Saturday, May 22, 2010

Preparedness 101 - #2

A reader quite correctly pointed out that I neglected to include first aid and toiletries in my last preparedness post. He's quite right!

This subject is a little more difficult to address, especially regarding medications, because of course everyone's needs are different.

For toiletries and cleaning aids, here's what we're stocking up on:

- deodorant
- Clearasil (I have a teen and a tween; their needs are important)
- Chapstick/lip balm (I'd be lost without it)
- toothpaste
- toothbrushes (they're 4/$1 at the dollar store)
- dental floss
- el-cheapo washcloths (3/$1 at the dollar store) for replacement toilet paper
- feminine hygiene (we use my friend's homemade ones, as they're far superior to the store-bought junk)
- shampoo/cream rinse
- bar soap
- washing soda and borax (to make homemade laundry detergent - these "kits" are easier to store than boxes of laundry detergent)
- dish soap
- bleach
- ammonia
- baking soda
- matches (duh!)
- hair bands and bobby pins (three out of four people in our house have long hair)
- Comet/sink cleanser
- hand lotion
- reading glasses (el-cheapo off-the-shelf types)

Medications (much of these are bought bulk at Costco):

- aspirin
- acetaminophen
- ibuprofen
- throat lozenges
- dental floss
- hydrogen peroxide
- rubbing alcohol
- Loratadine

I wear contact lenses but can switch to glasses. Both Older Daughter and I are going in for eye exams shortly and will get two pairs each of new glasses.

We have a fairly comprehensive military-issue first aid kit and have plans to stock up on some additional emergency medical supplies. Fortunately none of us are on prescription medication.


  1. I love this, we have been "stock piling" food and supplies too for sometime. Our children's friends have seen our "stash" and have asked why? I just shake my head as their parents are smart people.
    We have purchased a High grade water filter/purifier system so that we can use the water from our hand pumped well should the need araise . We have a small solar panel system that will keep a car battery charged and we are looking into small wind mills that run horizontally not vertically ( they are only 8 feet high). We have a gas furnace, a pellet stove and a wood stove ( plus camping heaters ) for heat. We have 4 ways to cook, several types of ways to have light ( look into hand crank flash lights too) we also have hand crank radios. I need to rig up some way ( wash board) for hand washing laundry though, I do have a line for drying .
    We have 16 dwarf fruit trees, raspberries, blueberry bushes, grapes, strawberries and a big vegie garden. We raise chickens for meat and have egg layers.
    All this one just 1 acre of land. No one has a excuse not to be prepared if we can do all this on one acre. People with less land, 2 words: container gardens. They work great if all else fails!


  2. Thanks for this info and the Preparedness 101 post yesterday. I am way behind on preparing, started storing food in 2008 but more recently have been eating what I stored so it wouldn't go bad. This was what I needed to get more serious about preparing. All the lists from various websites are helpful, I like reading how other people are doing this. Just saw this blog that might be useful too:

  3. Keep in mind these products do expire (even toothpaste, deoderant) - I tend to use my stockpile for my daily life aswell and keep it restocked as I find super sales on the product. That way none of it will ever go to waste, and I get take advantage of sales (I once found good quality toothpaste for 14cents each thanks to a sale and coupon use - 2 years later I'm just using the last of that up just as it's dating is also up) Going back to my containers of product for regular use also lets me keep tabs on dating/quantity/quality/missing items/etc.
    Just a thought

  4. My father was in the infantry in Germany during WWII. As a spiritual man, it broke his heart to see people using sand and water just to wash their faces down at the river. Point is, bar soap would be one item relatively cheap, at least for now, that could be used for barter later in a SHTF scenario.

  5. Save the Canning JarsMay 23, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    For Tina at the top of the comments:

    On laundry, I splurged and bought a Lehman's Best clothes wringer (with shipping about $212). The thought of squeezing and wringing out the water by hand was too much to imagine. I'm using the Duggar's laundry soap recipe (19 Kids and Counting Show on TLC) which is posted on their website. I've read where it is important to double rinse clothes, so plan on using a two tub system. After seeing Patrice use her clothing racks by the stove to dry, I purchased some heavy duty ones at Target for around $21 each (I'm sure she found her's cheaper but our thrift stores and garage sales had none). It is the wringer that is my pride and joy! You can always spot a low maintenance woman

  6. Prescriptions worry me - my husband has glaucoma and needs eye drops to keep from losing his sight.

  7. We're doing much of the same here in KY - except for canning chicken breasts! I haven't tried that, yet.;-) I don't think I've ever commented, but I couldn't in good conscience, let you go to the eye doctor without hearing about Zinni Optical. That's where I ordered my last glasses, and paid $12 for what would have cost $120 at Walmart. So far, I've ordered 4 pair of glasses from them and I've been pleased with them all. I had my eye doctor check the prescription when they arrived, and he said they were perfect. Shipping takes a while, but for that kind of savings, I'm willing to wait. This sounds a lot like a sales pitch, but I'm just a satisfied customer. Hope this helps.

    Cindy in KY

  8. Thank you Patrice for posting this list, there are a couple of things on here that I hadn't thought of or need to get more of. Just FYI for you or any of your readers, an amazing thing to have is BAKING SODA. It has a multitude of uses. You can use it plain to brush you teeth, or mix it with some glycerin (from a drug store or wal mart) to make a nice paste and add some mint or peppermint for taste and use it as toothpaste. It takes some getting used to but once you are used to it, then regular toothpaste is really gross.
    You can use it as deodorant.
    You can use it in place of comet for cleaning, by itself or with some vinegar.
    You can mix a TBL spoon in a glass of water for heartburn or indigestion.
    You can use it if you have to, to wash your hair.
    And of course you can cook with it. So when you are stocking up, don't forget about baking soda. I buy it in huge bags. It stores very nicely. Thank you for all of your advise and help. If we all share thoughts, ideas and suggestions, then we will be that much more prepared for the future, and better off for it.

  9. I have been doing this all my life. I wouldn't know how to live without every spare space in my house stuffed with some sort of supply. Allow me to give a pointer. "Store what you eat, and eat what you store." means many things. #1 Choose from storable foods what you will eat. Store nothing you won't. (I will not eat green peppers even with a gun to my head, so I don't have one in site.) #2 Look for recipes (and try them out) for storable foods you will eat. #3 Learn to eat now, what is storable. #4 Actually eat what you store. Use from your storage before you go to the store. #5 (the most important) Learn to make what you love to eat from storage foods. I can't imagine going for years without my adored Curried Chicken. I have learned to make a perfectly lovely version of it from 100% storage.

  10. So what do you do about prescriptions? I have a daughter with asthsma and one with allergies. Even if I pay cash, I seriously doubt the drugstore would sell me 6 mos of refills all at once. Thanks for any suggestions.- Melissa

  11. Buy strike anywhere matches at most Ace Hardware (near BBQ tools). I recently found book matches at a local WalMart (near kitchen equipment). Matches cannot be found at any regular grocery in my area.

  12. Great posts and comments. We can't afford a $220 clothes wringer, but we bought a mop bucket with wringer attachment for $2. It isn't as good but much better than nothing. On the previous post someone was asking about a master list. There is a good starting point on (side panel, called "list of lists".

    Keep up the good work.
    -Tim in Seattle

  13. Ha ha! Haven't heard conditioner called "cream rinse" in a coon's age! :)

  14. For the prescriptions, explain to your doctor what you want to do. Ask that he write a prescription for a larger amount with the understanding that you will take the proper amount. Then build the supply up slowly. Make sure to rotate your supply. This will probably work for asthma and allergy medicine, not pain medicine or other narcotics. -Tim in Seattle

  15. another thought on prescription medication: If you have drug coverage on your health insurance some companies offer "mail order" options for filling. The "catch " is you have to order 3 months at a time and you can renew a script after 1 1/2 months so in theory you can have 4 1/2 months on hand if you take advantage of this.
    Not to mention it is alot cheaper to buy the med's this way too. I was paying $30 for 1 month supply at drug store, now I pay $50 for 3 months mail order. Just a thought you might want to look into.

    Thanks for the tip on the wringer for laundry too.


  16. We date all items when we store them. Then as we use them we date the start and finish. This gives us how many we need to store for a year or what ever. A fine permanet marking pen works best

  17. Patrice ,

    My husband has been pestering me just about everyday asking if I have sent you his idea. HE has a warped sense of humor so take it with a very small grain of salt. He thinks that oven mitts might just work better as replacement toilet paper then wash cloths and he wanted to share this with you. hahaha


  18. Regarding baking soday: My 14 year old son is somewhat of a conspiracy theorist all on his own. He is convinced that toothpaste companies create cavities for dentists to remain in business. My daughter (17) brushes her teeth 3-4 times daily, with aquafresh or crest. My son uses straight baking soda when he remembers to brush. My daughter has had as many as 14 cavities over the last 2 years. My son has had one. This same scenario is taking place in other families who live in the same area as we do. Something to think about.
    Also, be careful giving baking soda to someone who is experiencing "heartburn or indigestion". It can instead be a heart attack and baking soda will KILL them. This just recently happened to a friend of ours. Also, my husband is a former first responder and has seen it happen before this incident.