The Phaserl


GUEST POST: Top 50 Things to Disappear From Store Shelves During an Emergency

by Tom Sciacca, Camping Survival:

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.

But 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’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

– Tom

Tom Sciacca is a former US Marine, a veteran of the Gulf War, a survival enthusiast and President of

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4 comments to GUEST POST: Top 50 Things to Disappear From Store Shelves During an Emergency

  • Alvin

    Board games for entertainment, decks of playing cards, plastic tarps, powdered milk, pasta sauce, snare wire, fishing supplies, good shoes, clean buckets, decent knife and sharpener, (out on a limb here) good hand crank pasta machine, be surprised what one can do with flour and eggs), dish liquid, BLEACH, I can go on. We can’t have it all. Do in your means for the area you live in. Might not need snare wire in the Bronx.

  • Ed_B

    “But why panic in the first place? Why not have a stash of necessary items always ready for such an emergency?”

    Because spending money on preps means that they can’t afford the latest i-crap and that would interfere with their mind-numbing cud chewing. Can’t have that.

    As to preparing at the last minute when a storm approaches… doesn’t happen. Sheeple do not rush the stores until the storm is HERE, not merely approaching.

    By being prepared, you can spend the final hours before a storm hits by: 1) boarding up your windows; 2) checking on relatives and transporting any who need to stay with you for a while; 3) checking your supplies; and 4) checking your emergency gear and batteries to be sure that they are functional. This is time that is too valuable to waste running around like lop-headed chickens and possibly getting into “food fights” or traffic accidents.

    • Alvin

      Am stocked pretty much every way possible. I have just as much stock as the local general store (which I use to own). Candles alone, I have 3 cases. Hats, gloves, socks, bins of extra clothing, I won’t go into my food, although short term, I’m planting lots of veggies this spring and will do my own preserves and jams. Am next to the ocean, so… fish to be caught (not too plenty full these days) but they are there, wild game, mushrooms, berries and local edible plants such as caraway, burdock, common plantain, sorrel, dock, rose hips to name some. People around here know not of these plants or MUSHROOMS, to my benefit.

  • Steve

    What about gold and silver and bullets.

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