8. Basic camping gear.  In the case of an evacuation, take this with you in case hotels are already filled.  Additionally, camping skills double as survival skills.  Learning how to locate the best camping spot, how to pitch a tent, how to cook over a fire, and how to enjoy nature are important for every member of the family to learn.  A good quality tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads (for us older folks!), and a campstove are good basics to begin with.
3. Supplies for bartering: These are my lowest priority but it never hurts to have a little extra of something that could be useful for bartering in the future. But remember your situation is different from mine. You might not have the room to store hundreds of gallons of fuel or water, so you might want to stockpile supplies that take up less room like batteries, lighters or water purification tablets that can be used to barter with in the future.
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.
You might also check if there is a local cash and carry…that’s a business which sells wholesale to other business/restaurants. You can buy bulk there for almost wholesale prices. They will have bulk items of many things in addition to other items like paper plates, napkins and you get the idea. If you can find a place which sells bulk, then ask your favorite store to special order. Who knows, you might get it cheaper that way. BTW: Gaye, next time you’re on the mainland near Mt. Vernon, check out WINCO for those bulk items.
The Pasta Alfredo has a very pleasing flavor, but the sauce tastes more like the gravy in biscuits and gravy, not alfredo. Specifically, it tastes of salt, black pepper, and flour, rather than parmesan cheese which is the hallmark flavor of alfredo sauce. Thin noodles with a good consistency (not mushy) in rather a lot of sauce. Tasty and filling, but the flavor profile is confusing.
Disclaimer: I haven’t tried this, I don’t think it’s a gimmick, but it’s something that’s on my wishlist to try regardless. Won’t charge much more than a phone, and probably not even that well, but if I have my emergency back up dumb phone on me plus this sucker, I can always call out for help so long as I’ve got the reception to. Even if I forgot to charge my emergency phone. Nice idea.

Water Purification Supplies- If you run out of potable water, you’ll need the capability to make suspect or compromised water safe, or safer, to drink. Filters and chemicals can remove or destroy nearly all of the contaminants and germs that can make you sick or kill you. You must know what your purification solution is capable of, and what it is not. Some will not be able to remove germs or chemicals, and will require second-stage treatment to make the water source drinkable.
15. 20 cans of Soup or Broth. The beauty of canned soups and canned broth is that they are a budget friendly.  Soups are an all-in-one meal solution. All you need is a can opener and a spoon and you have a meal ready to go.  For an extra satisfying meal, try using a can of soup as part of the cooking water for your rice.  Yummy! For a guide to making your own bone broth, see Donna’s guide here.
Thanks for another helpful article, Pat. I’d been wondering about long term food for my preps. I’ve never had MRE’s, although I have eaten “C” & “K” rations (remember those battleship gray-green cans?) an older relative brought home. My question is, how do I determine the best taste/value for my dollar? My goal of having 6 months to 1 year’s worth of food for a family will be significant in terms of money spent. Do you know of any “survival food” vendors who have trial offers for people to taste test BEFORE they plunk down 4 figures for boxes of… Read more »
The Subterra Castle covers 34 acres of estate, including an airstrip, and other facilities. The silo which was bought by Ed Peden for only $40,000 transformed this former junk heap to a modern day castle. The complex tunnels of the site stays 10-15 feet underground. The family just needs to make sure they stock up with emergency food and other basic needs, then they can sleep well knowing that they are safe from almost everything.
I think the author adds in the high processed food for variety. He clearly states that the stew would be for a time when you couldn’t cook a real meal. some of the others could be eaten in an emergency when there was no way to cook such as the ravioli ect. Not all SHTF situations are world ending, You could simply have a power outage and no alternative cooking method
Still, Jennifer says her preps helped her family get through the initial aftermath. Because she’d stored about three days’ worth of food in each of the bedrooms in her house, they were able to get by until a friend in the States sent additional supplies. As month after month rolled on with no running water in the region, the rain-catching and filtration system she’d set up also proved life-saving — especially amid concerns about contaminated water on the island and the mainland’s notoriously slow-moving and inadequate relief efforts.
Self-Defense- Learn to use your fists, feet and weapons to good effect. Weapons, firearms in particular, can be more hazardous to you and yours than an attacker if you are not trained and practiced in their use. You do not need to master a bunch of different disciplines or types, but you should be a capable hand-to-hand fighter and competent with a gun.
In my tours in Afghanistan we used a lot of “connex”/shipping containers for bunkers. Keep in mind that this was AFTER we hardened them with additional steel “I” beams and a lot of extra welding and they were placed above ground surrounded by HESCO barriers and covered on top with about 3 feet of sand bags. The ceiling would bow inward from the weight even in spite of the reinforcement and the bunkers that had been there for several years would leak and the ceiling and walls were warped pretty badly. They worked great for incoming rocket fire and mortars… Read more »
Great article! It is so helpful to read about the basics again and again. IMHO, the most important guiding point in the article is to prep what you will actually eat. This week my husband cooked DAK ham in a skillet with potatoes and melted cheese. It was just okay. I’m not crazy about the ham and am choosing not to prep it. Proteins have been the most difficult for me. So far, proteins I am SURE I will eat are all kinds of dried and canned beans, shelf-stable tofu (Mori-Nu), and Campbell’s Roadhouse Chili. This chili tastes a lot better than Hormel and tastes great over rice. The Mori-Nu tofu can be heated in a minute in the same pot with a pack or 2 of ramen noodles. I don’t use the seasining pouches b/c of MSG so I add a little soy sauce and dried ginger to the noodle-cooking water. Dehydrated scallions would be good addition but I have not tried dehydrated food yet. Although I do not like canned salmon or regular salmon pouches, I found pouches of grilled salmon and smoked salmon which I’m going to force myself to try this week.
Obviously, solar panels by themselves are quite useful things to have, and since both Broadwing and Ned in the comments suggested that Goal Zero is quite overpriced, I’d be remiss to leave out mentioning another, more price-sensitive option. Ned recommended Aukey as a brand that makes solar power equivalents to Goal Zero gear for far cheaper. In his words, Aukey “make the exact same thing for a fraction of the cost.”
Make that three big no, no's for anything Google. They are now just an extention of DHS and and offer programs only to satisfy their need for your information. Beware anything Google, Facebook, Myspace, and so on. Even prepper and patriot sites such as this and most other blogs are monitored. Quite frankly, you can't get three preppers or patriots together for a cup of coffee without being watched by someone. Caveat Emptor!
The rest of the fire risk will be from all of the things you bring into the bunker. Your power system could spark a fire, and your supplies could provide it fuel. And while you’ll probably (hopefully) also have fire extinguishers in your bunker, even a small fire could be a serious risk for the oxygen levels in your bunker. Fire uses oxygen, and you need to be sure your ventilation system can replenish that oxygen very quickly.

Much of what has been said I agree with. What I do take exception is that many think that an EMP Pulse at this point in time would be somehow less devastating then a nuclear attack. A Nuclear attack kills rapidly initially and then other problems would cause a die off. An EMP Blast would not kill masses but it would be equally devastating as all infrastructure fails and mass starvation, lack of resources would have the same effect. Read the Book 1 Second After and it illustrates how bad things could really be. I am not minimizing the devastation of a Nuclear Bomb. I am pointing out that the impact woult probably be close to the same.

I am officially embarrassed to be an American. My niece just told me she wants to be a prepper because she’s afraid for the future, and wanted some help getting started. I asked her what she wanted to prepare for, and you know what she said? “I’m afraid the president is going to get us killed with the things he says and does.”. I may not be a big fan of him, but that just embarrasses the hell out of me.
Survivalists' concerns and preparations have changed over the years. During the 1970s, fears were economic collapse, hyperinflation, and famine. Preparations included food storage and survival retreats in the country which could be farmed. Some survivalists stockpiled precious metals and barterable goods (such as common-caliber ammunition) because they assumed that paper currency would become worthless. During the early 1980s, nuclear war became a common fear, and some survivalists constructed fallout shelters.
Don’t let prepping overwhelm you because there are many companies wanting you to buy their product. And I agree with pat Henry, things are not as bad as what many think. I have been listening to doomsday talkers since 2011 about the imminent collapse around the corner and there will always be people saying this. So don’t rush to spend thousands of dollars. Do a little at a time and stay within your means. This is a good article because it gives you general categories such as a means to purify water, then food, then medicine, then security and also… Read more »

Great list 🙂 The only thing I would suggest to add would be applied knowledge- for example there is no point in having seeds if you don’t know how to grow what you’ve got. Even if you don’t have access to land or a garden atm try growing crops in pots. Learn about the different soil and nutrient requirements for your selected plants, how to make fertlisers etc. If you are collecting tools know what to do with them, if you have info on foraging apply it now or go on foraging walks with local groups. Whatever skills you think… Read more »
You might think it’s silly to grab one of these when you can DIY one yourself, but I do often feel like preps that are ugly are kind of frustrating to have to live with in the long-term. Besides, if you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re a prepper, nothing works better than hiding your preps in a pretty package like this. And you buy them once, how often are you going to replace a rain barrel? Pretty much never!
afraid i haven’t. my experience has been that the average person will resort to lying, stealing and often violence at the first sign of trouble. there are exceptions, of course, but i haven’t found any reliable way to identify them before the shtf. even longtime friends can turn on a dime; and relatives…well, just consider what happens when some well-heeled person in the family dies! wish i could be more encouraging, but i just don’t see it that way.
So sorry D Clark. Somehow a few typos snuck in here. Thanks for pointing it out so I can get it fixed. Just in case the site doesn’t update it right away, here is how it should read! I will try to make sure to look over articles after they go through the editing process. Sometimes either on my end or the other something slips past. Thanks for reading!
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!

What happened in Hawaii with the “this is not a drill” notification, is certainly be a wake-up call. It’s not fear-mongering to suggest in the current state of world tension and antagonism that someday an alert like this one would be for real. My guess is that you have been thinking, as I have, “What would I do if that alert popped up on my phone?” If you haven’t given it any thought, it’s time to do so! Just like the young man who knew of that concrete tunnel, you should also take note of possible shelters, assess what you have with you right at this moment that could help with your survival.
Good point. But if you do have your drives and at least one very simple computer stashed away in an emp-proof container it will once again become useful when they eventually get the lights turned on again. And make no mistake about it. We will rebuild our civilization. Up to that point, yes, I entirely agree with you that hard copy is easier to deal with.
Testers felt Soylent beat Tsogo on flavor. However, the Tsogo line has a lot of products, such as fruit and vegetable powders and boost packs (protein, caffeine, energy, green tea), so it’s worth checking out. This might be a line of products you want to work into your regular life, so cycling through your supply before it expires would make the shelf-life less of a concern.
Stockpiling food has another advantage that you didn’t mention. You will be buying tomorrows food at today’s prices. Food prices are not going to go down. Also by stockpiling food it allows you to buy when you want to ( on sale ) not when you need to. Many things can happen that a food storage could be put to an advantage. Job loss, Hours cut,medical or car repair bill not expected or planed for. All of these things could be used as a reason to stockpile food.

There’s no real point in having lots of guns – and if they’re in different calibers they become an actual liability. Get the guns you need, then if you’re tempted to buy another, spend the money on ammunition or reloading components instead. A gun can be maintained and repaired; once ammunition’s been fired, it’s gone. Reloading is a great idea and can stretch your supplies but even then your reserves or propellant, bullets and primers won’t last forever. You need to start with a lot of ammo.
While I’m a big fan of mylar bags and 5 gallon buckets, since my family is just two folks (unless extended family make it to the house in an event), I package things up in 1 gallon mylar bags before placing into the buckets. Allows me to open less food at once to the elements. Sure, I have gamma lids to apply afterwards, and the mylar bags I use have ziplock style tops for resealing, but the less I open to the elements at once the better it will last. To further extend shelf life of opened bags, I have a large supply of small silica gel packs that I can toss a few into open dry good bags. Once I finish the bags I can reuse the packs by gently heating in my Sun Oven.
90. Short range rifle – The .22 LR rifle is regarded as the prepper’s best friend. The ammo is plentiful and extremely cheap and could always double as a barter item, so stock up! The Ruger 10/22 series is a make & model you can’t go wrong with. This rifle can be used for small game and can quite possibly be used for large game if no other rifle is available.
And none of us want to be without our cell phones any longer than we have to (plus they may be our only connection to the outside world so there's that) so keep an eye on the weather. If a storm is brewing, be sure you're staying charged up. Better still, have a non-electric back-up charger. Besides solar options, Martin says, there are even wind and water powered chargers now.
Vivos, a company owned by Robert Vicino, a California entrepreneur, has the rights to lease 575 of these concrete bunkers in Igloo outside of Edgemont, S.D. People from across the country were in Igloo on Friday, May 19, 2017, looking at the bunkers as end of the world shelters.(Chris Huber /Rapid City Journal via AP) Chris Huber / Rapid City Journal
Jennifer didn’t get into prepping with a hurricane like Maria in mind. Her own personal SHTF moment — the calamity that spurred her to start stockpiling and growing food in the first place — was one that most people can relate to: the sudden closure of the law firm where she’d worked for several years. “We were down to only one income, so I said, ‘I have to really do something to help us get through this,’” Jennifer recalls.
Dozens of earthquakes gave Hawaii residences a 48 hour warning before the volcano erupted. The average warning time for California wildfires victims was 20 minutes. Japan’s tsunami victims had a 15-minute warning. Being one of the first to know about oncoming dangers can provide you a head-start. Emergency alert systems are a great preparedness resource. There are several companies that provide emergency alerts services and many of them are free.  There are also a couple of different ways to receive alerts. Modern technology has given us many different methods to be notified of possible threats. Here are several options to consider.

It turns out that vitamin B12, which is used in most, if not all, of the body’s systems (like neurological, cardiac, etc.) is only found in animal products. All vegans should therefore take supplements, according to the guidelines. If we are in an emergency situation where we can’t get meat, fish, cheese, yogurt, etc., we probably all would need supplementation! It’s critical to have enough, and the effects of not having it are irreversible. (Try dementia, tardive dyskinesia, and on and on.) Yikes! Add it to the list. Oh, well. B12 is small and really cheap.
MREs at the time were pretty much like they are now, but the menus have improved and some minor details have made this meal in a bag much more palatable if you can believe that. I served before they had things like M&M’s or skittles for dessert and hot sauce to flavor your food. We also didn’t have a built-in heater like they do now. If you wanted your MRE warm you were limited only by your creativity. MRE food packets are foil so they are both waterproof and allow you to heat them on almost anything. We would use the heater vents in our trucks, lay them on our stoves in the tent or on the block of our engines.
Testers felt Soylent beat Tsogo on flavor. However, the Tsogo line has a lot of products, such as fruit and vegetable powders and boost packs (protein, caffeine, energy, green tea), so it’s worth checking out. This might be a line of products you want to work into your regular life, so cycling through your supply before it expires would make the shelf-life less of a concern.
I believe the initial goal amount of food stockpile for someone new to prepping should a year. After a year…they should work towards 2 years, etc. I also tend to agree that it’s better to plan for the worst and hope for the best. So for someone new to prepping a years worth of food is a good 1st goal. Will a years worth of food be enough for a downfall scenario you describe? Probably not, but it will be good for a milder SHTF scenario. My advice is for everyone to start stockpiling as much food as they can…just in case.
Expert advice isn’t always as expert as we’d like to believe. There have been many times when I tried to follow how-to advice, only to get frustrated that I can’t seem to do what they did, or I sometimes figure out a more efficient method on my own anyway. This is especially true for the prepper lifestyle. When the internet started exploding with prepper advice a few years ago, most of the bloggers and self-proclaimed experts were learning as they go along with their readers.
I believe that the only real weakness in this article is the insistence that needing to add a lot of water is a downside to a particular food. Water is life. If you do not have an essentially unlimited supply of water, you will die when it runs out, and food is entirely irrelevant. If there isn’t an essentially unlimited supply on your property (well, stream, lake, etc), nor a nearby supply you can lug to your property, then you need to abandon your place and go somewhere that has water.
Grylls makes great products. I use a lot of his gear when backpacking and this is a definite must. I have been through a couple hundred strikes on this and there is still about 90% of the flint left. It packs away very nicely and is very easy to use. You can produce huge sparks on this if you align the striker and flint properly. The cord that holds the two pieces together does get in the way a little bit since it is fairly short but if you make slow methodical strikes, the cord doesn't get the way too much. If anything it helps make sure that you don't get the two pieces separated. I would definitely recommend this product over other on the market. I bought this for just over $10 over a year ago and have used it on camping trips about every month since then. I ... full review
rlb- Have you visited an urban school and seen what they have to work with in resources compared to wealthier schools? In the cities, real estate pimps rule and have all the power. Schools suffer. The media only ever shows the students & people after they have been driven from their houses by gentrification & lay-off’s. The corporations are the problem.
Today, the property would be of interest only to the most ambitious apocalyptic rehabbers. It consists of a launch control center surrounded by three-foot thick concrete, plus the main silo—measuring 180 feet in height and 52 feet in diameter, most of it underground—which the owner can repurposed as needed. Water has leaked into the property for years, but the latest listing states that it has been “cleaned and dewatered.”
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.”
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.
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.
Pets can also be part of your security. Our mutt protects our hens. She has killed two possums who got into the chicken run and a fox that was attempting to dig it’s way in. She is also an excellent alarm system. Our hens aren’t pets so eventually they will be food after they egg laying days are over with. Our cat is an excellent mouser and seems a little perverted since she seems to enjoy it to the point of ignoring all else when she senses one in the house. The only pet we have that I consider useless is the Quaker parrot. The rest of them we plan to store feed for.
Today, the property would be of interest only to the most ambitious apocalyptic rehabbers. It consists of a launch control center surrounded by three-foot thick concrete, plus the main silo—measuring 180 feet in height and 52 feet in diameter, most of it underground—which the owner can repurposed as needed. Water has leaked into the property for years, but the latest listing states that it has been “cleaned and dewatered.”
The irony of this didn’t escape me: While I’d been drawn to freeze-dried food as a convenient way of preparing for a cataclysm that may never come, there I was, toiling away for hours in the kitchen to prepare a dish I’d be eating that night and the next day. It was the most fortifying meal I’d eaten all week, and a minor achievement: Thanks to the premeasured portions and easy-to-follow instructions, I’d learned how to make a chicken pot pie from scratch.