When you think of preparing for emergencies, what comes to mind? Chances are, you think of stocking up on supplies like water, food, and medical supplies. But is that enough to store for survival?
What if a major disaster or emergency strikes and those supplies run out? Or what if you can’t get to them in time? To be truly prepared for any situation, you need to have a wide variety of items stockpiled. So what should you store? Here are 100 items that every prepper should have on hand. Don’t panic – just prepare!
There may be a fine line between what you consider emergency supplies and emergency equipment. It is a given that you will need things like storage containers or tanks for your water storage, gear like butane stoves or SunOvens to cook your food, and the related fuel and pots and pans, depending on the options chosen.
Today, the focus may be considered to be on the “lighter side” as we discuss supplies and how they’ll be used when needed in an emergency. Let’s get started!
What Does It Mean to Store For Survival?
When we talk about “storing for survival,” what exactly do we mean? In a nutshell, it means having a stockpile of critical supplies on hand that will help you get through that emergency. This could be anything from non-perishable food, potable water, crucial medications, and first-aid supplies. It might even include things like flashlights, batteries, and cash.
The idea is to have as many things as possible that you’ll need to sustain yourself and your family in the event of disasters, floods, or an extended power outage. Of course, different people will have different ideas about what constitutes an “essential” item. But the bottom line is that storing for survival is all about being prepared for the worst.
Simply having emergency food supplies isn’t enough, you also need to know how to use them. That’s why it’s important to learn basic survival skills like cooking when the power is out, building a shelter, starting a fire, and purifying water. With these skills in your toolkit, you’ll be able to weather any storm – literally or figuratively. So whether you’re preparing for an emergency or just want to be ready for anything, remember to store for survival.
100 Items to Store For Survival
I’m not a doomsday prepper, but I am an expert preparedness chick. In other words, I’m prepared for the unexpected. It’s a way of life for me, and I’m sure for many of you. I tip my hat to you for learning the skills as you go along with life’s journey.
Don’t panic if you’re just starting to prep for emergencies. You don’t need to go out and buy everything on this list all at once. Start small, and add to your supplies over time. The important thing is to try to be prepared for whatever comes our way.
First and foremost, it’s important to have enough water. You should store at least 1 gallon of water per person in your household for at least a week.
- Water- My suggestion is four gallons of water per person per day. We’ll need to not only hydrate, but also have water to cook with, maintain a level of personal hygiene, and at least keep our underwear clean enough to wear.
In addition to water, you also want to have enough food in your pantry to feed your family for an extended period of time. You want to get food that has a long shelf life so that you can rotate it. However, you want to stock what you will eat! Here’s my list of long-term foods you should store for survival:
- Rice – Any rice works, but I like to store brown rice. Learn How to Cook Rice, here.
- Pasta – You can stretch any meal with a little extra macaroni. Your family’s favorite grain could be a great substitute.
- Beans – Canned or bags of dry beans will work.
- Ramen noodles -These are filling, and you can add your own spices or protein to the nutrients you need to help you stay healthy.
- Canned vegetables – Be sure and buy the ones your family will eat. If nobody likes peas, don’t get peas.
- Canned fruits – You want to be sure to choose your favorite ones so the family will eat them.
- Pancake mix – Yes, you can make them from scratch, but it’s nice to have some that you just add water. Don’t forget the syrup or jam.
- Biscuit Mixes – I understand that these are processed, but if we have an emergency, you can just add water and bake.
- Cold Cereal -This is a great way to have breakfast. Just be sure to choose the ones your family will eat so nothing goes to waste.
- Instant milk – Regular milk goes bad over time, and if you can’t get any for weeks, you’ll want instant milk that you can make with water.
- Peanut butter and jam – This is a great source of protein that can be added to crackers, bread, or other baked goods.
- Crackers – If you can’t make bread, you can eat crackers with peanut butter and jam or tuna with mayo.
- Kool-Aid mixes or Tang – Water can get boring. Have some mixes that can brighten your day.
- Spaghetti Sauce – You can pour this sauce over any pasta to create a simple meal.
- Chili – If you have beans, you can make your own, but canned chili is a great survival food if you can’t cook over a stove.
- Canned meats – I recommend tuna, chicken, and spam. Don’t forget mayo and Miracle Whip.
- Canned Soups – Canned soup is a quick and easy way to make a meal. Make sure to get hearty soups.
- Mac and Cheese – If you have children, don’t forget the mac & cheese. What child doesn’t like this fun food for a meal?
- Flour – Baking supplies like flour, baking powder, and soda are crucial. If you have the basics, you can make bread, biscuits, pancakes, crackers, and tortillas.
- Yeast – You’ll also need yeast to make baked goods. (Saf Instant is my favorite)
- Oil – Most baked recipes need fat like butter or oil. Oil can be stored for quite a while and would be a great ingredient option.
- Sugar or honey – I recommend storing sugar for survival. It can be used in baked goods and a variety of recipes. Honey lasts for years and is more healthy too.
- Spices – Make sure to have Salt and Pepper, Cinnamon, chili powder, and all your other favorite spices.
- Oatmeal – Oats are delicious and nutritious. Plus, it has a long shelf life so it can easily be rotated.
First Aid Supplies
In addition to food and water, you also want to make sure you have enough first-aid supplies to last an extended period of time. Here’s a list of what I recommend:
- Bandages or Band-aids – Whether you are prepping for survival or not, it’s always a good idea to have band-aids.
- Neosporin – This ointment helps heal cuts and scrapes.
- Aspirin – Don’t give aspirin to children, but Aspirin is great to have on hand for pain relief, and also to help minimize the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Fever reducers – Make sure you have Tylenol or ibuprofen for children and adults. Also, have at least one thermometer so you can monitor those fevers.
- Cough syrup – You never know when someone will get sick, and who wants to have to live with a cough for an extended period?
- Tums or Pepto-Bismol – helps to relieve those tummy upsets.
- Benadryl – Allergies happen, and if it’s getting you down, you will need an antihistamine right away.
- Cotton balls/Q-Tips – These can be used for a variety of things.
- Vaseline – You can use this for so many things like cuts, scrapes, and diaper issues, but also to lubricate.
- Bag Balm or Shea Butter – This can be used for rashes, itching, and diaper rash.
- Essential Oils- Read 21 Essential Oils Everyone Should Stock Up On for more information.
- Cough Lozenges – I have these next to my bed all the time. Couldn’t do without them in an emergency.
- Vicks VapoRub – Helps to clear a cough and sinus congestion.
- Epsom Salts – Read Linda’s post on the Uses of Epsom Salts for reasons why you should stock it.
- Apple Cider Vinegar- Check out my Apple Cider Vinegar post for more information on why you should store apple cider vinegar.
Although food, water, and first aid items are all important, there are some other essential survival items you should make sure you have:
- Phone chargers – I suggest getting solar-powered phone chargers in case the power is out.
- Flashlights – Get solar-powered flashlights, or make sure to store batteries as well.
- Lanterns – These are good light sources.
- Paracord, twine, or rope – Rope and twine are good for making shelters as well as other things. Keep these things in your sheds.
- Knife(s) – You never know what might need to be cut during an emergency.
- Multi-task tool – One of my sons-in-law has one of these handy items on his belt at all times.
- N-95 masks – Make sure to have various sizes for kids and adults.
- Matches – I recommend waterproof matches so that you can still use them if they get wet, but regular matches will work as well.
- Garbage bags – Getting rid of waste is something to think about.
- Baggies – These come in handy to carry things you might need from your first aid kit, some temporary food storage, etc.
- Duct tape – Read my post, Duct Tape Why You Need to Store It to find out all the many uses of duct tape.
If you are going to prepare for survival, you will want to know how to garden. Eventually, food stocks run out, but if you can grow your own food, you can survive. Here’s the survival gear you need:
- Shovels – Make sure to have large and small shovels.
- Garden gloves- If you are working with weeds and plants, you could run into poison ivy or just get blisters. Make sure to protect your hands.
- Soil amendments – Not all soil is conducive to growing plants. Make sure you have soil amendments like lime, fertilizer, and organic material.
- Garden Seeds – You can’t grow a garden without seeds. Be sure and buy only organic non-GMO varieties.
None of these items are absolutely necessary to stay alive, but they do make life easier and more sanitary, even if you don’t have running water. Here’s what I recommend you store for survival:
- Toilet paper- When the COVID pandemic happened, toilet paper was wiped off the shelves, but those that were prepared had toilet paper.
- Paper towels
- Plastic silverware
- Paper bowls
- Paper cups
Personal Hygiene Necessities
Personal hygiene doesn’t just mean soap and shampoo. You also need female items, ways to clean your clothes, and toothpaste. Here are the personal hygiene items to store for survival:
- Tampons – If you don’t use tampons, you don’t need to store them.
- Menstrual Pads – Although I recommend stocking up on disposable menstrual pads, having reusable ones or a menstrual cup is always a good idea in case you run out.
- Razors/Scissors – Although you can let yourself get hairy, being able to shave helps to keep you mentally healthy.
- Shaving cream – You can also use soap or conditioner instead of shaving cream, but if your skin is sensitive, make sure you stock up.
- Toothbrushes – You need to have enough toothbrushes for everyone in your home. Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3 months.
- Disposable diapers – Disposable diapers are great to have in emergencies, whether for babies or adults.
- Baby wipes – Not only are these great for babies, but they are a good way to clean yourself if you don’t have running water.
- Hand sanitizer
- Bags for others – Makeup Bags with Hygiene Items for unexpected guests.
- Bars of soap – These will last longer than body wash.
- Wash bucket – If you don’t have running water, you’ll want a wash bucket to clean your clothes in. Hopefully, you’ll have stored water or a water source nearby.
- Clothesline – It may seem outdated, but if the power goes out, you can’t easily dry your clothes. A clothesline will come in handy.
- Clothespin Holder
- Laundry Detergent – Be sure and keep your laundry done, and store at least a year’s supply of laundry soap.
- Chapstick – Get chapstick with SPF. If it has an SPF number it will protect your lips from the sun.
- Rags – I like to keep clean rags in a drawer to use for emergencies of any kind.
Cleanliness can prevent the spread of germs and bacteria that can make you sick. Make sure you have the following cleaning supplies for survival:
- Clorox bleach – If your sewer backs up, you will need bleach to kill the bacteria. Bleach is also a great way to sanitize water, so make sure you store bleach.
- 409 Spray
- Febreze Spray – Although it doesn’t necessarily clean, it can make a musty room smell much better.
You don’t need the following items to survive, but they can really make life easier in the event of an emergency. Here are some miscellaneous items I recommend you store for survival:
- Linda’s Book Prepare Your Family For Survival
- Emergency medical handbook to use when the emergency room is not available Medical Handbook.
- Chocolate, dark or light works for me.
- Books that are in hard form, if we lose power we may not be able to use e-books.
- Playing Cards
- Children’s books – If we’re cooped up in a school, or even our house, having some colored pencils and coloring books or tablets would keep the young ones distracted from most disasters.
- Bible or book you study as part of your religion.
- Chainsaw – That neighbor down the street with a chainsaw may be your new best friend.
- Emergency Colored Tape – I talked about this in another post, red means needing immediate help, yellow means delay/not immediate, green means they are ok to wait for assistance, and black means death.
- Tents or tarps
- Extra Socks/Shoes
- Coats, hats, and gloves in case of inclement weather.
- Blankets/Sleeping Bags
- Coffee filters- They can be used for so many things.
How to Store Long-Term Food Storage
When it comes to emergency food storage, the best approach is to think like a Boy Scout: Be prepared. That means having a plan in place for what you will do in case of a power outage, hurricane, severe weather, earthquake, fire, or another disaster. It also means being mindful of expiration dates and keeping your supplies fresh. Here are some tips for how to store your emergency food:
- Keep canned goods in a cool, dry storage space. A basement, garage, pantry, or cupboard is ideal.
- Store dry goods such as rice, pasta, and cereal in airtight food-grade containers or food-grade buckets.
- Rotate your supplies regularly so that nothing expires.
- Use Mylar bags to store freeze-dried foods.
- Keep a list of pending expiration dates handy so you know when to use something before it goes bad.
This list is not all-inclusive, but it should give you a good start on things you will need to include in your emergency preparedness planning. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please feel free to share them in the comment section below. And as always, stay safe and prepared.
Please continue preparing for emergencies. May God Bless this world, Linda
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