50 Things to Disappear During an Emergency

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SOS EmergencyThere are lots of lists floating around the web citing the top items that will disappear following a disaster or emergency.  Heck, I even posted a list a couple of years ago titled 100 Items Likely to Disappear First when the SHTF.

A while, back, however, Tom Sciacca from Camping Survival came up with his own list of 50 things that would disappear from store shelves during an emergency.  It is a great list especially since it is broken down into the categories of Food, Power and Light, Fun, First Aid and more.  Today I would like to share that list with you.

But first I would like to announce the winner of the recent Camping Survival giveaway.  After removing duplicates, there were 119 entries, each suggesting topics for Backdoor Survival.  All good questions that I hope to address over the coming months.

Alas, there could only be one winner and “Bill” was selected at random.  He is the winner of a Rothco Medium Transport Pack stuffed with a few hanks of paracord – all from Camping Survival, of course.  Congratulations, Bill.  I have contacted you by email for instructions for claiming your prize.

I would like to thank everyone for their entry.  I have two exciting new giveaways coming up so be sure to watch for an announcement soon.

The Top 50 Things to Disappear from Store Shelves during an Emergency

Have you ever noticed how, whenever a big storm is predicted, people start rushing to stores to clean them out of ever food item and supply they have on the shelves? In one sense, it’s probably good that they are trying to anticipate the emergency, despite being last-minute about it. It sure beats those people who don’t bother to prepare at all, then complain when emergency services are overwhelmed by requests for assistance.

800px-Japan_earthquake_store_shelvesBut why panic in the first place? Why not have a stash of necessary items always ready for such an emergency? Even if there isn’t a storm approaching, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to rush out to the store every time you run out of toilet paper. Keeping some extra around the house is always a good idea!

With this in mind, I decided to ask CampingSurvival.com’s Facebook fans what they felt were the emergency supplies that stores were most likely to run out of when people start to panic. Then I compiled the top comments in various categories so I could share it with you. Since this list is based on the comments of our Facebook fan page, some of the items (canned meat, for instance) may not be the absolute first things for a store to run out of, but are still items that you should consider having among your emergency supplies nonetheless.

Without further ado, here the list of the Top 50 Things to Disappear from Store Shelves during an Emergency, compiled by yours truly:


1. Bread
2. Butter
3. Cereal
4. Coffee
5. Eggs
6. Flour
7. Fruit, canned and fresh
8. Honey
9. Meats, canned
10. Milk
11. Peanut butter
12. Pet food
13. Salt
14. Sugar
15. Vegetables, canned and root vegetables
16. Water


17. Batteries
18. Candles
19. Charcoal
20. Coolers
21. Flashlights
22. Gasoline
23. Generators
24. Glow sticks
25. Ice
26. Lamp oil and oil lanterns
27. Lighter fluid
28. Matches
29. Propane, propane stoves


30. Alcohol, drinking
31. Beer
32. Cigarettes
33. Condoms


34. Alcohol, rubbing
35. Antiseptic
36. Aspirin/pain relievers
37. Cold medicine
38. First aid kits


39. Feminine hygiene products
40. Paper plates/napkins
41. Shampoo
42. Soap
43. Toilet paper


44. Baby food/formula
45. Diapers


46. Duct tape
47. Plastic bags
48. Plywood
49. Radios
50. Rope

Now, before you file this away as mildly interesting reading, take this list and compare it to what you have stocked up. Check to see what you may be missing or what you need more of. And don’t forget that this is only a Top 50 list, so there are plenty of other items that I don’t have space to talk about in this (already long!) blog entry.

Feel free to offer feedback on our Facebook page and, as always, stay aware and prepared.

– Tom

Note: Tom Sciacca is a former US Marine, a veteran of the Gulf War, a survival enthusiast and President of CampingSurvival.com. He is a long time supporter of Backdoor Survival and an all-around nice guy.


Tom is 100% spot on when he says to take this list and compare it to what you have already on hand.  Then, before buying extras of the things that you already have, fill in with missing items.  Of course, add the other items that are particular to your situation and do the best you can to inventory, keep track of and rotate what you have.

As always, make every day a prepping day!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Backdoor Survival on Facebook to be updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Bug Out Bag

Bargain Bin: For the benefit of the Backdoor Survival newbies, here are some foundation items for your bug-out-bag. Sure, you still need to add food, water personal care items and a whole lot more. But these basics will get you started.

Rothco Medium Transport Pack: What I really like about this pack is the narrow profile.  As you can see in the picture, it is only as wide as my body.  Sure, it sticks out a bit in back but at least I do not bump in to things.  There are lots of compartments and pouches and it by far, the most comfortable pack I have ever worn.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife:  This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing. About $23 – sometimes less.

Kershaw Volt II Pocket Knife:  This is an alternative to the OSO Sweet but equally nice and similarly priced.

Flash Drive: I cannot over emphasize the importance of having important documents on a flash drive.  Sure, the power may be out temporarily but for the nominal price and virtually no weight, it is silly not to carry all of your documents and survival reference guides on a flash drive.

Streamlight Nano Light Keychain LED Flashlight:  extremely small and light weight yet it will throw off a decent amount of super-bright light. At just .36 ounces and 1.47 inches long, the Streamlight Nano Light Keychain Flashlight will take up a minimum of space in your pocket or bag.

Paracord Survival Bracelet:  Why a Paracord Bracelet? So you always have some of this useful cord on your person!  Or, if you prefer, a paracord lanyard or keychain.

Windstorm Safety Whistle:  This particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.

Swedish Firesteel:  Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version.

Pepper Spray:  It is always good to have some form of defense that will temporarily halt a bad guy that is in your face.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets:  These come in compressed packets small enough to fit in a pocket or wallet.  You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. About $8 for a pack of 10.

Emergency Essential Whole Egg PowderShop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

For May, all of their Mountain House Pouches are on sale as is their Freeze Dried Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese for $34.99, discounted from $40.95. (And you know how I love my cheese!  Great on those homemade pizzas or even as a snack right out of the can – yummy!)  Whole egg powder is also on sale at 27% off..

Another special to consider is the Kelly Kettle® Large Stainless Steel Base Camp Combo for $109.99, discounted from $132.92.

Like this and want more?

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Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.

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Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

getoutofdodge-200Spotlight Item: The $7 Get Out of Dodge report is a pretty decent manual for helping you decide when and how to bug-out. It covers the items you should pack for, how to create an evacuation plan, and how to up the ante when it comes to situational awareness. Perhaps best of all, it helps your formulate a plan for knowing when to bug in and when to bug out or evacuate.

There is also a workbook and this, in my opinion, is where the true value lies. Included are checklists for various types of disasters with room for goals, objectives and action items. Seven bucks is well worth it in my opinion.


50 Things to Disappear During an Emergency — 3 Comments

  1. So this list is just random items that people think might be snatched up? Is there an actual list based on actual records or fact that can be used for stocking-up purposes?

    • Sharon – That is an excellent question. I think that most of these lists are indeed someone’s best guess. That said, this one is from Tom Sciacca who is the owner of http://www.campingsurvival.com and I am sure he has put a lot of thought in to it. You now have me wondering whether anyone has kept actual records – like I said, an excellent question and something I will look in to.

      — Gaye

  2. It seems anecdotal. The bigger the hype of a coming hurricane store, the bigger the runs are at the stores. Ever notice how emergency storm updates on TV are brought to you by the local grocery store chain and Home Depot?

    Unless one was out altogether, I never did understand the runs on toilet paper. Papertowels, napkins and kleenex might make suitable substitutes before raiding the recycle containers for newspaper.

    My plan to stock up for impending emergency (I already have most essentials) is to run the nearest Dollar Store. Every essential that a grocery store has – – and not likely the first place the average person would think of. Look around a Dollar Store sometime and be surprised at what is there. And cheaper than the grocery store too.

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