Last Minute Preps

Imagine a disaster has occurred and you didn’t bother to prepare. A pandemic is spreading across the country like a wildfire, maybe an earthquake has knocked out the power and water. Perhaps there’s been a terrorist attack and part of your town is in flames, or hyperinflation has hit a critical point where prices are rising throughout the day. If something like this occurs, you’ll have to run to the nearest grocery store and get what you can, while you can.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get everything you need to last for several months, but it might still be possible to get enough to ride out whatever disaster has occurred. Pull the kids out of school and keep your cell phone handy. You and your family will have to work together and keep in touch. If you own multiple cars, take them to the gas station caravan-style and fill up. Also buy some containers and fill them with extra gas.

On your way to the grocery store, call your doctor to renew any prescriptions you might need. When you get there, each of you should grab a different cart and take a different part of the list. Don’t get into fights with other last-minute shoppers. And if the store doesn’t have something you’re looking for, forget about it and move on. Maybe the next store you go to will have it.

You will need cash! First go to an ATM and withdraw as much as you can, or go to a store that offers cash back and get as much as they’ll allow. Some stores might not be able to accept plastic in this situation. Hopefully you already have a lot of cash on hand because if the power is out everywhere you just might be up the creek with no paddle.

The list is below. I suggest sending the kids or the wife to get the non-food items as most people will be fighting over the food and water.


Water, as much as you can get
Gatorade, several bottles
Rice, as many bags as you can
Beans, 20 cans
Dried beans, several bags
Vegetables, 10 cans
Tuna/chicken, 20 cans
Soups that don’t need water
Pasta, 20 bags
Pasta sauce, 10 jars
Mac & cheese, several boxes
Tomato paste, 20 cans
Jam/jelly, 3 jars
Peanut butter, 5 jars
Oatmeal, several bags/boxes
Crackers, several boxes
Mixed nuts, several containers
Energy bars, protein drinks
Coffee, tea
Sugar, several bags
Salt, big box
Powdered milk, several boxes
Vegetable oil, 5 bottles
White vinegar
Spices you use
Potatoes, 2 bags
Onions, 1 bag
Fresh fruit and veggies
Frozen meat
3 loaves of bread
Butter, 10 bars/tubs
Cheese, 10 bricks

Non-food items:

Prescription refills
N95 masks
Disposable gloves
Tylenol/acetaminophen, 3 bottles
Aspirin/Ibuprofen, 3 bottles
Soap, shampoo & conditioner
Toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss
Vitamin C & multivitamins
Omega-3, antioxidants
Imodium A-D
Rubbing alcohol
Shaving cream and razors
Laundry soap
Dish detergent
Paper plates, plastic utensils
Paper towels
Toilet paper, 8 packages
Kleenex, 5 boxes
Garbage bags
Water purification tablets
Flashlights, 3
Battery-operated radio
Tools, rope, tape
Matches, 2 boxes
Lighters, 10
Batteries, 10 packs
Hand sanitizer
Propane cooking stove
Propane fuel, fire starters
Ready-made first-aid kit

Hopefully you’ll be able to get everything you need before your local grocery store shelves are empty.