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

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.


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 our readers 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.

As always, stay aware and prepared.

– Tom  ( Guest Author )

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

Melissa Francis
Melissa Francis
Greetings! I'm Melissa Francis, the founder and primary contributor to The Homestead Survival. With over 20 years of experience in homesteading, sustainability, and emergency preparedness, I've dedicated my life to helping others achieve a simpler, more self-reliant lifestyle.

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