Stock Up Now: 50 Must-Haves That Disappear First When Crisis Hits

When disaster looms, whether from natural threats like hurricanes and earthquakes or from human conflicts such as wars, essential supplies quickly fly off the shelves. We’ve all seen those striking images of empty store aisles in the news. To avoid being caught unprepared, it’s vital not to wait until the last moment to secure your survival supplies. Proactive planning is key to ensuring that you and your loved ones remain safe and equipped during emergencies.

I’ve put together a list of 50 indispensable items to stock up on ahead of time. These are the things that you’ll likely need but will be among the first to disappear as everyone scrambles for the remaining supplies. During many crises, remember, access to stores might be restricted or completely cut off. Start preparing now to protect your family before these essentials become scarce.

Weapons and Ammunition

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Maintaining a sufficient stock of weapons and ammunition is crucial for both safety and sustenance. Whether it’s for hunting or personal protection, consider including not just firearms but also non-lethal alternatives like pepper spray in your arsenal. This diverse range ensures you’re prepared for any situation without relying solely on lethal force.

Baby Supplies

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Parents with infants need to be particularly vigilant in their preparations. Ensure that you have a plentiful supply of diapers, wipes, and baby formula. These essentials are among the first to disappear from shelves during emergencies, and having them on hand is essential for the health and comfort of your baby.

Insulated Ice Chests

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Insulated ice chests are invaluable for keeping perishable foods and crucial medications at safe temperatures, no matter the weather outside. Whether it’s a sweltering summer or a power outage in winter, these chests help ensure that your essential items remain usable for as long as possible.

Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lanterns

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Keep a good supply of lamp oil and wicks to ensure your emergency lighting is always operational.

Baking Soda

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Baking soda is a multi-purpose product you can use for cleaning, deodorizing, and even cooking.


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Ensure you have a fresh supply of all necessary battery sizes, keeping an eye on their expiration dates to rotate them accordingly.


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Propane is a hot commodity in emergencies for heating and cooking. Secure your supply before it’s too late.


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In a world without internet or TV, a hand-crank radio becomes your link to crucial news and weather updates.


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Stock up on plain, non-scented bleach with 4- to 6 percent hypochlorite for disinfecting items post-crisis.

Buckets and Containers

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Food-grade buckets are essential for collecting rainwater, while other large vessels can be used for washing dishes, bathing, and storing grey water. Five-gallon buckets, in particular, are incredibly useful.


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Ensure you have a stock of low-burning candles. They’re simple to store, don’t expire, and can be a light source during power outages. Learn how to craft an emergency candle as a backup.


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With no power, digital payments won’t work, and banks may close. Keep cash on hand for emergencies, and consider bartering with items from this list.

Bandanas, Handkerchiefs

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Bandanas and handkerchiefs can help you stay cool and filter air in poor-quality conditions. They also serve various other purposes.

Duct Tape

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The versatility of duct tape makes it indispensable in emergencies. Stockpile several rolls for various uses.

Extra Basic Clothing

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Have a supply of basic clothing like t-shirts, socks, underwear, sweatshirts, and sweatpants for all family members, ensuring you’re prepared for any weather conditions.

First Aid Kits

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Maintain a well-stocked first aid kit with pain relievers, rubbing alcohol, antibacterial ointment, band-aids, bandages, medical tape, safety pins, disposable gloves, gauze dressings, cold medicine, and any necessary prescription medications.

Toilet Paper

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Never underestimate the importance of toilet paper. Stock up now to avoid being left without this essential item. Explore alternative options too.


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Maintain a well-stocked toolkit with essentials like saws, axes, hammers, and nails. These tools will be indispensable for repairs and construction.


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An eco-friendly cleaning solution, vinegar is a must-have for maintaining hygiene when traditional cleaners run out.


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Water is critical for survival. Besides stocking bottled water, consider long-term solutions like water purification tablets or filtration systems for a sustainable supply.

Winter Clothing

Winter Clothing
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Disasters don’t wait for warm weather. Store warm clothing, including hats, gloves, and scarves, to stay protected against the cold.


Image Credit: Shutterstock. Besides your camping stove, consider acquiring additional propane or kerosene cookstoves, and don’t forget to stock up on fuel for long-term crises.

Fishing Equipment

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Fishing gear, including poles, lines, hooks, and lures, can be vital for sourcing food during emergencies.

Clothespins and Clothesline

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Essential for drying clothes traditionally, these items can also be invaluable for constructing temporary shelters.


Tactical Flashlights
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Consider adding solar-powered flashlights to your kit for a reliable light source that doesn’t rely on batteries.

Solar Charger

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A solar charger ensures you can keep your devices powered, keeping you connected during local or regional emergencies.


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Securing a reliable fuel supply for generators, vehicles, cookstoves, and tools is crucial. Don’t overlook the importance of lighter fluid, fire starters, and charcoal.

Garbage Bags

Garbage Bag
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These versatile items are indispensable for storage, makeshift shelters, and even clothing. The more you have, the better.

Sleeping Bags and Extra Blankets

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Emergency blankets and sleeping bags are lifesavers, especially in your vehicle for unexpected situations.

Gasoline Containers

Gasoline Containers
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Access to fuel might be limited, so having containers to transport gasoline can be a lifesaver for you or someone stranded.


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Whether you opt for a permanent or portable generator, ensure it fits your living situation and budget. Don’t forget the extension cords.

Ziplock Bags

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Protect food, medicine, and important documents from moisture and pests by storing them in ziplock bags.

Aluminum Foil

Aluminum Foil
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Aluminum foil is a versatile disaster supply item, ideal for cooking, food storage, and numerous survival uses. Its utility in a crisis is often underestimated.

Matches and Lighters

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Stock up on “strike anywhere” matches and reliable lighters to ensure you can start a fire whenever necessary.

Non-perishable Food

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Stock your pantry with long-lasting essentials like rice, beans, nuts, and dried fruits. Don’t forget honey, sugar, cooking oil, and spices for flavor and preservation.

Personal Hygiene Items

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Sanitary products, along with skin and hair care essentials, will be hard to find. Prepare by stockpiling these necessities in advance.

Board Games, Coloring Books, Crayons, Playing Cards, Puzzle Books

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Anticipate having more downtime during a crisis. Stock up on no-tech amusements to keep your family entertained. Board games are highly recommended.

Pest Control

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Post-disaster, pests could become more prevalent. Ensure you have repellents, insect coils, and traps ready.

Hand-Operated Can Openers

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A well-stocked pantry is useless if you can’t access the food. Include manual can openers in your supplies.

Garden Seeds

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In the aftermath, growing your own food becomes critical. Ensure you have a variety of seeds and the necessary gardening tools.

Portable Toilet

Portable Toilet
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In the absence of running water and power, alternatives like portable or pit toilets become essential for sanitation.

Rain Gear

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Prepare for wet conditions with ponchos, waterproof boots, and plastic sheeting to stay dry.

Seasoned Firewood

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Keep a stockpile of dry wood for heating and cooking purposes, a must-have for warmth and meal preparation.


Blue Tarps
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With their wide range of uses and easy storage, tarps are invaluable for protection and shelter in any crisis scenario.

Laundry Supplies

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Prepare for manual laundry with wringers, washboards, and buckets, conserving energy for essential needs.

Writing Supplies

Writing Instruments
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In a world without digital convenience, revert to traditional methods of communication and record-keeping with paper, pens, and pencils.

Zip Ties

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These versatile tools are invaluable for quick fixes and securing items together. Stock up on a variety of sizes.

Animal Food

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Your pets and livestock will need their food stockpiled, too. Remember, they’ll need access to water as well.

Antibacterial Soap and Wipes

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These items are essential for maintaining hygiene while conserving your water supply.

Flares and Whistles

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These can be crucial for signaling rescuers and getting help when needed.

20 Crucial Supplies for Surviving a Societal Collapse

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In the face of uncertainty, being well-prepared gives you at least some degree of control and security. The thought of a societal collapse, while extreme, prompts us to consider how we might endure without the conveniences of our current lifestyle. Here’s a list of 20 essential items that could prove indispensable in such a scenario. This guide isn’t about succumbing to fear but embracing preparedness and resilience.

14 Essential Canned Goods for Your Emergency Pantry

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I firmly believe in keeping a well-stocked emergency pantry. While fresh food is ideal, in a survival situation, we may not be that lucky. So, for my family, even though we grow a lot of our own food, canned goods play a crucial role in emergency preparedness. They offer a reliable source of nutrition when access to fresh produce may be limited. The goods you stockpile should be affordable, easy to store, and full of nutrition.

Best Regions in the U.S. to Escape to When Society Collapses

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Choosing a refuge in the event of societal collapse involves weighing the pros and cons of each location against your personal preparedness goals and abilities. Whether you’re drawn to the solitude of the desert or the protective heights of the mountains, the key is finding a place that offers safety and the opportunity for growth and renewal.

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