Some Of The First Preps To Disappear


Just prior (if warned), and during (and following) a regional (or wider) disaster, or SHTF, MANY items will disappear from store shelves by the mainstream population (IF they are able to purchase them).

Food items will be one of the first to go. However apart from that, for the sake of discussion, here are just a few of the many OTHER items that may disappear sooner than other things, given their importance or impact on daily living in today’s modern world.

In no particular order, excluding foods, here are a few items that I believe will disappear from store shelves (before some other items) when people realize that the disaster may last longer than they thought.

Alcohol, Cigarettes
Gasoline storage containers, Gasoline
Flashlights, Lanterns, Candles
Camp stoves, Anything to cook with
Propane tanks, Coleman fuel, Charcoal briquettes
Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Tissues
Portable propane heaters (if during winter), Firewood
Matches and Lighters
Hygiene (Toothpaste, Soap, Shampoo, Shaving)
Feminine hygiene products
Oil Lamps, Lamp Oil
Ice, Coolers

There are many other items which the mainstream may deem important enough to procure first – but I’m curious to hear your opinion of which things you think people will try to get. These things may or may not be what YOU would procure first…


  1. The first things that were hard to come by after Sandy was gas and propane. Since most states have stiff laws on the storage of gasoline, it appeared to be the one shortfall for most people who were otherwise prepared. The people in NJ were crossing state lines to find gas. Most people hit the grocery stores before the storm hit, so the few stores that were still open after the storm were not quite as busy. I remember my daughter and son-in-law driving to several gas stations to find gas. Either the station was closed because there was no power, or they were out of gas because of the long lines that drained what they had on hand.
    We have since expanded the amount of gas that we keep on hand.

  2. Guns and ammo! Really I could see all hunting and fishing gear cleaned out of stores quickly

  3. During the few riots that I’ve seen in my life, (Chicago 1960’s & Miami 1980’s) often gas and alcohol are stopped being sold to calm things down.

    Also having been through a few hurricanes, bottled water, charcoal, gas (again) for generators, and ice seem hard to come by.

    The one thing this country never seems to run out of is Idiots who want to take advantage of bad times.

  4. I worked in sporting goods at WalMart when 911 happened. I stood and watched on the store tvs as the second plane flew into the towers. By noon I had sold all of the common caliber ammo I had. By the end of my shift we had completely sold out of all ammo, and the biggest part of the guns we had in the store. Some people were buying food but not many. A few were buying survival type items. But the guns and ammo were gone!

  5. It amazes me how many people don’t keep a good supply of ammo on hand. They think a box of 20 or 50 is all they need because they can go to the store and get more if they need it. Depending on the SHTF, ammo could disappear real fast.

  6. Don’t worry folks, we’ll have time since the first items that will disappear will be flat screen TV’s, Nike’s ,phones,jewelry. Then by the third day they will realize that flat screen doesn’t taste so good! Sheeple will have no idea until it’s really to late,and by then the finger will be on the trigger.

  7. [quote] Depending on the SHTF, ammo could disappear real fast.[/quote]

    Maybe, but 500-1000 shots per owned gun in Stock, should always be more then adequate.

    [quote]we’ll have time since the first items that will disappear will be flat screen TV’s, Nike’s ,phones,jewelry.[/quote]

    You forgot playstation and X-Box…

    but after that:

    1. Cigarettes – if things get “stresy”.. consumption skyrockets, non-smokers start or start again.

    2. Toilet Paper – who likes to live without it?

    after that everything else thats “consumable”.

    The usual “prepper items” may be hold longer cause a lot of people dont like it, others dont know how to use it.

  8. I would stock up on pet food. I have ample supplies of everything else, but dog and cat food have relatively short shelf lives (compared to rice, beans, Mountain House, etc. that I have stored for myself.) I only keep about 6 months of dry pet food and about 1 1/2 years of canned pet food on hand since I don’t want to feed my pets stale food. If the SHTF I would fill my cart with more pet food and treats.

    I would also stock up on whatever bottled water and other liquids (juice, pop, etc.) that were available. You can never have too much water.

    1. You can live with a 50 LB bag of dog food & Ketchup/Tabasco. Don’t forget to feed Chief. (one of the best German Shepherds EVER.) RIP

  9. If a SHTF scenario were immanent I would probably fill my carriage with things that I may never see again like banana’s and coffee as those are two things we just can’t grow in our climate. Maybe also other tropical fruits and veggies. After the SHTF it could be a long time before I see fresh anything, so I would try and get my fill now, and coffee well that speaks for itself.

  10. We all know the basic prepper stuff, but for LONG term living, how FEW people thought to buy, grab or stockpile GARDEN FERTILIZER, bug chems, cooking oil (won’t be around when commerce stops) Coffee & tobacco, vodka & Toilet paper (also great for barter)

    Try NOT to use your Generator (it makes NOISE that will be heard for miles by desperate gangs who are looking for supplies, gas, food, etc.) It will get your family killed. Perhaps if you put a CAR muffler on it and don’t run it during any quiet days or nites. Solar power systems don’t make noise. Keep your lights OFF or killers will SEE it.

    Cooking oil can be burned for heat & light or used as fuel in SOME diesel engines. Plenty of “fat calories” to help survive.

    Bags of dry dog & cat food,, balanced food,, even for HUMANS. Won’t taste good, but I’ll bet it would have been worth its weight in GOLD in the Nazi death camps.

    Even if the shelves are empty, you still might find GARDEN SEEDS!!!
    Plastic sheeting to enclose your patio (as a greenhouse?).

    Kitty Litter=makes good people toilets & chlorine bleach or Swimming pool shock=bleach to disinfect drinking water or Ebola sprayer.)
    Disposable cigarette lighters.

    Solar Yard lights,, bring indoors for some reliable light,,always ready.

    Even when shelves are empty, I’ll bet you’ll still find plenty of steel fence posts, fence wire (barbed wire) and electric fence supplies. Get them and protect your garden, home, etc. Solar fence charger!!!

    Farm feed supply stores,, QUICKLY buy the antibiotics for chickens, pigs, cows, etc.. and worming medicine, wound care.

    STUMP remover chemical,, is POTASSIUM NITRATE (main ingredient for Black powder) They also sell big BAGS of powdered SULFUR. Get one or two. Good for garden, & will stop some types of mold/fungus on plants, will acidify soil, or make black powder. Burning sulfur will keep bugs away.

    mosquito netting & window screen rolls,, (get some METAL screen too.) When the SHTF really bad, the bugs will get bad too.
    Get a garden fork tool, to protect yourself from wild dog packs, pit bulls, etc (silent protection)

    When a million people are hungry,, there WON’T be anything left to hunt. One hundred deer in a forest,, won’t feed a city.

  11. MONEY. If ATMs aren’t spitting it out it may be hard to come by.

    Common medications for common ailments like diabetes, heart disease, etc.

    Battery powered radios.

    After a while, bags of lye (to pour over the bodies of the dead at burial).

    Spending precious resources on expensive perishable consumables like bananas probably not real bright. If you are going to miss them that bad you better already have a supply of freeze dried in your stash.

  12. Bet a lot of you don’t know that nuke plants require GRID power to run the cooling systems & back up generators have only enough fuel for a few days, then it’s “Glow Baby Glow”.

    Battery powered radio won’t be any good when all the grid power is gone & all the electric company workers are dead from radiation & all the TV & radio stations are abandoned like they were in the city around Chernobyl.

    Water, gas & sewer service was abandoned too. It’s not a fantasy,,it already happened at Chernobyl, and soon it will be happening in Japan (Fukushima) and the radiation coming across the Pacific, has the amounts needed to kill everybody on the western 1/3 of North America. They’ll never tell about it until it’s TOO late.

    Southern Hemisphere will be the last to die (just like the old movie “On the Beach”).

  13. Do you know that oil lamps run just fine on diesel fuel — #1 diesel, #2 diesel or a mix of the two?

    You can buy five gallons of diesel from any gas station. It’s not nearly as dangerous to keep on hand as gasoline or white gas is.

    Lamp oil burns a bit cleaner, but its cost has become outrageous. We have frequent power outages where I live, owing to the harsh climate known for frigid winters, and I don’t notice any bad smell from burning diesel in oil lamps for hours when the power is out.

    You do have to trim the wick each time you light one, but you do that with lamp oil as well if you don’t want your chimney to get black smudges.

  14. Baby wipes, toilet paper is a one time use. In a crunch baby wipes could be washed out and reused. I’m not sure how they would hold up to be being boiled to be sterilized.

    In Costco yesterday and saw that they had multi-fuel generators for sale. They can run on propane or gasoline. Anyone with a well pump should have one and be aware that a lot of the pumps run on 220 volts. Make sure your generator has 220 as a lot of the smaller one only do 110.

    Cigarettes could get you killed. Some people will stock them for barter. Someone in nicotine withdrawal might kill for them if they had nothing to barter. Same for alcohol. Quit now if you are addicted, you don’t want to go through TEOTWAWKI with the added burden of being in withdrawal. Also think about the cost. If you smoke a pack a day at $6.00 a pack you’re spending about $2200.00 a year. That will buy a lot of beans and bandaids.

  15. Iosat-(Potassium Iodide)tablets
    Geiger Counter
    N.B.C. Suits
    Gas Masks
    Ham Radio

    1. Not sure that any of these would disappear all that fast. Those that understand the problem already have them. Those that don’t will be busy looting electronic stores. I have three of them. The counter and NBC suit don’t seem to apply to me as I don’t plan to go looking for anything until after the great die off.

  16. Unless we experience a very slow collapse this list will be irrelevent. The stores will be wiped clean of EVERYTHING. Just three days after Katrina went through New Orleans a camera crew visited a local Wal-Mart. The shelves were empty. It wasn’t just the food and the survival items on this list. EVERYTHING was gone. Toys, curtains, office supplies all of it. I don’t know what would make someone hoard white out during a disaster but that’s what happened.

    1. A reflection of the average Walmart shopper. White out in quantity with dark ink *could* be used on windows… Grin.

  17. I saw the Cuban missile crisis and all food was gone period end of story. We still had a police force but in a real full blown crisis like that the police will not be around and everyone will be suddenly on their own. So that requires guns and ammo like it our not the more forward looking people will clean out the guns and ammo fast. Then society will boil down to predators and prey in a few days as most people will run out of food fast. Then the real fun starts when people are face to face with starvation. There is only enough food in the country for 5% of the population to store a years worth of food the other 95% are walking dead people

  18. Suggest you print off old copies of military manuals on NBC warfare especially the defense/decon information. Most older manuals have the same information as the new ones and little has changed other than some of the tactics stuff. Print off on double sided so it reduces the size of the document.

  19. Have books on growing gardens, home remedies, canning, First aid, root cedars, herbal medicine, raising rabbits, goats…

    Having a variety of clothes for the winter (especially wool socks, coats, blankets)and for summer, long sleeve cotton shirts are good for protection from sun, and insects. Have several pair of work gloves

    If you don’t know how to can and use a pressure cooker; learn. Purchase a good cooker and can your meats and veggies while prices are still within reach.

  20. I would suggest a series of large men’s clothing items on the periphery of your property outside your panic room. If someone breaches your security a few pairs of men’s x large clothing items as decoy may ward them off.

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