We all hope that the stuff won’t ever hit the fan, but we need to prepare just in case it does. It’s better to be prepared than to have a disaster hit and not be prepared at all. Here are some of the most important things to stockpile both for your own use and to trade with others in the event of a societal breakdown.
1. Precious Metals – Gold and silver won’t really be barter materials in a disaster-struck area, they’ll be money. Make sure you have enough to be able to buy the things you can’t stockpile now.
2. Water – Water is the most vital substance to human life. Make sure you have at least a couple weeks supply for yourself, as well as water you can trade to others. Once municipal water systems stop pumping, water will become a very valuable commodity.
3. Food – You’ll also want to make sure that you have enough food to eat, at least several weeks worth.
4. Alcohol – There will still be people who want to drink alcohol. And spirits such as vodka can be used as disinfectants.
5. Tobacco – Some people will still want to smoke. Tobacco can fill their need, as well as fill in as an alternative money.
6. Coffee and Tea – Coffee beans and tea bags or loose leaf tea will help fill the need for caffeine, and they will store for quite a while. Tea also has served as money in the past, and could do so again.
7. Seeds – When society breaks down and grocery stores run out of food, you may have to grow your own to get enough food.
8. Chocolate – Chocolate is a little guilty pleasure that will still be in demand.
9. Water Filtration Tablets – If you’re reliant on streams, rivers, or ponds for your water, you’ll want to make sure that it’s free of nasty bacteria.
Tools and Gear
10. Ammunition – Don’t sell ammo to people who might want to hurt you. But a few extra shotgun shells or boxes of .22 ammo might come in handy for trading purposes.
11. Fishing Gear – You and others may have to rely on catching fish to supplement your protein intake.
12. Hand Tools – Make sure to have plenty of hammers, screwdrivers, files, etc. They’ll be in demand as other people’s tools wear out or break.
13. Nails, Screws, Hardware – All the little accessories that allow you to build structures, furniture, etc.
14. Duct Tape – One of the most useful supplies you’ll have.
First Aid Gear
15. Over-the-Counter Medication – Tylenol, Aspirin, gas medication, laxatives, you name it. When you can’t go to the drugstore you’ll be reliant on the medicines you have stockpiled.
16. Bandages – Make sure to stock up on all different sizes of band-aids, gauze, sterile pads, etc.
17. Soap and Detergent – Cleanliness will be important when things get bad. Little cuts that don’t get cleaned can become deadly infections.
18. Sanitary Wipes – Easy way to clean hands when soap isn’t immediately available.
19. Feminine Hygiene Products – Ladies will want to stockpile tampons, pads, etc.
20. Toothbrushes, Tooth Paste, and Floss – You won’t be able to rely on a dentist, so preventative measures to maintain dental health will be even more important.
21. Bleach – Useful for cleaning and disinfecting.
22. Toilet Paper – Toilet paper will run out eventually, but it will always be in greater demand than leaves.
23. Glasses – If you’re nearsighted or farsighted be sure to have extra pairs of glasses in case yours get broken. Buying cheap pairs of glasses from pharmacies now can also ensure that you have some to sell to others who might need them.
Heat and Light
24. Gasoline – Gasoline has a limited shelf life and you probably aren’t going to be using it to fuel your car. But dirt bikes, lawn tools, or generators can still be fueled until the gas runs out.
25. Fire Starters, Matches, Lighters – You can never have too many ways to start a fire.
26. Charcoal – Useful for cooking food.
27. Wood and Fire Fuel Sources – Wood will be needed for heat in the winters and can also be used for cooking.
28. Flashlights – You’ll need to find your way around in the dark once streetlights stop working.
29. Batteries – Needed for flashlights and other electronic devices that might still work. Stock many sizes, including AA, AAA, CR123, LR44, 9V, and CR2032.
30. Candles – When the flashlights break or batteries are exhausted, candles will still be able to produce light.
Odds and Ends
31. Paper, Pens, and Pencils – There will still be a need to write.
32. Plastic Sheets and Trash Bags – For protecting things outdoors from wind and water.
33. Ziploc Bags – Stock several different sizes for storage.
34. Zip Ties – For tying up anything that needs to be secured.
35. Sewing Supplies – Clothes will start to fall apart and will need to be mended.
36. Fabric and Yarn – For patching clothes or making new clothes.