When the SHTF, preppers will be far more prepared than the average citizen, but over a long enough timeline, even the most prepared among us will run out of supplies or have a crucial piece of equipment break.
Since few of us want to spend the rest of our lives walking around in a loin cloth eating grubs, knowing where to to find supplies to make our lives more comfortable and easier can be a valuable bit of information.
Obvious sources like grocery stores or home improvement stores will be wiped out almost immediately. Some sources of supplies may may not be viable under certain circumstances, depending on the disaster you’re facing, so you’ll need to evaluate how much you really need what you’re looking for.
- You can find all sorts of goodies in office buildings. If there is still electrical power, you can raid the refrigerators, and even the smallest offices I’ve worked in had at least a few 5-gallon jugs for the water dispenser on hand. Larger offices usually have first aid supplies and fire extinguishers.
- Amusement parks will have food, water, first aid supplies, and tools.
- Manufacturing facilities will be a wealth of fuel, batteries, tools, first aid supplies, and likely food and water.
- Restaurants may be looted quickly, but it’s worth checking out anyway. If the power is out, skip the freezers/coolers and look for dried goods like beans, rice, and pasta. Canned goods are another option.
- Pawn shops are hit or miss, but can be a good source of tools, weapons, and gold and silver.
- Feed supply stores will usually be overlooked, but if you’re starving, animal feed could provide enough nutrition while you search for tastier choices.
- You can find food, water, first aid supplies, tools, and even clothing at schools.
- If your local fire station has been abandoned, you can find plenty of first aid supplies, tools, and water—the fire engine has a main tank with tens of thousands of gallons of water. Just be sure to filter it, because it may be filled with reclaimed, or grey water.
- Trucking facilities may have large quantities of food, but you should limit yourself to non-perishable foods like rice, pasta, beans, and canned goods.
- Marinas and the boats stored inside are usually not very secure. You may be able to find canned goods, emergency rations, communication equipment, and fishing equipment. Most larger boats have signal flares, and many people keep firearms on-board.
- Pet stores can be another source of food, including the pet food, and if your survival depends on it, the pets. The same goes for horse stables and dog kennels. You can also find first-aid supplies, and if you know what you’re looking for, antibiotics.
- Self-storage units can be an excellent source of all sorts of things, but it’s a bit of a crap shoot. The odds are in your favor, though, since there are usually hundreds of units per location.
- Abandoned homes will probably have been looted already, however, each one contains 30-75 gallons of of clean water in the water heater. Unless there is a widespread water contamination that occurred several days earlier, that water is almost certainly safe to drink, but it’s always wise to filter it anyway.
- Zoos can be another source of food, but enter armed and with caution in case any animals have escaped. I don’t know about you, but while everyone else is fighting over canned tomatoes at the local Dominoes Pizza, I’ll be gutting a Cape Buffalo and enjoying a juicy steak.
- Abandoned vehicles can be scavenged for supplies as well as batteries and fuel.
A long range plan to get you through the worst of the situation is your goal:
Most preppers have a long range plan that includes growing more food but what if the situation prevents you from doing that? It might be environmental conditions, local scavengers or military operations in your area that prevent you from utilizing the land. In that event you are totally dependant on the supplies you have stored away.
With limited funds what would I store? I would limit it to six items that I can stock in depth that are relatively cheap now and store well.
While these do not allow for a wide variety of meals they will provide you with the elements you need to function and prevent starvation. These provide a base to build around if additional funds become available. In a long duration event a few staples could mean the difference between life and death.
It is always preferable to have a well rounded food plan but when limited finances and long duration are taken into account, you must do the most you can with what you have.
Why would you want to stock for seven years? That may sound extreme but consider the Fukushima disaster that is still playing out. If it continues and gets worse, there may come a day when it is unsafe to grow plants in the exposed soil. If a major war breaks out there are several situations that may preclude you from growing plants in the open. A seven year supply may not take you beyond the emergency but it will give you seven years to plan for alternative food sources. It may take you that long to develop new systems such as aquaculture or indoor growing systems.
We are living in historical times and the worst may yet come about. The world has seen seven years of famine before and it may very well again.
A long range plan to get you through the worst of the situation is your goal. A simple plan is far superior to no plan and everyone needs a plan due to the unstable nature of the world we now live in. The basic supplies to keep you fed for seven years can be kept in a large closet or a corner of the basement.
The listed supplies, stored in 5 gallon buckets, are easy to store, move and to hide if necessary. There may come a day when hostile forces make every attempt to deprive you of food sources. In that event you may find yourself in a guerilla war where every day is a struggle just to survive. If your food source is secure, it will enable you to focus on other endeavors that may be necessary.
The future becomes more unstable every day now and any edge that you can provide yourself for future uncertainties will increase the likelihood that you will be able to navigate it successfully. Everyone would like to have a fully stocked bunker with weapons and supplies to last for decades but that is not a possibility for most people. You must work within your capabilities now to prepare for the uncertain times ahead. If the worst should happen, what 6 staples will you stock to insure your survival?