Everything You’ll Need During an Emergency…From the Dollar Store!

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

In a  world where we are now facing a rise of suspect food shortages, natural disasters, and any other kind of apocalyptic disaster, you’ll be relieved to know that just about anything you’ll need for your survival — at least for an intermittent period of time — can be found at your local dollar store. 

While many people believe rescue efforts after hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, and floods come only from FEMA and the Red Cross who seemingly ship truckloads of emergency supplies to disaster areas, many times a large part of these rescue efforts are led by churches and individuals citizens. Volunteer groups like the Red Neck Navy, Citizens Assisting Citizens, and even individuals acting alone bring their own food and supplies and typically arrive days before any of the more “official” relief agencies can mobilize. Most of the supplies they bring come from places like Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Family Dollar. 

People are aware that these stores stock low-cost and easy-to-prepare foods that don’t need operational kitchens to prepare food, and that they would provide necessary nourishment to people that have been uprooted from burned-out or flooded homes. Many times, these volunteers’ emergency supplies were the only thing survivors had to eat for days. 

Many of us have been working toward better preparedness in the face of looming food shortages and rising inflation, which has led to empty shelves across the country, and with the price of gas, so many people are faced with making the choice between painful gas prices or being gouged at the drug store or supermarket.  Some people actually believe “why worry, the government will take care of us.” The sentiment that it is too expensive to prepare is understandable, but shopping for these life-saving supplies doesn’t have to be. Believe it or not, you can purchase a week’s worth of emergency supplies at any dollar store for under $25 as most items can still be purchased for $1 apiece. 

In addition to costing only a dollar each, these items come in metal cans which will have longer shelf lives and a very low contamination risk from flood water, rodent droppings, or insect damage. Most of them also come in an easy-to-open pull-top can, are precooked, and require no refrigeration, cooking, or pots and pans to prepare.

In addition to this being a low-cost solution for food preparedness for you and your family,  it is also a good way to help others who might not be able to prepare food for themselves.  Quite often you will find that communities like yours may already have systems in place to organize rescue efforts that will help people who may not be able to help themselves in the event of a disaster. 

No matter how much emergency food you have or where you obtain it from, you must have a supply of clean water to drink, and if you are on a tight budget this can be done for free. The best way to plan for this is to have one gallon per person, per day of survival. Clean and fill  2-liter soda bottles with tap water. The bottled water that we purchase in bulk from the grocery store when a major storm is in the forecast is sold in thin, weak plastic gallon jugs which are not designed for long-term storage and will eventually leak, or as you have already witnessed, bend and crush easily. 

You may want to remember to also stock up on garbage bags, cleaning supplies, napkins, paper plates, paper cups, toothbrushes (for more than brushing teeth), bandages, alcohol, and peroxide. Again, all these and so much more can be purchased for $1. You can also purchase sugar, salt, pepper, and other spice products if you think you may need them. 

I’ve already started a pantry supply of canned goods, but still have a long way to go in emergency preparedness, so I will be making some trips to my local dollar stores in the very near future. 


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