Items Sure to Disappear Quickly in a Crisis


During 2020, I remember thinking we couldn't possibly have to deal with another year as bad. But then last year gave 2020 a run for its money.

Extreme weather was as bad or worse in some parts of the country. Including the South during the February deep freeze. Plus record-breaking wildfires in the West in the summer. Not to mention deadly Hurricane Ida in the late summer.

Well, we're more than halfway through 2022 and I'm not finding anyone who thinks things have improved. For one, the COVID-19 pandemic refuses to go away. And the medical community has issued dire warnings about it for the fall. 

Inflation is crushing the average American, with no relief in sight. Prices are skyrocketing for just about everything we need in our daily lives. Including energy for our air conditioners, gasoline for our cars and food for our sustenance.

Rising food prices & shortages 

No one knows what the rest of 2022 holds for us. Or what kind of problems 2023 will bring.

What we do know is that food prices are soaring through the roof and taking up an increasing percentage of our income. And that's assuming we can find the food items we need. Many items have been replaced by gaping holes on store shelves.

I hope you have a solid supply of non-perishable food ready and waiting. Something that can help all of us is understanding which items disappear first in an emergency. That way we can stock up on those items and not worry when a crisis strikes.

Everyone's list will be different. The specific type of emergency can be a factor. As can the time of year and area of the country. But certain items always seem to go fast in these situations. I've listed them below. My suggestion? Stock up while you can.

Fruits and vegetables 

Fruits and vegetables provide an incredible amount of vital nutrients you need to survive in an emergency. That's why most people tend to gravitate towards the fresh produce in a crisis before they spoil.

However, while fresh produce is the first to go, canned fruits and veggies are the second.

Canned foods have gotten a bad name in some circles. And while they are not as good during a crisis as dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, they serve their purpose.

It's easy to see why they go quickly. Their shelf life is decent and you can eat right out of the can. Heck, you could even use a full can as a weapon if someone entered your home and tried to steal from you.

Grains and grain-based foods

This can include rice, oats, wheat, barley, cornmeal, pasta, etc. As well as cereals, oatmeal, grits and others. Some of these items have a pretty long shelf life. And there are many different meals you can prepare with them.  

Ready-to-eat foods

These items are particularly popular if a power outage is expected because no cooking is required for them. They include peanut butter, granola bars and crackers. Plus trail mix, nuts and many more. 

Meat and fish

Fresh meat and fish is a risk if your power goes out. Freeze-dried, dehydrated or canned meat and fish, on the other hand, should last a while. And they'll provide you with much of the protein and nutrients you need to deal with during a crisis.


This may come as a shock to some people, but honey is an item that goes quickly. As a sweetener, honey is much healthier for you and your family than sugar. 

Honey has an incredibly long shelf life. And because some people don't think to grab it when they're in a hurry, it makes for a great bartering tool.

Canola oil 

Containing important omega-3 fatty acids, this oil is used for cooking a wide variety of foods. But there are healthier cooking oils out there. Including organic corn oil, coconut oil, butter or butter powder, olive oil and palm oil. 

Tobacco and alcohol

If you tell me you don't drink or smoke, I'll say that's great. But people who do are going to run out of tobacco and alcohol if the crisis goes on long enough. And if you own those items, you'll have something they are desperate to barter for. 

Here are some of the top beverages (and another item) that also sell out quickly in a disaster:

Bottled water 

The fear here is that tap water could become contaminated in a disaster. It's a legitimate concern, and there's no reason why you shouldn't have some bottled water in your home.

But not knowing where that water came from originally, and with the possibility that plastic will be found in your bottled water, you should also have a reliable water purifier. 

Milk and bread 

Unless you're one of the first 25 people in the door of a store, these two items will probably be gone by the time you get to where they're kept.

But that's not where you want to head anyway. The milk won't last long in a blackout, and bread has a pretty short shelf life as well. Powdered milk is a good choice here. 

Coffee and tea 

These beverages might not fly off the shelves quite as quickly as bottled water will, but they are both popular in a crisis.

Sleep patterns are bound to be disrupted during an emergency. And while caffeinated beverages are dehydrating, staying awake at the right time may save your life. 

Many items will fly off store shelves before and during an emergency. Focus on stockpiling those items, as well as others you'll need to sustain you in a crisis.

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