Recognizing Value

Hypothetical scenario: It is three weeks since “The Event.” Society has collapsed and it isn’t coming back any time soon. While you are all set on food and water for quite some time to come, you’ve decided to head into what remains of town to see what might still be salvageable. Obviously, food, water, and basic first aid supplies will probably be long gone. Would you recognize the value in some of the items folks will probably have left behind?

Aluminum foil: Hundreds of uses, from cooking to building a Kearny Fallout Meter.

Crayons: Not too bad to use for making candles.

Dental floss: Like the foil, tons of uses in addition to keeping your gums healthy.

Toothbrushes, toothpaste: If your local police department isn’t taking calls anymore, you really think your dentist is lining up appointments?

Tarps: Expedient tents as well as other uses.

Plastic sheeting: Great for making hoop houses and small greenhouses.

Zip ties: Great for everything from securing wrists to fencing.

Shoes: How many pair do you have for each person at home right now?

Potting soil and soil amendments: In most parts of the country, these are of course seasonal items. But, should you need to expand your gardens, these may come in handy.

Pool shock: For water purification.

Charcoal briquettes: Sure, you can cook without them but nice to have, just in case.

What else?

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.

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