Scavenging tips: What to look for after TEOTWAWKI
By Divina Ramirez // Sep 02, 2021

Most articles on prepping and survival focus on how to prepare for a disaster or SHTF scenario. But what to do after a disaster (e.g., scavenging for supplies) is just as important to discuss as how to make ample preparations.


In a true SHTF or TEOTWAWKI event, your supplies are bound to run out. You'll need to go out and look for supplies if you want to survive. During life-changing catastrophes, essential supplies like food, soap, batteries and clothes will get abandoned and might even get swept up with garbage and debris.

In other words, those supplies will be up for grabs for anyone willing to search among the rubble or refuse.

Read on to learn what supplies to scavenge for after TEOTWAWKI. (h/t to

What to scavenge for after TEOTWAWKI

There's no reason to feel bad about scavenging for supplies and equipment after TEOTWAWKI. When disaster strikes, some people will see it as an opportunity for personal enrichment. Those people will go for things like television, expensive shoes and other things that won't actually increase their chance of survival.

Scavengers, on the other hand, will look for things that they actually need to survive, such as food and water. They will only take supplies that have been left or discarded, such as those found amongst trash or left in an abandoned store. They will only take what they need to keep themselves and their loved ones going.

Here are 12 supplies you should scavenge for after TEOTWAWKI:

  1. Food – The likelihood of finding food is low because most people would think of looting supermarkets after a major disaster. Chances are you'll be left with foods that require some preparation, such as oats and pasta. Grab a few anyway. You could make them last longer than foods like cookies and cereals.
  2. Fruit and vegetable seeds – Grab any seeds you can find. You can never tell when society will be back to normal in a true TEOTWAWKI event. You might have to accept that growing food will be part of your new reality. Even if you're not in a position to grow food, those seeds may come in handy in the future.
  3. Batteries – Flashlights, two-way radios and other small electronic devices need batteries. You'll want batteries of different sizes in your stockpile in case you come upon other useful electronic devices. You may also want to look for car batteries since those have a lot of power.
  4. Water containers – You can survive for weeks without food but only days without water. Therefore, water should be one of your top priorities when scavenging. You'll need materials you can use to collect water, like bottles or jugs. (Related: Prepper must-haves: Water storage options for your survival stockpile.)
  5. Water filtration supplies – Never drink unfiltered water collected from reservoirs to avoid getting sick. Look for supplies you can use to filter and disinfect water, such as bleach and cheesecloth.
  6. Clothes – Clothing will be valuable during a crisis. Choose practical clothes that can sufficiently protect you from the elements, such as thick jackets and durable jeans.
  7. Blankets – There's no telling when power will be restored after TEOTWAWKI. It will be difficult to stay warm without modern heating methods, so the next best thing you can do is huddle under a blanket. Blankets can help you retain body heat during colder months.
  8. Shoes – People don't stay put in a survival situation. They're always moving in search of food, water and other essential supplies. As such, you might find yourself with worn shoes sooner rather than later. When scavenging for shoes, make sure to grab socks and insoles as well.
  9. First-aid kit supplies – You can clean and disinfect wounds and prevent infection if you have first-aid kit supplies like gauze and rubbing alcohol. You'll likely find these supplies in medicine cabinets and under-sink organizers in abandoned homes and buildings.
  10. Soap – You'd be surprised at how fast conditions can become unsanitary following a disaster. Make sure you have enough soap for you and your family to avoid hygiene-related diseases.
  11. Hand tools – Hammers, screwdrivers and axes allow you to easily build and repair things necessary for survival, such as shelter and water catchment systems. They can also double as self-defense weapons.
  12. Wood – Wood burns slow when dry, which is good for staying warm and cooking. Look for untreated or unpainted wood.

You'll most likely need to scavenge for supplies after TEOTWAWKI in order to survive. Besides food and water, there are lots of things worth scavenging for that would be useful in a survival situation, such as blankets, batteries and seeds.

Go to for more tips on how to prepare for an SHTF or TEOTWAWKI scenario.

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