Let’s be honest. The world is not going to “end” anytime soon. If you stumbled on this post and that is what you are worried about, then just stop. There honestly is not anything in this article that could help you if the world ends. The vacuum of space, the explosion, and the horde of gelatinous aliens from Andromeda 6 would all get you before anything I can say would help. No, this article is about what happens when the world as you know it ends. This type of world ending is all too real, and all too common.
Could you imagine 10 years ago 90% of the American population walking around with masks on, like it was Beijing after the avian flu? Could you imagine calling a delivery employee a hero because they risked their lives delivering food? How about missing your mother’s death because the hospital was on lock-down? You may not have agreed with it, but it happened. The old world was dead and the new world was masked up and quarantined.
It turns out that it happens quite often, maybe not on the scale that the entire globe can feel, but more often than not where a large group of people really hurt, everything changes, and if you are one of those affected; you would say the world ended. Remember Hurricane Katrina? I bet if you lived in New Orleans and had to move your family to Austin or Phoenix you remember it. You might remember that house your family has had for 85 years. That house that could not be fixed or rescued, and now sits empty, filled with mold and mud.
Well, when your world ends, and the rest of the world does not, it can help to be prepared. In this article, we are going to talk about 9 things that you will wish you had if the stuff hits the fan. Not just because you will need it, but because everyone else will too, and stockpiling it now, means you can trade it later. How about some salt for a boat ride? It might just save the day.
Surviving Means Having Enough
Our goal in this article is to tackle what we think are the top 9 things that you probably should be stockpiling in the event that a major disaster is on the way. This could be anything from:
- Civil Unrest – Think along the lines of the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, but worse.
- Global Pandemic – How about Monkeypox, not that COVID-19 wasn’t enough?
- Natural Disasters – Floods, Fires, and Earthquakes, oh my.
Whatever poison you pick there is every reason to believe that for at least some period of time you may no longer live in the civilized world. That could mean looting, massively increased crime, and waiting hours or days for help from the authorities. Do you remember how long it took to get clean water in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina?
The following lists are the things that we believe meet your basic needs. On top of that, they may serve a dual purpose. Most importantly, all of them can be traded for other things you might need and do not have. That is how to be truly prepared – plan to be missing something, it always happens. The point is not to plan to fail. It is to plan to have a way to get those things.
Want a better way to plan for disaster? Let us know if you are interested in ReadyVisr™ – our mobile disaster readiness app!
This one seems obvious. If you experienced the pandemic you know why. Every shelf, every store, not a single roll of toilet paper. There were a million different explanations.
“The supply chain can not handle the demand!”
“People are hoarding toilet paper!”
“Stores are gouging people, so people are buying more!”
It does not matter what the reason really was. What matters is that if you ran out of toilet paper you were either relying on someone else’s good graces, or you were getting creative. I am certain a few plumbing disasters came from this super fun shopping era.
Of course, you might have just skipped that whole episode. My family certainly did. We have always purchased toilet paper in bulk. We have always had more than we need. We have always “added to our stockpile.” Toilet paper mysteriously is one of those things that go missing from the shelves fast. Worst of all, in disaster situations, it seems to disappear even faster.
Here is what is great about toilet paper, and it isn’t just about wiping. The first is that they can be used as great fire starters. Stuff those rolls with dryer lint or newspaper and you have the perfect fake log that will burn just long enough to get the rest of the wood in the first going. Second, they make excellent seed pods. If your disaster is looking longer term, or you want to recycle/reuse a little better then cutting a toilet paper roll into fourths can give you four simple seed rings to help protect your starters as you get them growing. They will more often than not biodegrade and help feed the growing plant.
Most importantly though, your neighbors might not have had the same idea. Nothing like trading a few rolls of toilet paper to your stinky butt friends in exchange for some fresh fruits or veggies. If you don’t have these things growing yourself, you can rest assured your toilet paper, especially in longer situations, can be more valuable than gold.
Brushing my teeth while I was camping always seemed so pointless. I would be home in a few days, no one out there cared about my breath, and it just seemed like one extra thing I didn’t need to carry. That was until I had my first major toothache out in the wilderness. It can be debilitating. That is why brushing is important. It turns out there are lots of kinds of toothpaste designed to fight tooth pain, not just tooth decay.
On top of this did you know that toothpaste has a myriad of other great uses?
- Cleaning – Toothpaste is great for cleaning shoes, refreshing bottles, and even removing scuffs and marks on the walls.
- Acne Treatment – Toothpaste works great on acne, minor swelling, and other skin infections.
- Preventing Fog – This works, oddly enough, on mirrors and glasses.
This is also another product where your neighbors may have prioritized other things. They may not think they need it, but when the bartering starts you can explain all the cool things that you can do with toothpaste. Can of corn for some Colgate? Sure thing buddy!
Soap is magic. You need soap. Seriously, it can keep you alive. On top of that people often only have stupid soap in their house. Those cute “by-the-sink” pump soaps aren’t helping anyone. I am glad your hands smell like roses, but in a few days, they will smell like your hind end again when you run out. I am talking about bars of soap. Good old-fashioned bars.
Obviously, they can keep you clean, but most importantly they can:
- Be used as dish soap
- Be used as laundry detergent
- Be used as a lubricant for drawers, sticky windows, or sliding doors
- Loosen stiff locks
- Finding leaks in pipes
- Keeping deer away from your plants
Trust me, the people around you will run out. Bar soap is easy to stockpile, and often cheap. People shop and pay exorbitant amounts of money for those pretty liquid soaps. When it comes time to barter, these little guys will be invaluable.
Wake me up before you go-go. You know it. You have seen it in every apocalypse movie. Someone finds coffee and the world is saved, at least for the next 15 minutes. Sit, sip, savor – then return to your new life of danger and ruin. At least you will be awake for the next wave of zombies or cannibals.
In all seriousness coffee is essential. It can help make you more alert, and it will be one of the better barter items, save for salt which we will get to later. Instant or ground coffee can both be useful and valuable. Let’s start with:
- A great fertilizer
- Assistance with composting
- Pest Repellant
- Tenderizing Meat
Although coffee grounds can do a lot more, this is a good place to start. So when looking at just what you should stock remember this is one that can be easily traded, and easily stored for long-term use.
I know this coffee cousin seems like it should have been mentioned in the previous section. It gets its own heading for very good reasons. In this case, we are recommending a tea bag. These are easy to store, easy to use, and then easier to reuse. Some of those users are:
- Spent Tea Bags can relieve swollen gums. Remember that issue brushing your teeth, tea bags to the rescue.
- Neutralize Garbage Odor. When the garbage man stops coming this can naturally add some more pleasant scents to your growing garbage and compost pile, without wrecking the biology.
- Want to kick that bland rice up a notch? That’s right, spent tea bags can help there too.
- Black tea has been known to repel rodents, which is great, especially when you are storing food.
So on top of the benefits of drinking various types of tea, we have all that. This should definitely be on your list to stockpile, even if just to use it as a barrier to protect your food from pests.
Do I really have to say this one? You should already know it. On top of it being something you will need to hate bland food less, it can be used to clean and disinfect things (think salt water). This will probably go fast. So stock a lot of it. You could seriously become a kingpin if you are the last guy left on the block with this good stuff, or a target, depends on how prepared you are I guess.
Yep, the wonder drug. As you know aspirin’s main users are mild to moderate pain relief, and reduction of fevers. What you may not have known:
- Aspirin can be used to treat skin conditions, like acne or cellulitis.
- In the same vein, it can be used to treat stings and bites.
- It can help your plants fight fungus and survive better.
Most importantly – it can be easily traded, and easily stored, and some tricks exist to extend its shelf-life. Stored in a dry and dark place it can survive for years after its expiration date, especially if still sealed.
I should probably say that deep down we all know nutrition will be a problem. More so than in the high-priced world we live in now, where you probably get most of what you need from what you eat. Multivitamins may just be the thing that stands between you and scurvy. We suggest the multivitamin/multimineral type to ensure you are getting the best nutrition. Individually sealed packages also help extend the shelf life, make them easier to trade, and help you control your dosage. There isn’t much more to say about these other than they do not take up much space, and it is easy to stockpile these while using them, and ensuring you replenshish your supply with fresher goods.
Or try this on for size, how about vitamins and coffee at the same time? Nutrient Survival has created a great blend of coffee and vitamins, check it out!
These are the gift that never stops giving, and when the stuff hits the fan these will be your best friend. Read them, retain them, and try out the skills. Practice makes perfect. When you have it down, trade them. Skill books can make their way around and help everyone. Why should you stock up on these? We all know that only the prepper nerds are buying them now, but everyone will want them eventually. How do I do x? will become the mantra of a million people missing the Internet. Having these will make you look like that wise sage who holds all the knowledge.
As a matter of fact – here are a few to get you started right now that we can highly recommend!
I know we certainly didn’t cover everything. Not a word about how to defend all this stuff, or what you are going to eat, but hopefully you can see from this article that this baseline of items can prepare you for the merchant/barter situations you may need when the trouble really starts. As with any guide, this is just a place to start. Do your own research, and find out what will work best for you and your family, and those you wish to support. For a good start on food storage, especially long-term food storage – take a look at this video from Tactical Rifleman.