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  • Steve Nubie

Items I Stockpile Because I Don’t Trust the Government

It’s comforting to assume that government agencies on a federal, state and local level will swoop in to provide aid and assistance in a time of natural or manmade disasters.

Unfortunately, that is rarely the case and even when they do the services and goods provided are often both limited and rationed.

Hurricane Katrina continues to be a benchmark for the failure of a government agency response to disaster. The size and scope overwhelmed FEMA and basics like clean drinking water and medical aid failed to reach a majority of people affected by the hurricane and resulting flooding.

The telegram is that you can’t assume you’re going to be rescued or provided for when disaster strikes. Like so many other things, we’re often on our own.

Defining Critical Needs

Maybe the best way to determine what you need to stockpile is to look at the potential events that will affect your survival during a disaster.

Power outages are a common occurrence during many disasters and can last for hours, days and even weeks.

The direct effect is a lack of heat, light, the ability to cook, running water especially if you depend on a well pump, and communication. There’s also a loss of refrigeration and freezing for foods.

Fortunately, you can learn here how to build your own power plant for cheap and outlive any long-term blackout.

Sanitary challenges from toilets that won’t flush to floodwaters contaminated by overflowing sewers and anything else a flood touches. An emergency management agency might hand you a few bottles of water but you’re on your own if you want water filtration tablets, any type of sanitizers or cleaning supplies, and at best a hotel size bar of soap.

Medical treatment will be determined by a triage system with the most serious injuries getting priority. As serious as a deep cut or broken bone may be, if others are more severely injured they’ll get treated first.

Shelter may eventually be offered but it will be crowded and very unsanitary. The use of the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina emerges again as a shelter idea gone horribly wrong.

Food offered will usually be defined as a meal served in improvised soup kitchens after a long wait in line. If there is food to be distributed it will most likely be in limited quantities and rationed as one MRE per person for one meal for the day.

If you consider the critical needs of a large community during a disaster it’s fair to assume that any combination of emergency agencies will not only be unable to keep up with the demand, but will simply not offer some levels of aid and assistance.

If you need gas for a generator forget about getting it from any gas trucks brought into the area. That fuel will be reserved for local emergency management vehicles. That actually makes sense but if you want extra gas to keep your generator going, you’re once again on your own.

Items to Stockpile

Here are some of the items you can’t assume will be provided to you during a disaster. Even when they can offer some of these items, it will again be in small quantities to ensure everyone gets a little of what they have on hand. Many preppers have these items covered but stop and think if you’re missing anything.


We can go for a week or more without food. We won’t last past 3 days without water. When the water all around you is polluted and unsafe it’s time to think ahead.

  • Water purification tablets and water filters

  • 5-gallon water jugs for water storage

  • Water storage stabilizers for long-term storage

  • Canteens and portable water bottles for travel

Medical Supplies

A complete first aid kit and a decent collection of OTC meds make sense at a time when triage rules medical treatment.

  • Trauma level first aid kit

  • OTC painkillers like aspirin, Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen

  • Topical antiseptics for cuts and scrapes like Neosporin

  • OTC cough medicines and decongestants

  • Order a 90-day supply of any critical prescription medications and store as much as possible

  • Antibiotics: Without antibiotics, your chances of survival go way down in a crisis. You can’t generally buy antibiotics over the counter, so here is how to stockpile antibiotics without a prescription.


Sanitation after a disaster is both critical and difficult without the basics.

  • Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash

  • Bleach, white vinegar, hand sanitizer

  • Toilet paper, feminine hygiene products

  • Alcohol wipes, baby wipes


Most preppers have a pretty good stockpile of food but when cooking is a challenge you’ll want to keep things simple.

  • A case of 24 MRE’s figuring a case for each family member

  • Various canned foods including proteins, fruits and vegetables

  • Vegetable and fruit seeds; garden tools and food preservation supplies

  • Dehydrated foods that can be made into meals with only water

  • A portable stove (the Hobo Stove concept)

  • A camping cook-kit for outdoor cooking

  • Multi-vitamins


  • Solar powered generator and solar panels

  • Or gas generator and at least 20-gallons of gas in safe storage

  • Gas preservative for long-term storage (if storing gas)

  • DC to AC inverters if using batteries for power

  • The EMP Cloth: It is a specialized material engineered to effectively shield against all forms of electromagnetic waves. The government is doing nothing to protect the grid in the event of an EMP. So I got my own EMP Cloth from here and it provides protection against the destructive impact of an EMP.

Heating and Cooling

Disasters happen in every season and if the power it out, heating and cooling becomes a challenge.

  • Small wood-stove and stove pipes

  • Solar powered fan

  • Terra cotta pots and sand for Zeer Pot refrigeration

  • Firewood


At night or in a dark room or basement you’ll need some type of alternative lighting.

  • Long-burning emergency candles

  • Solar rechargeable lights (both indoor and outdoor)

  • Solar rechargeable flashlights

  • Lanterns and at least a gallon of fuel in storage


Shelter is critical whether it’s in the backyard or during a bugout.

  • Tent that will accommodate your family size needed for bug out

  • Sleeping bags

  • Camp chairs and folding camp table

Did We Miss Anything?

Probably. A lot depends on your family situation and your location. What’s critical to understand is what you may have to do without, and how you can satisfy that need from your stockpile of supplies and equipment. How much you stockpile is up to you.

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