Have you ever waited too long to prepare for an emergency and then you get to the store and the supplies you need are gone? The shelves are nearly bare because a horde of other locals got there first? If you need to get some last-minute emergency supplies but your original choices are gone, here\u2019s what to buy when the shelves are almost empty.\r\n\r\nThis morning, a couple of days before the advent of Hurricane Florence, I drove to a nearby large city because I was curious to see whether others in the area were feverishly preparing and if so, what supplies were sold out first.\u00a0 We\u2019re pretty well-supplied so I wasn\u2019t there to shop. I was there to see what was missing and what last-minute emergency supplies could be substituted in their place.\r\n\r\nI stopped by a Kroger first and the line was absolute insanity. I couldn\u2019t even push a buggy through the store because it was so crowded. A quick perusal showed that bread and water were basically gone.\r\n\r\nThen I went to Wal-Mart. I didn\u2019t go to the one in the neighborhood where there tends to be more crime. I went to the \u201cnice\u201d Wal-Mart in an affluent area. There, it was busy, but there was enough room to move around and gather some information.\r\n\r\nIn this article, I\u2019ll suggest some last-minute emergency supplies you can purchase in place of the ones you wanted if you\u2019ve waited too late to shop. To do this, you\u2019re going to have to cast away your plans of being organic and healthful. If you\u2019ve waited this long, you\u2019re stuck with what\u2019s left. So please don\u2019t write to me aghast that I suggested conventional crackers instead of volcanic ground chia seed ones, okay?\r\n\r\nMy suggestions assume that you may or may not have the ability to boil water and heat things up, but you probably don\u2019t have anything more elaborate than that.\r\nWhat to buy when the store is out of water\r\nHere\u2019s a photo of the water aisle at the local WalMart that I took two days before Hurricane Florence was due to hit.\r\n\r\nThere are lots of other options if the water aisle looks like this. They may not be as healthy but they\u2019ll keep you from dying of dehydration.\r\n\r\n \tSports drinks (like Gatorade)\r\n \tFlavored or sparkling water\r\n \tJuice boxes or individual bottles\r\n \tSoda pop (not too much though because that can be dehydrating instead of replenishing)\r\n \tVegetable juice\r\n \tPremade iced tea\r\n\r\nA good trick here is to go to the aisle where people get individually packaged stuff for their kids\u2019 lunches. You\u2019ll find all sorts of beverage pouches and plastic bottles of drinks here.\r\n\r\nI warned you \u2013 not the healthiest, but healthy is no longer available. Trust me when I tell you it will be far better than having nothing available to drink. Oh \u2013 and don\u2019t forget the wine. It won\u2019t really rehydrate you, but you won\u2019t care as much that you don\u2019t have water.\r\n\r\nFinally, buy containers. You still have running water, right? Buy containers, wash them, and fill them up before the storm hits. No one is going to be sold out of containers unless you specifically look for \u201cWater Containers.\u201d Grab mason jars, pitchers, canisters, etc. Just make sure they\u2019re food safe and you\u2019re good.\r\nWhat to buy when the store is out of bread\r\nHere\u2019s the photo of the bread aisle. My friend asked what they had against Nature\u2019s Own bread since there were a few loaves of that brand left.\r\n\r\nSo if you are insistent that you must have the makings for sandwiches, it\u2019s pretty easy to go beyond the loaves you see here. Other options are:\r\n\r\n \tHamburger or hot dog buns\r\n \tPitas\r\n \tTortillas\r\n \tBagels\r\n \tMuffins\r\n \tCrackers\r\n\r\nAll of these things were still available abundantly when I was at the store today.\r\nWhat to buy when the store is out of canned food\r\nI don\u2019t have a very good picture of the semi-empty canned food aisle because a lady (and I use that term loosely) hit me with her cart and then glared at me while I was taking photos.\r\nSave\r\nThe things that were gone first were items like canned pasta meals, soups, and chili. That makes sense because they\u2019re pretty reasonable meals when heated up slightly, and can even be eaten cold out of the can in a worst-case scenario.\u00a0 If your desired canned goods are not available, look to these items:\r\n\r\n \tCanned baked beans (tasty right out of the can at room temp\r\n \tCanned refried beans (spread them on those tortillas you got because the store was out of bread\r\n \tCanned V-8 and a can of mixed vegetables (turn that into soup)\r\n \tCanned potatoes (Mash them up or put them on the grill\r\n \tCanned fish\r\n\r\nOr move away from the regular canned goods and see what they\u2019ve got over on the International Food aisle:\r\n\r\n \tNoodle bowls that just need boiling water\r\n \tSoup that may not be as familiar\r\n \tSmall cans of salsa or enchilada sauce\r\n\r\nLook in other areas for shelf-stable food, especially the aisle I mentioned above for drinks \u2013 school lunch box food. With small servings, you don\u2019t have to worry about leftovers spoiling.\r\n\r\n \tPudding\r\n \tApplesauce\r\n \tPouches of precooked rice (some have beans and other vegetables mixed in)\r\n \tPeanut butter\r\n \tBreakfast cereal\r\n \tGranola bars\r\n \tJerky\r\n \tCandy\r\n \tVeggie chips\r\n \tPotato chips\r\n \tPre-popped popcorn\r\n \tFruit cups\r\n \tThat squirty yogurt you get in pouches (the shelf-stable kind, not the refrigerated kind)\r\n \tVienna sausages\r\n \tPre-cooked bacon\r\n\r\nYou get the idea. Go out there and be creative. Scan every aisle to look for things that won\u2019t spoil that your family will eat. I know whenever I\u2019ve grabbed this kind of stuff, my girls have been thrilled since we don\u2019t usually keep junk food in the house.\r\nWhat to buy when the store is out of batteries, flashlights, and emergency candles\r\nI forgot to grab a photo of this, but the camping aisle was pretty barren. Here are some alternative suggestions.\r\n\r\nScented candles \u2013 I hate them passionately, but you can choose the most lightly scented ones there \u2013 better than sitting in the dark.\r\n\r\n \tTealights\r\n \tDecorative jar candles\r\n \tHeadlamps\r\n \tShop lights \u2013 the LED kind will last for a long time\r\n \tBatteries \u2013 see if there are any rechargeable ones and charge them before the storm\r\n\r\nFor supplies like this, think about non-traditional stores:\r\n\r\n \tHardware stores\r\n \tHome decor stores (I\u2019ve scored unscented candles at TJ Maxx before)\r\n \tToy stores\r\n \tAutomotive stores like Napa\r\n \tCorner stores or 7\/11 may have batteries\r\n \tFeed stores often have lanterns and flashlights\r\n \tThe dollar store\r\n \tElectronics stores will probably have batteries\r\n \tDrug stores\r\n \tLiquidation stores (I found some really bright LED lanterns for $5 each at a place called Hamricks, a Southern franchise)\r\n\r\nDon\u2019t forget these other last-minute necessities:\r\n\r\n \tHeavy duty garbage bags\r\n \tBleach\r\n \tHand sanitizer\r\n \tPaper plates\r\n \tPlastic cutlery\r\n \tPet food\r\n \tEssential medications\r\n \tCat litter (even if you don\u2019t have a cat)\r\n \tSomething to do (I grabbed some yarn ot start on my holiday projects)\r\n\r\nWhen the store is out of last-minute emergency supplies you wanted\r\nDon\u2019t despair if you can\u2019t the last-minute emergency supplies you wanted. It just means you\u2019re going to have to be flexible and creative.\r\n\r\nAnd when this disaster is over, think long and hard about the things you wished you would have had. Make yourself a list and start buying these items and by the time the next disaster rolls around, you\u2019ll be much further ahead.\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ve got this!\r\nSome last-minute resources\r\nThese two books may be of help. They are PDFs so they\u2019re instantly available for you to download.\r\n\r\nThe Prepper\u2019s Hurricane Survival Guide contains last-minute tips to secure your home if you\u2019ve waited too late. It also tells you what to expect before, during, and after a hurricane.\u00a0Order here for $9.49:\u00a0https:\/\/sowl.co\/7l0QI\r\n\r\nBuy The Prepper\u2019s Hurricane Survival Guide for $9.49\r\n\r\nThe Prepper\u2019s Book of Lists provides you with checklists of the supplies you need and steps you should take for a wide variety of emergencies.\u00a0Order here for $9.49:\u00a0https:\/\/sowl.co\/jFrR7\r\n\r\nOrder The Prepper\u2019s Book of Lists for $9.49\r\n\r\nDaisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website,\u00a0The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the publisher of\u00a0The Cheapskate's Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly frugality newsletter, and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site,\u00a0PreppersDailyNews.com.\u00a0She is the best-selling author of\u00a04 books\u00a0and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find Daisy on\u00a0Facebook,\u00a0Pinterest, and\u00a0Twitter.