preparednessI’m frequently asked for a list of items that I consider “essential” for any preparedness lifestyle. I’ve created this list over the years as some of the items were obvious to me as a beginning prepper; but the wisdom of having some of these items had to knock me on the head before I added them to my list.

My Preparedness List

This is a list that I’ve created which consists of items that I believe you can never have enough of. While you may run out of room, you’ll never have too many of these great items. They are sure to come in handy amidst a widespread disaster of just about any nature. That makes these items great for bartering too, and you can likely cross off a whole lot of these items for the cost of one single ounce of gold. (Hmmm…) preparednessTo be clear, this is NOT an ALL INCLUSIVE list of preparedness items, rather it’s a list that you could freely stock up on and not worry that you have “too much.” I always giggle a bit when I hear someone say they have “an extra mag” or an “extra bag of wheat.”  In a scenario of chaos and uncertainty, there will be no such thing as “too much” of these items. These are not in any particular order of priority, rather I wrote them over the years as I thought of them. Feel free to print this out for your own personal review. Enjoy!  


  • Water
  • Books (non-fiction for “how to” and some fiction for entertainment)
  • Skills
  • Self-Defense and Hunting Weapons
  • Bullets and ammo
  • Non-stick Medical Pads for wound covering
  • Gauze and tape
  • Wound cleanser hydrogen peroxide/isopropyl alcohol
  • Pain relievers
  • Medicine alternative such as essential oils
  • Face masks (N-95 masks)
  • Digestive aids
  • preparedness
  • Hand cleaner
  • Bar soap
  • Duct Tape
  • WD-40
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper goods (cups, plates, plastic ware, towels, wet wipes, foil, zip lock bags, saran wrap)
  • Fleece/Flannel
  • Paracord/nylon rope/twine
  • Sturdy belts
  • Quality work/traveling shoes
  • Socks
  • Work Gloves
  • Mending materials
  • Fishing line and hooks
  • Seeds, seeds, seeds
  • preparednessTents
  • Sleeping bags/pads
  • Tools (hatchets, saws, hammers, screwdrivers,  shovels, hoes, trowels)
  • Carpentry Nails
  • Batteries
  • Steel wool
  • Candles
  • Matches and lighters
  • Flint and steel
  • Fuel (propane, solar, butane, kerosene firewood, fire starters, newspapers, charcoal)
  • Cook Stoves
  • Lanterns and wicks
  • Water filtration systems including coffee filters
  • Wheat
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Powdered milk
  • Chocolate, particularly cocoa powder which has an unlimited shelf-life–chocolate, not so much but you can still get 5-8 years if you use the Mason jar/FoodSaver method.
  • preparednessNuts
  • Rice
  • Canning Supplies
  • Sprouts
  • Knives
  • Pressure cookers/Dutch ovens
  • Ham radio and parts
  • FoodSaver

Happy Hunting for the supplies that make the most sense for YOU and your circumsstances. 



Just Plain Bill · March 9, 2012 at 1:47 am

Why no cigarettes or liquor on the list.
Those that use these commodities will trade handsomely for them.

    Kellene Bishop · March 9, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Good question. I agree that those items can be incredibly valuable in tough times. The underground economy within our prison walls proves as such as well as much of history. However, this list was created to be as universal as possible which is why I put “weapons” as opposed to guns. Even a person who isn’t comfortable with guns will benefit handsomely by having bullets. And even those who are gluten intolerant will benefit from having wheat on hand because it can still be used as a vegetable when sprouted as it’s then converted from a gluten to a vegetable.

      Helen · March 10, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      Hi, Kellene,

      I’m also a newbie here – another DP viewer who saw your episode and then found your website. Your “peaceful preparedness” ideas provide balance to so many of the doom-and-gloom advocates. I’m really learning a lot and we’re applying things as we can. I was able to take advantage of eggs on sale within a week of seeing you on DP. 🙂 Now we actually have a (small) stock of eggs in reserve!

      You stated: “wheat . . . can still be used as a vegetable when sprouted as it’s then converted from a gluten to a vegetable.” There is an inaccuracy in this comment which concerns me enough to reply as gluten is such a serious health issue to many. Gluten, the protein component in wheat, is not a type of plant. Sprouting may decrease the gluten somewhat but it cannot change a grass (all grains are grasses) into a vegetable which is a different type of plant. One of the things I like most is that you do your homework on things you post. If interested, more info on the wheat gluten issue and wheat’s other unhealthy effects are in the book Wheat Belly by Wm. Davis, MD and on his website wheatbellyblog(dot)com.

      Thanks so much for caring and sharing!

        Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm

        You’re right, Helen, I should clarify. Sometimes when you speak so much on the same topic it doesn’t come across as it should for a new audience. Unless a person is severely intolerant of gluten, sprouting the wheat is a way that they can still consume it without having the nasty reaction and throwing their body out of balance. There’s more to it than that, but perhaps I should just do an article focused on it. Our bodies do alter the way they handle foods when the dna of that food is altered that’s why I typically put it the way that I do. Thanks for reminding me though that I’ve got to be better about writing for everyone of our readers, new or seasoned. 🙂

        As an aside, I’m convinced that the increasing gluten as well as lactose intolerant cases we see increasing every year is as a result of the everything that’s done to mess with those two, otherwise fabulous nutrients. I’ve worked with folks in my alternative medical care classes that have been adamant that they are lactose intolerant but when they try raw milk or even some good quality powdered milks which go through a different manufacturing process than the mainstream milks, they have no such reaction. The same has been proven with a couple of studies on wheat. In fact, it’s the result of those studies that wheat started being offered organically as some celiac disease sufferers can handle that.

        Because the admonition and use of wheat is so rampant even in spiritual/religious culture, I feel confident in storing wheat specifically, but everyone needs to strengthen their own Spiritual Preparedness so that they can decide what is best for their circumstances.

          TJ · April 8, 2012 at 3:35 am

          I’m gluten intolerant and recently found that I can eat wheat IF (big IF) it’s made using Pioneer Yeast or Natural Leavening. It’s a type of yeast that you can’t buy in a store. Rapid Rise yeast doesn’t process gluten the same way that Grandma’s yeast. After 10 years of not eating wheat, I can now eat whole wheat bread as long as I make it at home using Pioneer Yeast or Natural Leavening. And since Pioneer Yeast a yeast you continuously grow at home… it has added preparedness benefits!

          Kellene Bishop · April 8, 2012 at 5:45 am

          Many Celiac sufferers can also enjoy wheat after it’s been sprouted or as wheat grass.

      miss burt · March 25, 2012 at 3:19 am

      can you or anyone tellme how to keep your water good. i have a 2500 gallon tank and dont know what to put in it to keep it drinkable

        Kellene Bishop · March 26, 2012 at 6:26 am

        There are several articles on this blog which deal with that topic. Simply put “water storage” into the search bar. Also, I address the topic under the tab “Myths” on this site too.

        Kathy · June 17, 2013 at 7:27 pm

        We used to have a 2500 gallon tank, but had to empty it when we moved. The water had been in it, in the garage, for about 5 years. When we filled it, we used the White hose for potable water, and put a ping of home brewed Colloidal Silver in it. When we emptied it, I tested it with the TDS meter… and Drank a glass of water. It tasted as fresh as the day we put it in. The water from the hose was straight clorinated tap water.

    Paula · March 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    @ Just Plain Bill…. I do agree that LIQUOR is a good bargening power also would work (drinking) for a bullet removal or pulling a tooth. I wouldn’t want to not be sedated for either one of these! I smoke cig’s so I do understand that part of storing them too!

      Army Girl · March 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      Sugar and fruit will make all the liquor you want. 😉
      Grow yer own for cigarettes.

        Kellene Bishop · March 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm

        IMO chocolate makes the world go round. 🙂

          Carey · March 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm

          have to have chocolate! I am starting my own chocolate closet. We have a good supply of wound care items but I am wondering how to get antibiotics? I have been home canning for a long time now but need to focus more on water and food. I am wondering how to keep pests out of sacks of sugar and flour? Do you have mice problems?

          Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 2:49 am

          Essential oils–so long as they are premium quality–are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-viral and they work a lot faster than herbs. It’s the only reason why I’ve been spending the lion share of my preparedness money on them for the last 18 months. They are just too invaluable when you find the right ones. I even have one that stops bleeding promptly. I call them my first aid kit in a bottle.

          Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 3:53 am

          on the other hand, if you had plenty of chocolate, no one would care if you had anti-biotics. They’d die happy. 🙂
          Mylar bags in buckets is a good way to keep out the mice. food grade diatomaceous earth is great for insects of all kinds. We have lots of mouse traps, but a cat or two is great for that as well. There are also essential oils that keep vermin away. 🙂

          Suzie Q · March 10, 2012 at 2:39 am

          AMEN to that! That is why I got a lot of cocoa when it was cheap!

          DENNIS BARES · March 10, 2012 at 5:52 am

          Liquor, Cigarrets, are good for medisimal purposes. I have heard that Chocolate does not store over all periods. Case in point; while I was in the Army Reservers and out on two week training period; During a bresk period, I took a chocolate bar from my pouch and opened it up, I found a light powder, it was not very tastey. I asked several friends to check their chocolate bars; sad to say they were the same as mine. Now I don’t know how long they had been stored. Bbut when the chocolate does change, it’s not good for co coa, or hot drink, or snacking.

          Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm

          Dennis, it’s cocoa that has unlimited shelf-life when stored cool, dry, and dark, and it’s even better if you can get cocoa that’s not processed using lye. Thanks for reminding me that I needed to clarify that.

          Stale chocolate bars are actually still good for a fabulous mole sauce or Cincinatti-style chili. YUM!

        wnettles · March 10, 2012 at 1:40 am

        Most folks who smoke are not willing to wait the months required to “grow their own” tobacco. Also, they are probably not familiar with the picking and curing and storage of tobacco. A carton or two of common smokes will make a very good trading commodity in hard times.

      Debra223 · March 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Alcohol is, unfortunately, not a good anesthesia, or analgesic, or antibiotic/antimicrobial disinfectant–but it can help take the edge off of anxiety and will give many patients the illusion that it helps with pain. It’s not as good at cleansing wounds as sterile water or normal saline solution, but in a pinch, it can make-do. Good to have on-hand for many other applications.

Carol Funchesd · March 9, 2012 at 4:19 am

Having endured katrina, I would like to add 2 essential items to your list, if I may. And they are – CASH and GAS. No stores were able to process credit cards, gas lines were so long and gas was rationed. WE took gas from all our vehicles to run our generator. We only ran them long enough to keep the freezers going and to draw water from the well

    Kellene Bishop · March 9, 2012 at 6:28 am

    I believe that those two items have merit but keep in mind that this list is about items that you can never have too much of. I’m afraid you’ll find that their worth will be very short-lived in a Haiti earthquake/tsunami scenario, or a financial collapse, EMP, quarantine scenario. Vehicles can easily be rendered useless and the value of cash will be the first to tank in most of the severe crisis scenarios.

    Having said that though, a bundle of small bills would be wiser than large ones, and gold and silver would definitely be better than currency.

    The use of gasoline will surely paint a person as a target in dire times, though Katrina was but a dress rehearsal to some of these events and thus I’m certain I’d have to agree with you on the merit of these two items.

    I liked the guy on Doomsday Preppers the other night who rotated through 50 gallons of spare gasoline regularly. It could at least be helpful to get you to a bug out location without having to come in contact with the mob of people at the gas stations that weren’t prepared. The same goes for having cash instead of trying to run to a bank and getting it at the beginning phases of a scenario.

      Carol Funchesd · March 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      I totally agree. And as unprepared as we were for katrina, we did have cash in bills no larger than a 20. And yes, this was just a dress rehearsal for something greater yet to come. Sorry, I interjected that to your essential list but after the “dust” settled these 2 items were the 2 we felt were must valuable for the circumstances we were thrust into at the time. Next time could be far different.
      Love everything you are doing to help better prepare ourselves!

Claudia · March 9, 2012 at 6:07 am


What kind and how are you keeping it long term? I would love to add masa flour but haven’t been able to find any information on keeping it long term. We do like flour tortillas but the corn is much easier to make.

    Kellene Bishop · March 9, 2012 at 6:34 am

    My dry items are preserved either in FoodSaver bags, Mason Jars using the FoodSaver jar attachments to suck out the oxygen, and buckets with food grade diatomaceous earth sprinkled inside. Cocoa last forever. Chocolate chips, candy, etc. are good 5-8 years in the jars.Just do a search on here using the word “Foodsaver” and you’ll find details.

Always Almost Ready · March 9, 2012 at 6:17 am

Don’t forget toothpaste & toothbrushes. We can’t have our teeth getting rotten.

    Kellene Bishop · March 9, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Essential oils can take care of that and fishing lure can act as floss. I just love multi-purpose.

      Vicki · March 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      can you recommend a website for essential oils that doesn’t cost an arm or leg

        Kellene Bishop · March 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        yeah, if you want crappy oils that I would never want to go into my body, you can buy Butterfly Express. (Five Star Preparedness sells them but I really wish they wouldn’t)

          Shari Greenfield · September 3, 2014 at 5:24 am

          I would love a site for good
          I would love a site for good quality essential oils. Thanks

    Suzie Q · March 10, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Also, baking soda and salt will work for teeth cleanser and disinfectant. MMS and citric acid crystals (see for mixing directions) for disinfectant and alternative medicine is also another option.

Holly · March 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Terrific list! I could hug you for the chocolate affirmation =)

Deborah · March 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I just have to say THANK YOU! I have seen you on several shows and now that I can put a face to the words it makes me feel better. My family thinks I am crazy. But my husband has started to get on board. I just made a spare room into a prep stock room. He didnt know I had all that stuff stuffed in little hideaway places. But when he saw what we had he was amazed. I will start on the list (I have a lot that is on it) But you are so helpful. The thing that is the problem is that we dont have the money that I would like to have to do more for ourselves but I do what I can. And I am sure we will be more prepared than most.
Thanks Again

Jamie · March 9, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I would only add Buckets with lids 3-5 gallon range.

Satori · March 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm

don’t forget your pets
pet food,flea tx,meds etc
I keep a 9 month supply of everything

Laurie · March 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Great list! Do you have advice on prepping for sickness? One of our young daughters is constantly sick and appears to have a form of asthma, one that is brought on by colds/flu/viruses/allergies. Last week she had another virus and was very close to being hospitalized for a bit. She’s taking a inhaler and when she’s super sick with difficulties prednislone medication (which I dislike, but sometimes necessary) and antibiotics. Some things that are important for her are washing things in hot water & vacuuming with a Hepa vacuum. What can I stock up on for her or how can we keep everyone as healthy as possible when cleanliness of everything won’t be as easy?

    Kellene Bishop · March 9, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Absolutely! There have been a couple of readers on here that have had similar issues with themselves or young children with great success. Medical Preparedness is one of my big focuses right now. Just message me via the “contact us” on the blog and we can come up with a proactive protocol that can start getting her body balanced.

    barbara reier · March 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Having asthma and allergies-I would suggest using normal saline three times a day to wash out the sinus —it has drastically cut down on my colds and the need for prednisone

      Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 2:45 am

      Wow, that’s a lot of netipot usage. I’m trying to figure out if that’s healthy for the respiratory system–truth be told, I don’t know. I lean more towards using nutrients and essential oil to get the body back in balance so that it doesn’t need a “crutch.” Crutches are vulnerabilities that I try to eliminate.

      Laurie · March 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      Thank you Barbara, I’ve heard that and we do plan to try it. Thank you.

      Kellene- I sent you a note through the contact. I’m curious what you may suggest as a help.

        Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm

        I’ll get back to you soon. I’ve got to get these contest details written or published or else I’ll have a mutiny on my hands. 🙂

      Heather · March 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      Both of my children have asthma. I use one drop of Ravintsara essential oil (with one drop carrier oil) rubbed on the chest. Both of my children say it feels the same as using an inhaler!

        Kellene Bishop · March 19, 2012 at 6:03 am

        Actually, Ravintsara is toxic to use. Please stop using it. You want to use RAVENSARA–no “t”. I’d also add eucalyptus to that strategy too.

    Kim · March 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I have a child with bad allergies. He also has a supppressed immune system that requires prednisone when he gets sick. If I were to suggest one thing to do prep wise it would be to start culturing food. First I would go with levied milk. It is the most potent food based probiotic. It is brimming with strains of probiotics. That will help heal the gut, boosting the immune syste, and greatly helpi allergies. Kefir hands down helps my son’s allergies and sickness more than anything, I consider it the top super food. There is also water kefir which eats sugar. And of course other live mlk cultures (none of which require refrigeration) like buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, etc, of course I am looking at it from the perspective of having animals or access to milk. But after all that, culturing food! We should all know how to preserve through live culturing like sauerkraut, fermeneted salsas, etc. etc. all of that greatly affects the immune system and therefore allergies and sickness.

    Brittney M · October 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I have the same kind of asthma. If you can get to Mexico or know someone who is going, ask them to pick up inhalers for you. My parents and their friends have been enlisted in getting me inhalers, and there is a deep reassurance factor to knowing I have 5 in reserve. Drs just don’t understand it. They are much cheaper down there and they don’t care if you buy a few. Not sure how it works in Canada. I have realized that I need to get prednisone too. I will say that after a SHF situation, chances are the kids won’t be picking up sicknesses the way they do while attending school.

louisiana grace · March 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I am glad you are doing this.I can’t wait to start some of the things you have recommended.I wish people would listen to your bottled butter cause I remember when milk came in glass jars and we used to shake the milk till the butter cream would sit up on top then skim it off and use it.We had know refrig. or a root seller it sat on the counter in a dish with a lid for days.We save or bacon grease to in a empty coffee can with a lid for cooking which i still do today.Good bless you and your and keep what your doing there is a lot of people that need to know these things just to feed there families in todays times.

    Patty · March 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    We don’t refrigerate our butter, even now! I hate hard butter, and have never had a problem with it spoiling. When I can find some at a reasonable price (We’re at $3.49 on sale right now!) I want to can some. Also, I do save any extra bacon, sausage grease in a glass jar rather than a can–they do rust and can ruin the taste of the grease. The more we can do the old-fashioned way, the healthier we will be–we’ve sanitized our lives to the point that our bodies can no longer fight “normal” bacteria! Let the kids play in the dirt! Love my garden!

ValerieK · March 9, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Liquor can also be used as a weapon – moltov (sp?)

    Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Yeah, but for the same price as a case of good liquor you could buy a whole lot of bullets…lots and lots of bullets that will go perfectly with a rifle which is what I would use to be sure that no one got close enough to throw a molotov cocktail–that is of course, assuming that I would ever even fathom of such a scenario. 🙂

trish · March 9, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Some fluoride toothpaste is a good item to add. While the essential oils are great for gum health (Listerine’s active ingredients are 4 e.o.s), teeth need fluoride, just like bones need calcium!! Love the blog!!
Trish, registered dental hygienist

    Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Dr. Weston Price did extensive research in far off villages for decades and discovered that nutrition played a critical roll in the shape, whiteness, and healthy-ness of teeth. He was a dentist in the 1920’s, long before the whole fluoride craze began. In fact, no wisdom teeth had to be removed as a result of quality nutrition with mouths being plenty roomy for all of their straight teeth. He wrote a phenomenal book that you might be interested in called “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”. I got to admit, when I heard that nutrition had something to do with straight teeth, I thought it was crazy!

    Patty · March 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Research where the fluoride in toothpaste comes from, and you’ll realize that it isn’t good for us. Naturally occurring fluoride in our foods is a necessity, not the poison in our toothpaste.

Grandma Glue Gun · March 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm

For all those newbees who have very limited funds and that would be most of us now. I go faithfully to my nearest Goodwill and other second hand stores and search yard sales also. I have found a trove of great buys. Would you believe a new never used Junior Grain Mill with attachments for under $30.00. I have bought camping, canning, fishing poles you name it. Even Dutch Ovens and the best cook books for just about any type of cooking. Oh and they also have Oil Lamps all the time. You can find the Buckets at Bakeries for free. Just have to be creative. Thanks Kelleen for your great Blog. Aloha! Maui, Hawaii

Kelly · March 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Thank you again for the great list. It makes me feel that I am on the right track but still not ready. I tried your challenge and I failed with water. So I’ve reaccessed and am focusing on sustainability. I’ve read more books from your list and have a better sense of human nature. Thank you again for going on the show, the more people that are prepared the less havoc there will be. God Bless.

    Jamie · March 10, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Kelly I made it through 4 days of the water challenge and I learned a ton even though I didn’t quite make it 5 days. I shared my observations with others and I got a lot of comments like “I never considered that… or that is a really good idea.” I consider my test a huge success.

    Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Trying one of those challenging is not failing. Just think of all the hordes of people who don’t give a thought for tomorrow. Then think of the tiny handful that actually have more than 2 weeks worth of food and water. Then think of the even smaller group that really care about preparedness but have never actually put it into practice. Now think about the miniscule amount of people who have even tried to practice their preparedness efforts–You’re one of THOSE. 🙂

Jack · March 9, 2012 at 11:19 pm

I would like to point out that gasoline to maintain best efficiency, at best, has a shelf life of 90 days stored under ideal conditions. That is, an approved container or steel container, which is airtight. Add Stabil and Seafoam to maintain best shelf live and be sure to fill the container FULL, leaving little or no room for air to start the breakdown process. Diesel will store a little longer under the above conditions. Propare has an indefinite shelf live.

    Renee · March 10, 2012 at 6:04 am

    My husband just discovered a product (have it stored, haven’t used). That will bring dead gas and diesel back to life. It is called PRI-G (for gasoline) and PRI-D (for diesel). He had to order it off the internet.

Roxana · March 10, 2012 at 12:21 am

Got a question on nuts. I have stored nuts in mason jars with the air sucked out but I have been slightly concerned about botulism due to the fact that they have natural oils in them. I saw you using the same technique and wondered how long have you done this and do you refrigerate/freeze the nuts in the jars. If they sit on shelves at room temp how long do they last without fear of botulism? thanks!

    Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 2:43 am

    I’ve been storing nuts for years and never had a problem with them. People worry more about botulism in canned butter and I’ve never seen ANY CDC case about botulism in homemade canned butter.
    You don’t store them at room temp if you want them to last a while. you store them in a cool, dry place. Nuts are too expensive for me to compromise on inadequate storing methods. They will smell rancid before you eat them and will most definitely put you catching botulism to a halt.

rebelchicken · March 10, 2012 at 12:24 am

I’ve read a ridiculous number of holocaust survival stories. From what I understand this list is spot on!

Barbara · March 10, 2012 at 12:59 am

I would add warm clothing – down coats, wool sweaters, wool slacks, quality heavy-duty jeans, Wool socks, thermal underwear, including silk underwear, socks in all sizes, coveralls, and anything insulated especially . Foam clothing could be worth its weight in gold. Kellene thanks for keeping our minds in gear!

sandy · March 10, 2012 at 1:26 am

Hi Kellene

In your reply on the foodsaver, mason jars, & food grade de sprinkled inside,
do you put a layer on the bottom of the bucket or what ever your using for
storage or on top of the item? How much do you put in ?
I love my foodsaver all my rice, beans, flour, sugar, pasta, cerals, hot cerals
(with directions of course put inside), muffins, pancake mix, etc.
are in them. I want to get into canning, some defense training (though I
am in my 70’s & out of shape) feel I should know how to protect myself.
Looking for some people in my area but your list doesn’t show anyone.
How would I go about locating someone?
Keep up the good work we need you now mor than ever
God bless

    Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 2:39 am

    The DE is only good to use on whole grains or dry items still in their original packaging. I only sprinkle a tablespoon or two in a 5 gallon bucket of wheat, rice, or what have you. When I’m storing packages of Rice a Roni, I put them all in a bucket with some DE sprinkled on the bottom. I’d suggest looking up the 3 main articles that I’ve written on the great value that DE has (food grade, that is).
    I could contact your local gyms or gun stores to see if they have any self-defense classes. I have folks who fly in here from all over the world to take mine so I’m not savvy on where others are learning.
    Good luck to you! I’m just glad you’re willing to take that step.

Lauri · March 10, 2012 at 2:38 am

Thank you for all that you are doing. Newbie here have been reading your blog since the Doomsday show. My husband and I started prepping last summer. Love your website and thanks again for all the information. So new at this and have so much to do. You and your husband are a inspiration to others.

    Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 2:40 am

    We’re glad you’ve found something enjoyable on here! Welcome!

CDHite · March 10, 2012 at 3:11 am

Kellene, What is the essential oil that stops bleeding promptly?

    Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 3:14 am

    the rose geranium oil I purchase.

      Patty · March 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      Ground cayenne pepper put directly into the bleeding wound will also stop bleeding. I used this on my hand after cutting it to the bone. It stopped the bleeding within 2 minutes and then I went to the ER to get stitches. Drs didn’t understand why I used it, but marveled that it worked so well. Take care to keep it rinsed off the surrounding skin–it’ll burn like a sunburn–not bad, but not that comfortable either. It also disinfects.

        Kellene Bishop · March 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm

        Yup, that works, and hurts like a… 🙁

    Nurse Nancy · December 6, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Black pepper will do the same.

Jenny · March 10, 2012 at 7:02 am

IMO, toilet paper is too bulky and wastes space. As a substitute, I bought many 12 pk of full size, double-ply, 185 count per box Kleenex from Sam’s. I removed the box and vacuum sealed the tissues. Takes up MUCH less space, but no matter how many I store away, I never feel it’s enough.

Melonie · March 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I read so many blogs, etc. that I don’t remember where I saw these suggestions: bay leaves keep bugs out of food, visit your local feed store for antibiotic Rx and bandages…also powdered calf milk ususlly has antibiotics in it. Might not taste like what you are accustomed to, but could keep you or your children alive. I’ve stocked up on Nestles Qwik to flavor it for my grandchildren. I’ve also stocked up on Tang. Kellene, thank you SO much for the info you share. You will never know how many lives you have saved!

    Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Nestle’s and Carnation are my 2 least favorite brands for powdered milk. I just can’t handle the smell, etc. The other powdered milks I’ve recommended such as Country Fresh and Country Cream are much, much better. I can’t even make a good mozzarella cheese out of those other brands. Just FYI.

Sharma · March 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I inherited wheat in 5 gallon buckets that had bay leaves in them. It didn’t work in some of the buckets. I had one that was full of weavil.

    Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    The truth is that every bucket or bag of wheat has weevils in it the difference is just how much have they multiplied and how big they’ve become. It’s not the end of the world, you can put that wheat in the solar oven or set it out inside the direct sun and kill the weevils. You won’t die or become sick from it, you’ll just have a little extra protein. :-/ Or you can feed it to chickens.

    Bay leaves are the least effective way, IMO, for control like that. And it requires a lot of them. For a number ten can you need 5, so it’s likely that there weren’t enough bay leaves in the 5 gallon bucket. I’m a big fan of using diatomaceous earth (food grade) for grains, nuts and seed storage. It’s bad for the insects but good for you.

Sarah S · March 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm

One thing that I didn’t see on your list that I would add is laundry supplies like a washboard and tub, bar laundry soap and a clothesline.

    Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    That’s because the list is specifically full of things that I can never have enough of. You can use bar soap for washing clothes, fishing line as a clothes line, and the majority of the Philippine nation still use rocks to wash their clothes.
    However, I do believe in having back ups to back ups to back ups. We’ve got about 4 different ways to help facilitate laundry effectively.

GrammieOf41 · March 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I’ve been into prepping since my parents started when I was a child and had four giant drums of wheat. After they passed, we moved the drums into our barn and opened one of them. Perfect! No bugs. Yes, 1950’s wheat! They used nitrogen in those days. I should see if they sprout, as I’ve heard wheat with oxygen absorbers becomes shriveled and won’t sprout, and mine have not. I just sprouted a jar full of my own new wheat, sprinkled it in my garden and now I have green wheat grass growing. I’m going to juice some and let the rest grow into….WHEAT. 🙂

I mylar bagged several bags of M&Ms in 1999. Recently my son (with eight kids) said let’s see if they are any good. They are great! Just a little more crunchy, but who cares? I even like them better crunchy, and the flavor is unaltered! Not to mention they were in the garage all that time with temps varying from 45º to 90º !! Ha!

I use food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) in some of my wheat that I want for sprouting. We drink DE mixed with water now and then in case of parasites. I have many of the essential oils, ASAP Silver (antibiotic), food-grade iodine, Braggs Apple Cidar Vinegar and peroxide all for antibiotics, but we hardly get to use them because we don’t seem to ever get sick! We drink a very powerful green smoothie every day or so, mostly spinach, kale, carrots and other greens I come across.

Ladies, don’t waste your money on Tang! All you need to do is go to the 99¢ store and buy their little Kool-Aid, non sugar packets. They are not the Kool-Aid brand, but they have lots of flavors and with your own sugar and water, they are pennies a gallon! I think they are 12 pkg for 99¢. Not like I believe in sugar drinks, I don’t, but they can be a treat for the children during stressful times.

Since we don’t have/need air conditioning except maybe two weeks out of the summer (in So CA near ocean), I have to worry about critters in all our flours and mixes. In the couple of weeks it gets hot and humid, the eggs hatch (bugs or moths), and our food used to get ruined. So for years, now, I just throw the mixes or flours in the freezer for several days and that kills the eggs. I have even found bugs in our spices, so they go in the freezer as well.

I’m glad you validated my water storage habits. I’ve left water in our barrels for years with some bleach, and if worse comes to worse, we have some great water purification/filter products, but I think they are fine.

Kellene, I loved your spot on Doomsday Preppers. I love all your advice. Thank you so much for this great work that you do, as so many people have been blessed by it! ~ Kandy

    Kellene Bishop · March 10, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing some of your tried and true tips. We all learn more that way or at least get a little bit of confirmation that we’re not crazy. 🙂

Renee · March 11, 2012 at 3:42 am

I enjoyed SO very much your classes that last few days at Honeyville, what a pleasure to meet you and thank you for sharing such valuable information. I can’t wait for more classes and the wonderful information on your blog………………you are helping so many families.

Kathleen · March 11, 2012 at 5:39 am

Kelleen, hydrogen peroxide is not used to clean wounds anymore, it actually damages tissue setting you up for more delayed wound healing. A better alternative is saline liquid. You could use nasal saline spray, or sterile water with a small amount of salt to make your own in a Desparate situation and use a syringe to irrigate a wound. I recommend you read about wet to dry dressings in a nursing book. Find another use for the peroxide.
Also putting alcohol on a open wound would be horribly painful.
Really being careful to keep a wound clean vs sterile is a better goal. Unless you know what you are doing, your first goal in a wound should be to do no further harm. I am a nurse, so I feel I need to comment on this. Get salt, and lots of gauze and medical tape.

    Kellene Bishop · March 11, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Actually, I heard that from someone else a couple days ago too. Is it still beneficial for sterilizing medical instruments then?
    I agree on the alcohol on an open wound. Yowza! But it sure is cheap. Does it matter to you which kind of salt is used?

      LilRed · October 9, 2012 at 2:21 am

      I do know that we generally don’t recommend using hydrogen peroxide for routine cleaning of wounds because it does indeed break down granulation tissue (the base layer of a healing wound). In the ER, we absolutely do use it for very dirty wounds as it does help to bubble out dirt and debris. It is not used as often as in the past but it still has a place. For cleaning a wound once it begins to heal, plain old soap and water is best. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean instruments and such, and it’s great for getting blood out of clothing, but it does not sterilize, nor does rubbing alcohol. The best you could hope for there is “sanitizing” but in a true disaster situation, that’s not so bad. I do recall reading that you can sterilize in a pressure cooker, but I honestly wouldn’t know how long you’d have to process. Hope this all helps! 🙂
      Thank you, Kelllene for all the amazing info!! I would love to hear more from you about essential oils as I am very much interested in alternative healing methods. I use several herbs for health and absolutely swear by apple cider vinegar and honey for general health and want to learn as much as I can about herbals and essential oils.

    Patty · March 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    We used a cap full of hydrogen peroxide in a 4 gallon bucket of spring water or well water for 7 years. My dad drank out of the well “I don’t need the peroxide” and promptly got sick. We were extremely healthy kids too! Minor water purification use!

    Wiley · April 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Kathleen, would you make your own saline solution for wound cleansing in about the same way you would for a neti pot? The enclosed flyer with my neti pot suggested 1/4 t. fine salt (or 1/2 t. coarse (or Kosher) salt) per 1 cup of water. For neti pot use, I also add about 1/8 t. baking soda to lessen the irritation I have after cutting grass or doing some equally irritating (to the sinuses). Do you think the baking soda would cut down a little on the irritation in the use of saline for wound cleansing? I’d try it myself but I don’t happen to have an open wound.

      Kellene Bishop · April 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      I actually have an article on here written about making your own saline solution, but yes, they are very, very similar. And if using the Real Salt, you’ll be eliminating the chances for bacteria that much more because bacterias cannot thrive among minerals.

Shanna · March 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I have been a closet prepper for a while with my husband and while we have moved a lot in the last few years for jobs and military duties I am really starting to kick it in high gear to start getting things ready. I am afraid that we are so far behind but I will work and get it all done. Like many others money is limited in our budget but I have been looking and read and going back in time on how they did things when there werent stores ect. There is a lot of good information out there. The early settler’s managed to get the things they needed with very little. i have a book that I write things down in like how to make soa, candles, and preserving foods, ect. Anything that I can learn from the settlers indians and soldiers from those days I think will be very useful. God forbid that I have to leave the things we have stored behind at least I will have my notes and hopefully we will be able to make anything we will need. Thank you for all the information and support.

brett · March 12, 2012 at 2:23 am

You have talked about honey. Is there a kind of honey we should stock up on? Like any store bought honey or somthing i can get at the flee market. Does it matter?

Claudia · March 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I’ve got so many 5 gallon buckets that it’s getting hard to find a place to store them. Is it ok to just store my rice in mylar bags without the buckets? If laid flat it would take up a lot less space.

buni · March 12, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I have been following you for a while and I am so thrilled I am not the only “crazy” in this world. Love the list, we are still figuring out ways to store more water…Since Hubby is a diabetic, dependent on insulin, we have a years worth of it but I have yet to see anything that will prolong his life if we should run out and cannot get it…It is my biggest worry. Do you have any special words of wisdom for Type 1 diabetics???? Keep doing a great job, I do think in the books area the Foxfire series is one of the best….hugs buni

    Patty · March 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Check out natural medicines/herbs and a good practitioner. Getting the body back in balance is key, and I know of (not personally) several people who have eliminated the need for insulin almost completely. Not sure what herbs were used, but I recall one being Elecampane. Check into it!

      buni · March 15, 2012 at 4:04 am

      thanks I will try again, most of the natural doctors in our area do not allow hubby to back off and try something so we are at a loss, I live outside Kansas City< Mo about 100 miles and you would think some one would have an answer. Scary thought I could loose him if I can;t get his meds….hugs buni

Kathleen · March 13, 2012 at 5:01 am

Kelleen, I’m not sure one kind of salt is any better than another, it all is the same chemically. I would use 1 tsp of salt to 1 cup of boiled water to make a saline irrigant for wound care. Alcohol can be used to sterilize instruments. You need to be sure a medical instrument is scrubbed clean before you sterilize it. You don’t want blood borne diseases being passed to another person.
Also I would avoid slathering ever wound with antibiotic cream unless there is a clear indication of infection. Antibiotic resistance in wounds is more dangerous than most people realize.
We have started using colloidal silver dressings on surgical incisions at my hospital, so I would learn more about that. Just don’t over do that either, we had a guy come in who was blue from abusing that!

    Kellene Bishop · March 13, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Seriously? Your hospital is using colloidal silver? Well heck! That’s the best news I’ve had all day and in fact the only good news I’ve had. And just think, if I had gone to bed I would have missed it by 25 minutes. 🙂

    You know that during medieval times, royalty would purposefully consume silver in order to change the color of their skin to a blue hue. That’s where the phrase Royal Blue and Blue Bloods came from. (Yes, I’m a geek. I know!) 🙂

    Wiley · April 15, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    It may not matter that much, but I use the purest salt I can get my hands on. That means NO anti-caking (usually aluminum salts) compounds and just pure salt. I believe it’s Morton canning and pickling salt and Diamond Kosher salt. Neither have anti-caking additives. I use “Real” (brand) salt for the table and in cooking.

      Kellene Bishop · April 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      The Real brand of salt is the only one that’s allowed in my house for any and all purposes.

Ellen · March 16, 2012 at 7:28 am

I would like to pass on some information about respiratory problems that I believe saved the life of my mother who was 87 at the time. She has had asthma all her life which led to COPD (she never smoked). Two years ago she was in the hospital 3 times with pneumonia. Thank God I had read the information and ordered the product I’m going to tell you about. First I want to say I have no financial interest in this product. It’s hydrogenperoxide, but it has to be pharmaceutical grade diluted with saline solution, which you breathe in a neublizer or put in a vaporizer depending on the mixture. I’m not going to give the directions here because I’m not a doctor and can’t give medical advice. But I learned this is a newsletter, Second Opinion, by Dr. Rowen, MD. You should be able to order this by doing an on line search. Once a subscriber you can go to the newsletter website and search for this. Dr Rowen gives exact directions and tells where to order this product, which is very inexpensive. Also this news letter tells so much about other medical problems that you will never hear from conventional medical sources. Again I have no financial or other interest in this newsletter, but I thought it was important enough to tell people, because I really believe this technique saved my mother’s life. Also I would like to tell you about another another product called epicor, which is a natural product, beta glucan, which is made from baker’s yeast. It supports your immune system. I haven’t had a cold or flu since starting to use it several years ago. You can get it from different vitamin companies, but the most inexpensive I’ve found is from, at slightly under $10 for a month’s supply. Again I have no financial interest in this company. I just like to tell people when I find something that works at a good price.

Stephanie · March 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I go over your blogs again and again. Just like the Bible, I always find something I missed before or something I get a new idea from. Yesterday while doing just this practice of re-reading I realized Honey is not in my pantry. I have never been a big fan of honey but once in awhile I do like it in tea or on toast. But I would guess we don’t use more than a cup of honey a year. I started thinking of the missed opportunities by not using honey especially if things go “south”. I think we should be used to using it as a substitute for the loss of sugar or sugar substitutes as it might one day become the only game in town for many of us. There are no maple trees here for maple sugar or syrup, we don’t have cane here either. We do have sugar beets but it would probably be a long time before we could figure out how to grow and use them. Honey is the perfect answer. Bees are everywhere in the world. Honey is in my book very expensive, however given that it lasts forever it makes sense to have it. I called a few honey farms (honey farms?) in my area and talked to them about their products, what I found out is that they also practice on a barter system! If you have the room they will bring out a minium of 20 hives to put on your property. When they harvest the honey they give you part of the harvest for payment of having the bees on your property. You also have the advantage of the bees pollenating your garden, trees etc. The only thing they ask for is that you don’t have immediate neighbors, you live within 1/4 mile of a water source (pond, lake etc) and can make some what certain that the hives are safe from bears. I think this is a wonderful way to get some of that great raw honey for free!

Danielle · March 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I am a new visitor to the site and I have been on here for 2 days straight! Thanks for all the great tips and information. I have a question for you. For those of us who live in coastal or hot and humid areas, where would be the best place for a food storage area? I live in South Florida and there are no basements here. Also, what temperature would be ideal for storing preserved cheese,eggs,and other foods?

    Kellene Bishop · March 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    68 degrees and below is ideal. If it’s really, really humid, I would definitely invest in a dehumidfier for storage purposes. A year’s supply of anything is a big investment and protecting it is just as important as accumulating it.

Margie · March 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm

First of all I must say that I am so very impressed Kellene. I can’t believe you do all the things you do and keep it all together. Wow, I am loving this website and your women of caliber site as well. My husband and I are new preppers so it seems we are trying to do everything at once. Love your 10 steps to preparedness. This list is invaluable to us. I have ordered your series of classes and excited to get them. Question for you. Our only debt is our house. I have been laid off and my husband is only getting part time. We know we need to prepare by getting food, water and weapons, but can’t see how we can do that and try to pay off the house before the s* hits the fan. It would take a few years to pay off the house even if we ate bread and water. I just don’t feel we have the time. I am frustrated by this since you kind of put paying off the house first. Can you comment? Thanks so much for everything you have put here. I really feel like you are saving our lives.

Jenny · March 25, 2012 at 4:30 am

One item that I have in my stash that will give me a great deal of peace of mind if I ever need it is a 5# jug of granular pool chlorine (sodium hypochlorite). The conversion of granules and water to household bleach can be found on the internet. From sanitizing your home to your water to your makeshift toilet, you can always use and need bleach.

    Kellene Bishop · March 26, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Yes, Jenny, that is an option. Be careful of how you store that item though. It loses its efficacy after as little as 6 months. If you do a search on this blog for “sodium hypochlorite” you’ll find the cautions.

Stephanie · March 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Kelleen, just wondering if I put my foods in vacume pacs can it then be stored in big Rubber Maid bins? I know they are not food grade so just wonder about it. I want to store some items like sugar, corn meal etc in vacume pac (FoodSaver) bags for smaller amounts of 2-3 lbs but it seems like a waste of space to cram those smaller bags into the food grade buckets. They are expensive here and its really hard to find them used.

    Kellene Bishop · March 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    yes, you can do that, so long as the food is contained in food safe containers.

Rowena Fugua · April 19, 2012 at 12:50 am

After I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any approach you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

    Kellene Bishop · April 19, 2012 at 2:09 am

    It’s actually not that you’re getting 4 comments the same, it’s that people are posting the same comment. 🙂 But you can simply uncheck that by your comment I believe. It’s done on the wordpress side.

Natalie Knerr · April 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm

My husband and I have recently started prepping and decided that we would NOT stock paper products. I understand that people think they can’t live without them, but my great-grandmother NEVER used paper products on thair farm. Instead of TP, they used damp washcloths that were then immediately put into a small ash-type container filled with a bleach-water and lye soap combination. When the container got full, it was emptied unto a remote, unfarmed part of the property, and the rags were washed. That is what we have decided to do.

    Kellene Bishop · April 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    We’ve come a long ways in understanding the handling of e-coli, viruses and other bacteria since then. I wrote an article specifically about the down side of people NOT using TP. It’s a bit eye-opening. I certainly wouldn’t prepare NOT to have them. There are too many assumptions of a person being able to handle the cleaning of the cloths, etc. that could certainly go wrong in a disaster.

Dina J · October 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I read through most of the comments and got to the one asking about affordable essential oils…
what do you recommend? I just went to a DoTerra party and was impressed with their sales pitch but still not sure… money is a tight subject here… as I am sure all over… and DoTerra is really not budget friendly=BUT … spending money on oils that do not do as they claim because they are less expensive is also not ‘affordable’ … in my opinion

Thank you!

Susan · October 8, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Kellene, This is certainly not a must have item but I rarely see it on anyone’s list and I wonder why? How about well-maintained bicycles? Wouldn’t those come in handy for getting around if necessary?

    Kellene Bishop · October 9, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I agree with you. We have them for that very reason as well as the kits to patch them with. I don’t think I’d be using a bike though until things settled down. It’s too vulnerable for me to ride and defend myself in my opinion.

LilRed · October 9, 2012 at 2:01 am

I would like to add that coffee (strong, black, hot) will act in the body much as the drug Theophylline and can help lessen the severity of some asthma symptoms. I taught my son when he was very young to ask a teacher for coffee if he had a hard time breathing and did not have his inhaler, then ask the school nurse to contact me. Thankfully, she was an RN (as am I) and would give the boy his coffee! 🙂

Beth · October 9, 2012 at 3:58 am

Hello Kellene, I have 2 questions one is how did you prepear the cheese to be waxed also on storing eggs if you dont wash them and store in a cool place how long do you think they last.with our refrigaration thanks Beth

    Kellene Bishop · October 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I try to provide as much information as possible on the blog, but when it comes to doing the cheese properly, it really is better to use the Resource Guide that I have available. Look under the tab “Prep Pro Classes”

Jeanie Burtch · October 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm

One thing I have on my essentials list is cloth baby diapers. They can be used for a variety of tasks: as dish towels, pot holders, wound dressings, body drying cloths, cleaning cloths, or of course, to diaper the grand babies (who usually wear disposables). I stuff them into a plastic bag and then zippered pillow cover so they can act as a pillow too, unless I need one for another purpose.

    Jeanie Burtch · October 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I forgot to mention that also inside the zippered pillow cover, in separate ziploc bags are a dozen safety pins (for diapering baby or temporarily repairing clothing and a dozen clothes pins for hanging laundry to dry or pinning small essentials so they are close at hand inside the tent like can/bottle openers, keys to the atv, etc)

Lynda H. Smith · October 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm

What Essential oils would you recommend for treating Psorisis? Thanks!

Kellene Bishop · October 18, 2012 at 12:17 am

Actually I’d suggest using Redmond Clay on psoriasis.

Elaine · May 2, 2013 at 7:14 am

I can share it, pin it, tweet it, gmail it, but don’t see where I can print it without all the advertisements.

Can this feature be added?

    Kellene Bishop · May 2, 2013 at 8:04 am

    As long as it’s free content we’ll have to stick with the present print features in order to protect our copyright content.

Tsandi Crew · July 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Because Peroxide is unstable… turns to water after a while, I’d stock up on alcohol, betadine, and some herbals.

Tsandi Crew · July 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I think this is a great list! Add manual can openers… to use & trade. Both kinds.

Comments are closed.