20 Things You Probably Forgot To Buy

Having been a veteran of numerous hurricanes, I got pretty good at stocking up, prepping for disaster, and even making bug-out bags in case it was a Category 5 hurricane. (Fortunately, we've only had one that was a direct hit.)  --and yes, we got the hell out of Dodge.

Despite all these precautions, we're only human, and it's easy to forget something among the myriad of things we have to remember during a mad scramble.

Today, I want to give you a list of things you should tack on to your shopping list while you're gathering supplies whether for a hurricane or a long month of isolation.

Everyday items

Alcohol, isopropyl or ethanol
Aluminum foil
Bungee cords
Cotton balls
Dental tools: brushes, floss, water pik, toothpaste
Duct tape
First Aid kit: vet wrap, Bandaids, antibiotic ointment, thermometer, Benadryl, pain relievers
Garbage bags
Plastic sheeting
Sewing kit
Steel wool
Zip ties

And the bigger stuff

Emergency hand-cranked radio
Fire extinguisher
Vacuum sealer
Portable grill

Other than batteries (absolutely essential for one purpose), every one of the 'everyday items' were chosen because they have a multitude of applications other than their intended use. There are many more, but these I would include before any emergency.

With the exception of the generator, none of these things are expensive or hard to find, but because they are so commonplace, people always think they can get them later. If this covid craziness has taught me anything, it's to not take the everyday things for granted. I learned my lesson after 7 months of not finding rubbing alcohol. If that ever happens to me again, I have only myself to blame.

Speaking of the generator, we swear by ours. It's saved our bacon (literally) dozens of times. It doesn't have to run everything, just the essentials like fridges, freezers, and the occasional light bulb or box fan.

Would you have done something differently if covid shut us down again?

Part of the Sensible Prepping Series. Go here for more articles.


the author said…
Great list. If I had a do over I'd probably stock more rubbing alcohol (still can't find it here), but otherwise we were pretty well-prepared for the covid-related shortages. Now we're super prepared. :)

I want to add a vote for keeping a generator on hand if possible, especially if you live in a rural area like we do. Ours has been a huge help during every hurricane season. During Irma we were able to keep the well pump, the fridge and water heater working, so we kept our perishable food safe and were able to bathe in comfort (and we opened our guest bathroom to neighbors who had no running water.) I can live without A/C as long as I can take a shower at the end of the day.

During 2004's nightmare storm season our portable gas grill was the only way we could cook for three weeks. I made everything on it, including coffee in a campfire percolator (which I also recommend keeping on hand in case the power goes out for weeks.)
Maria Zannini said…
Lynn: Anyone who lives in the sticks knows the value of a generator. It's a pricey piece of equipment, but when you need it, it's worth its weight in gold.

I forget which hurricane, but our big grill had gone with the wind, so I brought down a portable one. Even though Greg had plenty of canned food, there's nothing like fresh cooked food to lift your spirits. In times like those you need every inch of spirit to keep you going.

re: alcohol
I am pleased to say that both alcohol and sanitizer wipes are back on the shelves. They disappear quickly, but not as fast as before.
Mike Keyton said…
Excuse the ignorance from a townie, but are generators oil fuelled? You’re right, they’re pricey not in my dystopian Visio they prove a necessity in the not too distant future
Mike Keyton said…
But in my dystopian vision they may prove (Bloody fat finger sorry) 😊
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: Generators run on a variety of fuels. Most common are gas (petrol), diesel, and propane.

I don't recommend them for everyone, but they are lifesavers if you have to go more than a day without power.
B.E. Sanderson said…
Great list, Maria. The only thing I'd add is a battery backup unit. I got mine for about $60 and it lets me shut my computer down safely during a power outage. It also has enough juice for about thirty minutes, which, if I'm frugal with it, can make morning coffee. I also have an LED lantern that will run small devices for a limited time and recharge USB electronics - and it wasn't that pricey. It takes a boatload of D batteries, though, so those have to be on hand as well.

A generator is on the to-buy list, but yeah, they're not cheap. =o\
Maria Zannini said…
BE: I need to look into another battery backup. Mine died after three years and I'm loathe to spend another hundred bucks for one. At least that's what I spent last time.

Knock on wood, my computer has weathered several unexpected power outages.