Top 100 Items to Disappear First (with commentary) — Part 1

This list has been floating around cyberspace for a couple years or more. It has been copied and pasted, typos and all, on well over 50,000 websites. Seriously, do a Google search for the exact phrase in item number one — “1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of thieves; maintenance etc.)” — and you’ll see what I mean. Interestingly enough though, very few of those sites actually discuss any of the items listed. They just post the list and call it a day.

Perhaps it won’t surprise my readers to learn I have a few things to say about this list. First off, I’d love to know the original source. It has been reposted so many times, I can’t make heads or tails of where it originated. If any of my readers could clue me in, I’d appreciate it.

I’m going to copy and paste the list below, exactly as it appears everywhere else, and share my thoughts as we go. Today, I’ll discuss numbers 1-50.

100 Items to Disappear First

1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of thieves; maintenance etc.)

Yes, these will go quickly, they always do after a disaster. But, the loss of electricity shouldn’t be that big of a deal if you’ve prepared properly. Your money is better spent elsewhere.

2. Water Filters/Purifiers

These are critical and every prepper should have redundant systems in place for purifying water.

3. Portable Toilets

A five gallon bucket filled with sand or lined with a garbage bag will serve nicely. Hell, they make specially designed toilet seats just for that purpose!

4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 – 12 months to become dried, for home uses.

If you have a fireplace or wood stove, you should have plenty of wood on hand already. Further, scope out locations near your home or retreat where you can scrounge more.

5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)

Sure, oil lamps are nice and all. But candles are cheaper and can be stored for quite some time. Shop clearance sales to stock up on candles. When you need light, it really doesn’t matter if it is July and the candle has a picture of Santa Claus on it, right?

6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.

Impossible to stockpile too much? Sure, I guess, IF you have a stove and/or heater that will use it.

7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.

Will these disappear quickly? Ammo maybe but not firearms. If a disaster is so widespread it would cause folks to panic buy ammo, I’d guess retailers will be restricted from selling firearms to very many people. As for the other melee type weapons listed, if protection is a concern to you, I’d suggest you work on stockpiling weaponry now, rather than hoping to buy that last Louisville slugger.

8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.

Can openers, yes, I’d agree they will go quickly. Most homes today rely on electric can openers. Not quite sure why there would be a huge run on whisks though. I mean, if you spend much time in the kitchen at all, odds are pretty good you have at least a couple of them already, right?

9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar

Again, these are staple items in many homes, though they may not have as much as they’ll need in the long run if resupply becomes scarce. But I don’t know that stores will sell out of them at the drop of a hat. Most folks I see at the store panic shopping before a storm are buying junk food, not honey.

10. Rice – Beans – Wheat

Seriously? Folks are going to panic buy wheat? From where?

11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)

Yes, cooking oils are great to have on hand. But if you are somehow unable to cook food without burning or boiling it without using oil, then you need to go back and revisit Cooking 101.

12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)

I don’t know about your neck of the woods but from October to about April, charcoal and lighter fluid are pretty scarce as it is. Few stores around me stock grilling items year ’round.

13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY – note – food grade if for drinking.

Why hard clear plastic only? If it is food grade, do I really care what color it is? Further, the containers are only one part of the equation. Gotta be able to fill ’em up for them to be of much value.

14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won’t heat a room.)

Without propane, heaters (mini or otherwise), are rather useless.

15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric)

Sure, important if you have the grain to grind. Otherwise, um, not so much.

16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.

Agreed, so long as you have a propane grill or heater to use them with.

17. Survival Guide Book.

I find it interesting that there is no specific book listed. Just “Survival Guide book.” Given that most such books on the market today are geared toward building a debris hut in the woods, I’m not sure why there would be a run on them after a disaster?

18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)

Again, if you stock up on candles and other lighting options, this is a less critical item.

19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.

Yes, absolutely essential. If you have small children in need of these items, be sure to always have plenty on hand.

20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)

Yeah, ok, these are important for a long term situation. But, I doubt folks are going to realize that immediately.

21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)

Goes along with the propane cylinders. Can’t use one without the other.

22. Vitamins

Another long term concern, not something that will disappear immediately from the shelves, I reckon.

23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)

See number 16.

24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.

Feminine hygiene, yes. Hair and skin products? Like what, moisturizer? Why in the world would that disappear quickly? And if it does, so what?

25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)

If it is winter, sure. Summer though? Not so much.

26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)

If you live outside the city, you should already have these things on hand.

27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)

Yes, these work well for expedient cooking. Not so sure on the barter value though.

28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)

Sure, if there is gasoline to be had.

29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).

Agreed, these have innumerable uses.

30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels

If you don’t have enough TP to last at least a couple months, you’ve fallen behind (no pun intended).

31. Milk – Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)

Great to have on hand but not life essential.

32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)

Yes, a must if you’re planning for extreme long term. Disappear fast after a disaster though? Doubtful.

33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)

If there is a disaster of sufficient length and magnitude to cause the entire area to revert back to hand washing and line drying clothing, I somehow doubt there will be many stores open where these could be purchased. But yes, they should be part of your stockpile.

34. Coleman’s Pump Repair Kit

Goes along with the lamps, I’m guessing.

35. Tuna Fish (in oil)

Why specify the “in oil” type? Wouldn’t all canned meats go quickly?

36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)

Yes, extinguishers should comprise part of your overall prep plan. But again, why would these disappear quickly after a disaster?

37. First aid kits

Essential and should already be in the home or retreat.

38. Batteries (all sizes…buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)

These will absolutely disappear in a heartbeat.

39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies

The average family won’t be doing all that much baking during a long term power outage.

40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)

Why exactly are big dogs going to disappear quickly? Food on the hoof or what?

41. Flour, yeast & salt

Why wouldn’t these be included in number 39? Oh yeah, so the list could run exactly 100 items.

42. Matches. {“Strike Anywhere” preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first

Boxed, wooden matches will go fast if they can be found. Many retailers have resorted to just selling the paper matches, if any at all.

43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators

Why in God’s name would there be a sudden run on solar calculators? As for paper and pencils, if that’s a concern of yours, stock up during Back to School sales.

44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)

Sure, these are great to have during emergencies. But unless it is winter, don’t count on them keeping your food fresh for very long. A day or two, tops.

45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts

Why only Levis? Personally, I own a grand total of one pair of denim jeans. I have lots of grub clothes, durable shirts, that sort of stuff. Most people do.

46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, “No. 76 Dietz” Lanterns

Yes, flashlights will go fast. Not sure if torches refers to the British term for flashlights or if the original author intends to storm Frankenstein’s castle.

47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times)

Spiral notebooks work fine for this purpose. See number 43.

48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting – if with wheels)

If you find yourself having to transport your supplies any real distance using a wheeled garbage can, you seriously screwed something up along the way. With that said though, garbage cans can make for great rain catchment systems.

49. Men’s Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc

I’m a guy. I’m not overly concerned with having nail clippers after a disaster. Just sayin’.

50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)

Absolutely critical. Stock up now while you can.

That brings us to the halfway point. I’ll address the remainder of the list later this week.