A word we hear and use often in this business is “survival.” Most people would be thrilled merely to survive a disaster with enough food, water and shelter for themselves and their families.
But if you think about it, survival is a somewhat negative word. It means you’re just barely scraping by during a crisis until things return to normal.
Admittedly, surviving an emergency is a lot better than not surviving it, but it seems like once we’ve done our best to prepare for a disaster, we ought to start thinking about how we could actually thrive immediately following it.
The best way I can think of to do that is by stockpiling stuff we anticipate will be in high demand. We may or may not wish to sell these hard-to-get items for cash during an emergency because money might be at least temporarily useless at that point.
But we could certainly use them as bartering objects in order to acquire more of what we really need for our families, such as additional food, water and any items we ourselves failed to store.
So, what types of items will be in high demand during a crisis? Anything that will be useful but which many people will have failed to include in their bug-out bags. In fact, you should consider devoting an entire bug-out bag to some of these items.
Below I’ve listed 11 of them. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts regarding which other items will have a high barter value during an emergency.
- Duct Tape. Many people will have a roll of duct tape in their bug-out bag, but they’ll run out of it a lot sooner than they think. It will be used to fix a wide variety of things and will disappear quickly.
- Coffee and Coffee Filters. Coffee is another item that will run out quickly following a disaster, as will the filters, which can also be used to filter contaminated water.
- Batteries. Many people will throw flashlights, radios and electronic devices into a bug-out bag, but they’ll forget to include several sets of extra batteries for each.
- Portable Solar Charger. If you have to bug out, it’s very likely the electrical grid will be down. But if you have a solar charger, you’ll be able to power up your phone, tablet, laptop, radio and other crucial electrical devices.
- Small Tools. People who pack bug-out bags in a hurry will load it with food, water, clothes and other necessities, but most will forget about small tools such as hammers, screwdrivers and wrenches, plus nails, nuts and bolts.
- Readers. These are the magnification glasses that so many Baby Boomers are now wearing. Many people will forget to include spares and it’s just a matter of time before the pair they do include breaks.
- Entertainment Items. Decks of cards, puzzles, board games and coloring books/crayons will be left behind when people bug out. If you have them, there will be a high demand for them.
- Dental Floss. People will remember toothpaste and toothbrushes, but many will forget about dental floss.
- Sunscreen. Depending on the climate and time of year when a disaster occurs, thousands of people may be spending much more time outdoors than they are used to. They will need protection from the sun.
- Zip-Top Bags. You can buy hundreds of these bags for a small amount of money now, then cash in nicely when you are one of the few people holding them during an emergency.
- Alcohol and Tobacco. Even if you’re a non-smoking teetotaler, store some bottles of liquor and cartons of cigarettes. There will be plenty of people willing to pay a pretty penny for the stress relief those items will provide.