Let’s say a person were bracing for, at best, a period of civil unrest, and at worst something more like worldwide unrest. What might a person stock up on, to prepare in a calm, reasonable way that doesn’t include building a bomb shelter or converting all our cash to gold and burying it in the yard? My usual favorite kind of emergency preparedness is to buy things we’d use ANYWAY, but get significantly ahead of the supply we’d usually have on hand. I also like to buy things that meet a variety of emergency needs: things we could use in a power outage, a serious snowstorm, a presidential candidate calling followers to riot, sudden flooding, etc.
I’ve read enough books set in the second World War to know that coffee, tea, and sugar got scarce pretty quick. Those are easy to acquire in reasonable quantities, and easy to donate or use up if they don’t turn out to be needed. Canned things are handy, of course: soups, vegetables, fruits, legumes, tuna. Peanut butter is good dense low-perishable nutrition. Dried fruits, nuts. Crackers and dry cereals last a long time. Granola bars, meal-replacement bars. Rice, dried beans. Powdered milk. Water.
Good to have flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, oil lanterns; we have those things anyway for storms. We have nightlights similar to these; they come on automatically if the power fails, and they can then be unplugged and used as already-fully-charged flashlights. Extra can-opener. We have a crank-operated radio similar to this one, that can also kind of charge a cell phone (i.e., a few minutes’ worth, for making a quick phone call).
In a situation where a person might fear the general public, a weapon would be nice; if a person were not comfortable with a gun, a person could purchase a few pepper spray canisters (I have two black and one pink; now that I know it exists, I’m also getting one in turquoise). It’s not going to hold off an army, but it’ll help with someone who’s gotten a bit out of hand.
I’d rather not even have to worry about toilet paper, and it’s not like we’d need to worry about using up a surplus of it if it turned out the surplus were unneeded. Plastic bags: garbage bags but also I’m going to let the little Target-sized ones build up. A jug of bleach. Baking soda, vinegar, paper towels. Wet wipes. We have a couple of boxes of disposable plastic gloves on hand anyway (Paul uses them when cutting hot peppers), and a couple pairs of reusable cleaning-type plastic gloves. Duct tape.
I’m not planning to buy extra, but I’ll be making sure we’re nowhere near about to run out of our basic medicines: ibuprofen, antihistamines, prescriptions, antibiotic ointment. Maybe I’ll get a little ahead on bottles of multivitamins, just for the comforting aspect of it. We’ve got tons of band-aids already, and some bandages.
I’ll get a little ahead on cat food and cat litter, too.
I’ll plan to keep the cars fairly full of gas, rather than letting them run low. If there are things we WILL need pretty soon (socks, undies, printer paper), I’ll buy them sooner rather than later.
A clothesline is a nice multipurpose item; I got this one. Two hundred feet is enough to use it as a clothesline and still have extra to use as rope.
I already have a little survival-manual collection:
I have no idea if they’re any good. I’ve never opened them, let alone read them. It’s OWNING them that makes me feel better.
We have a pretty good supply of blankets and quilts already, and a sleeping bag per person I think. Actually, I think we only have enough sleeping bags for the kids. *adds “two sleeping bags” to list*
More ideas for the list?