Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
Preppers stockpile supplies in order to be prepared for the eventuality of a disaster; that’s what makes them preppers. Depending on the individual prepper or prepper family, they could have anywhere from a month’s worth of food in their home, to several years’ worth. We all saw the empty grocery store shelves in 2020, which just proved what preppers had been saying all along.
But just what is going to happen, when the shelves are empty the next time around, especially if there’s no hope for resupply. It was bad enough when they couldn’t get the food and other supplies to the stores; what happens if there isn’t product in the warehouses to get to the stores?
What happens when the entire distribution system shuts down, because they can’t place computerized orders and the trucks can’t get fuel to run? We’ve all heard how bad it will be after an EMP; but as we’ve seen, that’s not the only thing that can cause shortages.
FEMA is supposed to be the federal government’s answer to taking care of the population in the event of a crisis. Sadly, their track record hasn’t been all that good, but there are a lot of people who are hoping it gets better.
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Regardless of that, FEMA has been given an incredible amount of authority, to be used in the aftermath of a disaster. As part of that, they have blanket authorization to confiscate goods for the purpose of redistribution, meeting people’s needs.
In all honesty, I don’t think that whoever gave them that authority was thinking about going into people’s homes to raid their pantries or taking the produce from their vegetable gardens. But that doesn’t mean they won’t.
Once they’ve cleaned out the warehouse from whatever supermarket chains and food wholesalers services that area, they’ll be looking for more food to confiscate. They’ll be highly motivated in that process, as they’ll want the food for themselves too. With that being the case, nobody’s food stockpile is truly safe.
What Will FEMA Take?
Should FEMA start knocking on people’s doors, it will likely be in search of food. That doesn’t mean that everything else you have is safe. On the contrary, while they will use food as their pretext for searching your home, they will be sure to take anything else they find which can be of use.
Remember, while they’re searching for things to “redistribute” the first people who they will redistribute to is themselves. With that in mind, nothing you have will be safe.
At a minimum, we can count on them taking:
- Food of all types, including from your garden and root cellar
- Bottled water
- Water filters and purifiers – If water is a problem, then they’ll see that as a valuable resource
- Baby food and formula
- Personal hygiene supplies, other than opened containers in use
- Feminine hygiene products, again other than opened containers
- Toilet paper, other than a few rolls (hopefully)
- Fuel of all types – Not just gasoline, but kerosene and propane will be top things for them to grab
- Firewood (if they spot it, although they probably won’t go looking for it)
- Guns – We’ve got to figure that these will be people who don’t trust the citizens. Chances are high that they are politically left-leaning. Whether or not they have the authority to do so, they’ll see it as a good chance to disarm the people, so that those people can’t kill anyone. Of course, the criminals will still get to keep theirs
- First-aid supplies – with hospitals running out of supplies, this can become a high-priority item for FEMA to find
- Medicines – both over-the-counter and prescription. Having an active prescription might keep them from taking 30 days-worth of whatever the prescription covers; but they’ll say that others need anything you have over that amount, more than you do
What Can You Do?
Should FEMA come knocking on your door, the last thing you want to do is to try and fight them. Even if you were to win, the victory would only be temporary. They’d be back and they’d come back with enough force to ensure that they got what they want, even if it meant killing you. They could easily justify your death, in their minds and to their superiors, as a necessity for “the greater good.”
You’ll have to let them in, so the thing to do is to be ready for them. More than anything, that means making sure that they don’t find everything you have.
Start with Bait
If they come into your house, you can be sure that they aren’t going to leave until they find something. With that being the case, you want to make sure there’s something for them to find. You want to let them think that they succeeded and found your stash, while at the same time, not losing everything.
The best way to do that is to keep most of it well hidden, while having some that’s not really hidden at all. Give them something to find and they’ll think they’ve done their job.
If your kitchen has a pantry in it, start by having it well-stocked. That might end the casual search, especially if you don’t do anything to make them think you have more food elsewhere.
But that’s not enough, as some will continue looking. A small stockpile, in the basement, is a good way of making them think they’ve got your stash, without losing it all.
Some good acting will help here. When they empty, barely controlled anger is appropriate. Anyone would be angry to have their food taken like that. But when it comes to your bait stash in the basement, your visible emotions should change to total despair. You want to make them think that they’ve gotten everything, so that emotional response makes sense.
You’re going to have to make sure that your children aren’t aware of any other stockpile; i.e. your hidden stockpile. Kids can’t lie worth anything and they can’t keep a secret. If they know that you have a larger stockpile of supplies hidden somewhere, they’ll end up spilling the beans.
Hide Everything Else
Everything else you have, should be well-hidden; not in the likely places, but in places they’d either never take the time to look or wouldn’t expect to find anything. There are lots of places you can hide things in a home or that you can make into hiding places. You’ve just got to decide how much work you’re willing to put into it.
Inside the Walls
There’s 3-1/2 inches of space inside our walls, with only studs, electrical wires and a few plumbing pipes taking up the space. If you remove the drywall from one side of a wall, you can build shelves in there, fill them with canned goods and then cover the wall with fresh drywall, finishing it to match the home. Granted, that’s a lot of work; but it’s unlikely they’ll be breaking down walls to find food.
Another way to use the space inside your walls is to open up the walls inside your closet, on the door side, beside and above the door. No matter how thorough a search someone makes of a closet, they’re unlikely to look at the wall that the door is in. As long as the things stored there don’t stick out, they won’t see them.
Your home probably has ductwork for the HVAC system in either the basement or the attic. The thing is, few people really understand that ductwork. There’s nothing to stop you from adding some additional ductwork, making it out of the same material and taping it onto what’s already there. That can then serve as a place to stash food, although you’re probably going to need to stick to lighter-weight items, rather than canned goods.
Just as with your ductwork, few people understand the plumbing in your home. There’s usually one four-inch vertical pipe in the basement, which is the main drain-line for the home. There’s nothing to stop you from adding a fake one, on the other side of the basement, making it look like the first. That’s a great place to fill up with canned goods.
Inside Furniture and Appliances
Pretty much all furniture and major appliances have spaces inside, which are unused. These can easily be transformed into hidden storage, giving you places for food and other items. You’ll probably have to take the back off of appliances and add panels inside furniture to keep the food in place, but it’s worth the effort.
- Washer and Dryer – Take the back panel off and you’ll find that there’s space around the drum to hide food.
- Tables – There’s space under the table top, hidden by the “skirt.” Make a compartment out of this space by attaching a piece of plywood to the inside of the skirt.
- Chairs & Sofas – There’s space under the seats of upholstered chairs and sofas; and it’s just covered by a thick piece of cloth. Attach a piece of plywood, much as I was just mentioning for the tables and store some food inside. Just make sure that people won’t “bottom out” on the food, when they sit down.
- Dressers – Unless we’re talking really cheap furniture, there’s always space between the sides of the drawers and the sides of the case. Pull the drawers out and fill this space with packages of food. Just make sure that the food can’t shift, or you won’t be able to close the drawers.
One of the most effective ways of hiding anything, is to bury it in the ground. Nobody is going to want to go digging up your basement, looking for food. So, fill five-gallon plastic buckets with food and bury them, being sure to keep track of where they are. Pretty much anything can be hidden in buckets like this, as the buckets provide excellent protection against insects and rodents.
Hide it in Plain Sight
We’ve all got boxes in our basements and attics, filled with miscellaneous stuff; baby clothes the kids outgrew, toys they’re no longer playing with, grandma’s linens, camping gear that only gets used once a year and whatnot. Most of that is in boxes, packed to the brim.
Get more boxes and split the stuff that you have packed away into twice as many boxes. Before packing them though, fill the bottom half of the box with food. Then cover it with the other things, hiding the food. Anyone opening the box will see baby clothes or whatever and decide that’s what the box is full of.
Don’t Forget Supply Caches
You should never have your entire stockpile hidden in your home. There are things which can happen, which will make your home untenable, forcing you to bug out. If that happens, you want to have some supplies cached off-site, which you and your family can use to survive. That doesn’t just mean food, but other supplies, ammunition and even survival gear.
It wouldn’t hurt to have more than one survival supply cache, if you can. Make sure that at least one of them is close enough to your home, so as to be accessible, while being far enough from your home, that it is unlikely to be damaged by whatever might damage your home. If your home is susceptible to flooding, then make sure you have a supply cache on high ground, which won’t flood.
Pretty much anything can serve as a supply cache, as long as you have control over it and it is hidden from others. One of the easiest things to do is to rent a small storage unit and use it.
For $30 to $50 per month, you can have someplace to keep your supplies, which isn’t likely to be damaged if something happens to your home and isn’t likely to be raided by FEMA. So, even if they get what’s in your home, you’ll still have food and other supplies for your family.
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Regarding storage units. My neighbor and I will often consider what will we raid if the SHTF. Storage units are next on our list after local convenience stores. I am sure that we aren’t the only ones who would target storage units as the very nature of the facility recommends it for those looking for a variety of supplies.
My first reaction to a FEMA squad would be, “what you guys again. Three days ago four of you showed up and took my stuff and here you are again looking for more!!!!!”. Also, make your home or shelter look like it has been ransacked. Put a piece of plywood over the outside door where it would likely have been kicked. Put some tape on both sides of several windows as if there were cracks behind the tape and perhaps put an old storage shelf or cabinet outside to add to the dramatic effect.
All I can say is if the gov’t wants anything of mine, they better bring money or something of value or a big damn army. If they’re allowed to confiscate something of mine then I’m allowed to do the same in kind when SHTF. Let’s see how they like my procurement of their useful toys.
kieran roberts says
If the authorities come to your house and start taking food away, start bitching moaning and complaining. Make things difficult for them, DO NOT HELP THEM IN THEIR SEARCH OF YOUR HOUSE.
If they start to snark back at you say something like “I hope you choke on that” and slam the door behind them.
Hopefully by that time the poison you put in the food that they took will be doing its work. Or the little holes you poked into the cans of food.
Raylene Gardner says
What about metal detection? They(who ever is”they:) use a metal detector to locate buried can goods?
They aren’t coming to my house and taking a efffffing thing!!!!!! The only thing they’ll get from me is my lead and copper collection, and it’ll be coming pretty efffffing fast!!! I don’t care if I meet Jesus trying to protect what’s rightfully mine. I’m gonna meet him one day, if that’s when it it is, it’s fine with me. I’m not gonna want to live under such tyranny. This entire article is B.S. and is for pansies and phoney patriots!!!!
Francis in Florida says
You are absolutely correct Ben.
Why would anyone be a subject/serf and let the government (whichever government) just take your goods from your home? Sounds like a case of “I am a scared person, not deserving to be called an American”.
We have a plan (or 2) and anyone (or group) who comes calling to redistribute better have brought their own body bags. This is my home, my land, and my country and no bastards will get it for free.
Bill in Houston says
If you use store cards (to get discounts on groceries), that card tracks absolutely everything you buy. There’s a database of everything out there, and of course it can be tracked. I’ve had a Kroger card for 25 years. Every so often I’ll get coupon orders for items I haven’t bought in a decade. They know.
But when you buy preps, pay in cash and do not ever use a store card. Do not use a “cash back” app like Fetch or Ibotta either. Once again, they have databases.
It wouldn’t be hard for Uncle Sugar to demand access to these databases (only for the duration of “the emergency,” you understand) to see who has extra food stored. And voilá, some guys with M-4s and body armor appear at your door…
Bill in Houston says
Of note, I buy a lot of my long term storage items at foreign grocery stores (H-Mart: Asian, Phoenicia: Middle Eastern). I use cash and no cards. I don’t scan those receipts either.
One of the only nice things about living in a large city with lots of immigrants is that they have lots of specialty grocers (and restaurants).
I hear you Bill. I just deleted my fetch app. I should’ve clicked that they would be keeping records on those apps, ect.
Dang, I’ve definitely got to do a better job of being the gray man.
I really enjoyed this article!!