Two common elements of pretty much any moderate to severe disaster are:
1) No electricity will be available.
2) Immediate repairs and debris removal will have to be done by yourself.
While improvising is the hallmark of any good prepper, whenever possible you should use the right tool for the job. Naturally, it is difficult to do that if your set of tools consists of a butter knife in place of a screwdriver and a rock for a hammer. Further, while having a cordless drill is always a great idea, if there’s no power it will be rather difficult to charge the battery.
First are the basic tools that everyone should have available to them.
Set of wrenches (SAE and Metric)
Channel lock pliers
Screwdriver set (slotted and Phillips)
WD-40 or equivalent
The above basics will take care of most simple repair work as well as help you remove brush and such if need be. A collection of nails and screws will also be useful for many jobs.
Once the basics are take care of, time to move on to the intermediate level. These are tools that, while are not critical, sure make many jobs easier.
Socket set (SAE and Metric)
Needle nose pliers
Hack saw (with extra blades)
Extendable magnet (great for picking up dropped screws and nails)
More duct tape (honestly, you can never have enough)
Safety is always important but during and after a disaster, it becomes even more paramount. Therefore, make sure you have safety equipment like heavy duty work gloves and eye protection. Thick soled work boots are important as well.
Tools like chainsaws are, of course, excellent additions to the tool collection, provided you have fuel, oil, and sharp chains.
The idea here isn’t to amass an entire hardware store in your garage, though if you have the means to do so, more power to you! Instead, you’ll want to put together a set of basic hand tools that will help you facilitate any emergency repairs and also take care of blown down trees, branches, and other debris.
You need not go out and purchase all of these tools at once at your local Sears store or other retailer. However, with tools as much as anything else, you’ll get what you pay for. A set of wrenches purchased at your local dollar store are likely as not going to bend all over the place the first time you try to loosen a stubborn bolt or nut. I’m all about buying on the cheap when possible but tools are not a place to get stingy. Spend the money to get quality items.
Quite often, you can find hand tools fairly cheap at rummage sales. Pick up a wrench here for $0.25, a screwdriver there for $0.50, and you’ll soon have a decent set of tools without breaking the bank. I’ve not had much luck finding tools at thrift stores but your experience might be different. Watch for quality name brands like Craftsman and Stanley. Older tools in particular are usually very well made. If they look a bit rusty, that doesn’t mean they are worthless. A little elbow grease and they’ll likely clean up very well and last you a lifetime if you take care of them.
Your assignments this week:
1) Begin shopping around for your tools. If you already have the basics, look for gaps in your collection and work to fill them in.
2) Work on filling in the gaps in your food storage. For example, if you’re low on veggies, pick up a few more cans.
3) Add five more gallons of water to your storage.