Okay folks, while we still have the net, print out things you might need for the future such as: how to plant your heirloom seeds, how to dry the seeds, medicinal herbs, and how to go back to the old homesteading ways of the pioneers (how to make homemade soap is a good thing to know). Make a notebook and organize all of your personal library.
Some things that will be essential in the future are ways to stay warm, a way to cook, a way to do laundry, a way to store water, plenty of containers to store the water in and tubs to do dishes and laundry in. A camp stove will be great, but you will need the fuel to run it and don't think that will last you forever so check out ways to use the sun to cook or ways to cook with a coffee can and a candle(remember from girl or boy scouts?). Use your grill, but will need lots of propane or charcoal. Me, I will use the woodburning stove - thanks. Purchase heavy duty cookware - like iron skillets and griddles. Get a dutch oven and learn how to use it and print receipes out. Buy lots of blankets to have handy for cold weather or to insulate with - lots on sale at this time of year - found some at the grocery last week we got 2 fleece blankets for $8.99. Not tooo bad. Check Goodwill for blankets too - you can wash them so don't freak out. Look there too for sweatshirts and fleece pullovers - may come in handy.
Save the lint from your dryer - put it in ziplock baggies and store it to help start fires. You can also use cottonballs with a liberal amount of vaseline to start fires, so head to the dollar store and stock up on cottonballs(not the synthetic ones) and vaseline.
Get some board games and decks of cards and Uno - need something to do in those long evenings and the kids are restless. Buy some crayons and word find books too. Drawing paper - we use computer paper because it is cheap and no lines for the artwork. Stock up on books - go to used bookstore and put them in your stash. Don't forget the bible - bible study in evenings will be good for the soul and for the fellowship.
If you can't buy a Berkey water filter, or some other filter, then learn to make your own filter. You can use 5 gallon buckets and put sand then rocks in it with a spickgot at the bottom and filter water that way if nothing else. Get lots of bleach to put in your water(8 to 10 drops per gallon). Not the best, but better than nothing. We have some painters straining cloth to put in the bucket with the rocks and the sand. We plan on using this to filter our water for bathing and dish washing, but use the Berkey for drinking and cooking.
Get plenty of ammo too. You may not need all of it, but it may be a good bartering item in the future. Grab some small bottles of alcohol (the drinking kind) to use for bartering as well. You can also buy some extra seeds or save some of your own to barter with.
Now, lets talk about the charity stash. We have a separate stash to be used for those that show up that are hungry. As a christian and a caring human (yes, we still exist), we want to be able to help and those folks will be sent away with some food and told basically not to come back, but we have done our part - if they haven't taken the time to learn and prepare, then they are responsible for their own mistakes. God helps those that help themselves. Those people that I have repeatedly warned will be treated the same as stangers in this respect because I have given them planty of time to prepare and I refuse to take responsibility for their stupidity, but I will not send them away hungry, nor will I feed them for months on end. Take heed - we have our own family to care for.
You also might considering buying some large stock pots to heat water with. I don't know about all of you out there, but I will want to take a bath from time to time and I prefer hot water! We got our stock pots at the dreaded Walmart for $22.97. Need to have some strainers too so that you can wash the seeds from your garden for saving. Might be a good idea to buy some extra coffee filters to so that you can steep herbs etc. A sewing kit will also come in mighty handy - so get one.
A wind-up shortwave radio is next on our list to purchase - will be nice when there is no tv or regular radio to get some news. Rechargeable batteries for cd players and flashights - can charge these with small solar panels. Try to find some of those outside decorative solar lights people use along walkways and such - will be a good light to have inside in those dark nights. You can usually get those fairly cheaply at Lowes or Walmart.
Binoculars are also another good item to have, so buy a couple of pairs of them. Some walkie-talkies will also help you talk to those in your group who may be pulling guard duty or be out tending to the garden or whatever. Communications will prove invaluable when TSHTF - so will being able to see who is approaching your home. Another good item to have if you have the time and the money would be a pressure sensitive driveway alarm - can order on net or check Radioshack. We have one that used to be a hose contraption for a filling station back in the good old days when they filled your tank for you and it is hooked up to a large, obnoxious bell in our livingroom. The only draw back with this one is that if water gets in the hose, the bell won't ring so we will be addressing that situation soon. Believe me it is LOUD and will wake the dead - not that the dogs don't do that too. Speaking of which, bigs dogs look intimidating and may cause some folks hesitation which could buy you time and they certainly alert us to anyone on foot on the road or coming up the driveway. Little dogs are in the house and they have, like, radar ears and hear everything. Now, if you have dogs, or any kind of livestock, you need to prepare for them too by buying food for them now - stock up even if its the cheap stuff(just NOT Old Roy - really bad).
Okay, enough for tonight, I am getting kinda tired and a little slap-happy so I will shut up for now - I hope.
God Bless and Prep On