I am just starting to prepare and store necessities in preparation for a bump in the road or worse come year 2000. Does anyone have a detailed packing list that they have been keeping which might help me get started even just with the categories of things to start keeping. I am interested in what people are storing and its uses. Thanks for whatever you can share.


-- Hadassah Victor (, October 10, 1998


H- It's hard to answer more fully, because you give very few details of your situation. Fer example-just you, you and partner, you and partner and kids, you, partner, kids, and family members? Also, are you rural, urban, apartment, home,? Do you live in warm or cold climes? All these must factor into your plans. Those in the city in Minnesota must plan different from those in rural California. But, for starters, take the next 2-3 weeks to make lists of your needs (not every desire, but what you will need). Make lists of what you eat in a week. Basic needs are food, water and shelter. If you live rural, or will be rural during that time, or have some means of growing some food, have a small supply of heirloom seeds, just in case. Some desire or need generators and heaters, and a supply of fuel to go along. There may be a need for wood stove/insert etc. Think about cooking if your stove goes out-look into various options and what you will need to supply it with. Various options of food stuff are things such as bulk grains, beans, rice, pastas. Get canned goods, as you go along. Think about storing some water-you will have to decide how much, but a good rule of thumb is 2-3 gallons per person per day. Think about the things that you might need just in case things are really bad for more than a short time. The best way is also to do your own research-the various items in this forum are a great place to start. Good luck!!

-- Damian Solorzano (, October 10, 1998.

Just to add. My husband and I live in Canada very near a city of 100,000 people. We have four children ranging in age from 2 to 13. We live in a house. No wood heat as yet but that may change. We are looking at relocating but have little or no money saved up for downpayement.

It gets pretty cold here in winter. We are in BC

Just some extra info

-- Hadassah (, October 10, 1998.

Get wood heat and plenty of wood to burn!!! Get sleeping bags. First aid kit. Over the counter medicine for children. Get supply of any prescription medications. Get things to keep children occupied, especially if there is no power. Store lots of water!!! Start stocking up now on groceries! Include such items as canned food, rice, beans, pasta, sauces, peanut butter and jelly. Rotate your stock -- using the oldest items first and then replace as need be. Make sure you have insulating material for water pipes and windows. Do it little by little. Check the archived items on this forum and you will find several threads that address this issue. Good luck!

-- libby alexander (, October 10, 1998.

Not an answer but a followup question to those more experienced. I do not see mentioned advice to buy already prepared storable food in bulk from (example) Alpine, Emergency Essentials, etc. Should a person in a situation like Hadassah merely go to the local grocery store and begin to buy extra or should he (they) seek out companies that can offer products already designed for long term storage? Where does a beginner start? At the local grocery store? Is there a thread in this discussion forum for this kind of question? No sense answering what has already been addressed elsewhere in this forum. Advice to another "late starter."

-- JoeB (, October 10, 1998.

Joe -- Good question. There's been lots of discussion on that. Go to older messages and look under the food category -- there's sure to be lots of pros and cons there. I can only share with you what my partner and I decided. We bought maybe half a dozen or so freeze-dried meals. Not being able to predict what the scope of fall-out was going to be, we hedged our bets. Decided we didn't want to buy things we wouldn't normally use (like a generator which would also attract unwanted attention in the city) or food we wouldn't normally eat. (Didn't want to get stuck with stuff we might not like.) So we're stocking up on canned goods, rice, beans, pasta, etc. and have bought a coleman stove (+ propane) to cook on. Plus, investing in food packages from various places required to big a lay out of money. Stocking up from grocery store shelves means you can get stuff on sale and bit by bit it all adds up. Good luck.

-- Libby Alexander (, October 10, 1998.

I apologize for my post above! I looked below and saw the archive for "FOOD" and when I began to read I saw that I should have looked first. Many good posts in the Archive on this subject.

-- JoeB (, October 10, 1998.

No need to apologize, Joe. There are new people coming in all the time. And some of us who have been here for awhile sometimes need a review or to rethink what we're doing! 8-)

-- Libby Alexander (, October 10, 1998.

On food: My planning revolves around a one month disruption of major services. I'm planning to use a kerosene heater if power or natural gas service is out. Since we have an electric range, we would have to cook an a Coleman stove. I've got a couple cases of MRE's with heaters, which will last a few days. Those would be the last thing used. Otherwise, we're buying regular groceries, and trying to stick to what we will actually eat, even if there are no Y2K problems.

Since we would need to conserve fuel for the Coleman stove, we are stocking up on quick-cooking foods - instant oatmeal, quick rice, canned soups, canned stew, canned fruits, applesauce, beef jerky, tuna, canned chicken, instant coffee, drink mixes, dried fruit, baked beans, canned vegetables, cocoa mix, canned chili, canned spaghetti, pickles, canned potatoes.

Next spring and summer I'll focus on shorter storage-life items - complete pancake mixes, condensed milk, cereals, etc. Since we'd have no way to bake, baking goods are off the list.

Now, we're not crazy about all the instant and canned foods - we'd rather eat fresh meat and veggies and real rice - but we will use this stuff, no matter what. And without an unlimited fuel supply, this is the way to go. For example, rice takes about 40 minutes to cook on the stove, quick rice, 1 minute.

Unless you have a good fuel supply, or a source of heat that you can cook on (like a wood stove) then I'd suggest you give this some thought. Best of luck.

-- Mike (, October 10, 1998. - a good site with a comprehensive list that you can start from. The following list is one person/year. The grains were measured, the oil, salt, and sugar are from Walton's list. Your list will probably be different. Wheat (whole grain) 150 lbs Oats (whole grain) 50 lbs Rice 25 lbs Corn (whole grain) 50 lbs Barley 25 lbs Beans 100 lbs Lentils 25 lbs Oil 4 gal Salt 25 lbs Sugar 100 lbs

The wheat, oats, corn - I'm getting stock grade, very inexpensive from the local Feed Store. The beans, rice, lentils, barley (same storage method). Freeze it in a good deep freeze for 24 hours. Store in sealed container in which a chunk of dry ice has been placed. (I know there are other ways, but this is a fast and easy). Check it in two months to make sure that the water content of the grain wasn't too high and to make sure that no bugs are surviving, if all is OK, reseal with dry ice. Store all stuff in a dark, cool, dry area. Salt can be bought as stock salt licks, either in the white or brown 50 lb blocks (the brown has trace minerals), this is the easiest most compact form of salt. Water softener salt does not have iodine, but is also very cheap. If your grain is high moisture, several pounds stored in the grain will pull out a lot of the moisture in the sealed container. Pasta is a very compact way to store wheat and seems to be less bothered by bugs. Angel Hair cooks the fastest. If you are planning for long term y2k effects, food canning is an option. The older experienced people tell me that it takes 300 quart jars per person/year minimum. Divided evenly between meat, veggies, and fruit. If you are concerned about fuel consumption and grains, soak _all the grains 24 hours before cooking. Any of the grains can be sprouted, which will give a lot more nutrients than just by cooking. If you sprout in soil, then clean the sprouts before eating, the nutrient content will be 100 fold. I know some people flip at eating grains that were destined for animals. They just need a little cleaning, easy to do, then they are ready. I'm following this route after I investiged the expense of buying thru the survival food prep stores, no way can I afford that. This source of grain allows me to store more, which I then can help to feed those who haven't been able to prepare, or if relatives suddenly arrive needing shelter and food.


-- Mitchell Barnes (, October 10, 1998.

Found a good Y2K CheckList here: Y2K Checklist

-- Steve (, October 11, 1998.

I work/live on an organic vegetable/livestock farm in Alberta, Canada. We are fortunate in that we are 85 - 90 % self suffcient in the food dept. However, for those not in our position, seek out and find local producers of food in your area. We believe that the whole food distribution network should be much more local. The Y2k problem just emphasizes why we can't rely on "ripe tomatoes from California in Jan.2000" Our focus is on power and supplies (or lack there of)for our farm come the crash.

-- T. Benson (, October 11, 1998.

Since I have a lot of food allergies, the foods I am storing cater to that. I've also looked at places like Walton Feed to see what they carry that I might want to have on hand; things that I ordinarily buy such as veggies and fruits in frozen form, for example, that I would need to have on hand in some other form. Rather than buy a bunch of mixes, I figure the raw ingredients plus a cookbook and I'm in business.

I plan on buying other things that aren't dehydrated as well, such as lots of rice, beans and chili for my husband, and lots of macaroni and cheese for my stepson, who is quite seriously the world's pickiest eater. I've looked at several lists of things to stock up on, and taking what's on the lists with what you eat and combining/filtering the two will get you what you need.

Stock up on the seasonings you use regularly, as well as things like cooking oil, soy sauce, etc.

I've gone through my bathroom and thought of what we'd need for personal hygiene and health care. I plan on stocking up on vitamins, things like echinacea and zinc, decongestants, first aid supplies, and toilet paper. Lots of toilet paper...

-- Karen Cook (, October 11, 1998.

I think one advantage to the Walton Foods approach is that they do your planning and your shopping for you and send it right to your door. Some of us don't have the time/ability/desire to figure out what we would need to feed our families for a year. I don't know how good the food tastes, but they say hunger is the best sauce.

-- Amy Leone (, October 12, 1998.

H. be aware any list is just guidelines - IF it hits the fan, your plan has to reflect your creative desire to survive. For example, if you buy canned fruit, what type of syrup (heavy, light, natural juices?) Some will toss that potentially valuable liquid, others will dilute with some water an make 'juice drink' for the kids. Same for canned veggies will you use pour off the liquid or use as part of a soup stock? Think in terms of menu options for thing you will eat. Rice is inexpensive, keeps well, and easy to store but if the kids hate it they won't stop hating it just because of an emergency. Yes they may eat it if they get hungry enough but you will plenty of other things to worry about. But if they like pasta - stock the pantry. Again IF it hits your are probably going to be at real close quarters for a much longer time than you are used to - anything you do to eliminate stress points will help keep your sanity.

This brings us to the doubled edged sword of weapons for self defense. These are advocated by many for protection from wandering mobs of the unprepared. To protect family and property. Not totally unreasonable IF it hits the fan. However under these circumstances, there will be an increase in family member homicides, I'll go so far as to gurantee it. The proximity, the fear, the confined spaces... some good people will snap and in some cases the 'newly' available weapon will provide a tragic resolution.

Plan thoughtfully.


-- john hebert (, October 14, 1998.

The easiest and most sensible way to start preparing is to stock up o everything that you use. Buy extra - toothpaste, drinks ( no one has mentioned an extra bottle of wine), dried foods, canned foods. Whatever you use, buy extra until you have what you need for the next year, then replace as you use it. Those things that have a longer shelf life, buy more. Those things that you can get a deal on, buy more. If you really like it, buy more. etc. Build a pantry and fill it up with the above. Then buy things that will store for longer times, purchase poly buckets and fill with same. Put in cool, dry, dark place. You can use dry ice to create oxygen free atmosphere for the grains etc that you are storing. In this area, I have found that Baskin Robbins sells dry ice ($1.50/lb.)

-- Rod Beary (, October 15, 1998.

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