So many folks were caught in situations where they didn’t have a supply of emergency food, medications, baby items, first aid supplies, etc. Now, it’s very hard to get some items. I’m not a homesteading, off-the-grid prepper, but I do have back-up supplies on hand. These items are basic for storm prep, and general having back-up if the unexpected happens (illness, unemployment, etc). Here are some basics for how to start to stock up without breaking the bank.
Make a list of common household products you use- cleaners, paper goods, laundry items, dishwashing soap, and a bin to store them in. Try to spend %5-20 of your grocery/supply budget on stocking up (for all goods, including food). Prioritize water (including purifying), food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, medications and first aid items.
Make a list of shelf-stable foods that you like. There’s no point in getting some chalky protein bar if eating it is like chewing on a coconut mat. Canned fruits, veggies, tuna, soups, boxed milk, rice, pasta, beans, grains, baking goods, sauces, condiments, etc. Keep the dates visible, and use the ones that have less than 3 months left on them- purchasing replacements ASAP.
WATER: For folks with wells, or in the event of a flood that contaminates drinking water, you will need to stock up on water. One to two gallons per person per day, and 1/2 gallon for dogs/cats/pets. There are many water storage products out there, as well as purification products for water collected from outside sources, or water that has been stored for a while. There are also bathtub liners for water storage, but those should be filled at the last possible minute (being told to stay at home might be a good time). If the water reclamation plant near you is compromised, your tap water won’t be good. If you have a well, and the electricity goes out, you won’t have a working well pump.
Toiletries- baby wipes, dry shampoo, no-rinse products, towels, washcloths. Also, if your toilet needs electricity to flush (well/septic system), you might consider a commode chair used by folks with limited mobility. Get trash bags that fit the bucket, and put cat litter in the bag. Use the bag for a few times, adding more cat litter. You are just trying to mask the smell- so no need to dump a whole bag of litter in the bag- the bag will break.
For kids- make sure you have age/size appropriate items, being sure to rotate formula, and update diaper sizes. Nothing will go to waste if you rotate and use products before they either don’t fit anymore, or are no longer used.
For longterm storage food, I like the freeze dried products- and Emergency Essentials is as good as any. They have decent prices for survival food- and the food is tasty. The fruits and veggies, and even some of the meats are tasty out of the can (conserve water). They have a huge assortment of products.
Also, a crank or solar power radio could be your only communication. There are a lot of potential threats, but it’s easy to have a basic set up for an extended period of time without completely breaking the bank. Get what you like, and store it properly (dry, cool, and not in garages or attics.
Be sure to have medications and first aid supplies, including things to stop bleeding (there are dressings that do that), strong bandages, a splint or two, antibiotic ointment, soap, and water for wound care.
Entertainment. Be sure to have playing cards, board games, puzzle books, toys for kids, hobby supplies, BOOKS (including on survival), etc. You need distraction. You might even keep a journal of how you experience drastic disruptions to normal life.
Don’t announce what you have. In a situation where civil unrest becomes an issue, your stash could jeopardize your life. I also keep small bottles of booze to use for barter, and a modest amount of cash on hand.
Be ready, not left wondering where you will get food and supplies.