This being the OFFICIAL National Preparedness Month, I’m sure you’ve diligently been working on your preps for the last three-plus weeks. Right?
Wait. What’s that, you say? You’ve been working diligently on your preps for lo these many years and you hardly have to concern yourself with some belatedly declared month? Of course! You’re pretty well set by now, right?
But everybody’s always lacking something.
With that in mind, here are 12 preparedness items you probably don’t strictly need but would be great to have if you don’t already. And yes, these are Amazon Associates links.
1. Can organizers, trackers, dispensers. I’ve always considered pantry can organizers to be a great luxury. The best ones are out of my league. But as I face this weekend’s project of re-organizing shelves that were never really meant to serve as a pantry, I feel nagging envy for those who have these handy dispensers. I tell myself, “Hey, if I ordered a few of these, I could put the whole shelf project off until next week while I wait for them to arrive.” Hm. Seems like a good reason to get them.
2. A slingshot. Maybe something serious like this. But any reasonably durable slingshot can be a handy thing to have around for discouraging or hunting small varmints. Sure, there are better, more modern tools for that job. But how many of those can, in a pinch, sling any handy rock? (Steel shot is better, of course — if it’s available.) Slingshots require practice. But it’s practice that’s generally fun.
3. A woobie. These have given both physical and psychic comfort to soldiers since Vietnam. They can comfort the rest of us, too, whether by giving us extra warmth by a fireside, helping keep heating bills low in an ordinary winter, or protecting us when we’re desperately cold. ADDED: LarryA (in comments) had some related ideas.
4. Dried fruit. Because, seriously, you don’t want to be caught in a SHTF situation without sufficient fiber. Besides, dried fruits come in all sorts of portable and deliciously snacky varieties. But if you don’t like fruit, you can always get fiber this way.
5. Vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Consider gallon sizes of white vinegar, especially extra-strength cleaning vinegar. Add large sizes of rubbing alcohol to your home stores and between the two you have cheap, multi-purpose cleaning and disinfecting supplies.
6. Extra heavy-duty aluminum foil. Regular aluminum foil is handy and always good to have around. But when you might have to cook in the stuff over an open fire or on a grill, you want extra heavy-duty. And that’s not all. This article gives about a dozen additional uses — as well as several other unusual prep items you might want to have.
7. A Land-Shark bag. Heavy-duty, reportedly IR-invisible. A Land-Shark Bag is just the thing when those little tinfoil survival blankets won’t cut it. Good on land and sea. Indoors, but better yet outdoors. For winter go-bags or dire rescue situations.
8. Pantyhose. If you’re a woman like me, you may hate them (20 years and counting since I’ve had to don a pair of the hateful things). But pantyhose have a multitude of survival and Outlaw uses. For guys, too. (So do maxipads, but I hesitate to mention those on a formerly family-friendly blog.)
9. Gloves, gloves, and more gloves. Nitrile gloves for medical and industrial use. Work gloves. And gardening gloves. And fingerless gloves for shooting or other fine work in the cold. Mittens for maximum warmth. You simply cannot have enough types of hand coverings.
10. Board games. Yep, board games. And puzzles. Because when all those things that go beep and boop run out of battery power, somebody’s going to get really, really, really bored. I’m giving you an Amazon link here, but I must admit that this is one item it’s really better to find at thrift stores and garage sales. If you don’t mind the occasional missing puzzle piece or dog-chewed game piece, you can always find these things — cheap — among someone else’s leftovers.
11. Clip-on book lights. These little gadgets make it a lot easier to read when the power goes out. Candles (even the wonderful UCO candle lantern) can’t hold a candle to them. Lanterns don’t have their focused glow. ADDED: LarryA (in comments) had what might be an even better idea: a USB rechargeable headlamp.
12. A small notebook. When you can’t text, call, or surf the ‘Net, a small notebook enables you to leave a note for somebody, jot down your thoughts, make a to-do list, or doodle to keep yourself from going bonkers. Not long ago, a friend gave me a reporter’s notebook, which I find particularly handy.
So there you are. Even if you’ve been prepping for years and are prepped to the gills, I’ll bet there are at least a few items on that list that aren’t yet among your storage or survival stocks.
That said, I now need to go off and decide whether I’m going to organize those pantry shelves this weekend or order some can organizers. And slack off in the meantime.