The Importance of Vitamins and Supplements

An item that is often overlooked in long-term prepping is supplements like multivitamins. For short-term emergencies, such as a blizzard trapping you at home for a few days, proper nutrition is generally not a huge concern. In fact, I often suggest that having comfort food like chips and other junk can help keep family members from going crazy. Forgetting the diet for a couple days can make a stressful situation a little easier to handle.

But when we look at long-term situations, such as epidemics or major natural disasters that result in substantial YO-YO time, we need to plan ahead for nutritional needs. This is particularly important to prevent illnesses like scurvy, which is indeed a real thing and not just something pirates talk about in the movies. Scurvy results from a deficiency in vitamin C and symptoms include lethargy, depression, spongy gums, and even bleeding from mucous membranes. The reason it became so associated with pirates is during long voyages at sea back in those days, sources of vitamin C were few.

I would encourage you to shop around and stock up on vitamins and supplements to help offset any nutritional deficiencies during long-term disasters. Depending on the nature of the emergency, you may not have unlimited resources for food. While it is important to keep bellies full of calories, you’ll need proper nutrition to keep your body running.

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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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