Everyday Preps

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Recently by Eric Peters: Insuring the Driver — Not the Vehicles

When people talk about “preps” they’re usually talking about things like ammunition and food – both of which, obviously, are good things to keep handy in the event the SHTF. But, it’ll also be good to keep your teeth – otherwise you’ll have trouble eating that food – and the ammunition you use to down those deer won’t do you much good without a blender.

And a straw.

Not only that. An abscess can be just as lethal (only slower and more painful) than a gunshot wound. There is strong scientific evidence that a correlation exists between tooth decay/bacteria in one’s mouth and other, more serious ailments. Dentists will not be easy to find in a SHTF scenario, so avoiding – or at least, putting off – the need to find one in a SHTF scenario is arguably just as important as having sufficient food and ammo.

So, buy toothpaste.

And floss. And extra toothbrushes.

Figure one tube for a month, two packs of floss for a month and one new toothbrush every six months. Get enough for a year ahead at least. All this stuff keeps effectively indefinitely, so there’s no downside to stocking up. Worst case – best case, actually – you have pre-bought items that are certain to get more costly in the months and years ahead, even if the S does not H the F. And unlike MREs – which you may never eat if the S doesn’t H the F – you will use that toothpaste, floss and spare brushes.

What else?

Of course, there’s TP. Don’t forget TP, whatever you do. Sanitation is absolutely crucial to surviving, long-term (and even short-term) in a SHTF scenario. Corn cobs won’t cut it. There’s a reason why the average person died in his 40s in the 18th century: Filth. Which leads to disease. Which leads to – death. TP will help keep things clean – which will help keep you and yours alive – as well as comfortable. Like toothpaste and floss, TP also has the virtue of being imperishable. There’s no harm in stocking up. And potentially, much to be gained.

Related: It’s smart to think about what you might do if the plumbing stops working – because city water’s off (or you can’t run your well pump regularly). If you live in a rural area or at least have some backyard, a “necessary” – as Thomas Jefferson called them – will be something to consider. You absolutely do not want to you-know-what where you live.

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Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website.

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