain or roadways. Even if you are a long-time local, don’t trust to memory, no matter how intricate. Paper remembers, the mind may forget.
Communication: Our preferred portable radio is the BeoFeng BF-F8HP 8-watt two-way radio. You don’t need a Ham license to listen to local emergency services and broadcast when SHTF — see our beginners guide to amateur radio. We like this signal mirror instead of the cheap acrylic ones that scratch and fade quickly. Also, try these tiny whistles and signal flare kit.
I haven't used them yet since they are in my apocalypse bag (which more people should have and less people should make fun of because I mean seriously in what way is it dumb to be prepared, even if it becomes a hobby...an expensive hobby...a hobby that caused my wife and children to leave me because I woke them up constantly at 5:13am with homemade alarms to run threat drills in case bandits with grenades came or whatever) but yeah anyway I'm gonna be really glad they are there even if it's just for piece of mind!
“Title-1 schools are on the free-breakfast and free-lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I’m not talking about a glass of milk and a roll. But a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make the Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. (Our tax dollars at work!)

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.
When purchasing preps, some people choose to buy a few items at a time, often due to budgeting issues. However, some people can afford to buy everything at the same time. Whichever way you choose to do it, there are items you should focus on as your top priority. From our experience the following list includes the top purchases that anyone should make when they first start prepping.
This group consists of people who live in tornado, hurricane, flood, wildfire, earthquake or heavy snowfall-prone areas and want to be prepared for possible emergencies.[34] They invest in material for fortifying structures and tools for rebuilding and constructing temporary shelters. While assuming the long-term continuity of society, some may have invested in a custom-built shelter, food, water, medicine, and enough supplies to get by until contact with the rest of the world resumes following a natural emergency.[31]
I made the mistake of trying to wake people up to my concept of what the country was coming to. My view of shtf and how i thought it was going to happen. I also told people about my prepping and how i believed it would help. Now i’m pretty sure if anything did occur i would have a few or more uninvited guests. The one guy literally said “Im coming to your house if shit goes down” No the hell you aren’t. I tell people these things so they will prepare themselves. Or help them awaken to the things… Read more »
I’m cutting trees around 18″ plus at the base. 32 growth rings. I helped ‘re purpose an old house that was in the woods. One of the original settler log homes. Land was deeded by Andrew Jackson, south Arkansas. I have a log sill that is 9″ in diameter, 89 growth rings, maybe more. Both trees here are pine, 1/4 mile apart. Something must have been different back then.
First, bring needed items into the main building and prepare to shelter in place. After going through Prepper University, we have window kits in each room to seal windows and doors. Get out radiation detectors and radios. Test radios with neighbors. take a shower and wash clothes, then start filling tubs with water and prepare to shut off water to the house to prevent contamination. Might be the last shower for a while. Pray. Those are the only things left, given time.

Sigh, yet another ‘prepper’ website with zero to little factual or useful information. I’m convinced none of you fools have a clue. You have no practical experience, no thoughtful knowledge, no real advice. You don’t even know what the MRE consists of or what the heater chemicals were (and it matters, as there is a ton of useful applications here). And your website royally sucks. Girls in bikinis? End of the World advertisements? Celebrity pictures? You’re just like every other reseller out there trying to promote the fear card. No thanks. I’ll shop elsewhere where the propaganda isn’t so incessant… Read more »


We get tired of eating the same foods over and over and many times prefer not to eat than to sample that particular food again. This is called appetite fatigue. Young children and older people are particularly susceptible to it. Store less wheat than is generally suggested and put the difference into a variety of other grains, particularly ones your family likes to eat. Also store a variety of beans. This will add variety of color, texture and flavor. Variety is the key to a successful storage program. It is essential that you store flavorings such as tomato, bouillon, cheese, and onion.

We have our wheat, rice, oatmeal, sugar, beans, etc. in 5 gallon FOOD GRADE buckets. Make sure they are food grade. Our local Winco grocery store sells them. We make sure at least one bucket of each thing has a gamma seal lid on it. If you take the regular lids off and on and off and on they will eventually break then you have a bucket. The gamma seal lids have a screw on/off lid. Never stack buckets with gamma seal lids more than two high. Regular lids can be stacked three high. I know people who stored wheat in 55 gallon drums then found out they had to move. HUGE MISTAKE. We disinfect the buckets with apple cider vinegar then let them air dry before putting food in. We’ve been doing this for 40 years.
The one thing which hits home to me is a reminder to keep following what Frank Herbert wrote in his Dune series. “Fear is a mind killer.” A little fear helps motivate but we, humans, seem to overdo even or especially in our emotions. Whether it’s the ‘net’ or the news, it seems people want to push that fear button to motivate others. So now when it happens, I teach people to take 3 deep breaths in and out s l o w l y. This allows the dino rational self to catch up with the emotional lizard. Having experienced a few ‘events’ in life. This had helped me through. Thanks for the list. Am going through these as an evaluation 😉 and reminder.
Land Navigation and Escape Routes- Learn how to navigate and orient yourself using just a map and compass, either over road or raw land. GPS is a great tool, and should not be ignored, but you should not bet the farm on it. Before you do anything, though, you should take the time to establish at least two secondary shelters or fallback points (bug-out locations) and pre-drive or hike a few different approaches to them.
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.
The primary purchasers of the product are water treatment plants. Pool owners are just discovering it, but most aren’t seeing the advantage of having a non-degrading bleach supply. Once they start figuring out the savings from buying calcium hypochloride, and the retail price comes closer to the cost of pool chlorine, calcium hypochloride will become a hot seller.

I am a fan of the dollar store. Having been hit by a car while walking across a street by a nut on a cell phone. I have continuous pain in my back and gets worse on wet days. Enough of my aches. I use the stick on pain patch that works and gives relief. It is the container however that I want to talk about. it is made of aluminized mylar and cutting off the top it has a resealing edge. I have tried the seal with a cracker under water for a week and it kept it dry as a bone. It is also light tight and recovered film my camera ate and put it inside to have a man with darkroom develop them. the package has a smell of menthol but if left open dissipates in a few days. This package can provide waterproof flat storage for anything so I thought all might like to try it. The patches are also good for sprain’s as well. If you don’t think it isn’t worth it you are out a dollar. go to dollar tree where all is a dollar. No advertisment intended.
A long-range nuclear missile is incredibly sophisticated. It needs to be; it has to deliver a warhead – possibly up to a dozen warheads for a MIRV’d missile – to a precise location. A Trident II submarine-launched missile can drop half its warheads within 65 feet of the target, letting it destroy even hardened bunkers with a relatively small weapon. An EMP attack doesn’t need anything like that precision. As long as the rocket can get the weapon to a high enough altitude, it can detonate anywhere in a circle hundreds of miles wide and still blanket a huge area with its pulse. Every country that currently has nuclear weapons and several that could be very close to building them has the ability to attack with high-altitude EMP – and that includes rogue or unstable states like North Korea and Pakistan. An EMP might not be the worst thing that could happen, but it’s a real risk.
A thought on food. We are moving to our long term chunk of land soon. Bunker or similar is long term plan down the road. Meantime as part of us being more self sufficient we have been exploring and getting into Aquaponics. This would require electricity and the right lighting for interior food growth. it would also be something you would want setup before hand. That said, this is a great way to produce long term self sustaining food sources. i would certainly still include the norms for support and back up food. My initial thought process is hiding my entrance within a small aquaponics greenhouse. This allows me to do it within my bunker without suspicion from daily entry. There are also a number of new technological ways to automate and monitor you systems remotely.

But this is a situation where we can achieve a lot through a simple ranking system. If we prepare for the far most likely disaster to strike us (for me it’s a tornado or extended power outage during winter time since I live in Alabama in the infamous “Dixie Alley”), we will find a pleasing truth…we will generally be prepared for many of the other types of disasters on our list by default, already.

When the storm of the century is heading your way, know that it is time to evacuate.  Load up your vehicle and go.  As much as you feel that you are better off in your own home, if the authorities tell you to leave – and even if they do not – get out of harm’s way as a precautionary measure.  Do so while you still have the ability to load up your vehicle with supplies and fill the tank with gas.
On a humid day in early August, I traveled to Wild Abundance, a homesteading and primitive-skills school in the rolling green hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Founded by Natalie Bogwalker in 2012, the facility in Weaverville, North Carolina, offers courses in gardening, foraging, herbalism, tiny house construction, hide tanning, and any number of practices that might come in handy when living alone in the wilderness. It’s also a functional homestead with a sprawling vegetable garden and a series of charming hobbit-like outbuildings fanned out across a wooded hillside.

This group focuses on surviving brief encounters of violent activity, including personal protection and its legal ramifications, danger awareness, John Boyd's cycle (also known as the OODA loop—observe, orient, decide and act), martial arts, self-defense tactics and tools (both lethal and non-lethal). These survivalist tactics are often firearm-oriented, in order to ensure a method of defense against attackers or home invasion.
Over the years we have had a number of weevil infestations in our pantry. I finally had the county entomologist share with me that they tend to be in most commercially packed grains and that all you can do is to go through what you buy fast enough to keep from having a full weevil life cycle get out and into your pantry. I have heard of your suggestion to freeze flower and have been told that this only delayed the start of the insect life cycle to when you took it out of the freezer. (The implication was that your freezer couldn’t get cold enough to kill them but only make they go dormant.) I am looking for information about generating CO2 to replace the air in your packing containers and this would either kill them or keep them dormant the entire time you ore storing them. I have seen one description of using a coin size piece of dry-ice inside the mylar bags before final sealing. The dry-ice idea would not be available after the event. There has to be a simple lime-stone and acid in a mason jar with a piece of aquarium tubing????? (Looking for details on this!???)
6.  Preparedness Apps (cost: free) – If you’re interested in domestic and international events of significance such military actions, economic concerns, and impending disasters then you should check out the Omega Survival Supply app. The app offers news on current events that preppers would be interested in. There’s also an option to get news updates through text messages.

Do you mean clean it so you can drink it or clean it if the electricity goes out and the pump isn't working? If you want to drink the pool water, the best option I know of is to distill it yourself. I just had a reader send me this same question, and she mentioned checking around marine sites to see if there's a product available to remove salt from sea water in an open water emergency. I do know that the Berkey filters will NOT remove the salt. If possible, you're better off storing several 55 gallon drums filled with tap water and several cases of bottled water. I also reuse 2-liter soda bottles by cleaning them, refilling with water, and then storing them under beds and in closets.

The other thing I want to point out is that there is a bit of redundancy to the solution and resolution of some the listed prepper mistakes.  It stands to reason that a mistake doing one thing will overlap with something else, and so, for the purpose of this article, I felt it was important to maintain those small redundancies.  Now that I think about that, isn’t that the prepper way?

Buckets are great, but rats can chew through them. Store them where you think you can protect them from rodents. Also, plastic is somewhat air permeable, so mylar bag inserts are a really good idea. For basics, the LDS site is the best. You can get flour, wheat, beans, rice, sugar and some pasta already processed in #10 cans and boxed by the 6 can case. All my beds are on these case lot boxes so they take up zero extra room in my house. The prices are extremely reasonable since the church only covers its cost. I wouldn’t store anything in garbage cans just because the sheer weight of the thing will be prohibitive…unless you have a forklift lying around!
I think there are stages to prepping. The first stage is awareness. Maybe you experience a major hurricane and have to drive around town freaking out because you don’t have enough bottled water. You think, “Never again.” So you purchase realistic items for your area. The second stage is when you come to realize how much stuff you will actually need and you go out and purchase those items. The third stage is when you realize that no matter how much stuff you have stocked up, it will eventually run out in a grid down situation. That leads to the fourth stage–skills. Do you know how to garden when your life and the lives of your family depend on it? Do you know how to trap and hunt? Can you tell the difference between edible plants and poisonous plants? Do you have a trade like carpentry, plumbing, engineering, canning, bushcraft, herbal medicine? The sixth and final stage (and I am just making this up off the top of my head) is when you realize that no matter how many skills you have, you can’t make it alone. You begin to look for a community.
Monetary disaster investors believe the Federal Reserve system is fundamentally flawed. Newsletters suggest hard assets of gold and silver bullion, coins, and other precious-metal-oriented investments such as mining shares. Survivalists prepare for paper money to become worthless through hyperinflation. As of late 2009 this is a popular scenario.[37][38][39][40] Many will stockpile bullion in preparation for a market crash that would destroy the value of global currencies.

thank you for this, it gives me more ideas on what to look at, being married to a filipina we eat lots of rice, we are a family of 5, with younger children. We have enough food for 2yrs put away. but with this list in hand we will put more away.we look at long term, as u do not know what is really going to happen at any given time. while i am still alive i will make sure my family is taken care off and protected..only thing we dont have is a farm and that would be the bee’s knees…lots of people in here give great feed back and some bloody good idea…thank u everyone…for the wonderful comments, the advice never got astray..
Gaye, I have worked for Green Giant for many years. It is their harvest season now. They have giant warehouses to in which to store their can goods for the next year. They have to get rid of last years cans, to make room for this year’s cans. Have you noticed that in the fall of the year, can fruits and vegetables go on sale. I’m not telling you to not buy them, but keep in mind that most of them are last years crops, and as such, are one year old when you buy them.
Among the original residents was famed television newscaster Tom Brokaw, who lived there when he was just a boy along with his family. Brokaw wrote fondly about his time at Fort Igloo in his memoirs, “While my Dad was at work in igloo, Mother was at home with three boys under the age of four. My youngest brother, Mike, had been born at the base, just fifteen months after Bill. We were confined to that small space during the harsh winter months, and yet I cannot recall any sense of hardship or any bickering between my parents. As my mother likes to remind me, "Everyone was in the same boat."
5. Customized emergency kits.  These kits are sometimes referred to as Bug Out Bags, for getting out of town in a hurry, or 72 Hour Kits, packed with everything you need to survive for 72 hours on your own.  However, I recommend a Vehicle Kit, smaller kits for each member of the family, and a larger kit that contains items that will be needed by the whole family, such as extra food, an emergency toilet, and a wind-up radio.
I purchased a 30 day supply for 2 people of freeze dried food – that was when I had a basement to store it in. Now i live in the Arizona desert with no basement. I considered purchasing additional food storage but then realized, I for some reason I have no power, it’ll most likely be very hot (especially if summer time), therefore not way to regulate temperature. Any storage food I did purchase would be ruined ( I assume). Anyone else have this issue when thinking about the unthinkable?

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Speaking of making mistakes here’s one of mine. One of the first things I ‘put back’ (as my Mom use to say in the fall before my Dad was out of work due to bad weather at the quarry), was a couple of extra bottles of vegetable oil. Well, other stuff got in front of them on the shelf and pretty soon they were 3 or 4 years old. Yes, they were rancid when I opened them. Taught me a good lesson on keeping track of what you have and using it before it goes bad. They are marked ‘not to eat’ and are now used to fuel some lanterns outside when we have cookouts.
Individual survivalist preparedness and survivalist groups and forums—both formal and informal—are popular worldwide, most visibly in Australia,[93][94] Austria,[95] Belgium, Canada,[96] France,[97][98] Germany[99] (often organized under the guise of "adventuresport" clubs),[100] Netherlands,[101] New Zealand,[102] Russia,[103] Sweden,[104][105][106] the United Kingdom,[107] and the United States.[23]
Basic First Aid and Trauma- You cannot count on EMT’s, paramedics, or doctors being able to render aid if you or someone in your group is injured. Take the time to learn CPR, basic wound care, trauma care for major lacerations and penetrating wounds, and how to manage hypo- and hyperthermia. All your nice medical gear you bought up above won’t help you if you cannot employ it correctly and safely.
Though its light weight and long shelf life are ideal for navigating harsh conditions, freeze-dried food is probably most famous as a cultural curiosity: Like many Americans, I discovered it in a museum gift shop, gawking at the styrofoam-like ice cream that astronauts used to have for dessert. More recently, I encountered it at a disaster preparedness convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, where smiling, gray-haired preppers manned tables piled with plastic bags full of vegetables, meats, and stews.
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