100 Items That Will Disappear After An Emergency

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These are100 items that I think will disappear from your local grocery or big box store after an emergency. Can you picture the empty store shelves after a disaster? Of course, each emergency situation is different, and some items will disappear earlier than others. In your particular area they may not disappear at all.

Just keep in mind that you can’t take for granted that your local store will still have what you need once the disaster hits your area. This post was written back in 2018, but I wanted to update it big time today. There are so many shortages in stores right now, let alone after a disaster.

I have seen some shortages after a flooding episode here in Southern Utah. Luckily, only the bottled water shelves were empty, but you can imagine if we had a major emergency.

I’m hoping that as you read this list you will think of the things that you will want to stock in your home so you are better prepared. You don’t have to store everything on this list, just the things that you would miss if the stores, roads, and highways were closed or otherwise shut down for a period.

100 Items That Will Disappear After An Emergency

100 Items That Will Disappear After An Emergency

There may be over-the-counter medications and personal hygiene products that would be sorely missed. We sometimes think we will stock up next month, I get it, I really do. I get nervous when I get down to three cases of toilet paper from Costco.

Yes, I have both cloth wipes and baby wipes. But what if the water is turned off for days, or possibly weeks. Please visualize the grocery store near your home totally empty in two hours, yes two hours.

Several months ago they showed the shelves at a store in Hawaii with storm Lane on its way to the islands. Yes, the shelves were empty. YIKES!

My point is this, please don’t be one of those families that must stand in line to get water bottles from the city or county building.

100 Items That Will Disappear After An Emergency

100 Items That Will Disappear In An Emergency

Personal Hygiene Needs

Toilet Paper: Yup, this is one product that tends to be the first to disappear. It’s something we all use every day, whether we like it or not. There may be other options as replacements, like clean rags, but who wants to store those beforehand and then clean them afterward?

Kleenex: This popular household item is also used by all of us, whether we have a cold, allergies, need to sneeze, have a tearful experience, and so much more.

Menstrual Supplies: Unless the ladies in our lives have gone through the “change,” these supplies are vital when that “time of the month” rolls around. Don’t get caught short on these critical supplies.

Monistat (yeast infections): Although this over-the-counter medicine isn’t needed all the time, when you do get a yeast infection it is vital to have it available ASAP. Janet mentioned this helps when Monistat does not. Nature Made Acidophilus Probiotics I just ordered some.

Cranberry Vitamins (UTI infections): I have used these and I feel like they work for me.

Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, and Floss: Oral healthcare is so important to our overall health. As with so many other items on the list, we all use these items and would feel lost without them.

Shaving Cream and Shavers: These items wouldn’t be considered critical for survival, but most men and many women would feel uncomfortable without the consistent use of these for general grooming.

Shampoo: We know that in generations past most folks didn’t bathe or shampoo every day. Just the thought of having greasy hair gives me the creeps. I love having clean and sweet-smelling hair.

Hair Conditioner: I know my daughters and granddaughters love to use hair conditioners to make their hair softer, shiny, and easier to comb through.

Tweezers: When we need tweezers, we need tweezers, whether it’s for medical issues or our complexion.

Brush/Combs/Hair Scissors: Having a spare set of hairbrushes, combs, or scissors will make our day start off right!

Hand Soap: Need I say more, a clean body is a happy person.

Body Wash: There are so many fragrances of body wash out there, get them on sale and stock up.

Body Lotion: No one wants dry skin, so make sure you have a bottle or two on hand.

Rubbing Alcohol: There are so many ways to use rubbing alcohol. In case you missed this post, 10 Reasons to Stock Up On Rubbing Alcohol

Peroxide: This is a must-have in my home. In case you missed this post, Hydrogen Peroxide-25 Amazing Ways to Use It Today

Clorox Wipes: We know how these disappeared, right? Please stock them.

Hand Sanitizer: Now, this stuff is so drastically discounted because the shelves are overflowing, you may even still have some at home.

Extra underwear: Everyone needs clean underwear. If it takes longer for the clothes to hang up to dry, a fresh pair or two of underwear will do the trick.

Lip Gloss/ChapStick: My lips are always dry, so this is a must-have for me. Some people like lip gloss and some love Chapstick.

Vicks VapoRub: I grew up with this fabulous stuff. I deliver some of these to friends who are sick. It’s one of my favorite go-to items.

Kitchen Supplies

Hand Can Openers: You can never have too many can openers, one is none, and two is one.

Matches (strike anywhere type): These are critical to have stocked.

Paper Towels: Thank goodness paper towels are not in short supply anymore.

Wheat Grinder: If you want to learn to make whole wheat bread, you may want to look into buying one of these. In case you missed this post, Back To Basics: How To Use Wheat Grinders

Large silver bowl to make bread: Having one of these sure makes a difference when mixing up that homemade bread dough.

Cast Iron Pans: You can cook outside with cast iron pans. In case you missed this post, Why You Need Cast Iron Pans

Dutch Oven: A cast-iron Dutch oven is a great investment as well.

Aluminum Foil: I love heavy-duty and medium-weight foil. You can do so many things with it. 20 Reasons Why We Need Aluminum Foil Every Day

Paper Plates/Paper Bowls/Paper Cups: We need to stock these because we will save our fuel by not washing regular dishes and silverware. East and toss them.

Plastic Silverware: These are stock and toss as well.

Cleaning Supplies

Bleach: Bleach stays good for up to six months, possibly a bit longer, but to clean up a sewer issue we need it.

Comet/Ajax: This is good for cleaning hard-to-clean surfaces.

Kitchen Dishsoap: It’s all about having enough stocked in case there is a shortage, which I have seen in the years past. We need clean dishes and pans.

Dish/Sink Scrubbers: It’s so nice to have these scrubbers to get the hard-to-remove particles off of dishes, bowls, and sinks.

Garbage Bags: You can never have too many garbage bags.

Baby or Toddler Supplies

Diapers: You may want some cloth diapers if the stores run out of disposable ones.

Bottles: If we need to feed a baby or toddler, we may need a bottle or two.

Baby Wipes: This is another thing we can’t have too many of. These are disposable and would be great to have on hand.

Diaper Rash Ointment: You may not need this item, but if you need it, it’s good to have on hand.

Disposable Diapers: These will fly off the shelves after a disaster, stock up on several sizes.

Extra Binkies: When my girls were babies, binkies were my best friend, literally. They soothed my little ones, for sure. Stock different ones, your neighbor may need some.

Baby Blankets: Every little baby needs a soft blanket, it’s nice to have one ready for little ones.

Pet Needs

Dog Food: If by chance the roads are closed you may not be able to get your favorite brand. Stock up just in case.

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Cat Food: Here again, our little sweet cats or kitties, want their regular food, right?

Pet Treats: Just in case we need to calm our pets down, having their favorite treat just may help the stress from the sounds during and after a disaster.

Food Items

Coffee: Not only will this fly off the shelves at the grocery stores, but the coffee shops will also probably be closed.

Cereal: My husband would be so unhappy to see his cereals disappear! He has cereal every morning with milk and bananas. He rotates each day between four different brands. He was upset earlier this year when some of the brands weren’t available at the local Walmart.

Water: You’ve heard me harp for years about the need for stored water. Whether it’s to re-hydrate your foods, stay hydrated yourself, keep up your personal hygiene, wash some underwear, flush the toilets, and so much more, water is one of the most critical items you HAVE TO HAVE.

Canned Food: When people realize access to stores might be drastically reduced, they’ll run right out and buy all the canned goods they can.

Picture life at your home for the next week or two if you go to your pantry and can’t find any soup, tuna, beans, canned meats, etc. How would you prepare your meals? Get some stored NOW so that situation doesn’t become a reality.

Frozen Food: This is a tough one. We have some friends who recently visited their second home after an extended time away. For some reason, the home had lost power for weeks after some home repairs had been performed.

They found hundreds of pounds of food, particularly meat, had rotted. It took them a lot of time and work to clean things up. We all look for frozen foods to supplement our meal preparation, just be aware of the challenges if power is lost for long periods.

Meat: We grew up in the “meat and potatoes” era where a meal didn’t seem complete without a meat portion on the plate. Although we’ve been trying to cut back on our meat consumption, particularly the red meats, we still look forward to meat of all kinds to make some meals more complete.

Meat has become very expensive, so that’s another reason we’ve cut back. But for longer-term storage needs, and to make sure we have some protein sources on the shelves, we have a good inventory of canned meats.

Beans: Many people don’t realize it, but beans can be a great source of protein. We have containers of various beans in the pantry so we can make some of our favorite meals from scratch. We love Mexican foods, so beans are truly a staple for us.

Rice: We’ve found the rice to be another one of our favorite staples. We add it to our Mexican meals, casseroles, a substitute for potatoes, and Mark even enjoys it with milk and a little sugar. It is such a versatile food product.

Honey/Sugar/White and Brown: Sweeteners have been getting a bad rap the past few years. I understand the need to minimize the number of sugars we eat as part of our daily diet. Just remember how important they are, even in smaller amounts, to make those baked goods taste amazing.

Vinegar: I’ve written a number of times about how versatile vinegar can be as a household item. Of course, there are a number of kinds to chose from but have this item on hand as you clean your home and add it to various recipes.

Yeast: You know that I do a lot of baking. Making bread has been one of the joys in my life for as long as I can remember, literally. I use a lot of yeast during the year, but I make sure I keep a fresh supply on hand at all times so my recipes come out as planned. Old baking ingredients are a problem if you want success in your kitchen.

Baking Supplies (flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, etc.): (see yeast above) I love salt, all kinds of salt.

Spices: As I write my posts each day I frequently find myself talking about various spices and how they can add so much to the average recipe if done right. Like so many other kitchen items, storing them properly and using them when the freshest creates a successful cooking environment.

Chips and Salsa: Earlier in this post I mention how much Mark and I enjoy Mexican meals. Years ago we had some dear friends in Farmington, UT who would join us on Friday nights for a delicious meal at El Matador restaurant.

A highlight of those meals was the freshly made salsa. It would come out hot and covered with cheese. Oh, how we miss those meals. Now, if we want a quick snack we’ll have chips and salsa, or even make nachos.

Popcorn: A quick treat at our house is fresh-popped popcorn. Mark isn’t as prone to fix a bowl since he says the kernels catch in his teeth, but for me, it’s well worth it. Unless you put on a lot of butter and salt, it can prove to be one of those “healthy” treats the whole family can enjoy.

Instant Milk: The loss of power in an emergency can be one of the most challenging things to deal with. If your family uses milk as an important part of meal planning, losing the use of your fridge to keep foods cold, including your milk, is a problem. Be sure and store instant milk that can be made by adding it to your stored water.

Wheat: If you came to my home today you’d see one of my bedrooms used to store my Lehi Roller Mills hard white wheat. It is my favorite wheat to grind and it makes delicious bread and rolls.

I usually buy it at Costco when they have one of their “roadshows” in the store. I replace the regular lids on the six-gallon buckets the wheat comes in with gamma lids. It makes it so much easier to open and use the wheat.

Pancake mix (yes, you can make it from scratch): Whenever family comes to visit we always make pancakes for breakfast. This has been a tradition ever since the kids were young and carried over to the grandkids. I’m hoping it will stay that way when the great-grandkids come along. We have some Mickey Mouse waffle irons we use and the family loves them.

Peanut butter & Jam: Need a quick meal to satisfy that pang of hunger? Our pantry has a bunch of Jif peanut butter and Smucker’s jam. We’ll make sandwiches when we need lunch in a “Jiffy,” and I also love to make peanut butter cookies.

Macaroni and Cheese: If you’re thinking of a quick meal, particularly for the youngsters, these package meals are just the answer. They come with various optional ingredients too.

Nuts: The good thing about nuts is that they not only taste great and are good for you but they can also be stored fairly easily and have a reasonable shelf life. Please keep them in your freezer to keep them from going rancid.

Cash, small bills: During an emergency, if things get ugly, banks may have to close their doors for a few days. If the power is out over an extended time period and over a wide area, that means ATMs and electronic terminals likely won’t be working.

Having cash then becomes critical. Hopefully, your local market will have some generators to keep the place up and running, if for nothing else than to keep frozen foods safe, but also to manually operate their check-out stands.

Cooking Oils: So many recipes we use call for cooking oils as one of the ingredients. If you’re stuck at home with limited access to grocery stores, having oils is a must.

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Bread: Even families who normally make homemade bread may find themselves unable to cook. They’ll be running to the local store or bakery in hopes of buying some bread before that food source shuts down.

Crackers: These are sure handy to fill in between meals when a snack is wanted. They go with so many dips and toppings that you’ll want to have some in your pantry inventory.

Chocolate: I have to admit, chocolate is one of my favorite things! Besides using it as an ingredient in many of my dessert recipes, I can just munch on it as a special snack.

Laundry Needs

Laundry Soap: Hopefully we won’t lose the ability to turn on our water during an emergency, but if we plan to keep our clothes clean, laundry soap is a must. Even if we plan to just wash our underwear, soap is a critical product to keep them clean and smelling nice.

Portable Washing Machine: If the power does go out, as long as we have some water and soap, we can use this little gem to wash those items that need immediate attention. If you have a baby at home and use cloth diapers, this portable unit will prove a lifesaver. If not, be sure to have a good supply of disposables on hand.

Wash Buckets: If you’re having to bring water in from your outside storage containers, having a few wash buckets to accommodate moving the water around will prove very helpful.

Clotheslines/Clothes Pins: Every time Mark mows our back lawn and trims it up nicely, I’m reminded of the umbrella-style clothesline we have stored in our shed. We installed a “pin” in the grass that he trims around that is used to support the pole that holds up the portable clothesline.

I did a post years ago showing how it works and how handy it can be when you don’t have a clothes dryer available.

Misc.

Clothespins/Clotheslines: When it comes to an outside clothesline you’ll also need the clothespins to hang up your clothes. They need to be strong enough to “hang in there” even in the wind.

Water Bottles: We talked about water storage above, but it wouldn’t hurt to have some 5-gallon jugs available if you have to go elsewhere to it pick up some water.

Water Filters: You may find that your stored water has gone cloudy over time. There may also be a water source available close by that you’re concerned isn’t fit for consumption without some treatment. One of your first steps would be to filter the water as best you can. There are various options available, but I really like the products from Berkey.

Charcoal/Lighter Fluid: I’ve always suggested my readers have multiple options when it comes to cooking. Most of us have a BBQ or outside firepit, we can turn to for our cooking efforts. Although many of us have propane tanks for the BBQ, others rely on charcoal. Be prepared with a few bags or other containers full when needed.

Gasoline Containers: I don’t usually suggest people have gasoline stored on their property, but it doesn’t hurt to have some containers designed to haul and store gasoline when a shortage is expected.

I saw on the news recently how people were rushing to their local gas station to fill containers when a big storm was approaching and they were concerned that the stations would have to close for a while until things quieted down.

Propane Canisters: As mentioned above, it’s always wise to have fuel stored if you need to fire up the old BBQ as your cooking appliance. We have six extra canisters stored on our patio, just in case.

Coleman Stoves/Cooking Stoves: A more efficient cooking appliance than the BBQ is a Coleman stove-style unit. Whether to heat up water, fry some eggs, or cook pancakes, these stoves have been used for decades. They generally run on butane, so you’ll need those fuel canisters if you go to this approach for cooking.

Flashlights/Batteries: There’s nothing worse than finding yourself trying to get things done in the dark. If you lose power in your home you still need to get things done, so flashlights are a must. Years ago we bought some solar flashlights we have on the windowsills all the time being “recharged” and ready to go.

Solar Lanterns: If the goal is to light up a larger area, check out solar lanterns as your light source. They may cost a little more, but you won’t have to worry about buying and replacing batteries all the time.

Solar Flashlights: (see flashlights above)

Fire Extinguishers: As people who consider themselves prepared for emergencies, we need to think about accidents or other challenges right around our homes other than outside sources causing the emergency.

You could have an oil fire in your kitchen, a spark-caused fire in your garage, or other fire-type emergencies. Have a fire extinguisher for the most common fire you might expect at your home, and make sure it is fully charged and tested from time to time.

Insulated Ice Chests: Loss of power causes all sorts of problems. One is the care of perishable foods in our fridge and freezer. If you have some sizable insulated ice chests stored in your shed or garage, they can come in handy to save that food from spoiling. Getting enough ice to use could be another issue, but at least you have the chests ready to go.

Duct Tape: In the past, I’ve written some posts about how handy duct tape is for so many situations. Have some rolls stored away and you’ll be surprised how often you pull them out to solve a current repair challenge.

Tents/Tarps/Shelters: Need I say more, we all need a tarp or some sort of shelter to keep us from getting too hot or too cold and wet.

Sleeping Bags: It’s all about having something to keep us warm.

Board Games/Card Games: We can all get bored when the power is off for days. It would sure help if we have some playing cards or board games.

Reading Glasses: You may not need them, but someone else could use a pair if they lost theirs.

Scissors and Sewing Supplies: If we need to mend something or patch a pair of jeans, having some sewing supplies will be a blessing.

Mousetraps/Ant Traps/Roach Spray: Mice, cockroaches, we have all had them at some time or another, right?

First Aid Supplies: Please check your first aid supplies, we need the basics at the very least. Don’t get caught without some bandaids, etc.

Bicycle Tires/Pumps: If our only transportation is a bicycle, we need some repaid items on hand.

Medical Handbook Survival Handbook: This is my go-to medical book. Get one before you need one and study it.

Prescriptions (please try and get a 90-day supply): Please plan ahead for those critical prescriptions you need every day or monthly.

Wagons: If we have to haul something two blocks away, a wagon would be awesome.

Hand Crank Radio: If the power is out, we need to know what’s going on in the world.

Wool Socks: Wool socks are great for keeping your feet dry. They keep you warm, but keep moisture off your feet as well. AND you don’t need to wash wool socks every time you wear them.

Wool Blankets: I’m not real fond of wool blankets because they are too scratchy. But they will keep you a bit drier outside.

Scarves/Mittens/Warm Gloves: It’s all about staying warm, right?

Final Word

Here’s the deal, there are so many items that will disappear in an emergency or disaster. This is just a list of 100 items.

Tell me things that you would add to this list. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

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75 thoughts on “100 Items That Will Disappear After An Emergency

  • August 26, 2018 at 7:34 am
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    Thank you Linda, I didn’t think about Monistat, but vinegar could work in a pinch. I also bought two solar showers, to fill put in the sun and then shower with.

    Reply
    • August 26, 2018 at 12:03 pm
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      Hi Janet, thanks for the tip on vinegar for Monistat, great one!! I need to buy a solar shower, great reminder. Thanks so much!!!! Linda

      Reply
  • August 26, 2018 at 7:38 am
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    Linda, I’m assuming your very comprehensive list was in random order rather than order of importance. I mean, chocolate at number 82???? Get real, woman! Lol Seriously, a list that should be posted on every pantry door. Thanks!

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    • August 26, 2018 at 12:04 pm
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      Hi Linda, I should have put chocolate at #1!!! LOL! Thank you, my friend!!! Linda

      Reply
  • August 26, 2018 at 8:32 am
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    In your recently posted lists, unless I missed them, you have not addressed heating, as in staying warm. Would it not be a good idea to have a couple of kerosene heaters? You can use them indoors and with a few drops of a treatment, the kerosene has a shelf life of many years. You can store kerosene in your basement and garage. You can use it in lamps and a kerosene Coleman lantern. Several generations of my family have used these, both at home and in recreational cabins.

    Reply
    • August 26, 2018 at 12:05 pm
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      Hi John, great reminder about heating, sometimes I’m writing at 2:00 a.m. and forget all the things I have in my mind. I wrote about them in my book, great tip!! Linda

      Reply
  • August 26, 2018 at 9:16 am
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    Nylon dog and cat collars disappear here when we have a hurricane in the Gulf. Plain colored ones that can have a contact number put on with indelible or permanent markers go fast. We personally have several for putting on our goats, as well as each of our cats and dog. I also snap 2 together to put on the horse. I reapply the contact info each year, as the permanent marker does fade over time.

    Markers, both permanent & paint markers seem to get scarce, too. I’ve taken to stocking up at back to school sales gor the next year’s use.

    Reply
    • August 26, 2018 at 12:07 pm
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      Hi BDN, this is a great comment!! I never thought about collars for goats or horses!!! I’m with you on permanent and paint markers! You can never have too many! Love this comment! Linda

      Reply
  • August 26, 2018 at 9:54 am
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    Great list, Linda. I’d also encourage folks to think about dual purpose uses. For example, I might skip over diaper rash cream as I have no children at home but diaper rash cream is often zinc which is great for all kinds of rashes on little people and grown ups in the most delicate of places.

    Make a game of finding a second use for items. (But be careful, this skill can be a curse as well as a talent as it’s hard to throw anything away as everything becomes a resource. I remember a time when we bought a new gas bar-b-que and were taking the old one to the dump. As we lifted the unit up into the pick up, I had a thought and by the look on my face, my husband knew that bbq would never make it to the dump so out it came. We took off the cooking unit and replaced the top with a scrap piece of plywood. That new ‘table’ has been used for everything from potting plants, to cutting fish, to a paint stand, to a place to make stepping stones. It’s 4′ long, rolls around on the wheels, and takes all kinds of abuse. You never know what items have a second use.)

    Your columns are always food for thought.

    Reply
    • August 26, 2018 at 12:10 pm
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      Oh, Debbie, I LOVE your comment! The barbecue story is a great way to recycle items that no longer work. I would love a 4-foot table with wheels!!! Dual purpose is always on my mind as well. Love it! Linda

      Reply
  • August 26, 2018 at 11:16 am
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    My friend told me she keeps a spare pair of reading glasses in her “go bags”, and few more in storage. For those of us that need reading glasses, it is vitally important.

    Reply
    • August 26, 2018 at 12:11 pm
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      Hi, Linda, I’m always afraid my glasses will break and I won’t be able to see. At least with some reading glasses, I can at least read a book! Linda

      Reply
  • August 26, 2018 at 11:26 am
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    I have read a lot of lists about what to have, and yours is the only one with handkerchiefs. I wonder why people have not thought of how to wipe their drippy noses? I have lots of bandanas, as well as some nice white handkerchiefs for special occasions. Bought them at Walmart for $1 each.
    I have enough toilet tissue for the household for two weeks, but have the coin tissues (search term for Amazon or Walmart.com) for an end of the world disaster.

    Reply
    • August 26, 2018 at 12:13 pm
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      Hi, Angela, I put handkerchiefs because I always have a runny nose it seems. LOL! A reader just told me about those coin tissues, I bought a bag from Amazon. Great tip! They take up so little space!! Linda

      Reply
      • August 26, 2018 at 6:59 pm
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        I have been making hankies out of flannel fat quarters and a rolled hem on my serger. I have pretty much stopped using paper products with the exception of TP. I now cut up old T-shirts and serge the cut edges to use where I would normally use paper towels. Of course, in an emergency situation where water for washing cloth might be a premium, paper towels and tissues for the drippy nose will be easier on the stress.

        I would add to the matches: try to find “strike anywhere” matches. I found my latest batch at Ace Hardware. They are more convenient for carrying small supplies rather than the whole box.

        As for glasses, I always keep my most recent old glasses for emergencies. They will work for me in a pinch.

        We should all have a well stocked first aid kit as those will also go fast. I have an herbal first aid kit, standard first aid kit and an essential oil first aid kit. To all of that, I have added additional boxes of gauze pads, ace bandages in various lengths and widths, additional bandaging tape and anything else that I think I would use up quickly. I also have a couple of boxes of disposable gloves – they are so handy for protecting your hands when doing first aid but can also be filled with water and kept cold in the cooler for ice packs.

        Everyone should have at least one hot water bottle – this can be used for hot or cold water depending on what you need. I have one I keep in the freezer with water/alcohol mixture for large area ice packs; one for cold water just to cool off and one for hot water. I would suggest getting one with a cloth covering for all but the just to cool off bottle!

        Once you have decided to get all these things, do like Debbie Mc – determine what other uses things have. Not just for those things that are going to be thrown out and you decide on a repurpose, but there are many things on the list that can have multiple uses. For example: many menstrual supplies (sanitary pads and tampons) have uses for first aid as well as their intended use. Popcorn can be a snack or ground for making corn bread/corn meal. Paper plates can also be used as a craft supply for kids. And the list can go on.

        If you have kids or grandkids that will be included for using your list, be sure to include crafts, small toys and games.

        Reply
        • August 27, 2018 at 4:30 am
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          Hi Leanne, I just added strike anywhere to the matches, great reminder. I recently bought a couple of water bottles as well. Great tip!! Thank you for your awesome comment today!! I can tell you are one prepared woman!! I LOVE it! Linda

          Reply
          • August 27, 2018 at 11:13 am
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            While I try very hard to be prepared, I know that there are lots of things I still need to do! I don’t think I will know how well prepared or ill-prepared I am until something major happens.

  • August 27, 2018 at 6:43 am
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    Having been through the last two hurricanes to come through Florida, I can tell you stuff goes FAST! Yes, water is the very first thing to go, but next is basically everything in the bread aisle. Then the milk. But grocery stores do try hard to restock them throughout the week so usually if you go first thing in the mornings, you can get some (but I wouldn’t recommend having to try). Honestly, wheat and a wheat grinder would not be on anyone’s radar. People don’t have the skills to use them anymore. Ready-made snacks like granola bars and chips go because people want their comfort foods. The hardest thing to try to get your hands on the week before a hurricane are flashlights/lanterns, tarps, plywood, and most of all, a generator! Fuel for said generator and propane are also scarce. There were places here in Florida without power for WEEKS! And it was HOT! We were lucky to only go without it for a day but many were not so lucky. Depending on where you are, power may not be an issue, but here in hot Florida (and on a well for water), some form of electricity is important!

    Reply
    • August 27, 2018 at 6:56 am
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      Hi Carole, oh thank you so much for sharing your experience. My readers would love to hear this!!!! I’m sad that people no longer use wheat, I had to laugh at your comment, “it’s not on their radar” That is so true!!! I still grind my wheat and make freshly ground bread. I realize I am the minority. I’m so glad you only had to go one day without electricity. What a great learning experience. I wish I had a whole house generator but it’s way too far out of my budget. I do have a solar generator that I’m thankful to have. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on living through two hurricanes. Be safe, Linda

      Reply
  • August 28, 2018 at 12:26 pm
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    Our family does not have a need for infant diapers. However, we do have the need for adult disposable underwear. If there are elderly members of your family, the adult underwear, bed underpads, adult wipes and disposable gloves may be a life saver. Also that wonderful diaper cream with zinc in it can be used here, too!

    Reply
    • August 28, 2018 at 12:44 pm
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      Hi Carol, great comment! I have two cases of straws for the elderly as well. Good tip on the adult disposable underwear, underpads, adult wipes, and gloves. Love it! Linda

      Reply
  • August 29, 2018 at 7:52 am
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    Thanks for the reminder about the straws! Sippy cups might be in order as well. They would take less maintenance than worrying about straws all of the time. I kept one that dad had when he was in rehab. Another option is double handled mugs.

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    • August 29, 2018 at 8:47 am
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      Hi, Carol, sippy cups would be great as well. I like the idea of a double handled mug too!! Linda

      Reply
  • August 29, 2018 at 1:31 pm
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    Having lived in Florida thru many a hurricane. I learned cast iron and a charcoal grill. As a kid I never worried about as my Daddy was a pretty prepared guy. He grew up Mennonite on a farm. The first time as an adult I had to relearn it. I learned all those fancy electric gadgets were useless. Also a propane grill is useless if you’re doing without an extended period of time. A charcoal grillcan use charcoal or any kind of wood.

    Aslo when my late husband was first medically retired I learned to have a large supply of various herbs and spices. We were extremely short on money as it took 9 months for them to finally approve his medical retirement. He was not allowed to work at his job because of his health but also could not take another job for the same reason. The government takes a long time. He was a federal police officer. I learned even though we had to eat a lot of cheap hamburger and wild game it did not have to taste the same every time.

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    • August 29, 2018 at 1:46 pm
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      Hi Susie, it’s really too bad that the government takes so long to do their job right. It’s so frustrating, it’s crazy that it took nine months for them to get it right. Geez!!! I’m with you on the gas barbecue, it’s pretty much useless so charcoal and a grill or firepit will suffice. I can tell you are a survivor, you’re daddy taught you right! Awesome comment! Linda

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    • August 21, 2021 at 7:36 am
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      My husband made a rocket sort of stove from an old grill and chimney pipe. While we don’t use it now, it is available in a pinch.

      Reply
      • August 21, 2021 at 9:10 am
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        Hi Janet, it’s a blessing you have it now so when you need it, it’s ready! I love this! Linda

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  • September 28, 2018 at 3:24 pm
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    On the US Virgin Islands, I discovered I could shower using 1-gallon milk jugs and an empty 1-gallon ice cream bucket. Keeping the water filled milk jug in the sun is usually warm enough, then pouring just enough into the bucket to use to wash & rinse my face first, then give myself a sponge bath and if needed wash the crown of my hair with the rest pulled back into a ponytail. Then I used the rest of the jug of water to quickly rinse down my hair & body, trying to capture some in the bucket to wash out my lingerie. If you poke holes in the lid of the milk jug, water will sprinkle out more like a shower. But now I have a garden sprayer that works so much better and holds more water, so it is my preference.

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    • September 28, 2018 at 3:53 pm
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      Hi, Kay, I LOVE your comment! This is one area I need to up my game. I have been watching for just the right type of “shower” that would use very little water. I like the idea of keeping a one-gallon ice cream bucket in the sun to keep the temperature warm. I had never thought of using a garden sprayer, what a great idea! Thanks for these awesome tips! Linda

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  • March 19, 2020 at 10:33 pm
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    Well, Linda – Did you ever think that having posted this on your blog that the world as we knew it would blow up in our faces a year and a half later? I am surely glad that I am prepared.

    Reply
    • March 20, 2020 at 6:20 am
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      Hi Leanne, I’ve been writing my blog for 8 years now. I’m so grateful I’ve met people like you through my blog. So many people assume nothing will happen to them. This is going to be a financial hardship for so many families. It’s my understanding the school teachers and all government workers will continue to be paid. It’s too bad everyone won’t have that luxury. Life is not fair, we will continue to pray for the people who will not get paid, etc. Who would have guessed so many restaurants, stores, etc. would be shut down. No income for so many people. I’m am heartbroken for them. God bless these families, Linda

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      • March 20, 2020 at 10:23 am
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        Linda – I am fearing (well, not much because there isn’t anything I can do about it anyway) what the economic outcome will be for everyone! With the stock market (I’ve lost about $15K on my 401k), unemployment, etc., I believe that we are going to see a lot of major issues.

        Not keeping up with other states but here in Washington, if someone gets laid off, they can immediately start getting unemployment. While that is fortunate, if they are not working, what happens to their health insurance? if they don’t get the money needed to continue to pay the premiums, there might be a huge number of uninsured. Scary to say the least. Also, there is a moratorium on evictions, low to no interest loans being offered, payment plans for electricity, etc., all good options for the here and now but what of the future? I think of the person getting laid off from the restaurant and then the restaurant folding due to no business/income. The laid off person may have a very difficult time getting a job in the aftermath of this virus issue. Then, how do they pay off that loan? continue to pay for health insurance? electricity? housing? Could be and likely will be a disaster of its own in the coming months/years.

        One thing that I am truly thankful for is that my son-in-law took a new job in November last year after 12 years with his previous employer. He is an electrician and is now in training for management with his new company. He is able to work from home and continue to earn a good wage and support his family of 6. If he were not able to work at all, I don’t know what they would do. Survive I am sure but with great hardship so the ability to work from home is a real blessing.

        I love you, Linda for the encouragement and advice you give to all of your readers.
        Leanne

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        • March 20, 2020 at 10:45 am
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          Hi Leanne, you are so right about the health insurance, if they had insurance. This is getting worse every day. I’m extremely worried about our healthcare workers having to work without protective gear. If anyone can pull off this possible economic collapse it would be Pres. Trump. I’m not being political here, I’m supporting our President. I hope this comes off right for all who read it. If we do not have hope, we have nothing. I’m with you on the companies folding, this is just crazy!! I have to believe Trump and God will get this reversed as soon as possible. This has been a wakeup call for all those people who didn’t gear up for a disaster or unforeseen emergency. I love you, Leanne, Hugs from Utah

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          • March 20, 2020 at 12:19 pm
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            This morning my daughter sent me a link for 100 million mask challenge starting here in western Washington state. I signed up for it but will only do it IF they have distribution and pick up in my city or one very very close! Basically it is a call for volunteers who sew and have machines to pick up kits of fabric, elastic and some sort of filter and to then sew masks for our health care workers. Because of the uncertainty here in Washington, I am not going to drive an hour to the nearest pick up that starts on Monday morning. It would then be another hour drive to drop of the finished masks.

            I agree this has been a huge wake up call for many many people. What also concerns me is that when this is over, those people or many of them, will go back to their old way of thinking and stop preparing or stay prepared!

            I am praying that Trump has the means to keep control of this issue but I am trusting that God has this and it is his will that we need to be more concerned with. As I say – “If I get COVID-19 and recover, GREAT! If I don’t recover, I, at least, know where I am going!”

          • March 20, 2020 at 12:58 pm
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            Hi Leanne, this is awesome! I sure hope the medical professionals get the items they need ASAP. Great idea on getting kits to make them. Love it! Linda

  • March 22, 2020 at 4:23 am
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    I have be reading your stuff on and off for a while. I wasnt sure I got the why before.. ok i get it now 🙂

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    • March 22, 2020 at 5:22 am
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      Hi Mel, I’m glad to hear this! I think everyone gets it now, hopefully. Stay well, Linda

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  • March 27, 2020 at 1:56 am
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    And here we are in 2020. Funny this article happened to come up randomnly on pinterest.

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    • March 27, 2020 at 8:44 am
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      Hi R, I know, right?? Life is crazy right now. I need a whole lot more items to that list!! Linda

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  • April 12, 2020 at 10:32 pm
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    Thank you for your list. Just reading what others wrote gave me more ideas. I’m prepared however there may be another surge of hording. If farmers plow their vegetable fields under because the processing plants can’t pack and if meat processors have no customers like restaurants or schools …….think on these things. Do not panic but be wise.

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    • April 13, 2020 at 5:48 am
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      Hi Gary, I totally agree with you on the farmers and processing plants. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’m glad to hear you are too. The milk dumping, the onions rotting, the list goes on and on. I love your phrase, do not panic but be wise. Great comment, Linda

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  • December 10, 2020 at 12:13 pm
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    I love your lists! I keep them in my bullet journal. My husband doesn’t really understand buying ahead unless we have lots of money so your posts have helped me find ways over the years to stock up without much of a financial impact. Which has helped us a lot this year. I’m one of the fortunate government workers who still got paid but husband is not. It’s still a concern that if I bring this disease home, how badly it will impact us financially. Luckily, I’ve made it a habit to slowly stock up and find ways to do things for myself. I’m teaching both my children how to find ways to repurpose anything we can think of too!

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    • December 10, 2020 at 4:31 pm
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      Hi Jessica, it really does make a difference stocking a little at a time. Your government job is critical for your family right now. It’s a blessing for sure. This virus has turned our world upside down. I love hearing you have taught your children to repurpose. Stay well, Linda

      Reply
  • August 21, 2021 at 7:33 am
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    I am so grateful my mom was over home storage in our ward. I use to complain about doing these with her. lol Now I am so grateful for the knowledge to make honey without bees, cheese, beans and wheat supplies that can include cookies, sausage, when mom got going we questioned EVERYTHING she sat in front of us. hahahah Yes it usually included wheat, beans or some other “strange” ingredient but I now treasure that knowledge and am embracing it….It is fun to see the look on my grandkids face to say I can do this or that. She made handouts and cookbooks that I have about wore out. Thanks for letting me share.

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    • August 21, 2021 at 9:09 am
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      Hi Patti, you are so lucky you learned all those skills! Those cookbooks and handouts she made would be a treasure for sure! What a blessing you can carry on her tradition by teaching your grandkids. This is awesome! Linda

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  • August 21, 2021 at 7:57 am
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    Had a mountain cabin that frequently lost power. This was shared with us and works. Freeze a clear plastic cup of water, leave in freezer, place a penny on top of the ice. When the ice melts in a power outage, the penny will sink and then refreeze as power comes back on. Judge where the penny is whether you want to eat what was in your freezer

    Reply
    • August 21, 2021 at 9:11 am
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      Hi Chris, this is a great idea! Yeah, it would be nice to know if our food thawed and THEN froze again, yikes! Thank you! Linda

      Reply
  • August 21, 2021 at 9:08 am
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    Hi Linda, thanks for this list. A couple thoughts… UTIs are serious. Cranberry can help prevent them, but does not cure them. I have seen older people, especially men, get absolutely crazy as a result of a uti. My Dad at one point slid out of a wheelchair and when he was being helped up, started licking the helper’s toes– totally crazy and unlike him!!! Some antibiotics and he was back to normal. Just saying…

    Reply
  • August 21, 2021 at 9:15 am
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    Also, if it is very cold with no heat, if you set up a camping tent indoors and sleep in it with all people together, it is warmer than big separate rooms. Stay safe!

    Reply
  • August 21, 2021 at 10:10 am
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    This is a great list with numerous great comments. I ditto the recommendation for a solar shower, but be sure you get one with a heavy duty handle that goes all the way across the top. They can be used for washing dishes and even as a bidet. This is the one I have: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000J2Q0T4/ref=cm_sw_su_dp?tag=top10786-20

    Do NOT hang one of these from your shower head as shower heads are not designed to hold that much weight. you need at least one sturdy hook screwed into a stud and set at a height you find comfortable for taking showers (while you are sitting down if you want to take your shower inside) or lower if you want to use it as a bidet.

    When we first got our mountain property in Colorado we took showers from a hose leading from a spring fed cistern. Ice cold, purple lips showers. My wife maintains to this day that a $15 solar shower I bought is the best money I ever spent.

    One last comment: SALT. It is vital to have an adequate supply of salt, iodized, sea salt, Himalayan salt, all of them. And not just for seasoning. Salt is how old timers kept meat from going bad when they didn’t have refrigeration. And iodized salt use almost completely eliminated the incidence of goiters in the US population.

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    • August 21, 2021 at 10:34 am
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      Hi Ray, I need to add salt to the post, a great reminder. Oh my gosh, the cold shower and purple lips, best comment ever! Thanks for the link for the shower you bought, it looks great! The best money you ever spent, LOVE IT! Linda

      Reply
  • August 21, 2021 at 11:09 am
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    Greatly needed post, Linda!
    I didn’t grow up eating meat at every meal. We’d have bacon or sausage for breakfast, but only had meat for dinner once or twice a week. I love eating a vegetable meal now. We always had some kind of peas or beans, potatoes and cornbread. Plain good, and healthy meals. I’m not a big meat eater and have cut down quite a bit. Hubby still eats lots of meat though.
    We do need to get a solar shower. I checked on Amazon and they are now a lot more that $15. LOL Try about $35. But would still be worth it. I have carried hot water from one place to another and have even heated it on the stove. Hard times call for DIY.

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    • August 21, 2021 at 3:53 pm
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      Hi Deborah, I can’t afford one right now, I will have to get it later. I will have purple lips as Ray said! LOL! Linda

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      • August 22, 2021 at 5:44 am
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        I think we got ours from Amazon or maybe Walmart delivery. They weren’t too expensive, but I do understand not having the money all the time.

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  • August 21, 2021 at 12:20 pm
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    GReat list, I’m going to do a little adding to my supplies.
    One thing I like is multi-use supplies. Instead of getting both a laudry product and a dish-washing product, I now use Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds for both. I get it by the gallon–have a pump top I screw onto the jug for laundry, and dilute some (it’s very concentrated) in an old dishwash-liquid bottle for the sink. I’ve even used it as hand soap with no ill effects. Smells great, too. (Dr. Bronner’s also has very good Castile-based body wash/shampoo, and other products for self and household.)

    Same with TP–we rarely bother with tissues except a few boxes for guests, we just pull off “kleenex on a roll!”

    Re. pet treats–train the pets to come for that call. Our two now-5-month-old kittens know the word “treat” and come running from anywhere in the house now. The horses do the same (albeit outside, not in the house!) Although animals might be too frightened to respond in a disaster, it would certainly improve chances of their coming to your call if necessary. Also with pets–yes, the collars, tags, etc., with name and contact number are great. If you expect a major incident in which they might get lost, using a permanent marker or a livestock paint marker to write your number on their sides may be a good idea, at least with short-haired animals–and of course take photos of the animals, with you in picture too to identify!–as well as close-ups of any identifying markings. If they grow a winter coat, have a set of those photos as well.

    Wash buckets–check with restaurants, delis, or grocery stores for 5-gal. food buckets. If you can find a black one (probably from a yard job use, after cleaning it!) you can set it, full of water, out in the sun–it will warm up and be pleasant for washing. I’ll admit the shower ideas are nice–but I haven’t bothered. We didn’t have a shower here until I was in my 20s. Since our original well might get very low in a dry summer, I grew up *very* good at conserving water–no reason you can’t be perfectly clean with a gallon of water and a sponge bath.

    Another multi-purpose idea. All those blankets and sleeping bags (and horse blankets, here!)–if you lose power in summer, lay them over your freezers for extra insulation. Also keep any free space in the freezers filled with frozen jugs–a full freezer stays cold longer, and if needed you’ve then got the jugs of ice for a quick-access cooler or refrigerator (or drinking water, if worst comes to worst).

    We’re expecting Storm Henri tomorrow–I noticed the grocery store was busy yesterday!

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    • August 21, 2021 at 3:58 pm
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      Hi Rhonda, oh my gosh, I bet the store was busy yesterday. I like the idea of the black bucket to “warm up the water”, great tip! I’m praying for you while Hurricane Henri is hanging on!! Great tips today, I LOVE them! Linda

      Reply
  • August 21, 2021 at 1:09 pm
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    Something I would recommend is a Battery operated Cassette or CD player. Because although you can hear the news on a emergency Radio but you might want to listen to music or in my case Old Time Radio shows.

    Another thing to have would be a wheelbarrow in case you have things too big or have to many to carry in a wheelbarrow.

    I would also recommend a good clothes line and clothes pins.. You can put it up outside or in your basement or hang wet clothes on hangers and hang in the bathroom to dry. Hang hand towels over your shower curtain rod

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    • August 21, 2021 at 5:33 pm
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      Hi Jackie, oh yeah the clothesline and good clothespins! I like the idea of listening to music, it would be a blessing for some positive songs! Linda

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  • August 21, 2021 at 10:16 pm
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    Hi Linda,

    I enjoy this blog so much! I don’t know if you know about this or not re: yeast infections. Years ago I was plagued by recurring infections and Monistat did not help. After much research I found a natural alternative: Acidophilus which is a probiotic that increases/balances the natural flora in our system. It’s found in the vitamin section of all grocery and health food stores and is very inexpensive. It’s not a drug so you don’t have the problems with side effects and best of all, it works immediately!! Now whenever I feel the twinges of an infection coming on I grab the Acidophilus and it does the trick! I thought you and your readers might benefit from this. Thanks so much! ~Janet Robinson

    Reply
    • August 22, 2021 at 6:46 am
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      Hi Janet, oh thank you so much, I will look on Amazon, is this a good one? https://amzn.to/3moJvQ4. This is what every woman needs to know. Thank you so much, I will add this to the post. I need this and I’m sure others would love to hear this! Thank you so much!!!!! Linda

      Reply
      • August 22, 2021 at 2:21 pm
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        Hi Linda! Yes, that one would help just fine. Like I said, you can find it everywhere…it’s cheap and effective. And yes, every woman needs to know about it! SO much better and cheaper than the messy creams, etc. I used to be a checker at a grocery store and I told every woman about acidophilus when I saw they were purchasing Monistat. I would tell them “you’re gonna love me forever!” Are you still in the St. George area?? I’m in Hurricane. Thanks again for your wonderful blog! Blessings to you… ~Janet

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        • August 22, 2021 at 2:53 pm
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          Hi Janet, oh my gosh, thank you! You live in Hurricane!! Yes, I live in Coral Canyon (Washington). Thank you for your kind words! Hurricane is one of the most prepared cities in the state! You are so lucky, Linda

          Reply
  • August 22, 2021 at 4:14 pm
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    Don’t forget sewing supplies: Needles, pins, scissors, a variety of colors of sewing thread, fabrics, patches, buttons, snaps, elastic, seam ripper, leather thimbles, velcro, etc.

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    • August 22, 2021 at 4:49 pm
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      Sorry! I see you already had sewing supplies mentioned.

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    • August 22, 2021 at 5:17 pm
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      Hi Sharon, I totally agree we need sewing supplies. Thank you, Linda

      Reply
  • August 24, 2021 at 1:20 pm
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    Plastic cutlery? I think it would be better to give each person their own cutlery and a mesh bag to keep it in. Stock up on salt and use that to rub anything you can’t lick off.
    Paper plates I completely get, especially if you are eating something that could give you food poisoning if not completely cleaned off, but s rather than tossing them in the trash, use them to start the fire if you’re cooking on one, or even bury / compost them.
    If things are so bad that you need these measures, nobody is coming to empty your garbage cans.
    On that note, if each person has a plastic plate or similar to put underneath you won’t have to use 2 paper ones to keep them from soaking through and collapsing.

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    • August 24, 2021 at 1:52 pm
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      Hi Diana, the reason I said plastic cutlery is because where I live many are not prepared at all or very little. I had pictured needing to help others, which is my nature of caring for others. We can wash the plastic ware if need be and burn the paper plates or compost as well. I have purchased literally 1000’s of heavy-weight paper plates for years, as well as cups, lids, and plastic ware. I have regular silverware as well. Great tip on the salt. Linda

      Reply

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