There’s going to be some major looting when civilization collapses and people begin to realize that they’re not, in fact, going to find out who the finalists are for the next American Idol. Things are that bad.
Stuff to loot
2x semi-automatic pistols. The reason this is in the “Loot” category and not in your stockpiled “Arsenal” is because handgun permits are sometimes difficult to get depending on where you live. A shotgun, on the other hand, is considered a rifle and those are easier to own.
buttload of pistol ammo
1x crate of antibiotics.
1x jumbo box of condoms? That’s not going to last too long. Especially in heat. D’oh, puntastic!
Frank and I had a little back-and-forth about the sit-and-wait plan. The MREs will give you 2 weeks, but, after that, food might not walk up to your door, chop its own head off and throw itself onto your bbq grill. (Although that would be a pretty sweet apocalypse movie: “The world is devastated, but every living creature wants to be eaten by you. Starring Sylvester Stallone and guest starring Kevin James as Dinner.” And another thing: How does Kevin James have a career?)
Even if you have a fort, you can’t just bar the door and sit tight. It doesn’t work. There are tactical reasons for this. Have we learned nothing from the ‘Nam? You have to go out in sorties and clear out brigands and infected and other threats within, say, a half mile radius of your fort. Otherwise you risk allowing outsiders to mass and then wipe you out in a big attack. Thank you very much, Tour of Duty. (Fun fact: At one point Tour of Duty was going up against Golden Girls. It lost.)
Why not a car?
I thought long and hard about whether or not to put “car” and “extra gasoline” on the list, but I think that’s a bad long term plan in a severe apocalypse. If society is too far gone to replenish the gas supply, you’re pretty much out of luck. Gas is heavy. You might store 2 one-gallon cans. Great. Think you can fill up on whatever’s left over at abandoned gas stations? Okay, the pump activation is handled electronically (via the cashier or your credit card). Electricity is out. Congratulations, you now have 1.5 tons of dead weight on wheels. Therefore I consider gas powered engines to be short term luxury items.
Finally, the fun list! Well, there’s a new Millennium Falcon toy that’d I’d love to have, but there are more essentials to grab during the first days of man-bites-dog catastrophe. Each location on this list includes an assessment of risk. Naturally, if there is any forewarning of imminent doom, you should’ve made some of these trips already, paying with your soon-to-be-worthless credit cards. Fuck you, Visa and Master Card.
*Wal-Mart or similar. This is the goldmine. They will have anything and everything. It will be crowded with people looting foodstuffs. Stay away from that mess to avoid unnecessary altercations. After all, *you* have a plan. *They* are bear food in a week. Primary Target: weapons, outdoor supplies. Secondary Target: Pharmaceuticals, vitamins. Risk: You are not the only genius to think of looting Wal-Mart. Come armed during the day. Come with a group of people. Move through the store together and take what you can. Don’t consider using this as a fortification or base, as it will be targeted by too many people.
*Home Depot. If you are based in a fortified or semi-fortified area, this place can turn your fort into a veritable Helm’s Deep. What’s that? They breached Helm’s Deep? Well, sure, but those were Uruk-hai Orcs and your individual apocalypse will hopefully not involve such troubles. Primary Target: tools (if you don’t have those already). Secondary Target: wood, pvc pipe, metal struts, hinges and locks, and anything else that can strengthen your fortification (or build a shelter, if that’s your problem). Risk: Low. You can afford to wait a few days. The food stores will get the early rush of looters. You’re going to meet like-minded survivalists here. These are people who are prepared. People with knowledge. You might find allies here. Stay away from the clueless families. There will be a few.
*CVS, Duane Reade or similar. Primary Target: pharmaceutical, vitamins, etc. Secondary Target: any water or non-perishable food items. Risk: High, but if Wal-Mart is a battleground, this may be a safer destination.
*Supermarket. I think people will instinctively rush to these places and clean them out pronto. Primary Target: water and non-perishable food. Risk: Depends. I’d wager you’d have a better shot going early rather than later. Early on, people will just be panicking. Mostly the soccer mom crowd. I don’t think the dangerous looting at supermarkets will be until the gravity of the situation has sunk in.
And get some cigarettes, Frank reminds me. Cartons are best, but snag whatever you can carry. After the apocalypse, people will be desperate for them, and you can use them to trade for other stuff, like food, water, slaves.
Hell, it’ll be fun. Frank, buddy, I’m gonna stockpile as much as I can. You can come on over during Ragnarok. Please bring chips.