01. Things to stockpile in the event of a crisis ?
It is possible to find endless lists of tips or products to stock to have enough to survive in a crisis. If you take the time to think about it, you will notice that they are not always of good advice, that they do not stick to your personal needs and / or that you do not have a shed of 200m ² to store all the provisions which are recommended to you.
Let us not apply stupidly the instructions given in this kind of lists without considering their context and their relevance to our personal situations. No one has a magic stick to guarantee survival, and no one can think of everything or deal with all situations. The first question asked by many people who want to prepare is “what should I buy? “. The answer is simple: there is no standard answer to this query.
Storing products in a crisis means making provisions for the products you consume and use on a daily basis and this differs for everyone. Obviously, storing products in advance is not only useful in a crisis: when we did not have time to go shopping for reason X or Y, we are glad to find products in advance in his closet. The idea here is not to store tons of useless products, but on the contrary to constitute a useful reserve of current products that can troubleshoot on a daily basis as in the case of a serious problem.
That’s why I urge you not to fall into the marketing trap of survivalism. The needs of each individual change according to a wide range of factors, to name but a few: sex, age family status, place of life, eating habits, fitness and physical resistance, general state of health, psychological state, financial means, evacuation capacity … It is better to proceed in stages and ask the right questions than to buy at a golden price 6 months of food supplies that do not suit us, an arsenal of war that will never be used and 90Kg of unnecessary camping gear.
Similarly, including your family members in this reflection is important to multiply the points of view and to review all the essential materials for each one. Storing products in a crisis should not be a selfish but a collective process. An excellent way to detect the systems that you and your family are most addicted to is to behave as if there were no more supermarket or energy in your home and list what you can’t do anymore.
Once this list is established, you will be able to look for alternative ways of meeting the needs in case of a crisis and to make your provisions in a coherent way. The satisfaction of our main physiological needs is mainly ensured by the big chains of food distribution where we buy our food, water, toilet paper and other everyday items related to the hygiene and maintenance of our homes and vehicles.
01.1 Products that disappear first when crisis strike
Here is a non-exhaustive list of mostly essential products that we commonly buy in supermarkets:
- Long-life foods (pasta, rice, canned meat, etc.)
- Oil & vinegar
- Water & milk
- Salt, sugar, honey, spices
- Coffee & tea, filters
- Garbage bags
- Lighters & matches
- Bleach and cleaning products
- Paper & diapers
- Soap & laundry,
- Toothpaste & daily hygiene products
- Pharmaceutical products (dressings, disinfectants, creams, etc.)
- Batteries & chargers
- Candles & lanterns, flashlights
- Ratting products
- Fuel & gas bottles
This is also the list of products that say will appear most quickly in the event of a crisis and disruption of the supply chain or purchase-panic rush. Concretely, this means that they will become rare, expensive and difficult to obtain and therefore they constitute the bulk of the elements to be stored in anticipation of a crisis situation.
01.2 The “just-in-time” supply chain
Supermarkets are stocking up on tight supplies to reduce storage costs, avoid product expiration and increase margins by adjusting supply to demand. A conventional supermarket has enough food to supply food and essentials for a maximum of 72 hours (3 days).
In the event of a break in the supply chain, it is expected that the shelves will be empty after 36 hours (1.5 days) in the best case. Many choose to ignore this risk and think they can get the necessary at the last minute; it’s without counting on the hordes of panicked people and thugs who will rush into the shops at the same time to get the same items.
Do not wait until the last moment to build up your stocks of supplies, especially water and of food. Crisis don’t call before they strike. Whether it’s a prolonged power outage or a complete economic collapse, you must have enough to keep you going at the worst possible time.
Survival stock : list of products to stockpile before SHTF
Having a good organization and a good daily hygiene is of paramount importance for our mental and physical health. Storing useful survival products is crucial for survival when medications and skincare structures become scarce or disappear. A simple, neat cut can turn into infection and sepsis, and it is death. Poor storage of waste or manure can contaminate the water and give rise to an epidemic which in turn will cause other disasters.
Our modern environment seems reliable, civilized and protected from the ills of countries like Liberia or Haiti, but the reality is quite different. Only a few weeks of chaos separate us from their fate. And if they are used to acting to survive, this is not the case of the population of a country like our where people rely on technology and logistics fr everything.
If everyone is in a specific situation, the physiological needs are the same for all and some products are unavoidable , especially common drugs and hygiene products. An interesting point to note in this list is the interdependence of products between them: without lighters or matches impossible to start the stove; without salt or batteries impossible to make bleach; without charger can not charge batteries and operate flashlights or radio; without tools it is impossible to repair or procure the aforementioned items when needed; without water impossible to survive, etc.
Toilet paper is a product to which we pay no attention and which we gladly waste on a daily basis. Still, it’s an absolute luxury. Surviving without is possible, but who would want it? Essential for hygiene and morale, recent conflicts and disasters have shown that it becomes very quickly not found or in small quantities and at exorbitant rates. Toilet paper can and must, like drinking water and garbage bags, be stored in pharaonic proportions: whatever happens, it will not be lost. 260 rolls, or approximately 1 year of consumption, are a minimum. Prefer models with classic tubes rather than those that dissolve in water, cardboard makes an excellent fire starter. You will find here packs of 60 rolls at low price allowing you to build up a stock very quickly.
Garbage bags, like toilet paper, are essential for hygiene. They not only cleanly store food waste but also maintain good hygiene in situations where toilets are out of use or out of reach. Of various sizes and thicknesses, diversions of the garbage bag are legion (to obstruct a broken window, to collect and transport water, to protect the head, the feet or the hands, to serve as makeshift shelter, to protect documents or food, etc.). Storing 2000 30L trash bags takes up the space of a crate of 6 bottles of wine and can save your life in the long run. You can order boxes of 1000 bags on Amazon.
Towels and tampons are needed for feminine hygiene. Storing them in large quantities is highly recommended to ensure the health and well-being of women in your family, do not overlook. A woman uses an average of 20 towels or tampons on a menstrual cycle, so 240 units represent an annual consumption. Their use can be diverted: towels make excellent makeshift bandages for large wounds and tampons make very good fire starters and are commonly used in armed conflict to heal bullet wounds. If you do not know what to buy for your girlfriend or girl, this basic model of sanitary napkins will be perfect.
Hydro-alcoholic gel helps prevent the transmission of infectious diseases and maximizes the chances of survival. It is used without water or soap, allows to disinfect the hands or parts of the body and to save water. Expect at least 4L. Attention, do not use it to wash your whole body, despite its qualities, its formulation is very aggressive for the skin and unsuitable for daily hygiene. I have personally ordered this model that offers the best value for money.
Toothbrushes and mouthwashes are necessary to maintain good oral hygiene in the long term and prevent infections. Toothache is among the most unsustainable and rapidly worsening, so be sure to give yourself the means to maintain good health and consult your dentist at least once a year.
Nitrile or latex gloves protect hands from contaminations during dirty operations or presenting a risk of contamination (medical care or treatment of organic waste). They are bought by hundreds at low prices, store several boxes. This model offers a good value for the money.
Buying a complete first aid kit and storing common medications is an absolute necessity for managing minor injuries and feverish or diarrheal conditions. Store as much as you can. If you have an illness and must take treatment, you must make sure you have enough medicines to cover the period you think is necessary and survive. Talk to your doctor – and never to anyone else – for advice. You can buy a ready-made first aid kit, but I strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with its contents and complete it.
The soap is essential for personal hygiene and must be stored in large quantities, preferably in the form of breads. . Natural or similar soap is neutral for the skin, the intimate parts and the hair and is perfect for prolonged use. Easy to rinse, it is also suitable for dental hygiene (it is a very good natural toothpaste) and for laundry clothes when needed. 5kg of soap in breads cost almost nothing and allow to keep a complete hygiene for a year. Choose the raw format instead of liquid soaps that are difficult to store, leak and consume more quickly.
Baking soda is a natural and healthy product that allows you to make many products that can quickly run out, such as laundry, disinfectant mouthwash, deodorants of all kinds and cleaning products (from many factsheets to learn how to do them are available on the internet). It is also a very good dietary supplement, especially when physical effort is needed. Versatile and very useful, baking soda is a very accessible product available commercially as cans of several kilos. Storing at least 10kg is recommended.
Butane fuel (indoor storage) or propane (outdoor storage) cylinders as well as camping stove gas cartridges are the only viable alternative to continue cooking when electricity and city gas supplies are cut. Storing one or more gas boilers, a camping stove and enough gas bottles and cartridges to heat and cook 2 times a day for 1 month is a good start. If you do not know how to handle them, ask a professional.
Lighters and matches are absolutely essential for cooking, heating and tinkering. The domestication of fire will probably remain the most important event in the history of mankind, do not deprive yourself of it. Do not hesitate to buy them wholesale and store as much as possible, these products are essential to survive, are cheap, run out quickly, do not take up space and have a high barter value. Packs of 50 Bic lighters are available, I advise you to buy at least one.
Candles, lanterns and flashlights are essential when there is no more electricity in the house. Lots of hundreds of long-lasting candles can be found for a few dollars and allow you to light up and keep food warm. Solar or dynamo lanterns cost a few bucks and give you an interesting lighting solution. Investing in a few good-quality flashlights running on AA or AAA batteries is essential to move and work in dark places (basements, attics, crafts in poorly lit areas, etc.). Some are equipped with strobe devices that can be used to signal your position to help or to blind an abuser. Chemical lightsticks offer lasting lighting (generally 6 to 8 hours continuously), but they have the disadvantage of being quite expensive, disposable and perishable.
Batteries and battery chargers can not be manufactured by hand and operate most of the essential electrical devices in case of big glitch: radios, lamps, walkie-talkies, emergency chargers, etc. To build a stock of disposable and rechargeable batteries corresponding to our devices is essential. Choosing systems that work on the most common standards (AA & AAA) is important, the rare batteries in normal time will become absolutely unavailable in troubled times. The Lacrosse battery charger is a must have.
Solar generators like the Ravpower 24W (also called solar chargers) are very interesting products that can recharge 4 to 8 AA or AAA batteries or power banks in a few hours with average sun. Accessible around a hundred euros, they are a useful and sustainable investment. Treat yourself with a standalone battery tester by the way (one that runs using the battery power tested), this will make it easier to manage your stock. Batteries are used on a daily basis in most electronic devices and enter processes such as the manufacture of bleach, so do not neglect them.
Powerbanks of very high capacity are also available at affordable prices, do not hesitate to add them to your survival equipment. This model is very convenient to have enough to recharge your electronic equipment dozens of times.
Water is essential to survive and must be stored permanently at a level of 120 to 150L of water minimum for a couple. The best value for everyday water filtration is the Berkey gravity filter which you can read my test here. If you don’t already have a Berkey water filter, now is the time to buy one.
Storing canned food (metal) or jars) as well as freeze-dried food for a minimum of 1 month is indispensable and recommended by civil protection organizations worldwide. Surviving without food or drink is impossible, do not skimp on your stocks of food survival.
Salt is an indispensable product and so common that it pays almost more attention and yet, its qualities of preservation of food make him one of the first victims of shortages caused by crisis situations. Among other things, it makes it possible to greatly extend the shelf life of meat, fish, vegetables and tubers. It is also the essential element for the artisanal manufacture of bleach. It costs nothing, does not expire and is very easy to store, buy as much as possible.
In addition to their primary function, coffee or tea filters are very useful for filtering water. Store a hundred.
Disposable dishes are especially useful when water runs out. Being able to get rid of the dishes rather than letting them pile up and attract the pests is appreciable when the situation arises. Cardboard products are preferred for their ability to serve as fuel, funnel or writing paper. Lots sold per hundred for a dime should find their place at home.
Alcohol is used for cooking, medical care, makes an excellent fuel in cocktails and has a high barter value. Store twenty liters of unbranded vodka, it will serve you sooner or later, for one reason or another
Various tools (can opener, screwdriver, bolt cutter, hammer, hammer, screw, nails, wood and metal saws, powerful wireless drill driver, etc.) are used for DIY but can also be used be particularly useful for opening doors, padlocks or vehicles whose keys you have lost.
Equip yourself with a pair of destructive tools (crowbar, heavy duty sledge hammer, etc.) can be very helpful when needed, and they can possibly be your defensive tools. Remember to buy a good pair of protective gloves, hurting your hands can quickly be catastrophic.
Solid and sharp knives are needed to cook, cut, engrave, shape, sculpt and eventually defend themselves. While folding knives are attractive for their ease of transportation and discretion, their design makes them fragile and must be complemented by fixed, stronger and more versatile blades. This construction allows the knives to withstand very high pressures and therefore to be able to solicit them for a multitude of demanding tasks. Buying a good sharpener and learning how to use it is also relevant.
Multitask tape (also called duct tape, duck tape, gorilla tape, plumbing tape, etc.) is useful in a multitude of situations (various repairs, clogging leaks, repair of pipes, insulation and sealing of doors and windows, manufacture of bags, straps, etc.). It is used for everything and all the time and must be stored in large quantities (as much as possible). After trying all the brands, I only use the brands Duck tape and Gorilla tape, which are the only ones to offer an adhesive really able to do the job.
Foldable water jerricans and bathtub emergency water containers are space-saving and inexpensive systems that deploy easily and quickly when needed. Offering capacities from 5 to 80L, they are excellent allies for storing water or fuel at the last minute. Rigid jerricans are also recommended and more suitable for long-term storage. It is advisable to clean these containers and seal them tightly before storing them so that they can be filled in a flash when the time comes without fear of contaminating the drinking water.
Containers of all kinds are always used and should not be used. a dead end. From the Ziplock bag to the 40L bucket and the traditional plastic basin they can be used for transportation, storage and even as a backup toilet when equipped with a garbage bag. Some manufacturers offer stackable models like Russian dolls to save space.
It is imperative to store your survival stock in an orderly and suitable way for easy access and facilitate its migration into your vehicle if necessary. If you have enough space, mounting an industrial type shelf in your cellar or parking lot is a good alternative. Once these products are secure, you are able to do without support systems for a while and you have already taken a giant step towards resilience.
It is certain that gathering all this material is a significant investment, so make sure that your survival stock is not visible or easily accessible to burglars. This should be considered – for a good reason – as life insurance and the expense should be spread over several months or even years to minimize its impact on your daily budget. The better the preparation, the better your resilience when the time comes.