What to Barter in a Disaster

Recently I mentioned in an article that I don’t recommend keeping sizable amounts of cash stored for disaster, and why I don’t think it would to you any good to do so.  One of those reasons is that after a disaster there will be extreme inflation on the items that people will need most.  One strategy for preparedness is to store items that you will be able to barter with after a disaster to get what you need.  Here are a few of the items that I would recommend storing more of than you think you will need, so that you can barter with them for other items.


Medical Supplies

As with all items that can be bartered, they should be useful to you even if you don’t trade them.  This is definitely true for medical supplies.  There will be an increased likelihood of injury and illness, coupled with a lack of supply after a disaster.  For this reason, medical supplies will be extremely valuable.  Over the counter meds like diarrhea medicine, cold medicine, and anti-inflammatory will trade easily, so will gauze, hydrogen peroxide, and bandages.


In any extended period without stores being resupplied, soap will become more and more valuable.  It won’t matter what type of soap, and cheap bars of soap can be bought now for 50 cents a bar.  Bars of soap have an unlimited shelf life, so if you don’t trade them, eventually you will use them.

Dried Beans and Rice

Dried beans and rice will last for year or more if stored properly.  They will also keep you alive when no other food sources are available and can be sprouted when cooking isn’t possible.  This will make them highly valuable after a disaster, those that are ill prepared will trade items that cost much more before the disaster to get food.  Always trade your oldest food first.


Even with a great stash of supplies it’s unlikely that you will have everything you need when stores are not being resupplied.  Trading with people will be one of the best ways for you to get what you need.  Be careful when doing so, you don’t want to draw attention to your having extra supplies which might make people want to rob you, you don’t want to be taken advantage of, and you don’t want to make others bitter with you because you took advantage of them.

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