Holiday Gift Giving Ideas

This year during your holiday shopping, consider buying a few gifts with disaster readiness in mind.

Crank flashlights are a great addition to anyone’s emergency supplies. They are relatively inexpensive and the decent ones work very well. They make great stocking stuffers as well.

Emergency radios can be a godsend during a power outage. While most folks probably have at least one battery operated radio stuck in a drawer somewhere, odds are pretty good they don’t have fresh batteries for it. Get them a crank powered radio and they’ll be all set. Look for one that has an integral flashlight and plugs for charging cell phones as a bonus.

Every guy (and many women) would appreciate a good multi-tool under the tree or in a stocking. The good ones are kind of pricey but as with any tool, you get what you pay for.

Smoke alarms and/or a carbon monoxide detector could save a life or three.

For the bibliophiles on your list, consider THE UNTHINKABLE by Amanda Ripley (one of my favorite reads this year), EMERGENCY FOOD STORAGE AND SURVIVAL HANDBOOK by Peggy Layton, or BUG OUT: THE COMPLETE PLAN FOR ESCAPING A CATASTROPHIC DISASTER BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE by Scott B. Williams.

Magazine subscriptions aren’t a bad way to go either. Backwoods Home, Countryside, Back Home, even Mother Earth News make great gifts for budding preppers.

For those with a larger budget, consider putting together a full on bug out bag or emergency kit. You could start with a pre-made kit, then add a few extras to personalize it.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

3 thoughts on “Holiday Gift Giving Ideas”

  1. I am inclined to give gifts that can serve a dual purposes. Battery operated, LED glowsticks are great for many reasons. They are last a lot longer than the standard one-time use, 8-12 hour traditional chemical glowsticks so you can strap them onto your kids on Halloween night for safety and you don’t have to throw them in the trash at tue end of the night. They also have a blinking mode and come in many colors and the newer ones are even waterproof. Remember to keep extra batteries on hand and use them all year long.

    Loss-of-power-activated LED emergency backup lights are a practical gift (the ones that stay plugged in and automatically turn on when the power goes out). You can use them whenever you need a flashlight, power outage or not.

    Most households today probably have some kind of digital, cordless phone, or they have gone to Internet phone servic, or even to all cellular. The former two both require power to operate. A corded phone will work even if the power goes out, granted you are using traditional phone service.

    First aid kits are a great item, emergency or not, and range from the simple and inexpensive to the any number of options and configurations, all depending on your budget.

    Not so dull purpose, but just as necessary would be a utility shutoff tool or a fire extinguisher.

    These are just a few of the endless possibilities…

  2. PDX, those are all great suggestions. As you said, the possibilities are indeed just about endless. Excellent point about corded phones. So many people today have turned to either all cell or Internet phone service, without truly realizing the danger of not having access to a working phone in a disaster.

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