Your Own Home-Depot For Preparedness


Assuming that you’ve already reached a reasonable level of general preparedness which accounts for water, food, shelter, and security (and whatever else fits into your definition of ‘reasonably prepared’), you might also consider expanding into additional areas which may help you down-the-road for if and when the SHTF…

For example, whenever I’m in a ‘Home Depot’ picking up supplies, a tool, or whatever, I always say to Mrs.J while walking through the place… “I wish I had my own Home Depot!”.

Here’s why…

For one thing, the nearest one is a fairly far away, given my rural location, and whenever I’m there I pick up more than I need so as to minimize return trips.

Note: I do give my business to local suppliers when applicable to keep dollars in the community, but I’m using Home Depot as an example for the purpose of this article…

Since I have multiple hands-on skills for DIY projects ranging from electrical to plumbing to construction to lots of things… I therefore like to keep on hand a variety of supplies and tools to accommodate such things. While I don’t have nearly as much as I would have if I actually had a career in any of those areas, I do enjoy being able to get a project done simply by utilizing what I have here at home. But inevitably I always seem to need a few things (or more) from HD (or some other supplier). That’s why I say that I wish I had one of my own!

With that said, now imagine ‘if’ the SHTF for a time, and there were no more trips to HD (or wherever) to get the ‘stuff’ that you need to build something or fix something, etc… Then what??

Note: This concept is not just for us guys (who tend to be Home-Depot oriented for example), but for you gals too. It’s about having supplies & tools for your skills (whatever they are).

Take a look around your home and take a mental inventory of what you have in this regard. Ask yourself if it would help if you had more raw materials, hardware, tools etc.. for your skills? (I already know the answer: “Of course it would help!”)

Ideally, I would love to have the whole store’s inventory, but since I have not won the lottery – I make the best decisions I can about what I keep on hand. And what those things are will depend on the skill set or skill sets that you’re gearing up for.

The simple point is, think about it… and think about it in the context of preparedness.

What are your thoughts? Are there supplies (other than the ‘typical’ preparedness supplies) that might be beneficial to have on hand for SHTF collapse – presuming you have the skills to utilize them? What are they?

Similar Posts


  1. Good question. If you have tools that allow to deconstruct / take down existing items, that saves you some hardware. A wrecking bar, manual screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutters, that sort of thing. A good wheelbarrow to transport these and other heavy / bulky materials. Plastic sheeting (shelter / water gathering / air barrier) would be valuable, as would aluminum foil (winter insulating shelters) in the wet and cold. A solar battery charger or three would be fantastic as well for your LED rechargeable batteries.

    1. It’s always handy to have nails and drywall screws in various sizes. Also plastic, screws, and furring strips to cover broken windows and large plastic sheets and twine to cover a damaged roof. Don’t forget a way to get the plastic/twine over the roof (ladder or bow and arrow for string to pull twine and plastic over?).

      1. Tie the twine to a rock? Not nearly as many ‘most toys’ points, but cheaper.

        Somewhat related… Should you ever work on a steep roof it’s a good idea to use a safety rope. If you attach the safety rope to a car, temporarily disable the car. Someone driving away with your safety rope attached to *you* might hurt.

  2. I am making sure I have two non-electric heaters after a power loss of nearly a week last winter

    Also, a small non-electric cooking stove

    Non-electric light

    In short, after this last stress test, I am preparing for this winter

    By the way, I have NO issue in knowing the more I am prepared the less likely something will happen

    1. My house is totally electric, we live in the country, Last year I purchased a wood-burning stove at a garage sale, I placed it on the back enclosed porch, not thinking I would soon be using it, we have a small generator for the freezer, and icebox, but nothing for Heat. My wife thought I was crazy for buying the stove, until we lost electric power one cold morning last year. Now she helps me gather wood for it…………..

  3. I also would love my own Home Depot, but at least I live only 15 minutes away from one. We are in a constant state of “not enough storage space” so realistically we can not store a ton of supplies that we might need. It doesn’t help that we have no garage or shed, so everything has to be stored in out basement. The one item I would really like to have on hand is plywood but I just can’t find a place for it. So I have concentrated on small things like nuts, bolts, screws, and nails. I might be able to barter these items for plywood in the future if needed. It’s the best I can do with our limited space.

    1. You can store plywood sheets laid flat on the basement floor, I turn them over every once in awhile as they curl.

      1. The only area left in the basement is an area roughly 12×15 but because of installed shelving a 300 pound work bench and the furnace,it only leaves an area about the size of 8×10 of floor space which is the walkway from the stairs to the outside door. If I stacked the plywood there, we would no longer be able to get to the door unless we climb over the pile. I have looked at the problem from every angle and there just is no solution. Thanks for the idea though.

        Future prepping plans include purchasing a shed, but first we need a manual pump installed on our well for when electricity goes out.

        1. From your response and the article I would identify 3 major aspects to this topic:
          1). Having the foresight to know what to acquire (Walmart inventories stock based on computer projections)
          2). Having the $$ to acquire (don’t go into debt)
          3). Having the storage capacity (starts with getting rid of unnecessities)

          None of these come easy.

        2. Peanut Gallery,

          We put in a manual well pump this year and it’s amazing! It certainly wasn’t cheap but a very well made and very practical add on. It’s fun to use when working outside and the kids love it too.

          Give the Bison pump a look, very well made and very nice looking in my opinion. The other one out there with more options but much heavier and not stainless steel is the Baker Monitor. The Monitors are the ones you see in national parks and forests. We opted for the Bison as it was much much lighter, full stainless construction vs. cast iron and much sleeker looking. We are not disappointed with our investment one bit, access to water is ESSENTIAL.

    2. @ Peanut Gallery

      Home Depot does sell storage sheds :-)
      Just think, get with HD buy a shed and everything to fill all at once, bet you’d get a nice discount????

      Without the kidding, I’m also running out of room, house is full, even 20 cases of canned jars under the bed. 3 Car garage looks like the inside of a well packed shipping container, and the 40 foot shipping container I have, well lets just say I will never see the back end again LOLOL

      So for now, I’m letting Home Depot store what I need :-)

      1. I know NRP, I keep drooling at the sheds. I have a nice 10×12 picked out but we have to stick to our priorities. Well water is more important. Although we have water all around us, DH and myself are getting too old to be hauling water. So a hand pump has to be our first priority. We may never need plywood but we will always need water. We are maybe a year away from a shed.

        1. Internet search “pallet shed plans”. I saw a small backyard woodshed constructed with pallets and it was very decent.

          1. LOL, oh great, we cut up all the pallets already for the wood stove. Good idea though, I will research it. Thanks.

        2. I have built my own sheds 8×12 for around 0ne thousand dollars each. I love to build them.
          stay frosty

        3. Something else you can do is have the plywood cut in half so you aren’t storing such large pieces. Just use 2.

    3. Peanut Gallery… I have no place where I can store sheets of plywood flat so I store 5/8” treated sheets of plywood (5 sheets per bundle) standing on their side and this has worked nicely so far believe it or not. Stand the sheets on edge and press them tightly together. Cut a couple sheets of thick weather resistant plastic (heavy duty trash bags will do) and place it over the top edge so it hangs over both sides and ends about 12 inches down, then clamp the sheets together using C-clamps. four (4) clamps spaced evenly across the top beginning at each corner and two each on both ends evenly spaced. Stand the bundle on four chunks of 4×4 to keep it off the floor or ground. This has worked out pretty good for me so far and it has kept the sheets from warping. Only one side gets wet when it rains because the other side is against the shed wall. The outer side only shows a little weathering, that’s all.

    4. Screw sheets of plywood into the wall. I have done this outside on the back wall of my shed. The roof overhang keeps them dry and a couple of bricks keeps them off the ground. Screw the first one securely into the wall and the rest to the one below it. I also do this in my garage. I have three sheets screwed into the wall behind my workbench. They take up “almost” no space and are readily available.

  4. Being 20 miles away from several big box stores in either direction, I keep a shopping list running continuously to prevent “I forgot to get the widgets” when I get home. We do that for grocery shopping also, but we always look for extras to stock up on. We intentionally do not stick to the shopping list and try to buy for the next shopping trip as frequently the shelf of an essential item on our list is empty.

    The local $store is bicycling distance from us and I routinely visit and buy a can of something, but mostly I’m taking inventory and in the event of an regional emergency I’m heading there with my shopping list to stock up on items that would be good to have but not necessary to keep on hand all the time. is a major factor in prepping, especially for those of us who live away from retail centers. I keep multiple wishlists running there that from time-to-time I employ.

    I have doubles of most hand tools, and can do anything with a hand tool that I have a power tool for, with the exception of cutting sheet materials accurately. I keep 2×4’s, poly sheeting, nails, bolts, tarps, various chemicals for painting, pests, cleaners.

    This leads to another topic which I won’t g into: storage, warehousing your HD.

  5. I also keep running lists for several of the area stores I generally frequent. Next up on my list is another bag or two of lime, more tarps, and some more plywood.
    If you have a home with windows or a rural homestead/farm, you can never have enough plywood…or enough tarps. :-)
    Our extra wood and plywood is stored in the rafters of outbuildings and the barn. Also store some inside 1 shed, laid flat.
    We have electric and battery-powered hand tools, but also have plenty of hand tools. Remember the preparedness adage: Two is one, and one is none.
    Not a fan of the HD/Lowe’s box stores but around here, there is no other place to purchase construction wood unless we order direct from a small lumberyard.

  6. Have been adding to plywood inventory, small totes of various sized drywall screws, and some metal roof sheeting. Dismantled a barn 12 years ago and have stacked hewn logs, enough for 16X16 shed/house. Keeping the weather from getting to logs was a real chore with plastic tarps until I found a contractor who does rubberized roofs and salvages the old rubber roofing. Sells it for .05 cents per square foot. Works great for covering logs and woodpiles and does not blow around. Bought old metal shelving at auction this weekend to help organize all the “stuff”. Wish I could store mortar/cement for masonry work. I’m told you can’t store for long so I keep bags of slack lime on shelf. Has anyone stored cement for 5+ years without it setting up? Appreciate any help there.

  7. Great topic! My situation is a little different in that, I am the wife, but I am the prepper minded one. My husband is coming around, but slowly. I have thought about the tools and raw material portions of our preps and made a list. Slowly, I make purchases at the hardware store. And it’s awesome when he’s doing a project and needs something that I bought!!! :) So far I got, extra fire extinguishers, syphons, funnels, extra long galvanized nails, staple gun, large roll of plastic for windows, crow bar, reciprocal saw, camp stove with a bunch of propane, five of the red 5 gallon gas containers, a seatbelt cutting/glass breaking tool for both our cars, a huge spool of paracord, bungee cords, hand saws for the cars and the house, etc. Right now, I have plywood, post hole digger, long screws, and saw horses on my list! :)

  8. Besides the obvious tools we should probably all own doubles of the Ryobi cordless hand tools with the newer battery design and a 12volt car charger is worth its weight in gold IMO

    And just off the top of my head…
    spray foam
    hurricane ties
    outdoor screws, I end up using 1″ and 3″ the most
    electrical tape/teflon tape/duct tape
    metal roofing screws w/rubber washers
    flat and round files, sharpening hoes & axes & filing ect
    assorted caulks
    stainless utility wire
    extra T posts
    2×4″ fencing and chicken wire
    cinder blocks

    1. Certainly concur with T posts, add a T post driver and a T post puller Lots of T posts and barbed wire. Galvanized pipes and fittings. Pipe threading tools. PVC ABS pipe fittings and glues. Rebar.

  9. Thinking budget items that have versatile uses . 20 2x4s, 10 sheets OSB, 12 sheets of tin roofing and more plastic sheeting as thick as they have than seems necessary .Add in assorted nails and screws and duct tape. These items can aid in home repair, make a shelter, water catchment, gardening .

  10. Great article. We also starting buying building items. Think how bad it would be if a nail was needed and no place to get one. lol We keep a lot of duck tape on hand, it’s amazing how many uses that stuff has. Zip ties are another cheap item to have.

  11. We have a decent amount of storage space and try to keep extra hardware on hand also. Just having a few extra pieces of siding, plywood, nails, spray foam, etc really help. It reduces trips to town and helps projects get done quite a bit quicker.

    An option we have been considering recently is buying a quanset hut. These are great options for us as they handle a huge snow load and are very nicely priced. A 16’x24 quanset hut in our area costs a mere 4,500 when I consider how much space that gives to store stuff its pretty good for me. I think we might try to level a spot and lay a pad and knock one out as soon as able. The quanset huts are also very simple to do yourself, just need a few basic hand tools and some rope in most smaller sizes.

  12. A few things that might come in handy:

    Wire nuts. Some of each size.
    Extension cords. I have found 100 ft cords for as little as $1.
    Wire. As many sizes/colors as possible.
    Crimp-on lugs. Never know when something needs to be hooked up/fixed.
    Tubing. And connectors.
    PVC glue and/or acetone.
    Isopropyl/denatured alcohol.
    Bailing wire.
    Plumbers tape.
    Can of axle grease.

    Probably this many more will be noticed as I get things done today.

  13. Zip Ties! Both plastic and metal type for the truck, then of course the reliable duct tape, and epoxy glue. Anything to hold things together when shtf.

  14. One thing that we all should have is some screw bins. Those drawer cabinets for screws, nails, etc. I have three of Akro Mils 10744 44-Drawer Hardware and Craft Cabinet, Red and Gray’ from Amazon.

    I used to have some nicer ones. Kinda pricey, but very nice.

    If you build a stand to attach these to be sure to glue and screw. I skipped the glue part the first time around. One fine day a 2×4 I was using as a base cracked and broke. Very loud ‘crash’.

    Of course I was in the shower when it happened. A guzillion fasteners on the floor, an excited dog running in said fasteners, me dripping with a sidearm. Laurel and Hardy could have used it.

  15. God help me if my wife wanders into my shed she’d kill me. I took buy more then I need when shopping at Home Depot or Lowes. I built shelving to hold all my items and built ceiling rafters to hold more items. Currently I have 12 sheets if plywood, A variety of sized framing nails. Roughly 30 2×4’s,several 2×6’s and 2×8’s. hand tool, 4 propane tanks, 4 five gallon of gas, a tank kerosene heater & propane heater, galvanized fasteners & nail. 2 bundles of roofing, 3 tarps of mixed sizes, garden fertilizers, and very sure I missed some items from this list. I can barely fit my lawn tractor in the shed. :)

    1. I love this topic. Makes me think, the most important thing I will probably need after the SHTF and not be able to find is fasteners of all kinds. If I need to build or repair I can scavenge lumber but I really hate to straighten out nails and todays screws are soft and I don’t like to reuse them. I love to build with new lumber but I probably will not be able to and that is just sad. Good thing I have a lot of experience reclaiming lumber. Thanks for the article, I’m going to HD and spend a wad of cash on all kinds of screws and nails.
      One is none, and two ain’t much better.

  16. Whereas you Ken and most men would prefer to have a home depot or lowes in your garage, I would love to have a fabric and yarn store in my extra storage space in addition to my food, water, medical, shelter, etc preps. Then I would have patterns, fabric, zippers or buttons, thread, interfacing, yarn, crochet hooks etc I need to create clothing and make repairs as needed. I also like having all the cooking equipment and spices on hand in my personal kitchen store.

    1. Exactly! Mrs.J also has a thing for fabrics and yarns. I have a 26′ utility trailer sitting on the property and she has taken over much of it with her various supplies… (But at least I have a 40′ shipping container which is mostly ‘mine’ ;) )

      1. Not fair Mr J! Mrs. J deserves an equal amount of space. Especially considering cooking and canning equipment.

  17. I was just in a junk yard today, getting parts for a truck. And I ran across a service Van, that had some nice drawer systems for storage. I already have a garage full of them, that I have acquired. The shelves, drawers, and bins are great for organization. For years I have rat holed screws,nuts,bolts, plumbing and electrical stuff. I have a little hardware store going. And for the most part it was free or found at sales.
    Above my garage doors , hanging from the ceiling. I have built bins I store wood, and sheet goods.
    I also find hand tools, that don’t require power and have several of each. They don’t have to be new tools, they just have to work!

  18. Some things we use often…
    well stocked Sewing Kit…needles/pins/stitch tape, glue, velcro, buttons, snaps, hook and eye sets, elastic multiple sizes and many. Variety of needles for repairs of all kinds..thimbles, grippers, scissors/various sizes and apps. and any tool you may need to pull or push a needle trough a heavy fabric…iron on patches..
    ..Patterns for sewing, crafts and household needs.dress, shirt, pants, skirts, dish towels,furniture, furniture modi.
    ….plastic mesh, needles and yarn for its use, yarn for crochet, crochet hooks many of the most frequently used. Knitting needles if you knit or want to.. Crochet yarn, and cord..many of your favorite colors and textures.
    …..Paper products..notebooks,index cards,notebook paper,craft/draft/copy paper/graft paper/carbon paper.drawing pads..markers, colored pencils, good quality pencils, red, standard.. schoolbooks,(many levels and basics + subjects) blackboard paint.

    1. **** furniture modifications, like cushions (with padding and cords for trim or ties…lace, bias tape, rick rack…

  19. I have saved the serviceable belts and hoses when putting new ones on the vehicles…just in case. Blessings.

  20. There are some second hand stores that I frequent I have picked some items there that aren’t made anymore or you can’t find them , I also check pawn shops quite often , sometimes deals are there too , I bought an older S&W prewar M&P 1904 date , shoots to point of aim with 158 grain lswc , paid $45.00 for it the finish is real bad , I stuck it out for a month before the owner dropped the price from $100.00 , then I grabbed it ! Deals like this don’t come around much ,but I still keep my eyes open . As for the big box stores if I can’t find it in the smaller home town businesses that is the only time I go to them , as for groceries there is a store in the town closer to me that is family owned their prices are pretty competitive with the big stores . There are deals to be had just have to look . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  21. Good answers all to the question of what would be wanted on-hand/stored up. But…

    Each person, including myself, has their priorities largely based on what they already know how to do, has encountered in the past or are interested in or skilled in, in the present. I question myself most when faced with an entirely new situation or problem. “What do I do now with the “X” that doesn’t work or is broken?”. That’s our problem. Not what we can do or have done, what we find no inner knowledge of how-to. Then, what is needed to learn, to fix, to build totally eludes us; as, the eventual having of that same thing.

    The issue of parts, hardware, replacement supplies is a big one. Huge one. Let me take a simple screw for an example. Go to the hardware store, you’ll find hundreds of types, sizes, materials they are made of, thread/twist counts, fastener tool required and so on. Now, the ‘what if’ – what if you didn’t have the fastener or the tool to drive it? And for some reason, the place or thing needing that same screw is just there – needing that screw. What do you do if you’ve no screw, no tool?

    We all need to approach this issue of as in the article of an inventory in our minds of what we do have on-hand first. That was absolutely correct. Next, we need to be always ready to think of how we could substitute what we have for what we don’t. Then, we need to be ready to fabricate in case neither of those is possible. We may need to make a screw.

    The same principle can be applied to all such needs. From construction needs to tailoring, to first aid, to firearm repair, vehicle repair and so on. It is the better option to not think it possible whatsoever to stock up on every conceivable ‘screw’ we may need; rather, to understand the function of the things making up the world we live in, the understanding of the tasks being performed and always be ready to make-do, ‘from scratch’ some means of doing the job.

    1. You are exactly right. Take it to the next level. Adapt and overcome.


      Just keep a roll of Duck-Tape. It fixes anything ;)

    2. I agree Heartless. We are always improvising with repairs in order to avoid spending money needlessly. I think the biggest change in our critical thinking came after the show MacGyver came out. We even have what we call a bone yard (some people would call it a junk yard)of old totally broken down equipment that is totally beyond repair but still has many good parts that can be utilized elsewhere.

      1. Never know when you will be able to coble something together from something else. I’ve done it more than once. Bad thing is that in some localities having a bunch of broken stuff around is called blight.

    3. I would let my wife take care of any fabrication such as a specific screw. She has taps and dies and lathe. She is an excellent fabricator since she has been designing stuff for her art pieces for years. We also got the makings for a wood burning foundry but put it un the back burner for now.
      I am hopeful this will not be necessary but it may be.

  22. Here is another consideration on stacking building materials. I have seen prices of common material for example 2x4s and plywood fluxuate widely. I have seen 1/2 inch OSB gets as low as 7.00 a sheet and I have seen it over 30.00 a sheet after a disaster like Katrina. That’s when I wish I had a Home Depot. I don’t, but I have a “Costco shed” one of those steel frame tent like 10 x20 things. With a little reinforcing and protection they can be made to withstand wind, weather and snow load. We regularly stack ours with materials when they are cheep. The trouble is, when you have a lot of building material hanging around you invent “good” reasons you “need” another building, maybe even to build a shed to put your extra building materials in. Materials are another highly liquid tangible asset; a place to store your fiat dollars where they will not evaporate into thin air.

    1. I agree, prices seem to go up when a hurricane is forecast, then even more if it hits. We had a shed and wood shed that both collapsed after a severe winter with record snow falls. We rebuilt both. Then last year the shed collapsed again, there is no repairing it this time. So all critical items had to be moved into the basement, and stays there until we can hopefully build a pallet shed this spring. Trying to get pallets right now is impossible as people grab them for firewood.

    2. Quote, “The trouble is, when you have a lot of building material hanging around you invent “good” reasons you “need” another building, maybe even to build a shed to put your extra building materials in.”

      That made me laugh! True it is.

Leave a Reply

>>USE OPEN FORUM for Off-Topic conversation

Name* use an alias