I really like this type of shopping video the Sensible Prepper YouTube prepper channel does. This one was at Home Depot, but they’ve done other ones, like at Harbor Freight. You can get all sorts of ideas for prepping supplies watching these videos.
While big box stores are great to find all sorts of surprising and useful things, in this video, the host, Sootch, explains that sometimes in an emergency situation your only option might be a gas station.
When big storms, like a hurricane or major snow storm form, usually the weather forecasters begin warning of these storms days in advance. The best thing to do is to begin looking through your supplies quickly, but it’s human nature to procrastinate. The longer you wait, the harder it will become to find supplies, especially at the big box stores.
I looked over my supplies as soon as this storm started gaining strength in the Caribbean, but each day I decided I wanted more of certain items. Yesterday morning I decided I wanted to buy some fresh vegetables for salad to go with the lasagna I was making, so I ventured to my little Walmart Neighborhood Market. I knew it would be packed because of Hurricane Ian heading our way. I had no problem finding the things I wanted, because fresh veggies aren’t in big demand as a hurricane supply, but other things like bottled water were wiped out. Many of the shoppers yesterday morning were just beginning their preparations for this storm and many people, especially in the Biden economy, are having a hard time making their money stretch between paydays. They can’t afford a lot of extra supplies. My local Walmart closed at noon yesterday and won’t reopen until Saturday morning.
A couple days ago, I decided I wanted more D batteries, even though the only thing I need D batteries for is my magnifying floor lamp that I use for needlework and reading. That lamp has a cord, but can also run on D batteries. I could find some batteries at my local big box stores, but no D batteries. I decided to stop at a Dollar General and they had lots of D batteries. The same goes for flashlights. In my small town Lowes and Walmart are the main places people go for things like flashlights. I ran into Ace Hardware, which isn’t the hot shopping spot here and they still had an assortment of flashlights. I bought two cheap $5 Eveready flashlights, that came with a battery in them, in case a neighbor might need a flashlight.
I find all sorts of useful things at smaller stores, thrift stores and around where I live it’s easy to find military supplies, even at yard sales. I look around my garage for military-type supplies. One small thing my late husband carried on his key ring was a P-38 can opener. It takes some practice learning how to use a P-38. If you’re left-handed, like me, it’s a bit challenging, but a P-38 is a really useful thing to add to your key ring.
I found these little band-aid packs at Dollar Tree a while back. Although they only have 15 items, that includes 2 alcohol pads and 3 sterile sponge bandages, plus an assortment of band-aids and they come in a sturdy ziploc package. It’s easy to carry in my purse. Little things like this can be good stocking stuffer gifts for the non-preppers in your family, to nudge them toward a preparedness mind-set.
In the video above Sootch mentioned ponchos like this. I found these at Dollar Tree earlier this year and because they’re small and don’t take much room, I stuck two in the glove compartment of my car. I keep a couple umbrellas in my car, but It’s kind of hard to hold an umbrella and handle any sort of car emergency in the rain. My grandmother carted everything, but the kitchen sink, in the trunk of her car, but she always had a jacket or coat inside her car and a stadium blanket. A fleece throw or blanket is a good thing to keep in your car.
One final cheap, but useful item to have for holding things together, even loose cords or something like tent stakes is nylon hair scrunchies. They’re very stretchy and have all sorts of uses, besides holding hair together in a ponytail. Plus they’re way more durable than most rubber bands and easier to put on and take off than zip ties.
Many small, inexpensive items can not only be useful survival gear, they can keep you more comfortable during emergencies. Being hungry, thirsty, wet, too hot or too cold can be life-threatening situations. Since most of us don’t hesitate to buy snacks or other luxury items we want, we should also not hesitate about buying some basic emergency supplies too.
I’m adding a photo of the $5 Eveready flashlight I found at Ace Hardware. It takes one D battery, which comes with the flashlight: