When the SHTF, preppers will be far more prepared than the average citizen, but over a long enough timeline, even the most prepared among us will run out of supplies or have a crucial piece of equipment break.
Since few of us want to spend the rest of our lives walking around in a loin cloth eating grubs, knowing where to to find supplies to make our lives more comfortable and easier can be a valuable bit of information.
Obvious sources like grocery stores or home improvement stores will be wiped out almost immediately. Some sources of supplies may may not be viable under certain circumstances, depending on the disaster you’re facing, so you’ll need to evaluate how much you really need what you’re looking for.
- You can find all sorts of goodies in office buildings. If there is still electrical power, you can raid the refrigerators, and even the smallest offices I’ve worked in had at least a few 5-gallon jugs for the water dispenser on hand. Larger offices usually have first aid supplies and fire extinguishers.
- Amusement parks will have food, water, first aid supplies, and tools.
- Manufacturing facilities will be a wealth of fuel, batteries, tools, first aid supplies, and likely food and water.
- Restaurants may be looted quickly, but it’s worth checking out anyway. If the power is out, skip the freezers/coolers and look for dried goods like beans, rice, and pasta. Canned goods are another option.
- Pawn shops are hit or miss, but can be a good source of tools, weapons, and gold and silver.
- Feed supply stores will usually be overlooked, but if you’re starving, animal feed could provide enough nutrition while you search for tastier choices.
- You can find food, water, first aid supplies, tools, and even clothing at schools.
- If your local fire station has been abandoned, you can find plenty of first aid supplies, tools, and water—the fire engine has a main tank with tens of thousands of gallons of water. Just be sure to filter it, because it may be filled with reclaimed, or grey water.
- Trucking facilities may have large quantities of food, but you should limit yourself to non-perishable foods like rice, pasta, beans, and canned goods.
- Marinas and the boats stored inside are usually not very secure. You may be able to find canned goods, emergency rations, communication equipment, and fishing equipment. Most larger boats have signal flares, and many people keep firearms on-board.
- Pet stores can be another source of food, including the pet food, and if your survival depends on it, the pets. The same goes for horse stables and dog kennels. You can also find first-aid supplies, and if you know what you’re looking for, antibiotics.
- Self-storage units can be an excellent source of all sorts of things, but it’s a bit of a crap shoot. The odds are in your favor, though, since there are usually hundreds of units per location.
- Abandoned homes will probably have been looted already, however, each one contains 30-75 gallons of of clean water in the water heater. Unless there is a widespread water contamination that occurred several days earlier, that water is almost certainly safe to drink, but it’s always wise to filter it anyway.
- Zoos can be another source of food, but enter armed and with caution in case any animals have escaped. I don’t know about you, but while everyone else is fighting over canned tomatoes at the local Dominoes Pizza, I’ll be gutting a Cape Buffalo and enjoying a juicy steak.
- Abandoned vehicles can be scavenged for supplies as well as batteries and fuel.
Let our readers know in the comments where else you would look to find the supplies you need to survive during a disaster.