How often have we heard non-preppers say that, if a SHTF situation were imminent, they’d just head to Walmart to grab supplies? Then, we silently shake our head and think, You sad, silly person…. Naturally, the crowds at stores like Walmart or Target in that type of situation will make Black Friday look like a slow Sunday morning.
Now, the goal of prepping is to be in a position where you’d not need to hit any stores in a last ditch effort to augment your supplies. Instead, you should already have a full pantry and all the food, water, and supplies necessary to get through the event. However, we’re all human, aren’t we? There may very well be a few things you remember at the last minute, things that may be important enough to risk running out to a store.
If that ends up being the case, use your head and think outside the box. While everyone else is hitting the big box discount retailers and fighting over the last few cans of chicken noodle soup, you could hit some of these places, get what you need, and get back on the road to home.
Please note, I’m not at all advocating any sort of looting. That’s not the point of this exercise. You should expect to pay for what you find at these stores. Further, you might find the prices are a bit higher than a discount retailer but consider that extra money being spent to avoid the crowds.
Office supply stores: Depending on the situation at hand, you may be risking looting incidents here, due to the computers and such they sell. But, they also have tons of batteries and a fair amount of snack foods, which while not the healthiest things on the planet will at least keep your belly full. Backpacks and such are also in abundance.
Farm supply stores: Cold weather clothing, work boots, food, batteries, generators, fuel cans, all that good stuff and more. Doubtful many of the suburban quasi-preppers even know where the local farm supply store is, let alone all the great stuff they sell.
Dollar stores: Tons of ready-to-eat foods as well as water and other beverages, lighters, sunglasses, and toiletries. I’d avoid most of the other stuff as the quality is less than adequate for the most part.
Craft stores: Batteries, soap and candle supplies, snack foods, some even have limited canning supplies. Honestly, if you’ve not visited a Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn Fabrics recently, stop in and browse around. You’d be surprised at all the goodies you may find.
Next time you’re out and about in your area, take a look around at some of the more out of the way stores, the ones you might not visit very often, if at all. Pay attention to the places that have potential for last-ditch shopping trips. You want to avoid the big box retailers as well as the convenience stores and other “stop-n-rob” places. Those all will get swamped quickly.