Prepping basics: 4 Lists of essential survival supplies

When SHTF, do you have enough food and supplies to keep your family comfortable? If the answer is “no,” check out the lists below and start preparing the items that you still need. Don’t wait until it’s too late before you stock up your pantry and pack bug-out bags for your loved ones. (h/t to

Items you will need before SHTF

The list below includes various items that you may need before the next survival scenario comes your way. If you have these supplies you can survive for several days during or after the disaster, depending on the amount of water and food that you have stored. (Related: A list of medical supplies you need to be stockpiling NOW before SHTF.)

If you need to stay within a budget for your daily needs, start with clean water and survival food. Buys several cans of food at a time so you can gradually add to your emergency stash.

Survival supplies for the next disaster

  1. Bug-out bags (BOBs) for your whole family, along with your children and pets.
  2. Chargers for your cell phones and laptops – You’ll need these devices to monitor what’s going on around you and in other areas of the state and country.
  3. Compass.
  4. Contact names, phone numbers, or email addresses of people that you need to contact when SHTF.
  5. DIY emergency washing machine.
  6. Emergency kitchen items – Dishwasher soap, knives, bottle openers, can openers, etc.
  7. Emergency stove and fuel.
  8. Emergency toilet, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, kitty litter, and lots of garbage bags.
  9. First aid kit.
  10. Flashlights – Solar flashlights, if possible.
  11. Food – Suggestions include staples like beans, canned fruits/meats/veggies, honey, oatmeal, rice, salt, seasoning/spices, etc. Don’t forget to stockpile food and treats for your pets.
  12. Important documents in a sturdy zippered binder.
  13. Pictures of your family and pets – Keep at least two of each; one to post on the evacuation or lost wall and one to keep.
  14. Portable camping stove.
  15. Prescription medication.
  16. Radio – Preferably one with the NOAA weather station available.
  17. Small bills – Use one and five dollar bills so you can still buy groceries, gas, and other items.
  18. Sun oven – With a sun oven, you can cook almost anything just like with a conventional oven, as long as the pan fits and is not shiny.
  19. Water – Set aside at least four gallons of water per person per day.
  20. Water filter.
  21. Shelter – You need something sturdy that can protect you and your family from extreme heat and cold.

Items for your Everyday Carry kit

Unlike a BOB, Everyday Carry (EDC) kits are more inconspicuous. These small kits usually include items that you may find useful during small emergencies like repairing clothing or equipment.

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Always bring your EDC kit wherever you go. If you’re unsure what to include in your EDC kit, start with the items in this list.

  • Compass
  • Duct tape (Get small rolls or make a DIY roll using a small stick and a length of duct tape.)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Mirror (for signaling)
  • Multi-tool knife
  • Pepper spray
  • Seat belt cutter
  • Small bills and coins (For emergency cash if the power goes down.)
  • Small first aid kit
  • Small notepad and a pen
  • USB charger for phones and tablets
  • Water bottle with a filter
  • Whistle

The list above may change, especially if you’re preparing an EDC kit for your car or bicycle. Below are other items that you can include in your EDC kit.

  • A battery- or crank-powered portable radio and extra batteries
  • A can of motor oil
  • Fire extinguisher (the five-pound ABC type)
  • Flares and orange cones
  • Jumper cables
  • Names and phone numbers of people you need to contact in an emergency.
  • Tire gauge
  • Toolbox
  • Window scraper for ice

This final list includes various items that you may need to complement your BOB, EDC kit, or survival stockpile at home.

  1. Blankets
  2. Emergency cash (about $50 in small bills)
  3. Emergency snack food and MRE meals (These items need to be replaced if you store them in extreme heat conditions.)
  4. Extra blankets
  5. Hand warmers
  6. Jackets and sweaters
  7. Water (for drinking and cleaning)
  8. Whistles (for signaling)
  9. Umbrellas

Always prepare for the unexpected and pack your BOBS and EDC kits so you can survive when SHTF.

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