The One-Day Emergency Prep Plan

You can be ready for emergencies in just one day

I know tons of people who haven’t prepped because they have big plans and just can’t seem to get started. If you’re one of those people, this plan is for you. Follow these 10 easy steps to get ready for an ice storm, a blackout, or an economic meltdown. Just a few hours’ work can make the difference between life and death.

This is not by any means a complete survival plan — it’s just a list of items that will get you more prepared than you would be if you do nothing. This plan is designed to get you prepped today, because you never know what might happen, or when. So it’s quick, easy, and cheap.

Most of these items can be found at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, or Costco. Feel free to make adjustments as necessary, depending on your circumstances. Like, if you have a year-round spring, stocking water jugs might not be your top priority, and if you have a large family, maybe increase the quantities. (Incidentally, these items are not necessarily in order of importance). Also, for your convenience, I have links to some of these items on Amazon, in case you don’t find them on your trip to town. Read my product recommendations policy.

  1. Buy 3 to 5 six-gallon water jugs and fill them as soon as you get home. You can find these in the sporting goods section.
  2. Get 20 lbs each of beans and rice. You can get detailed about your food stock later (how to build up a one year food supply). Right now, we’re just getting you some basic food so you don’t starve.
  3. Canned fruits and vegetables. Just get 20 cans of each, and make sure you’re buying stuff you’ll be happy to eat.
  4. Canned meat and fish. Get 20 cans of Spam, tuna, salmon, jack mackerel, beef stew, or any combination of these.
  5. Chocolate and peanut butter. They store well, they provide tons of calories, and they’re great for morale. Get about 5 lbs of peanut butter and a couple or 3 lbs of chocolate.
  6. Multivitamin supplement. You should have several hundred doses — say, a year’s supply.
  7. Ammo. Make sure you have a few hundred rounds for your primary defensive weapon (I don’t know… 200 to 500, maybe?), and 50 to 100 rounds for your primary hunting weapon.
  8. Flashlight and batteries. LED flashlights use less power, so they last longer. Also, candles and lighters.
  9. Firewood. Just get a pickup load and have it on hand. You can cut more later, but you need some right now. If you don’t have a fireplace or wood stove, get a kerosene or propane space heater — and fuel, of course.
  10. Battery-powered radio. When you get home, tape a new pack of batteries to the radio, then stow the lot with your emergency supplies.

Print this off, go to the store, and be ready for 2012. Then come back here and write “done” in the comments. Also, we’d love to hear what else you did to prep.


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  • Wes Williams



    • sn0man

      Good job! What other preps have you done, besides those on the list?

  • Slow


  • CBguy

    Great list to get people started. I live in hurricaneville and this is a great first step.

  • Mojo

    Done. One suggestion, I would suggest more specific type of radio. I personally have a Kaito KA350. It is small, multifunctional, and has several power options. It can be hand cranked, solar charged, 3AAA powered, or externally charged. I think there are more options available also. I am a prepper in progress. Thanks for the info you put out. This site is a great resource for info.

    • sn0man

      That's a great suggestion, Mojo, thanks! In fact, it's a good idea for a product review, one of these days.

  • Melissa

    Done! We also have some first aid supplies ready, and some different herbs on hand for sickness etc. I also have been keeping my gas tank full as much as I can. I never let it get below 1/2 tank before filling up again. And we definitely have a great supply of chocolate ~ at all times :) Thanks for your great videos ~ kids and I are really enjoying them.

    • sn0man

      Good on ya! That's a smart procedure with the gas tank. Never know when you might have to leave in a hurry.

  • Sikki

    I just wanna say I appreciate the time you take out of your day to post articles and videos. Any information to help be better prepared is great. Keep up the great work.

    • sn0man

      And I am grateful for your support. I hope you find plenty of useful information here.

  • Lou

    Thanks for all your articles, I have read them all and suggested them to friends to read. I have been preparing now for several months and have made a great start. I even have a son in Hawaii who along with friends is preparing if the time should ever be with us.

    • sn0man

      That's great, Lou. Thanks for your help spreading the word. If you have any suggestions about prepping, we'd love to hear them.

  • andy

    done 15 years ago.

  • Cecelia

    Ammo not necessary.. I don't own a gun.

    • Alex

      That’s okay. I am sure none of the otherwise unprepared people who do have guns will come take your supplies. That wouldn’t be fair.

  • Patrick


  • Christine

    This is a great list – love the chocolate idea! If anyone is looking for survival gear check out for solar power backpacks, water purification bottles/tablets, meal bars, hand crank/solar power radios and much more!

  • Noa

    Well just figured out my shopping list for payday. I already have a good variety of canned foods and beans and rice (not to raise stereotypes but I am of Mexican heritage and we always seem to have beans and rice in high supply lol) as for the water will it store long term without stagnating? I live in a semi arid environment so water conservation/supply is always on my mind. I have a water well and backup generator for it but am worried about fracking (oil production technique) messing up my water table, it’s already happened to some neighbors a few miles down. I would like to have long term water storage but don’t know if its a good long term idea, any thoughts? I have a BOL near a huge water source but its a last resort since its a few hundred miles away. So I’d like to be able to bug in for most scenarios.

  • Kleewolf

    Already done, but like to add trash bags, Good for rain ponchos, clean up and protecting stuff.

  • Brandy Keippala

    not done! oh my…

  • Chuck M.

    I noticed the “Product Recommendations” and “Building a One Year Food Supply” link don’t work on this page. Can they be found elsewhere? This is great beginner’s material for me.

  • Nope

    This is 2015, i feel very unprepped D:

  • peter

    I just finished -12, 13, and 14 off. Reloading for 2015, Still not very expensive. Rotate the stock.