Supplies to Store for Food Shortages

Food shortages occur when there is an economic downturn or an economic collapse. This type of emergency can affect the cost and availability of everything and anything.

This article focuses on storing non-food supplies needed to keep a household running during a food shortage or economic downturn.

If you haven’t started storing food for shortages, I suggest looking at the Ready Squirrel article, 15 Foods to Store For Shortages.

Start storing extra items you will need if things head south. Worst case scenario, you’ll have a stockpile of bulk supplies for years.

#1 Toiletries

Stockpile toiletries like bar soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, dental floss, and toothbrushes to prepare for shortages.

#2 Sanitation

Good sanitation means keeping living areas clean. Areas to be sanitized include the kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping quarters, and don’t forget about keeping clothes clean.

Try not to leave opened food containers or dirty dishes lying around, and safely dispose of your bathroom waste.

To learn how to make an emergency toilet read the Ready Squirrel article, Survival Toilet: 7 Easy Steps

Excellent sanitation and toiletries to maintain cleanliness will keep your survival group from getting sick.

Remember, a fly that lands on something nasty will land on you or your food.

13 Sanitation Supplies To Store

  1. Bleach
  2. Spray bottle
  3. Hand sanitizer
  4. Lysol Spray
  5. Laundry Soap
  6. Dish Soap
  7. Contractor Grade Trash Bags
  8. Hand towels
  9. Sponges
  10. Laundry Bucket
  11. Dish Buckets
  12. Stockpot to boil water
  13. Clean Water

#2 Bottled Water

Bottled water can be a lifesaver; throw it into a vehicle or a backpack, and open it when needed.

Storing bottled water will allow you to focus on the clear and present danger instead of preparing water to drink.

I have 4 cases of 16oz bottles in the garage, but I also use the 5-gallon bottles on a water cooler stand in my kitchen. When the power is out, the dispenser still works via gravity.

A water cooler is a great way to dispense emergency water, and I highly recommend the 5-gallon jugs.

#3 Non-Perishable Food

Store non-perishable foods for shortages. I suggest stockpiling bulk staples and canned goods. They are non-perishable (they don’t require refrigeration) and have the most extended shelf life.

Foods like white rice, dry beans, and wheat have a 30-year shelf-life and are proven survival food.

Once your food is stockpiled, develop a plan to ration your food storage. Focus on supplying 2000+ calories per person per day.

To learn more about food storage for shortages, check out the Ready Squirrel article, 15 Foods to Store for Shortages.

#4 Tools for Repair

Store repair kits for the items you depend on to survive shortages or survival-type situations.

Repair kits include general maintenance and repair tools, vehicles, generators, and communication gear for your house or apartment.

Another good thing to have on hand is books and repair manuals. If you forget how to do something, you’ll have a handy resource that doesn’t depend on electricity.

#5 Back-Up Parts

Choose and store backup parts for vehicles, your household systems, and your backup power supplies.

Whatever equipment you depend on to survive, choose a list of the most common parts that fail and have a toolset and replacement parts to complete the repairs.

Systems may need spare parts for heating, cooling, cooking, transportation, and communication.

#6 Batteries

Stockpile backup batteries for flashlights, headlamps, and radios.

Portable Power Stations are excellent for a survival situation when you need a dependable power source to charge radios, phones, and small electronic equipment.

Power stations are excellent gear for a vehicle bug-out kit or at an off-grid survival location.

There are many different models of power stations to choose from, but I want one of The Jackerys. These units get high ratings, and they look cool. When combined with solar, these are very handy in a survival situation.

This article includes affiliate links. If you purchase from these link(s), Ready Squirrel gets a cut of Amazon’s profit for beans and bullets at no additional cost. We appreciate it.

Amazon| Jackery Store

#7 Communication

It is communication gear if I have a weak point when prepping for a significant food shortage or catastrophe.

If we have a survival event where power is lost, the internet, t.v., and smartphones will be unusable, so having backup communication is essential. You will need an alternate way to get news if you want news. Most preppers suggest shortwave or Ham radios so you can communicate and still get information.

The only piece of communication kit I own is a hand crank emergency radio and smartphones.

Communication Gear On My Wish List:

  • AM/FM Radio with a weather band/CB/shortwave receiver
  • Shortwave Radio
  • Multiband Police Scanner
  • CB Radio For Bug out vehicle
  • Two Way Radios
  • Field Telephones

#8 Home Security and Self Defense

Could food shortage lead to hunger? Yeah pretty sure it could. If that’s the case, you’ll have to protect the supplies stored for TEOTWAWKI and emergency events.

Choose your weapons, store ammo, and know how to use them.

6 Home Defense Weapons

  1. Shotgun
  2. AR-15
  3. AK-47
  4. Pistol
  5. Wheel Gun
  6. Carbine (small rifle that shoots pistol rounds)

#9 Emergency lighting

I prefer a headlamp over a flashlight for moving around in the dark, but I have a battery and oil-powered lamps for workstations. I’d lean towards a light setup that will charge with solar.

7 Types of Emergency Lighting

  1. Flashlights
  2. Lamps
  3. Headlamps
  4. Solar lighting
  5. Gas lanterns
  6. Oil lamps
  7. Candles

#10 Emergency Power

Emergency Power can come in many forms. For whole-house power, a generator is the best choice. Solar is an excellent option to maintain a small amount of usable electricity for a long-term power outage in combination with a power station.

#11 First Aid Supplies

Store emergency first aid supplies and learn how to use them for shortages. Here is a list of the minimum first aid supplies to keep for food and supply shortages

Personal Protection

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Latex Gloves
  • CPR shield


  • Tweezers
  • EMT Shears
  • Thermometer
  • Razor Blades


  • 1″ cloth bandaids
  • Kling Gauze
  • Medical Tape
  • 4″ Square Gauze Bandages
  • Triangular Bandage
  • Ace Elastic Bandage
  • Steri Strips
  • Tincture of Iodine
  • Crush Cold Packs


  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Benadryl Tablets
  • Ibuprofen Tablets
  • Imodium tablets
  • Aspirin

Pack supplies specific to the needs of infants or older adults if they are part of the survival group.

  • Diapers
  • Rash Cream
  • Baby Wipes
  • Formula
  • Baby Bottle
  • Prescription Medications

#13 Fuel

Store fuel in case the grid goes down. Start stockpiling whatever fuel you need that fits your particular situation. Plan for fuel that keeps you warm in the winter and allows you to cook.

  • Batteries
  • Solar Panels
  • Wood
  • Coal
  • Wind Turbines
  • Generator
  • Power Supply Station
  • Propane
  • Butane

#14 Kitchen Supplies

Try to get kitchen supplies that you can use indoors or outdoors. A lidded dutch oven will cook anything you need to cook.

Kitchen Supplies for Shortages

  • Knives
  • Pots
  • Pans
  • Stove
  • Spatulas
  • Stirring Spoons
  • Spoons
  • Forks
  • Plastic or paper plates
  • Manual can opener
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Grain Mill
  • Manual Can Opener
  • A Sponge –
  • Dish soap
  • Pot scrubber
  • Dishtowel
  • Drying rack

#15 Outdoor Cooking

In an off-grid or power-out scenario that lasts long term, you will cook outside because most alternate fuel methods create carbon monoxide and can’t be used indoors.

  • Camp stove
  • Propane
  • Butane
  • Cast iron pans
  • Dutch oven
  • Cleaning buckets
  • Dish soap
  • Spatula
  • Stirring spoons

#16 Pet Supplies

Don’t forget about your pets in a survival situation.

  • Dog Food
  • Leash
  • Line or rope for long runner leash

#17 Gardening Supplies (Manual Tools)

Planting a survival garden and preserving your bounty is one of the best things you can do to prepare for food shortages. For a survival situation, avoid depending on gardening equipment that requires fuel.

  • Rakes
  • Shovels
  • 5-gallon buckets
  • wheel-barrow
  • wagon

To learn more about tools to store for food shortages and economic collapse, check out the Ready Squirrel article, 44 Off-grid tools for Emergency Survival.

#18 Clothing

Stockpile cold and warm weather clothing that will get you through inclement weather. The U.S. Army survival manual states that clothing should be considered shelter in a survival situation.

When storing clothes for all types of weather, try to use quick-drying clothing worn in layers.

Six characteristics of suitable survival clothing

  1. Breathability or wicking ability
  2. Insulation factor
  3. Effects of moisture on insulation
  4. Quick-dry abilities
  5. Material compactness, crushability, and ease of stowing
  6. Material weight

Check the Ready Squirrel article, Survival Clothing: Concepts Not The Best Brand, to learn more about layers.

12 Clothing Items To Store For Food Shortages

  1. Base Layer or Underwear Layer
  2. Mid-layer or Insulation Layer
  3. Shell-layer or Outer Layer
  4. Stocking Cap
  5. Gloves
  6. Mittens
  7. Scarf
  8. Wool Socks
  9. Sunglasses
  10. Buff
  11. Gator
  12. Balaclava/Neck Gater

#19 Camping Gear

Suppose things are bad enough that we start having food shortages. A go-bag, survival bag, or bug-out bag is only supposed to weigh 20% of your body weight. If you go crazy on survival gear, you’ll need to bug out in a vehicle versus on foot. Always have supply contingencies in place if you walk to your destination.

  • Tent
  • Camping Tarp
  • Backpacking Stove & Fuel
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Ground Pad
  • Water Filtration
  • Survival Bars
  • Freeze Dried Backpacker Meals like Mountain House
  • Bick lighter
  • Fire starting kit
  • Survival knife
  • Folding camp Saw
  • Headlamp and extra batteries
  • Sawyer Mini water filter
  • Water bottle
  • Crushable Waterbag
  • Paracord
  • Small first aid kit