Skip to Content

The 7 Most Important Disaster Prepper Supplies for the Prepared

Long ago, my father taught me that you should always be prepared. I knew about prepper supplies as a child. My prepper mindset has now expanded far beyond preparing for a tornado. Due to the constant chaos throughout the world, I think it’s important to prepare for quite a few scenarios. This includes preparations for when SHTF (s*** hits the fan).

Prepper supplies checklist

If you’re new to prepping, it can be overwhelming. You’ll instantly start to wonder how to prep, what you need, and what you should buy first. That’s normal. I’m going to tell you what your basic prepper supplies need to include. Then, you can buy them a little bit at a time. It’s advised that you include purchasing beginner prepper supplies with your personal finance goals.

Plan for Both Short-Term and Long-Term Emergencies

Guaranteeing that your beginner prepper supply includes items for multiple scenarios is the difference between life and death. Plan to bug in. (This will help you during short-term scenarios, such as the shelves at the store being empty due to panic buying.) Make sure that you’re also prepared with proper survival equipment to leave everything behind. Prepare to live with no electricity both short-term and long-term.

Your main areas of concern for your prepper supply will be food, water, and shelter. We will cover those as well as other critical things you need to do to be properly prepared. For example, put copies of your family’s birth certificates in your bug-out bag.

1. Emergency Food Prepper Supplies

When preparing for various situations, you need to make sure that you have both short-term and long-term emergency food prepper supplies.

Long-term food prepper supplies

Our supply chain is very fragile, and we’ve seen how that alone can leave shelves bare at nearby stores. It’s critical to begin your food preparations by making sure that you have a 3-day supply of regular food for everyone in the house. Then, move up to a 2-week supply. Make sure that everyone has enough calories on a daily basis when planning your emergency food supplies.

Short Term Emergency Food Supplies

Short-term and mid-term foods are ones that will spoil within the next few years. Most canned goods fall into this category. Although these expire, they are still great to have. Canned goods are inexpensive when compared with the cost of dehydrated foods. Having a mid-term food storage supply can hold you over until help comes if you are trapped in your house. Without this supply, you might have to go weeks without food.

Canned foods can be beneficial in many short-term scenarios, such as panic buying, natural disasters, power outages, and job loss. You do need to rotate the items in your mid-term food storage to ensure that you don’t waste your money. Other great examples of items you can stock your short term supply of foods with include:

  • Cereal
  • Trail mix
  • Granola bars
  • Oatmeal

You want a mixture of regular food with a decent shelf life that you eat. If your family can’t stand the thought of eating granola bars, don’t buy them. It will be a waste of your money. Consider high-calorie foods that take up little space, like Cliff Bars, when you’re preparing a food supply for evacuation.

Long-Term Food Supplies

You’ll also want to consider long-term scenarios. If there is a hurricane, it can be weeks before aid reaches you. In an SHTF scenario, you’re unlikely to get a lot of help, if any, from the government. That is when foods that have a 25-year shelf life will come in handy. Camping food is a great idea. Having plenty of freeze-dried foods on hand, such as camping food, can guarantee that you are fed.

Consider adding non-perishable food items to your prepper supplies list

Dehydrated food is your best bet, such as freeze-dried meats. Most of it has a 25-year shelf life. Augason Farms sells products in number 10 cans that can survive moisture, pests, and several other problems you’re likely to run into with long-term food storage. Although this is a popular brand, you’re not limited to it. Readywise emergency food supply products are another prepper favorite.

ReadyWise is an extremely common brand. A lot of preppers have a ReadyWise Emergency food supply. You can find ReadyWise emergency food supply items in various sizes and flavors. They sell them in buckets of emergency food, packets of freeze-dried foods, and more. Pick up a few combination buckets to give yourself some variety. You can check out reviews for ReadyWise emergency food supply products on Amazon. (Don’t forget to purchase the water you will need to prepare the dehydrated food.)

TIP: If you receive EBT benefits, you can purchase freeze-dried foods with them. This includes buckets of emergency food for long-term food storage, camping food, etc.


It’s important that you have seeds to plant. A survival garden is going to be your ultimate long-term food solution. The best method of survival is one that you can do yourself. Make sure that you have a variety of seeds for your survival garden.

Hunting and Fishing Equipment

Someday, both your short-term and long-term food supplies will run out. You need a plan for that. Make sure that you know how to hunt and fish as well as where to hunt, what to hunt, and how to cook your new food.

2. Water Prepper Supplies

Water is an essential supply item for preppers

Water is a matter of life and death. You can live without food for one month. Your body will not survive for longer than three days without water. Making sure that you have potable water is essential.

You need one gallon per person per day. This does not include the gallons of water necessary for cleaning and cooking. Ways to make sure that you have clean drinking water, even if the groundwater is contaminated, include filter purification and chemical purification.

  • Water purification tablets are the most popular type of chemical purification
  • A rain barrel by your gutters to use rainwater (a rain barrel is often sold with a spout at the bottom to help you get the water out)
  • A personal stash of gallons of water (everyone should have this) or bottles of clean water
  • A portable water filter to clean water for drinking is ideal for filter purification
  • Access to clean water, such as camping by a river or stream

Double-check that water filters have detailed descriptions telling you how to use them. When disaster strikes, it’s easy to forget things. You don’t want to forget anything that can lead to you not having clean water.

3. Shelter Prepper Supplies

If you stay inside of your house, you’ll already have shelter. However, if you plan to bug out, you need to make sure that you are protected from the elements. Prepper gear can be a tent, such as a camping tent. Tying a string between two trees and using a tarp as a tent is a great DIY idea. Ideally, you need a bug-out location that is for yourself and like-minded individuals.

4. Light Prepper Supplies

You will need to find your way around in the dark, whether it’s inside your house or in the middle of the woods as you hike to your bugout location. Your prepper gear needs to include a source of light. Solar lights and a solar power bank are ideal. Plan to be without electricity for an extended period.

Perimeter Lights

Perimeter lights are a great idea, but use them with caution. An outdoor solar light will keep your home lit so you can see. However, a solar light is also going to alert people that you’re home.

Cell Phone Flashlight

When possible, buy products that have an additional USB port. Even if cell phone towers are down, the flashlight on your phone will still work. (Provided there was not a solar storm that fried your electronic equipment.) Pick up a solar power bank to keep your phone charged.


Most people say not to buy candles as prepper gear. They burn up, and then you can’t use them again. I say buy candles because they are multi-purpose. In a pinch, you can create a micro-environment in your home using a tent or other object that can be kept warm with candles.

Candles are nice because you don’t have to stash them away. Decorate your house with candles. No one will know that you have a house full of prepper gear just because you have candles on your mantle.

Hand Crank Flashlights

A hand-crank flashlight

Hand crank flashlights will work for both short-term and long-term scenarios. They are not dependent on anything aside from you being able to turn the little handle. I have a hand crank weather radio that has a bright LED flashlight. (It has a solar panel so it’s also a solar light.) Products like this are a prepper’s best friend. Any prepper gear that you can find with a hand crank is ideal.

5. Medical Prepper Supplies

During a power grid failure, a hospital is not going to be able to help you. They have generators, but those will only last for a short period of time before they will be useless. A mad dash from the unprepared is likely to leave shelves empty. Having your own medical prepper supplies can save your life. Things you want to consider include:

Prepper supplies will be needed during a power grid failure when hospitals may have to close due to lack of power
  • A comprehensive first aid kit that includes treatment for large and small wounds
  • A portable first aid kit for your bug out prepper gear
  • OTC medication (cold and flu medicine, medication for stomach problems, fever reducer for everyone of all ages, and anything else anyone in your house might take)
  • Extra medication for family members that take medicine
  • Anything you need to use current medical equipment, such as a solar generator or distilled water
  • Bandages
  • Antibiotics if you can get them
  • Hand sanitizer

These are the basic medical supplies that you’ll need to get started. However, as you continue to prepare you may learn that you need more or less depending on your family.

6. Personal Hygiene Prepper Supplies

Pick up some camp soap, an extra bottle of deodorant, and don’t forget the toothbrushes and toothpaste. Preventing problems before they occur is going to be important. There are not likely to be many dentists open when SHTF.

Most pharmacies sell an oral hygiene kit. An oral hygiene kit will have a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss in it. Put this with your personal hygiene prepper supplies.

7. Protection From the Weather

A weather-proof tent is an essential item for prepper supplies lists

They have estimated that only 10% of people will survive a long-term power outage. This is mostly due to people dying from lack of water, illness, and the cold. When the temperature drops, it doesn’t take long for your body to feel the effects. You’ll also need to protect yourself from drastically high temperatures, such as during a heatwave. Other things to include in your survival equipment include:

  • Heaters that are safe to use inside (these are well worth the extra cost)
  • Extra clothing
  • Blankets
  • A USB powered fan
  • Firestarters (these are especially important for your bug out bag)

Protecting yourself from the weather is equally as important as ensuring that you have food, clean drinking water, and shelter.

Other Prepper Supplies You Need

While these are the main prepper supplies that you will need to survive, there are other things you will need. Don’t forget to include these in your prepper supply:

  • Maps of your area and surrounding areas
  • Back up fire starter
  • A tarp or plastic sheeting (these can be used to block off rooms to keep one room warm, as a tent, to sleep on, like a poncho, or to collect rainwater)
  • Waterproof matches
  • Radios for communication
  • Solar-powered battery charger
  • Tools
  • An ax
  • Disposable silverware and paper plates
  • Defense items of preference (pepper spray, guns, knives, etc.)

Wrapping Up Prepper Supplies

The list of things that you could use is long. However, having these prepper supplies ready to go at the drop of a hat will guarantee that you have the basics covered so that you and your family can survive.

For more information on prepping, browse through the rest of our blog. And check out How to Make a Survival Bracelet so you always have plenty of paracord ready to use for pitching a tent, fishing, sewing clothes, drying clothes over the fire, etc.