So! I’m going to do a little list and breakdown of places I would visit in my town (roughly 55,000 populace) were something devastating for long term effects happened and I had a little extra time to get more then the essentials. Besides the usual food marts, gun stores, and hospitals. Not that I expect this to happen anytime soon or ever, but it never hurts to have a fantasy mental list in your head.
1.) Local bookstores/Library
This might seem odd and a waste of time, but here me out really quick. Say that power will soon not be an option to easily access, you are forced to move out of the city, or general communication is hard to come by. Do you know how to grow your own food, and safely store/preserve it? How about basic first aid or natural remedies? Survival skills in the wilderness? Making your own clothes and tools? You may not know, but there are plenty of books to show you how! Places of books are filled with pages of skills and knowledge that the average person might not know, or that is not commonly used but will soon need to be common practice. This can also be a tool to help teach those of a younger generation to help them along with the older wiser folk aren’t around. In addition to skills, one thing that is really important for emotional and mental health is a form of entertainment. Books of poetry, of art, of fantasy, these can be simple and safe ways to unwind. Not to mention a good distraction for children and young adults who may be having a harder time adjusting to scenarios. Not to mention text books and other learning material.
This is more if I was apart of a small community setting or larger group. This would also require a lot of man power and transportation, but if it could be done then it can be handy. Say you all are moving into one huge building or a bunch of small housing together. Maybe even just tents. There are some things that would be nice to have as backup stock or extras for developing your community or to replaced damaged things. One example that I will take from the book “The Girl Who Owned a City” was the children took over a high school and broke off different classroom as different needs. The nurses office was the doctors office, dorm rooms, kitchen, supply storage, etc. Using that example, there are some basic comforts and what not that would be nice and useful to have. Beds, bedding, towels, toiletries, sewing kits, tools, kitchen supplies, cleaning and sanitation supplies, alcohol, office supplies (paper, pens, files), uniforms (extra clothing or designated clothing for say ‘nurses’ since many are scrub type uniforms). Just to name a few. Hotels have A LOT of stuff in stock and back stock depending on the size of the place. Having things like cleaning supplies and towels is even a big step in keeping everyone healthy and clean.
3) Emergency Supply Store
Now this may be a bit of a niche, and my town might be lucky, but we do actually have a very small shop that is dedicated to natural weather disasters. I know some of the bigger near mine have some as well, it is just that people don’t think about them as much because of lot of the basic things you can get at a grocery store or surplus store. If however those are already full and getting sparse, I would try and hit this first. It has everything from first aid kits, rain gear, shovels, maps, dry food, water sanitation, etc. Pretty much all the big and little things they tell you to stock up on in your ‘just in case’ emergency supply. Maybe it’s just me, but this seems like a really logical place to hit.
4) Agriculture/Garden Centers
Again, this is if I had enough planning time, in certain scenarios, etc. Lets say after a certain amount of time, you weren’t able to access food easily or readily. If you had the space, time, weather, and manpower, then I would hit one of these places up. Stock up on seeds for every season be they flower (some have great medicinal purposes) or food. Pick up starter plants that have already grown a bit, trees for food, privacy, and general good environmental purposes, soils, gardening tools and supplies, and clothing like gloves. If you’re super lucky they may even have beekeeping equipment and bees for home making of honey. Not only can you grow your own food to store this way, but it will also attract wildlife that you can then use as food!
5) Mechanic/Car Shop
This one always seems a bit obvious to me because my step father is a mechanic. So I’ve gotten to see a bunch of the inner workings and areas of a mechanic’s shop. Lots of things to get here, especially if you already have a car! Gasoline, fluids of all kind, headlights, wipers, tools of all different types, safety equipment, and cars themselves! If you only have basic knowledge of cars, it could still be handy in the case of low oil or spare tires. If you have a good sense about cars, you can find all sorts of replacement parts, extra cars for spare parts or to fix up to have as a spare. If you don’t know much about them, hey I bet the bookstore has a how-to manual…
That’s all I have for now! A little random but it was poking about in my head so I thought I’d share it with you all. Maybe one day I’ll write a story and throw these places in, who knows? What about you folk in the big wide web? Do you have specific places that you would hit if the time and place were right in a disaster setting?