Dire Warnings and 100 Items You Need to Survive

Now that we’ve done our cheery “Happy New Year” greetings, it’s time to get more serious.
I’m a boomer. In my lifetime, I can’t remember a new year beginning with such dire warnings and grim outlook.
This morning, the UK’s The Telegraph reports that Americans bought record numbers of guns last month amid an apparent surge in popularity for weapons as Christmas presents.
Another UK paper, Daily Mail, is grimmer still. Dominic Sandbrook writes that a “loss of faith in politicians and democracy could make 2012 the most frightening year in living memory.” Sandbrook goes as far as to compare our time with the Great Depression:

“For the most chilling parallel, though, we should look back exactly 80 years, to the cold wintry days when 1931 gave way to 1932…. It was in 1931 that the Great Depression really took hold in Europe, bringing governments to their knees and plunging tens of millions of people out of work. Then as now, the crisis had taken years to gather momentum. After the Wall Street Crash in 1929 — just as after the banking crisis of 2008 — some observers even thought that the worst was over. But in the summer of 1931, a wave of banking panics swept across central Europe.”

Last November, it was reported that survival stores across the US and on the Internet are reporting larger than usual sales in survival supplies. Ammo and gun sales are also increasing. People are stocking up on MREs (Meals Ready To Eat used by the military), freeze dried foods, and dehydrated foods.
Steve Dorsey, the manager of Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters Inc., told CBS St. Louis business has been brisk since the spring uprisings in the Middle East, as customers share concerns about political uprisings, the world economy and the future of the United States. Dorsey said some customers talk of stocking up on freeze-dried meals for the home, while others confide they are stashing supplies at a remote location away from the city where they would go in an emergency:

“We had to order fifty cases of the meals ready to eat to keep up with the demand in the past three months. That’s not normal.  Usually we sell 20 to 30 cases in a whole year. I’ve had people in here that are very wealthy and they’ve spent thousands of dollars just on backpacks that they fill with survival gear, one for each person of their family. And something where they can just grab a bag and get out of Dodge.”

If you’re serious about survival supplies, here are “The One Hundred Items To Disappear Off The Shelves First”:

  1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of thieves; maintenance etc.).
  2. Water Filters/Purifiers.
  3. Portable Toilets.
  4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 – 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
  5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!).
  6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
  7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
  8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
  9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar.
  10. Rice – Beans – Wheat.
  11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking. Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.)
  12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (will become scarce suddenly).
  13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain. any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY – note – food grade if for drinking).
  14. Mini Heater head (Propane; without this item, propane won’t heat a room.)
  15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric).
  16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.)
  17. Survival Guide Book.
  18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)
  19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
  20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
  21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
  22. Vitamins
  23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)
  24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
  25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
  26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
  27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
  28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
  29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
  30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels.
  31. Milk – Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
  32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
  33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
  34. Coleman’s Pump Repair Kit
  35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
  36. Fire Extinguishers (or large box of Baking Soda in every room)
  37. First aid kits
  38. Batteries (all sizes…buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
  39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
  40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
  41. Flour, yeast & salt
  42. Matches. {“Strike Anywhere” preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first.
  43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
  44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)
  45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
  46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, “No. 76 Dietz” Lanterns
  47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times)
  48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting – if with wheels)
  49. Men’s Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc
  50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
  51. Fishing supplies/tools
  52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
  53. Duct Tape
  54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
  55. Candles
  56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
  57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
  58. Garden tools & supplies
  59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
  60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc
  61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
  62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
  63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
  64. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
  65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
  66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
  67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
  68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
  69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
  70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
  71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
  72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
  73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
  74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
  75. Soysauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soupbase
  76. Reading glasses
  77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
  78. “Survival-in-a-Can”
  79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
  80. Boy Scout Handbook, also Leaders Catalog
  81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
  82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
  83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
  84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
  85. Lumber (all types)
  86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
  87. Cots & Inflatable mattress’s
  88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
  89. Lantern Hangers
  90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws, nuts & bolts
  91. Teas
  92. Coffee
  93. Cigarettes
  94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
  95. Paraffin wax
  96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
  97. Chewing gum/candies
  98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
  99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs
  100. Goats/chickens

A daunting list indeed. If you are stocking up, you will need to be  prepared to defend your supplies from marauders with violence. Are you?

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Danny Adams
8 years ago

Don’t forget books! Particularly books that teach you how to do things, from repairs to first aid. Granted there’s a lot of stuff you might not be able to do straight out of a book if you haven’t already practiced, but nobody can remember everything they’d need to know, and you don’t want to gamble that someone in your community might have that suddenly necessary skill.

lowtechgrannie lowtechgrannie
lowtechgrannie lowtechgrannie
8 years ago

That’s a great list! Something else to add for both cooking and first aid would be cooking oil and powdered sugar.
I heard a doctor on “The People’s Pharmacy” who pioneered the research on using sugar to heal wounds. You can hear his interview here.

Christine A Hall
7 years ago

They say honey is * smashing* for that – it’s naturally antibacterial. Clean wound thoroughly, smear honey on, put on some gauze and tape. I’m SO guessing here, but it probably lasts as long as a change of regular A/B cream would, 24-36 hours, maybe even 48. Plenty of places sell honey in buckets, I know Emergency Essentials does, along w/ a lot of these other things you have listed here Incl. a REALLY cool laundry widgie – looks like a toilet plunger, kinda, but it’s hard and you plunge a couple shirts or a pair of jeans clean in… Read more »

8 years ago

Thanks Dr Eowyn for posting this list, I have tried to see it several times but the site wanted you to buy something or pay for it. I would add aspirin and other NSID’s, benadryl, antibacterial ointments and anything else you use regularly too. A book on natural remedies and heritage herb seeds. There are plenty of us that will need something to lower blood pressure when all the drugs are gone…

8 years ago

It is noteworthy that grim predictions are so widespread. The only other time I’ve seen them so dire is pre-Y2K. Of course, there were many skeptics then, and nothing happened, thanks to God’s mercy and the spending of a lot of money and resources. The problems we face now seem more real to more people. Besides, the economy affects people more adversely than it did in 1999.

8 years ago

Eowyn great list. I’ve prepped for many years in all the varied places we have lived. Earthquakes-Ak and Ca. , hurricanes-Ms, typhoons-Philippines, ice storms and blizzards- Ak,S. Dak., and Mont. Overseas we were briefed to keep a Non-Combatant kit in case of evacuation. That’s not to say I am an expert, but I have worked at it and for a long time. I’ve had to put them my supplies to the test everywhere we’ve lived, except for the NEO evacuation. One item that is good to get is called a Heater Buddy@. That’s a brand name, and it runs on… Read more »

8 years ago

By the way, be careful who you buy from; and buy food your family will eat, and rotate your food. That is one of the most important things. We’ve always kept a grab and go bag for every family member, and two items in cold climates that could really come in handy are the hand warmer and foot warmer packets that you can buy in any sporting goods store. Those are just two more items, in addition to warm clothing, food, light, fire making equipment, etc that are great for grab and go bags.

8 years ago

Books have been mentioned, but specifically repair and maintenance manuals for anything mechanical on the list, and the necessary hand tools to effect repairs. I also recommend any of David Gingery’s books.

edward oleander
edward oleander
8 years ago

The list is daunting… One suggestion is to organize your neighbors (the ones you can trust), and divide the list among you. Single families will be at a disadvantage anyway. Fortify your neighborhood! Find out what skills are available in a 1-block radius, and plan to take advantage of that. Books. Add the old Time-Life series to your DIY library. Also, quite rare but, “A Poor Man’s James Bond” (4 Vol, but 1 and 2 are the most useful) plus the old (and somewhat discredited) standby, “The Anarchist’s Cookbook” both of which are banned in some parts of the country.… Read more »

Dennis H. Bennett
Dennis H. Bennett
8 years ago

There are multiple survival guide websites, each w/ links to foods, lists of supplies…Steve’s Security here at FOTM has some good links. I recommend The American Survival Guide as Kenny S is also a political analyst and has some good inside stuff.
I am not one who believes preparing yourself/family/neighborhood indicates a lack of faith in Jesus Christ. On the contrary, I have the responsibility to protect and serve them. When TSHTF it won’t necessarily be Jesus’ return.
Pass the Golden Sabres please!!!

8 years ago


8 years ago

I thought I was all set until I got to item 100…
gotta remember to order the chickens and I was
thinking of starting another hive of bees :)….
and geese make excellent watchdogs/alarms

Dennis H. Bennett
Dennis H. Bennett
8 years ago

And I did minutes ago!! Thanks..if I learn only 1 or 2 things that help me protect my family, it will have paid for itself over and over.

8 years ago

Hey Steve~
Has your family done this? I am asking seriously. You said “if” above….But what I want to know is…Do you recommend it? We already live 90 miles from the nearest Wally World/Kmart/Dollar General/etc. so I have to stock up just to make it through till next city visit. I have places to store things, is my point. I am asking what your family would do.

8 years ago

If Things Start Getting Crazy, I recommend getting a copy of the US Army Ranger Handbook, Or Special Forces Edition Survival Guide. I also recommend a Military Grade “Compass” for Navigation; and Paper Maps. Teach your self how to navigate terrain, also Escape and Evasion Techniques. These Items are easily found on the internet, or at your local Army/Navy Store. Cities will be worst place to be in; high crime; most dangerous! Don’t travel major roadways. Become effective and efficient; basic necessities only. Small hand bible you can fit in your pocket. Do not wear jewelry, carry cash mostly, and… Read more »

Christine A Hall
7 years ago
Reply to  electrichman

They say Faith is what keeps our minds together and rational when everything is going to hell all around us. Keeps us focused and somewhat settled. The psychological side of this list to be prepared.

Christine A Hall
7 years ago

Look at the flooding, tree-crashing storms they’ve been having in DC!! I had a friend of ours take a picture of a twister on Rt 81, Western MD/Eastern Panhandle WV! We don’t GET twisters here, and I can’t remember the last time we had such flooding/drought/flooding and trees down everywhere like we’re doing this year! (2012) Now, yes, we’ve had small twisters, kinda… But not like the one he took and the “wind shear” the Weather folks refuse to describe as a tornado cuz well, they don’t happen around here, remember? *disgusted sniff* Well, at least for that, we live… Read more »

Christine A Hall
7 years ago

YES!! I double that vote! I have some of his stuff myself.

Christine A Hall
7 years ago

He also has ongoing email lessons and a great forum.

7 years ago

I have no desire to survive any when TSHTF scenario. I don’t want to fight for my existense, or deprive my frantic unprepared neighbors of what I horded that they didn’t. I don’t want to die slowly of radiation poisoning, or live in a bomb shelter, or hunkered down in the wilds listening for twigs breaking. I don’t want rebuild in the aftermath. I have plenty of guns, a couple of fistfulls of pharmies, and a deadly nightshade growing in my window box. Real-life WTSHTF scenarios to me, seem the perfect time to call up the ghost of Dr. Kevorkian.… Read more »

7 years ago
Reply to  SDF

SO…you wanna opt out huh? A cowardly way to do things!

7 years ago

Where are you planing on keeping this stuff do you realty need 100 things to survive I mean realy you would be luging junk all day and would be an eye sore apparently your from a big city becouse this stuff is mostly junk just get chicken wire to make a saw a cupple bottles of water a bandana to make char cloth and a tarp.

7 years ago
Reply to  trankley

A daunting list indeed, yet it is possible to stock up on many items & store efficiently. I have my car trunk full of supplies, as also a cupboard in my kitchen. And as we know, item no. 7 (ammo) is already in short supply. Better to be loaded up than out of essentials.

2 years ago