15 Things People Say You Should Buy Before You Need Them

With most emergencies in life, we’re reacting to them in the moment. The things we can try to prevent, we do – we buy first aid kids and epipens, we keep umbrellas and baby wipes in the car, things like that.

If you ask me, I would like more things I can be prepared for – and if you do, too, here are 15 things people say you definitely want to have on hand before they’re necessary.

15. Don’t skimp.

Carbon Monoxide detector

And a good one. I was in a small two-floor apartment building during a major early snow storm in which we lost power for days. My neighbors, being dumb as a box of f**king rocks and cold from 0 degree temps, brought their charcoal grill inside. With the windows closed.

Next thing I know I’ve got firemen in my bedroom with a detection device that’s flipping out and a headache. The apartment the furthest away from this dude’s place had their detector go off.

Saddest thing is the main tenant was out cold. His daughter, who had stayed over, thought he was dead. I was evacuated and watched them take her kicking and screaming out of the building: “LET ME SEE HIM!!!”

Feel bad for my parents when I called at 2am very very distraught.

Good news is everyone lived. Bad news is my detector was a piece of s*%t.

14. Sheets and toilet paper.

I was always told, first thing before unpacking: find toilet paper* and put it in the bathroom, and make the bed. You’re not going to unpack everything in one day and you’re going to want to just fall in bed once you burn out for the night.

*When ever I move out I leave a roll for the next tenants

13. You can never have enough nail clippers.

I feel like a lot of the big ones have already been hit but additional things I would keep on hand too:

A case of bottled drinking water
Extension cord & surge protector
Spare keys – for your car and house
Cash – in case you lose your credit card
Nail clipper – especially for healthcare workers

12. Even though you hope you’ll never need it.

Epi pen.

Pharmacist here) One of the most obscene things about the recent price-gouging is that this is an item that people purchase because they hope they never need it.

What’s worse is that they expire within a year. Then you can’t find anywhere that will dispose of the expired, unused ones-at least in my area. My mom has tried and tried to find a way to get rid of her old ones.

11. Especially on Christmas.


10. Another thing that expires.

fire extinguisher.

The only annoying this is they expire… usually before you need them!

9. No one wants to see you like that.

Cold/flu medicine. Not fun stumbling to the drugstore when you feel like death.

I’ve also found out the hard way that when your whole body aches and you just want some hot soup, that is NOT the time to find out that you don’t have soup in the pantry.

If you’re planning ahead by having cough syrup and cough drops when you get sick, I also recommend having a few cans of your favorite soups so you can just put it into a bowl and heat up. (Personally, I like a nice can of chicken noodle soup or split pea soup)

Especially for all of us who are adults, not living at home, but also don’t have a significant other. If I get sick, I gotta be the one to take care of me.

8. When you need it, you need it.

Toilet plunger.

Back in college my roommate lent his plunger to the girls next door. It was more than an hour later till they came back back with a brand new plunger. We asked what happened and she said they broke the plunger. We were surprised at the idea of breaking a plunger but we happily took the new plunger they bought for us.

They also told us that the cashier was very confused when they were at checkout with 2 plungers.

7. Picture this.

Similarly, a bucket, wet wipes, and Dioralyte.

Picture this: 30 minutes ago you were sat in class thinking “Huh, my tummy kinda hurts.” Now, you are sat on the toilet with your head in a bucket, simultaneously shi**ing the Niagara Falls and spewing like you’re trying to beat the kid from The Exorcist’s long-range record.

In the depths of your misery, you are so fu**ing glad you have the bucket. The bucket means you don’t have to stick your head down the toilet, which smells like the concept of death itself crawled in the bowl and died of dysentery. Also, the risk of leaving either end unshielded is beyond imagining.

Since both ends are currently evacuating Satan’s hot sauce in vast quantities, the wet wipes feel like silken angel kisses.

When you finally have a ten-minute break from the all-encompassing horror, you can chug Dioralyte to give your weakened body the strength to survive the next round in the ring. You will need it. You will not stop vomitshi**ing for eight miserable hours.

Based, unfortunately, on a true story.

6. You’re not going to feel like running to the store.

Medicine—OTC and prescription

Awkward if you’re on a medication that they refuse to fill unless you’re within a couple days of running out ..

5. The staples.

Also, hydrogen peroxide, band-aid, and other first aid necessities.

I recently bought a package of the huge bandaids, some gauze and medical tape. My husband saw them and asked if one of the kids had gotten hurt. I said, “no, but I didn’t want to wait til one was!”

4. Or it might be too late.

A will.

Advance Directive, too.

3. All of it.

Car emergency kit. Jumper cables, fix a flat, spare tire, Jack, basic first aid kit, road reflectors.

Fire extinguisher us a good idea to add, as well as the rechargeable “jump start yourself” pack.

And a plug kit vs fix-a-flat is a good idea.

I’ve never done a plug, so I’d have to catch up there myself. Air compressor for refilling the tire also. Some food/heat if you live somewhere where it could logically be a problem.

A box of protein bars and some way to make a fire, blankets, etc. I’m never that far off the beaten path that it would be an issue for me, but for anyone who is, makes sense.

And, damn, how many people have had dad’s who used jumper cables as a belt?

2. A short list.

Wet/dry vacuum

Plunger and toilet snake

Flashlight and lots of backup batteries

1. Beat the rush.

I was at the dentist in March 2020 when they announced the world was shutting down. I hit up the pharmacy in the same building on my way out with the confidence that I beat the rush on Tylenol and NyQuill.

I didn’t end up using the meds until I eventually got mild symptoms from the vaccine.

Well, I’m off to do some shopping.

What else should be on this list? I’d like to hear about it in the comments!