“Doomsday preppers” are often met with scorn. The zealous way they prepare for the “end of times” makes them seem a little crazy. Then an event like Hurricane Harvey happens and insanity becomes genius.

As the media shares pictures of the devastation, the images that scare me most are the bare grocery shelves. If stores cannot restock the food and water, supplies will last less than a day or two.

Don’t forget to factor price gouging into the equation. During Hurricane Harvey one store was reportedly charging $43 for a case of water. Obtaining drinkable water in times of economic chaos is vital.

The human body can live longer without food than water so water is essential. Keeping cases of water and rotating them through use is a good idea.

You may also buy large drums to store water. Many of these drums include a chemical mixture that keeps the water fresh over long periods of time.

This summer I went on a backpacking trip and brought a water filter. This device can purify hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. It may be the best $50 I have spent.

Food storage can be a little more challenging.

Most of the food we buy isn’t going to store for long. There are companies who specialize in food storage. Buckets of wheat and rice can be sent to your home in containers that will last decades. Do not forget to own a grinder for raw grain.

More companies are offering freeze dried food. Simply add water. Unopened freeze dried food can be stored for decades.

It is a good idea to keep some extra cash in a safe place at home. ATMs and banks may not be available and if the electricity is down, you probably will not be able to use a debit or credit card.

Holding some cash may also be helpful for economic events other than natural disasters. How much cash? You decide.

I think it is a good idea to keep some gold and silver coins.

You do not need to become Fort Knox, but there may be events that leave our currency in jeopardy. Gold and silver often retain or increase in value during economic uncertainty.

All homes should have a quality first aid kit.

There are many quality kits available. Some survivalists build their own. I don’t think you can do too much when it comes to first aid. The benefit to a good first aid kit is that you will use it. It will not require a natural disaster for it to be helpful.

Other supplies that can be useful are camping items. Tents, backpacks, cooking gear and fuel may all be helpful when you cannot stay in your home.

There is no shame in being prepared even if those preparations seem unnecessary or overkill. We cannot be certain when and where the next event will occur.

Tom and John Mills are registered investment advisers and certified financial planners. Reach them at 254-0155, MillsWealth.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG), a registered investment adviser.

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