Preparation Items Often Overlooked...

So you know how important it is to be prepared with food, water, warmth & shelter. But what about items that we take for granted everyday? While the basics are very important, you may learn fast that there are other items that can be of great use during a time of emergency or disaster.

Our purpose in preparation, is not just to help you stay alive during a difficult situation, but also to be able to live comfortably.  There are a few items you might be overlooking in your effort to become prepared.

Here are a few items I thought you might want to consider in your plan to be ready:

If you are a person who is in need of medication, you know how important it is to your overall health. It is wise to talk to your doctor and ask them if there is a way for you to stock up on your medications over time. If you have a relationship of trust with your doctor, and no history of prescription drug abuse, you may be able to work out a plan to help you prepare for emergencies.

Just living off of food and water could get dull after a while. Why not think about setting aside a way for you to gain some entertainment as well? You could store an ipod that has your favorite music and that can be powered with one of our dynamo chargers. Pack your 72 hour kits with books and board games to help pass the time in a physiologically healthy way. If you play an instrument, consider packing some sheet music or the instrument itself if it’s portable.

Athletic Equipment
Another healthy way to pass the time is to play sports. This can help give you some exercise to keep you healthy. You can pack a simple football, basketball, soccer ball, frisbee, or other kind of ball to help you have a fun and invigorating sport to play.

Hygiene products
This one is not just a want, but it is essential. Do you have all the sanitation supplies you need? Do you have the hygiene products you want so you can feel and smell clean? Keeping your body clean will help prevent disease that would further complicate an emergency situation. Don’t forget soap to wash your dishes and clothing!

Travel could become difficult of things really get bad. Storing some old fashioned maps and a compass can help you navigate without the need to power up a GPS system. Maps can also help you find necessary supplies and water sources.

Tools are very important. You never know how much we use them until you go without them. In addition to garden tools like shovels and garden hoe’s, consider keeping a compact ratchet set in your car. Or keep a tool box with hammers, nails, screw drivers, pliers, and what ever else you may need. Keep it as simple as possible, but make sure your tools are high quality. They will take a beating. Also, a good multi-tool can be very handy.

Extra Blankets and warm clothing
The great thing about blankets and warm clothing is that they help you conserve your fuel for cooking and extreme weather. Your body can adjust to temperature changes with the help of blankets and warm clothing. Then, if it gets too cold for these items to work, you will have more fuel saved up to help get you through the really cold weather.

Swim Suits
You might find it needful to get wet. Whether that’s trudging through a river, going fishing, or even just another way to have some fun and keep cool. Packing your swim suit in your survival kit will beat getting your other clothes wet, or the need to get through the water in the nude!

Candy and Snacks
Sweeten up your situation with some candy or snacks. You won’t want to over do this, but it really can help make life a little sweeter for everyone in the family, not just the children.

Firearms and Ammunition
You might find it needful to supplement your food sources with hunting. Fresh meat is a great source of energy in the form of protein. Of course you hopefully will have stored up a good supply of meats from our selections, however, it’s good to take advantage of any food sources you can find so that you can stretch your food supply out as long as you can. In addition, firearms can help protect you and your family.

Maybe the biggest thing we overlook is gaining survival skills. This isn’t just about how to live in the wild, it’s also about learning useful skills that can help your family and community, such as gardening, sewing, learning to build safe structures, taking care of animals, even learning to work with metal. These skills would be very valuable in a barter society. Preparedness is not just about what you have, but also who you are and what you know how to do to survive.

Dress Rehearsal
Hearkening back to my days of school earthquake drills in California a good idea is to have a dress rehearsal where you take your emergency supplies and use them exclusively for a period of time, 3 days being a good start. Surviving on only your supplies you will quickly learn what things you are doing right and what things you could add or change that would make the experience better.

36 thoughts on “Preparation Items Often Overlooked...”

  • Ron

    I enjoyed your article. Having it presented with bullet points has a great way of helping me to retain the information. I especially liked the suggestion regarding skills and entertainment. Books are always a great way to eliminate bordom.

  • Cindy

    I have several of these items but this helps me think of others to include. Thank you.

  • jennifer

    Great article. I have been thinking about some of this type of stuff, but some of what you wrote really made me think and now I need to start working on them.

  • Cindy Merrill

    Calcium or vitamin chews are also a good idea. Also, if you have a woodstove, keep lots of tinfoil on hand- it comes in handy: Any root veggie or meat, oil or larded can be tightly wrapped and placed on top of the stove to cook.

  • kurt

    learn how to sharpen a knife and axe or machette and keep a small and large stone. Learn knots and keep rope and chordage.

  • Linda

    I appreciate this preparation article as there were several things I simply never thought about. Preparation for the unexpected is difficult, expensive and simply overwhelming. Until now the only thing in my storage was food and extra blankets.

  • John

    I wouldn't recommend firearms and ammo for hunting if someone hasn't hunted before. Let's say you do indeed shoot a squirrel, rabbit, or something larger--other than a companion--how will you butcher and prepare it? Best keep the guns and ammo for self defense, and be prepared for that and its consequences, too.

  • Bonnie

    Any ideas on where to get the maps? That is one I know I need.

    All great ideas.

  • Dennis

    Don't forget your Bible. I recommend a New King James version New Testament with Psalms... Comforting.

  • Denny

    One thing not mentioned: pet food. It is cheap and easy to give the animals than using your stores or sharing hunted game. Additionally, dehydrated food is bad for them, that is of course, if you do not resort to using them as food. lol

  • Tracy Austin

    You know what would make a great article on it's own? The Dress Rehearsal point. If someone on your staff is willing to do one and chronicle it, that would help a LOT of people I think.

    Also, some people (like me and my family!) like vitamins and nutritional supplements so it would make sense to stock up on those, too:-)


  • Colleen

    I'm glad you listed things which are often forgotten. I thought I was pretty well prepared and then I visited the Red Cross site. They had a "short" list of things that were "must haves". There were two things on that list I didn't have; oil and seeds for a garden. It's all a learning process and every article that provides information gets us all closer to the "ideal" survival situation. And I'm glad you followed "Guns and Ammunition" with "Skills". I am amazed at the number of folks who don't know how to cook or cut up a store bought chicken. While it would be vastly entertaining to watch someone with no skills hunt and then try to butcher an animal, this is survival we're talking about and a lack of common knowledge and useable skills could easily mean the difference between life an death.

  • GhillieMan

    Excellent summary.

    The dress rehearsal part where the writer says to do it for at least 3 days is right-on.

    Whether you do this dress rehearsal voluntarily, or are forced to do it under real circumstances (like I was for 3 days in last winters blizzard with no electric), the dress rehearsal exercise gives you an appreciation of how you are blessed to have all the often taken-for-granted amenities we have under normal operating conditions.

    During my 3 days of forced-rehearsal my household was prepared with back up supplies. But the 3 days also revealed how I could fine tune my knowledge, supplies and operations dramatically.

    Among other things, this included installing a device that will provide my househould with long-term water from our deep well, for as you know, deep well pumps require electricity. No electricity means no fresh water from the deep well. I installed a manuallly operated well pump called Simple Pump from Tell Gary and Mark that Reverend GhillieMan sent you. :)

    And I fine-tuned my survival skills with firearms, with the Mrs and others in the household as backup operators, too.

    If you are reading this you are probably another like-minded person concerned about the survival of you, your familly and those that you are placed as stewards over to protect.

    I've trained and worked with law enforcement. Believe me, you will NOT be able to depend on them because if the critical incident is severe enough, 95% of them will be off duty taking care of their own families.

    ...and always remember what happened in Katrina. The nightmare during Katrina did not occur in some Third World county--it happened in our own beloved United States of America.

    Be encouraged because you are a very special person to God, especially in these days and times. Not everyone will listen to your warnings about getting prepared.

    But don't give up and don't give in to dispair. As long as you're guided by The Holy Spirit someone, somewhere will heed the warnings to get prepared which God has placed in your spirit to exhort.


    and Remember to Focus On The Front Sight, But Keep Your Spiritual Aim On Jesus!


  • Don

    Very good article and all responses offer some food for thought. Cordage, firearms, books and calcium chews....all good ideas. Fishing line and hooks, duct tape and toiletries all must haves.
    Once you have gathered all of your survival gear and know how to use it you'll feel more comfortable knowing that you are ready.
    One very important item to remember is to keep quiet about your stash. I know it sounds cold and hard, but when people get desperate, especially for food, they will have no problems with taking yours.

  • Cheryl

    You may also want to be sure and have a solar and/or dynamo powered radio with weather and shortwave channels. Even if local stations are down, you could get longer distance stations in. A water purification device or tablets will help, and if possible, a bucket or some other means to haul a fair amount of water from a creek or lake, to your bug out location.

  • Scott

    I enjoyed reading this article. It reminded me of a quote (I think it was from Louis Pasteur): "Chance favors the prepared mind."

  • Donald Conner

    John's comment about leaving the firearms for self-protection and not hunting is fine if your IQ is below 50. But then, we wouldn't let you have a gun anyway. EVERYBODY ought to have a copy of the US Military Emergency Survival Guide. This will get you through anything but a direct nuclear blast

    As to firearms, a 20 guage for children, women, and the aged would suffice, with a 12 for guage for the healthy and able. A .22 Long Rifle semi-automatic handgun and a .22LR bolt action rifle will, with properly placed bullets. i.e. brain shots, take down anything up to the size of cattle.

    A.308 or .30-06 will take any other creature on the North American continent. Revolvers in .357mag and .44 mag calibers are the most reliable handguns, and ammo is available anywhere. You autoloader handgunners know what you like and why:---go ahead with your program.

    Of all things , air must be breathable. Water is next, and must be pure. Food must be pure and nourishing. Clothing can be made of almost any fabric, scrounged up or otherwise. So can shelter. Fire is another must, and one would well advised to lay in a stock of British Lifeboat matches,and other fire starters, including flint and steel. Needles and thread? Maybe you'll have to stitch up your own cuts, or rig up your own coat or what ever.

    It is the litle, common, everyday, ordinary things that we take for granted. We can run to the Walmart or what ever to get those needles or that thread. But what if there is a true catastophe, and the trucks aren't rolling.? EVERYTHING you get eventually ends up on a truck before it gets to you, except water, electricity, gas.....

    Stocking up a litttle at a time over a long period of time, and maintaining those stocks, and adding to them, will make life much easier for you, even if some emergency should only last a few days or several weeks. Mormon's are prepared for 1 year. Not that bad an idea. Seems farfetched, but when you see on television the mobs and violence and desperation in the aftermath of serious disaters around the world, you have to ask yourself a question: Do I want to be out there scrambling for what little is left, or safe in my securitized home, and riding it out in relative comfort?

    Donald Conner

  • Jack

    Great Reminders! Thanks

    ...I also liked Tracy's suggestion to have one of your staff bug out with their grab-n-go bag and chronicle their experience. A great teaching lesson we could all learn from.


  • Priscilla

    Sorry to be the one to mention this, but please, let's not forget feminine hygiene products! Seriously ladies, do you really want to be without? Seriously men, do you really want the women in your lives to be without? Don't forget to prepare for your young ones who might be coming of age in the next couple of years, too. My goal...a years supply for each female in my household.
    Thanks for the great reminders!

  • Anita

    Thanks for all of the great reminders. One thing I haven't seen so far--communications; althouugh several folks said you should have am emergency radio to receive weather bulletins and other news. I am an FCC licensed ham radio operator and am involved in our local emergency operations during flooding, etc. When we are activated, we assist at the Dept. of Emergency Operations for several "served" agencies like the Red Cross. I would like to suggest that you check in your area for an amateur radio club and find out what it takes to get licensed....

  • Rick

    That lack of skill is just Darwinism at its finest. I look around everyday and unfortunatly chuckle to myself at how so many people even lack the bare essential day to day survivals skill. Love this reminder article of all the "little day to day" things most of us forget to pack in our bail out bag. LOL time for a bigger pack

  • Tom

    I have written before and cannot express to anyone how important it is to be prepared for anything...a few extra cans of meat..soup..dried soups..simple things like tea and coffee. I love the feeling that I get from being does not have to go crazy..a fire arm..some ammo..basic food..water...and no matter what you and your family are set..Be Prepared the boy Scout Motto.


  • denise

    matches, camp stove, propane tanks, and TP

  • Brenda

    Aspirin, Tylenol, extra meds, any antibiotics, are a must in your survival pack.

  • marianne

    ok, I have TP, pet food, cook-ability, food/water, sewing kit, hand-powered radio, games, clothes for us for several days if we had to stay in one room (shelter in place) and probably enough food & soap to last for months if we couldn't leave the house. but without a wood stove, how do i cook for that long or keep the house warm? no place to store it and very expensive to boot. gathering food/tp, etc is easier because it's less expensive all at once.. just wondering, cuz we live in town...

  • denise

    marianne, get a few propane tanks like you use for your BBQ, keep them full for cooking on your campstove. as far as home heating 1. you will have to bundle up, buy high quality cold weather clothing like hunter wear. go to a site like Cabelas website for underwear etc.,
    2. i beleive my brother bought a tent heater you can look that up too. make sure you follow the warnings for venting so you don't kill yourself with fumes.

  • joe tent peg

    Marianne, check out army surplus stores for wool clothes and blankets. A lot cheaper than Cabelas, and its the only fabric that will keep you warm when its wet. Trust 22 years of freezing my butt off in the woods courtesy of Uncle Sugar and his band of merry men.

  • Elfie

    In addition to a variety of food with a long shelf life, we added a portable toilet with bio degradable bags, and a generous supply of toilet paper. The bags can also be used in a regular toilet in case there is no water to flush...

  • Meg

    Along the lines of Donald Connor's post;

    If you're not a regular gun user, I would most definitely suggest a revolver. Semi-automatic firearms require firing and cleaning on a more regular basis to keep their reliability. The nice thing about a revolver is it's going to fire when you pick it up, even when its been sitting in your emergency storage kit for years, and you're not going to have to worry about jams, etc.

    If you do decide to go the semi-automatic route, be sure to take a class or have someone teach you how to clean properly and clear jams in a timely fashion, the last thing you want is to be prepared but have your weapon jam at the moment you need it and be SOL.

  • Blanket Wool

    I nearly peed myself looking over the other comments.

  • Coralee Bloch

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually assume this web site needs much more consideration. I’ll most likely be once more to learn much more, thanks for that info.

  • diablo3

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  • Susan

    Knowledge. How to improvise with items not normally used for a's amazing how many uses you can find for dental floss! Also how to start a fire without the typical methods. Read books on survival tip, watch shows like dual survival and Fat Guys in the Woods ( Creek Stewart is no nonsense survivalist) as these may seem contrived at times but you do learn some interesting tips.
    Survival is Simple. .....Just Don't Die !!!

  • cynthia

    I have been saving toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls and stuffing them with left over newspapers (not the slick pages) and I have them stacked in a old beach bag with handles...for whatever use comes along. I have three tents (three families)and one portable potty with tons of bags and left over toilet paper still on the rolls.
    Food, matches, can stove, been preparing for at least a year and just now getting frz dried food in stock. Won't need WalMart at Would need a two ton truck to haul it all out...!

  • Lynn H.

    Think of your body: Burn Gel. Visine for eyes. Maybe Moleskin as you will be walking. Good posts. Denise, TP and Brenda meds, good one. Knowledge and preparedness. I found out that the first 5 years of going camping that whatever I needed, I didn't have.

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