Thursday, May 23, 2013

50 Things to Disappear During an Emergency

Gaye Levy
Activist Post

There are lots of lists floating around the web citing the top items that will disappear following a disaster or emergency. Heck, I even posted a list a couple of years ago titled 100 Items Likely to Disappear First when the SHTF.

A while, back, however, Tom Sciacca from Camping Survival came up with his own list of 50 things that would disappear from store shelves during an emergency. It is a great list especially since it is broken down into the categories of Food, Power and Light, Fun, First Aid and more. Today I would like to share that list with you.

But first I would like to announce the winner of the recent Camping Survival giveaway. After removing duplicates, there were 119 entries, each suggesting topics for Backdoor Survival. All good questions that I hope to address over the coming months.

Alas, there could only be one winner and “Bill” was selected at random. He is the winner of a Rothco Medium Transport Pack stuffed with a few hanks of paracord – all from Camping Survival, of course. Congratulations, Bill. I have contacted you by email for instructions for claiming your prize.

I would like to thank everyone for their entry. I have two exciting new giveaways coming up so be sure to watch for an announcement soon.

The Top 50 Things to Disappear from Store Shelves during an Emergency [Tom]

Have you ever noticed how, whenever a big storm is predicted, people start rushing to stores to clean them out of ever food item and supply they have on the shelves? In one sense, it’s probably good that they are trying to anticipate the emergency, despite being last-minute about it. It sure beats those people who don’t bother to prepare at all, then complain when emergency services are overwhelmed by requests for assistance.

But why panic in the first place? Why not have a stash of necessary items always ready for such an emergency? Even if there isn’t a storm approaching, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to rush out to the store every time you run out of toilet paper. Keeping some extra around the house is always a good idea!

With this in mind, I decided to ask’s Facebook fans what they felt were the emergency supplies that stores were most likely to run out of when people start to panic. Then I compiled the top comments in various categories so I could share it with you. Since this list is based on the comments of our Facebook fan page, some of the items (canned meat, for instance) may not be the absolute first things for a store to run out of, but are still items that you should consider having among your emergency supplies nonetheless.

Without further ado, here the list of the Top 50 Things to Disappear from Store Shelves during an Emergency, compiled by yours truly [Tom]:


1. Bread
2. Butter
3. Cereal
4. Coffee
5. Eggs
6. Flour
7. Fruit, canned and fresh
8. Honey
9. Meats, canned
10. Milk
11. Peanut butter
12. Pet food
13. Salt
14. Sugar
15. Vegetables, canned and root vegetables
16. Water


17. Batteries
18. Candles
19. Charcoal
20. Coolers
21. Flashlights
22. Gasoline
23. Generators
24. Glow sticks
25. Ice
26. Lamp oil and oil lanterns
27. Lighter fluid
28. Matches
29. Propane, propane stoves


30. Alcohol, drinking
31. Beer
32. Cigarettes
33. Condoms


34. Alcohol, rubbing
35. Antiseptic
36. Aspirin/pain relievers
37. Cold medicine
38. First aid kits


39. Feminine hygiene products
40. Paper plates/napkins
41. Shampoo
42. Soap
43. Toilet paper


44. Baby food/formula
45. Diapers


46. Duct tape
47. Plastic bags
48. Plywood
49. Radios
50. Rope

Now, before you file this away as mildly interesting reading, take this list and compare it to what you have stocked up. Check to see what you may be missing or what you need more of. And don’t forget that this is only a Top 50 list, so there are plenty of other items that I don’t have space to talk about in this (already long!) blog entry.

Feel free to offer feedback on our Facebook page and, as always, stay aware and prepared.

- Tom

Note: Tom Sciacca is a former US Marine, a veteran of the Gulf War, a survival enthusiast and President of He is a long time supporter of Backdoor Survival and an all-around nice guy.


Tom is 100% spot on when he says to take this list and compare it to what you have already on hand. Then, before buying extras of the things that you already have, fill in with missing items. Of course, add the other items that are particular to your situation and do the best you can to inventory, keep track of and rotate what you have.

As always, make every day a prepping day!

Read other articles by Gaye Levy here.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye started Backdoor Survival to share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. She considers her sharing of knowledge her way of giving back and as always, we at Activist Post are grateful for her contributions.

If you would like to read more from Gaye Levy, check out her blog at  You can also visit her Facebook page or sign up for updates by email by clicking on Backdoor Survival Updates.


This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


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Anonymous said...

Good list but I'm not seeing rice here. I think it would disappear very quick.

Anonymous said...

thank you my friend,
Bread will be the first item to disappear all right, but will be the first to reapear

Unknown said...

Anyone trying to steal my supplies would ALSO DISAPPEAR...

Anonymous said...

You should add hydrogen peroxide to the list. the 35% food grade type. This is a good source of disease control since there won't be any doctors or meds available. You can even cure cancer with this stuff. I wouldn't be without it. Colds and flu are knocked out of you system in a day....not weeks.

Anonymous said...


David A. Laibow said...

Since I live in the Philippines, prepping isn't a problem as it would be if we were still in the United States.Item 25' "Ice" strikes me as a little strange, though. How much, and for how long do you keep it frozen? And if your power runs out, it becomes water.
I am establishing a relocation consultancy focusing on the Pacific Rim countries, beginning with Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, and eventually all the countries north to South Korea. I welcome inquiries to "davidlaibow1215[at]"; before inquiring, however, I recommend visiting "" and looking up "Executive Order -- National Defense Resources Preparedness", which President Obama signed into law on March 16, 2012. Thanks, Dave Laibow

Anonymous said...

Those are sold out now.

Anonymous said...

FRENCH TOAST, yep, that's what folks around the North East Pa. look for. Don't matter if its summer or winter that's the stuff first gone. ( Bread, Milk, Eggs ). Have any of those solar lights around your home ? They can be brought inside at night for lighting, and put back outside for charging. Live near a cemetery ? The place will be loaded with candles and the folks there don't really care, just say hello and thanks.

Anonymous said...

The best list TO use is to look at what was in short supply in the early years of the new soviet regime. Items best for barter are going to be: lighters, razor blades, batteries, tampons, cooking fuel, knives.

Anonymous said...

Pretty good list but water should be in its own category at the top as it will be vitally important in the first days to weeks of disruptions in supply- Remember Katrina. Also without firearms or some form of self defense you might have to kiss it all goodbye.

Michael Moulds said...

I'm glad salt is 13. That makes it hard to preserve food in a hit and run situation. I'm telling you folks, this one is going to be different and more severe than ever before. The ONLY way any of us will survive is to start keeping the Commandments of Yahowah; and to place ALL of your trust in Him. Preppers are just food stores for the minions of the evil one.

brad said...

A really good water purifier so that you can at least get safe drinking water. In urban/suburban areas the water supply will die off pretty quickly w/out power. There may be some in the towers, but there is also the possiblity that gangs or govt thugs will control that. Learn how to sneakily tap into the water system, but be prepared to leave, and if you get starving, remember all the livestock you kill would be having young ones if you'd eaten pets instead. Without dogfood, the dogs will form feral packs - they can kill you, and given a chance would.

Anonymous said...

22. gasoline

the last N'eastern that was set to blow thru our area had people fighting over GAS CANS at the hardware and feedstores.

and those new ones suck, you end up spilling 1/2 by the stupid idiot-proof nozzles ..

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Florida and kept a "hurricane kit" each season... indeed, duct tape, hydrogen peroxide, a hand-crank dynamo-powered radio and flashlight, stuff like that are important to have...

As far as food and water, the easiest thing is (a) make sure you have an extra tank of LP gas for your grill-- if there's a prolonged power outage, the meats and such in your freezer won't keep anyway, and you can cook them on a grill) ... also, I had a water dispenser, and at the beginning of the storm season each year, I'd just make sure that the Culligan Man left an extra bottle or two with me... easy, peasy. Oh, and it really helps to be just a block or two away from a liquor store LOL

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