55 Preparedness Items
There are countless survival preparedness items (preps) that you can store ahead of time (before potential disaster) for use during and after the emergency, disaster, or a SHTF collapse.
This list of 55 preparedness items (or categories) purposely avoids some of the preps that you might expect to see and is not intended to be a list of essentials or to be all-inclusive in any way. In fact, the list is intended to get you thinking ‘outside-the-box’ about your own needs for preps – to think of things beyond that of just rice-and-beans, bullets and band-aids.
In no particular order…
1. Toilet Paper, and other sanitation items such as feminine hygiene products, diapers for infants, etc. These are items that should be mass stored if possible.
2. Paper Towels. Too many uses to mention, store as many as you can.
3. Coffee Filters. For those drinkers of coffee of course, but these are excellent filters for many other purposes.
4. Trash Bags. All sizes. You can also store many free plastic grocery bags from the store every time you get them after shopping. Important for bagging up refuse and preventing disease.
5. Ziploc type Freezer Bags. Lot of uses, including keeping things dry.
6. Coolers. Various sizes for varying circumstances. Obviously to keep things cool – or protected from temperature extremes (even with no ice). Also will maintain warmth of an object for awhile (cooked food, etc..).
7. Shovels. All sizes – from small garden type to various sizes and shapes used for digging, etc.
9. Cotton Rounds. First aid uses, Excellent Fire-starter (mixed with Vaseline).
10. Paper to write on. This includes ordinary paper, note pads, index cards, sticky notes, etc.
12. Cable Zip Ties. Quick tying or lashing together of nearly anything.
13. Tape. All kinds from duct, masking, electric, to scotch. Many uses.
14. Sewing Kits. Threads, needles, buttons, zippers, you are going to need them.
15. Matches. Keep dry and store lots of them. Lighters, magnesium fire-starters too.
16. Salt. Not only will food in general be in high demand after SHTF, but especially items such as salt – many practical uses – food preservation, flavoring additive to food staples.
17. Aluminum Foil Wrap. Good for cooking and many other uses.
18. Candles. All sizes. Not only for light at night, but can be used to heat small items up in small cookware.
19. Can Opener. Without these you will have a hard time opening your canned food.
20. Basic Tools. This includes hammers, screwdrivers, saws, axes, utility knives, scissors. Anything extra that you can store from your
21. Handyman’s Hardware Assortment. Assortment of screws, nuts and bolts, wire, nails, etc. Store in clear jars with lids or in original packages.
22. 5-Gallon Gas Can Containers. Provides fuel storage for vehicles, generators, etc., until the fuel runs out.
23. Round Magnifying Glass. Use to see small items (optical glass is best), or to start a fire if matches are wet or you’re out of them.
24. Envelopes. All sizes for storage of small things. Example: Great for seed storage too (heirloom varieties are self-sustaining).
25. Boxes. Storage of all sorts of things. Also useful for sudden evacuation or bug-out to quickly pack things. Many stores will give you boxes for free after their deliveries. Also large plastic boxes-containers with lids.
26. Shoe Laces. Extra sets for your various shoes and boots. Shoe laces are also good for tying off material with other purposes.
28. Blankets, sheets, pillows, pillow cases. Just because you are in emergency does not mean you have to live like a refugee.
29. Towels. All sizes from hand to bath. You will be very grateful to be able to dry yourself off with something you are use to.
30. Fishing line and string. Lots of uses. Cordage. Paracord. Etc.
31. Nylon rope, cord, clothes lines. Do not be without.
32. Toothbrushes, dental needs, dental floss. Even without toothpaste you can still keep your teeth healthy.
33. Q-tips / Cotton Swabs. Not only personal use, but uses for fine detailed work.
34. Honey. Indefinite shelf life. Good sweetener for many foods. Health benefits too.
35. Trigger spray bottles. So many uses; garden, home, with homemade mixtures, etc.
36. First Aid Kit. Most items such as bandages, gauze, tweezers, nail clippers, scissors, wrapping tape, etc. can be stored without rotating. Keep more first aid supplies than you think, because they can get used up very quickly (extra gauze – 4×4’s, 2×2’s for changing dressings).
37. Firestarters or newspapers. Old newspapers for starting fires, wrapping delicate items, insulation. Keep dry and preferably in sealed boxes.
38. Safety Pins. Fastening of almost anything that has broken. Bobby pins also good.
39. Sunglasses. You will really need to protect your eyes after an emergency, glare is something that people forget about if they have to be outdoors for extended periods of time.
40. Hats. One size fits all baseball type caps, scarfs, ski caps. A lot of heat is lost through an uncovered head, also sunburn.
41. Gloves. So important, from keeping hands warm to protecting your hands from hazards such as broken glass and much more.
42. Extra Clothes. Especially well-made rugged pants and other clothes that will wear well. Don’t forget the extra comfortable shoes, socks, underwear, warm jackets.
43. Small handheld Mirror. For signaling, but also for personal grooming.
44. Cloth grocery tote bags. Reusable. A very good way of collecting things and supplies such as food from the wild.
45. Stapler with plenty of staples. Also paper clips to seal off small items and fastening paper. Your package of survival seeds as for example.
46. Extension cords. You may actually still have electricity from some source such as a generator or solar panel system. Routing power to other appliances or tools can only be accomplished with an extension cord. Can be used as a substitute for light duty style rope also.
47. Brushes. From nail, paint, to hair brushes. One good use for a hair brush is removal of ticks, fleas, burrs, from clothing.
48. Tape Measure. Measurement tools, rulers, very important to know distances and measurements for building, etc.
49. Games. Boredom is awful, and a simple deck of cards, boardgames, something to take up time if confined after an emergency. Great for the kids too.
50. Survival Books. Anything that will give you information and instructions on survival, cooking, plant identification, map books. Your bookcase may not be around after a disaster, store information you will need someday.
51. Wind up clock. Your battery operated clocks and watches or other time telling instruments are someday not going to work. A wind up clock is better than using a sundial.
52. Plastic storage containers. Ziploc, Tupperware, Rubbermaid, anything that can air seal something. All sizes.
53. Self Defense. Security will be a major issue. Consider all things preventative and defensive as well as tactical and offensive. Pepper spray, bow and arrows (they’re quiet), all other weapons and ammo.
54. Safe for your cash. Cash money may be the only way to buy anything immediately after a disaster. Good for holding silver and gold coins too.
55. Heavy duty tarps. Many sizes and inexpensive. Cannot emphasize how many uses these have, and can be folded up and stored in smaller spaces. Be sure to look for heavy duty.
Note: Again, this prep list is NOT intended to resemble a list of essential items. Instead it will hopefully get you thinking about your own readiness and supplies beyond the ordinary – to expand your thinking.
When doing your own list, one way to think about it is by categories. That’s mostly how I do it. For example, think of a general area such as ‘kitchen’ and then list priorities in that category. Other general categories included shelter, clothing, food and water, tools, sanitation, security, transportation, etc… think ‘categories’ and then narrow it down within each category. If you are just starting – then start with food and water!