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What If The SHTF Today?

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Imagine the SHTF and you didn’t bother to prepare. A pandemic is spreading across the country like a wildfire, or 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 or if you know it’s about to occur and you aren’t prepared, it may be worth the risk to run to the nearest grocery store and get what you can, while you can. Ideally, none of this will be necessary, but here’s what to do if it is.

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. Duck out of work early and keep your cell phone handy. Call your significant other and have him or her meet you at the most convenient gas station. On your way, call your doctor and ask to renew any prescriptions you might need.

Once you’re at the gas station, fill up your cars and buy some containers you can fill with extra gas. You will also need cash. Go to an ATM and withdraw as much as you can.

Now head to the grocery store. When you get there, each of you should grab a different cart and take a half of the list below. 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 will have it (if there’s time to go to another store). Pick up your prescriptions and check out.

On the way home, pick the kids up from school. Finally, prepare to hunker down until the crisis passes.

Here’s the list:

Solar air Lantern


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 look like like ones in the picture above. So there you have it. If I left out anything important, let me know in the comments section below.

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  • azheat

    Great list! There are many more real necessities than what we normally think of. Other than the dairy and fresh vegetables, these are all items that we can create surplus of at home and rotate it.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. You’re better off if you start keeping extra stuff on hand now so you aren’t racing to get all these things at the last second. Grabbing all these at the last minute would be really difficult and dangerous.

  • DoomerSooner

    good list. What I did was put my list in order of how it is stocked at Sam’s. Yes I’m prepped (12 people good for a year) but, if there is a run on the grocery stores I might as well increase my preps. Sam’s is my 2nd stop after gas. Everyone in my family has this list of what to grab. A good run on the grocery store could double the length my preps would last.

  • JimJim

    Nice thought provoking article. I dont think the list is very helpful though (other than being thought provoking). I think it all depends on YOUR situation.

    Personally, I would grab peanut butter, tuna, and batteries no matter how much of it I had stocked.

    Im glad people are stocked for TEOTWAWKI or the post-apocalypse, but those don’t seem likely to me.

  • granmur

    Good point papa bear. I don’t believe it would be smart to even take them there. Things will more likely than not get very ugly.

  • Joellen

    Better to be prepared! Your suggestion about a last minute prescription wouldn’t work where I live as here, one has to call the pharmacy for a refill and they may take up to 2 days to get approval from your physician. I guess that makes it important to have refills noted on the prescription whenever you can.

  • bunny

    I think he’s saying take your spouse to the store and then get the kids?