Widespread civil unrest. Cataclysmic natural disaster. Nuclear and/or chemical World War III. The next untreatable plague.
You’re not alone, thanks to the growing global instability, doomsday headlines—and proliferation of the prepper movement. People stockpiling goods, supplies and self-defense aids have long been dismissed as paranoid. But it’s likely that you’ve stopped a casual scroll of your social-media feed once or twice and wondered: How screwed am I if the Valley/country/planet goes to hell in a handbasket?
An increasing number of retailers now assist everyone from preppers and survivalists to generally cautious locals deal with that anxiety. Hahn’s World of Surplus in North Las Vegas advised the Weekly on non-weaponry essentials.
• Food: Military-grade MREs (meals ready to eat) last three to five years, cook via single-use water heaters and run $2-$8. A cheaper alternative: rice and beans stored in stainless-steel barrels.
• Water: For those “bugging out,” or in outdoor-survival mode, there are hydration backpacks and 29-cent clean-water packets. For those “bugged in” at home, dark-colored storage containers and water purification tablets are a must.
• Fire and warmth: Magnesium firestarters or waterproof matches for the former, blankets—a folded-up emergency one for travel and a wool one for home and camping—for the latter.
• Medical supplies: Since a first-aid kit won’t cut it, Hahn’s puts together $300 backpacks that accomplish everything from clotting to bullet removal. Also: Colloidal silver (found at health stores) can be an antibiotic.
• A mid-size shovel: For a variety of needs (including human waste), $20-$24 gets you a fold-up or traditional version.
• Clothing: Long-sleeve shirts are essential in our desert climate, as are boots.
• Backup power: Go old-school with kerosene lamps or wind-up (read: battery-less) LED flashlights.
• Respirator masks: These face filters can run from $40 to $400.
• Multi-use tool: Hahn’s recommends a simple Leatherman.