Commonly Overlooked Preps—What Are You Missing?

February 24, 2014 by | 6 Comments

Most of us have the basics covered; food, water, weapons and ammo, but are there any holes in your plan?

The answer is yes—there are holes in every plan, no matter how experienced you may be.

There are several commonly overlooked preps that may not be as exciting as the latest tactical rifle or as obvious as a 30–year food supply, but are equally important. Check out the list below and see what you’re missing:

  • Containers: You won’t be going to the grocery store during a disaster, so make sure you have plenty of durable containers, such as glass jars and bottles, milk jugs, Tupperware bowls, soda bottles, metal buckets—anything that can be used over and over.
  • Hygiene supplies: You can never have too much soap, deodorant, toilet paper, or other hygiene supplies because they never go bad, you’ll use more than usual in a grid-down scenario, and  they make great barter items.
  • Eye glasses/contacts: Unless you are an optometrist, you aren’t going to make a new set of glasses in the middle of an emergency, so make sure you have an extra pair or two.
  • Entertainment: We live in a world obsessed with entertainment, so when a disaster hits, your family will need a way to occupy their downtime to combat stress and stay out of trouble. This could include sports, cards, board games, or books.
  • Comfort food: You probably have a cache of freeze-dried and canned food, but you will get sick of eating reconstituted Chicken à la King for the third time in a week, so make sure you have some snacks like candy, chips, or cookies, as well as powdered Gatorade. Having lived solely on MREs for significant portions of my life, I can assure you that it makes a big difference.
  • Batteries: Walkie talkies, flashlights, watches—these all use batteries and without an adequate supply, they become useless. If you need something electronic, you need enough spare batteries to last through an extended disaster.
  • Pet supplies: Do you really want to feed your adorable little mutt your own food in an emergency? Store a few extra bags of Kibbles and Bits so you can save your food for humans.
  • Spices: You’re less likely to eat bland food, but you need to maintain your caloric intake to stay healthy, so stock up on salt and a variety of spices. Salt will last indefinitely, and if packaged properly, the spices will last nearly forever.
  • Clothes: I have a handy rotation process that ensure I always have clothes for any situation. When my clothes become too worn out for normal use, they are replaced and used for yard work and other tough jobs. This ensures I always have two complete sets of clothing at any given time.
  • Repair supplies: You need to be able to repair anything that becomes damaged during a disaster and you can’t go to the local hardware store, so you’ll need plenty of thread and needles, rubber patches, tools, fasteners, glue, etc. on hand.

How many items were you missing? Is there anything not on the list that you think should be? Let me know in the comments below!

Melanie Swick (a.k.a. Survival Chick) grew up wanting to be a rocket scientist, but when she realized she that required way too much math, she took to her second dream—spending time in the wilderness. Today, when she's not hiking, camping, or hunting, she's blogging about it. You can connect with Melanie on Facebook.

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  • trish says:

    I enjoy prepping and being prepared for natural disasters. I live with frequent natural disasters like hurricanes and wild fires. So, I have a question about preparing for shorter periods of time. In addition I have limited income and almost zero storage space. I store my family photos in a suitcase for quick escapes. So back to my question, what is the difference or where is the line between “hoarding” and prepping? Sometimes I feel like I am becoming a hoarding and end up throwing away some of my preps because I don’t use them. just a thought…

  • maxineowen says:

    I have been stocking up on Bic lighters, and strangely enough, dryer lint. In a worst case scenario, you never know when you might need these items to start a fire. I have also been stocking up on small cans of propane. I just bought my first hand gun, a 38 Special, and am slowly gathering ammo for it from different sources, so it’s not so apparent that I’m gathering.

  • skeptical1 says:

    I try and pick up extra pairs of reading glasses when I can, buying a little more strength in the lenses each time. I recently found 3 packs of these glasses at Dollar General for $10, and Walmart for under $8. Be sure to get an eyeglass repair kit or two also.

    Make sure you also have some health care supplies on hand…extra band-aids, alcohol, peroxide, etc, as well as OTC and extra prescription meds. I also suggest vitamins. Don’t forget feminine products, if necessary.

    One other item I buy for preps is the mini bottles of booze…especially vodka. It can come in handy for medical purposes and a great barter item.

  • Nan says:

    clothes line and clothes pins…

  • Bryn says:

    Baking soda! It has so many uses and it is so inexpensive. It deodorizes, cleanses, and can keep our body chemistry alkaline if we drink it mixed with water.

  • Gail says:

    At Costco I grabbed one of the commercial mop buckets with the wringer. Clothing will need washing. I also stocked up on bars of fels naptha soap- good for washing anything including bodies & hair, dishes, etc.. It is stored with a hand grater- you can grate the soap and mix with water in a quart jar. We are fortunate to have a 2500 gallon stainless steel water tank.

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