For reasons known only to you, the subject of prepping has, up until now, been one that you either outright mocked as sheer paranoid lunacy or a dismissed as a tremendous waste of energy. Who needs to prepare for the end of the world you said to yourself and smugly snickered at the people on Doomsday Preppers and their tales of impending destruction.
Something is different now. Maybe it is the news you hear almost daily of problems. No meteorites falling from the sky, but simple, regular, commonplace problems that people have. You hear of flash flooding, refugee crisis, wars, and terrorists cutting the heads off people, hurricanes, wildfires and a litany of bad economic news to boot. If that wasn’t enough now you have the Shemitah, rumors of an EU Army, tensions with Russia, China’s economic woes and mysterious explosions and just when you thought it was safe to go on vacation to Africa, we hear that Ebola is back in Sierra Leone.
What the heck is going on in the world?
If you are only now starting to look into the world of Preppers, welcome! I think you will find that contrary to what you may have heard on the news, we are not all crazy. There are some very sensible precautions we talk about here on the Prepper Journal and the people who visit this site are some of the best educated in the world. Preppers aren’t deviants who skirt the edges of society because we are off our meds, we are likely just like you; someone who doesn’t want to be caught on the bad end of a crisis or disaster that could have been avoided.
But there is much to do and so little time. What if you just now realize the gravity of your situation and need to prepare, but it is too late? Are there last minute prepping items you can grab that will still keep you safe? I think there are plenty of opportunities to stock up on prepping supplies if you can still get to stores and they are still taking money. If you have waited until the last-minute, here are some ideas for what to grab before it’s too late.
Last minute prepping items to get
OK, some crisis is coming or has just occurred so you need to move fast before supplies are exhausted or infrastructure fails.
Go to the Bank – Get as much money as you can out of the bank in cash in smaller denominations. Not all ones but not all hundreds either. When the power or internet is down cash machines don’t work. When banks put limits on the amount of withdrawals like they did in Greece and Cyprus recently it will be too late. You should have been keeping a hidden supply of cash out of the bank for emergencies just like this but if the banks are open, get out what you can. Then go to the cash machine if it is still working and withdraw your daily limit.
Go to the grocery store – Why do you need so much cash? Because stores may still sell items if the power is out if you have cash. Food is the first thing people panic buy and they do this at the threat of a storm or during riots or when forces have knocked out transportation access out of their location. You want to be ahead of everyone at the grocery store. Actually, if you have a big box store like a super Walmart, Sam’s or Costco in your town I would head there. Skip the electronics section, grab two shopping carts, or have each family member push their own.
- What should you buy? Canned foods that your family will eat. Avoid junk food and get canned meats and vegetables. Don’t buy anything that requires refrigeration. Purchase drink mixes to add to water. Fresh food is great for vitamins but stay away from anything that needs to be refrigerated because the power could be out. Pasta, rice and beans are great staples that can be doctored with spices or sauces to provide filling meals.
- Bottled Water – If you don’t have a supply of water, get as much as you can.
- Lighters and matches
- Spices and Seasonings – Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Honey, Oregano etc. These are all great to have to make your foods taste better.
- Batteries – Spare batteries for flashlights, radios and walkie talkies
- Ammo – If you have firearms, it never hurts to have a little more ammo. You might never be able to buy it again.
Water – Water is one thing most of us don’t have any stored around the house. While you are at Walmart, grab several 5 gallon jugs. They will either be in the camping/hunting section or automotive. If you don’t have a Walmart, hardware stores should have the same containers. If you can’t find 5 gallon containers purchase coolers and fill these with water. If you don’t have either, fill your bathtub up. Hopefully you cleaned it first or had the forethought to purchase a water Bob.
If the crisis lasts long enough, you will run out of water so you will need a method for making your water safe to drink.
- Boil it – Boiling water will kill all viruses and bacteria but isn’t the most practical way in my opinion. It will certainly do in a pinch.
- Treat it with Chlorine – Common household bleach (the unscented kind) can be used to disinfect water also. This kills both viruses and bacteria, but requires a little measuring and can have a bad taste. To disinfect a gallon of water use 8 drops of regular bleach, shake and let it sit for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy add up to 6 more drops, shake and repeat.
Filter it – This is my favorite method because it is simple. Yes, filtering doesn’t get out waterborne viruses so if there really was a lot of death and disease I would move to boiling, but just making water safe initially, filtering should be fine. There are many types of backpacking filters you can pick up at Walmart. Pumps like the MSR work great but you have some moving parts. I prefer gravity fed filters like the Platypus GravityWorks. What about the Britta water filters you stick in the fridge? These are better than nothing, but they don’t remove bacteria and seem to be geared to taking the metals out of your water more.
Go to the gas station – Now you can probably get some of this at Walmart too. You have food and water but do you have a method to cook that food? If the utilities are out can you resort to a charcoal grill or propane? I have a spare tank of propane at all times, but if I was looking for last minute prepping items, fuel for my grill would get several extra propane tanks. You could absolutely cook over an open fire if you had plenty of wood too.
- Get ice to put in the coolers to keep the food you have cold enough to eat. Eat this food first before it goes bad in case of a power outage.
- Gas – Fill the cars up even if you have a half a tank of gas unless the lines at the pump are too long. Long fuel lines lead to frustration. Frustration leads to violence and violence is the last thing you need with desperate people who see a car full of food. If you can get gas, fill all the spare fuel cans you have also.
Go to the drug store – Purchase extra of your prescriptions if you are allowed. Make sure you stock up on extra medicine because you may not be able to go to the hospital. Hygiene items like soap, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products to last as long as you can. You should also get rubbing alcohol, extra bandages, hydrogen peroxide, vitamins and any other supplies you think your family will need.
Go Home – Once you have everything start an inventory of supplies and thinking about any security issues you may have to face. This list won’t cover every conceivable item you need, but it should give you some capabilities that you didn’t have before. If you acted quickly and were able to beat the crowd, you may just survive.
In a perfect world, these preparations would have been made long ago. Prepping isn’t a single shopping trip, it usually is a never-ending thought exercise of what situations you could face and how to prepare for them. This changes every day with news, your location or life circumstances at any time. Hopefully nothing happens tomorrow and this doesn’t have to be your last-minute prepping items list. Start now to prepare by taking small steps so that you are already prepared if something happens. You won’t regret it.
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by Pat Henry