Almost every disaster or storm with a bit of lead time. We see grocery dairy aisles cleaned out of milk, and eggs. Bread and bakeries look like the the leftovers of pillaging. I have to say I do make a bit of sport of the “pillagers” because it is so easy to prepare ahead of any storm.
I hope you have a good handle on the most common weather or earth events in your area. From earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards (very cold weather) power outages or hurricanes and Wild fires. I know I left out a few things like flooding, landslides and other natural disasters that happen with regularity in certain areas but you get the idea.
Give the local people a bit a warning and a few things are certain to happen in any forecast disaster.
1. Bread, milk and eggs will be get cleaned out of all grocery stores in about 6-12 hours. The dreaded French toast hoarders. You can buy and all the ingredients to make white bread that will last 5years (unbleached white flour) to infinity speaking of salt, sugar/honey. You can buy cases of evaporated milk or boxes powdered milk (chill the powder milk/water mix and add 1/2 teaspoon of real vanilla extract for taste). Grow chickens for eggs or you can buy a dehydrator and make your own dried eggs. That covers the ingredients of French toast.
2. How to cook/bake the basics needed for French toast. Most people have a gas grill or a charcoal grill and baking 5 minute Artisan bread is easy on a Pizza stone. I recommend buying a small propane camp grill or a butane burner for use with non cast iron cook ware. If you have a Dutch oven you can go crazy baking and roasting foods.
3.Staying warm: I really like the Mr. Buddy or Big Buddy heaters for backup if you have electric heat. The “Buddy heaters” have an O2 sensor but I recommend you get a Carbon monoxide monitor and double check all smoke alarms. It’s dumb to get dead, just because you think running a heater or generator 24/7 is the thing to do in a disaster. First off you will run out of fuel and most “full” fridge and freezers can stay cool/cold running about 4-6 hour per day. If you have a wood fire place or wood stove stock up on wood. If you have a Natural gas fireplace get a propane conversion kit and get some tanks on hand.
3. The big storm knocks out all power: Well you will want to let family and friends know you are safe if the internet or cell phones are up and working. You will need battery backups and power supplies. Text messages out of the local disaster area tend to get through compared to phone calls.
4. Most urban or suburban people are not ready for a dark night without street lights. Buy solar lamps that can be charged out side in the sun and provide some light indoors. LED flashlights/ head lamps, hurricane lamps or camping lanterns plus a few candles with mirrors behind the lamps can help keep “panic” at a minimum.
5. Before any storm clean the house and do dishes, laundry, vacuum carpets. Charge all phones, tablets and test out laptop batteries. Does the UPS actually keep the PC or laptop powered or is the battery a dud? I have a foldable 15 watt solar panel and a Rosewell 13500 milli amp battery pack. The little battery pack does a great job charging my cell phone and Kindle Fire. Now just need to test if the solar panel will charge the battery pack.
I don’t recommend any sort of panic buying. You just get some basics via rice/ beans and grains you like and buy all sort of spices for different meals. Trust me “food fatigue” is some thing all preppers need to be aware of and work to make their stockpile avoid it.