Scavenging After The Apocalypse
Practical Prepping in the UK
We’ve all seen post-apocalyptic movies and TV shows where the survivors go scavenging for food and supplies. Sometimes, they find plenty of food in abandoned supermarkets and houses. Those are the most obvious places to scavenge after the apocalypse, and in reality will be cleared out very quickly. Here are eight of the less obvious places to scavenge after the apocalypse.
Because they are less obvious, these are places that are less likely to have already been targeted. Some of them may have food, others may have tools or other useful supplies. These eight places to scavenge after the apocalypse are just the beginning. Go and explore your local area and think about which buildings might be abandoned but still contain useful items after the apocalypse.
Of course, everything in this article refers to scavenging after an apocalypse, when society has collapsed and places are abandoned. Don’t go grabbing supplies from any of these places until then!
When scavenging anywhere in a post-apocalyptic world, be as careful as possible. There may be other people scavenging too, so always be aware of your surroundings.
Office buildings will be abandoned pretty quickly after an apocalypse. They’re also a great place to scavenge. They’re not as obvious as supermarkets and food warehouses, but will have plenty of things that are useful.
A lot of office buildings have kitchen areas for staff to store food and make drinks. The kitchen areas are a great starting point to find food and there may be bottled water there too.
Many office workers keep snacks on their desks or in drawers and cupboards. Searching through desks in an office should provide a good haul of sweets and other snacks, as well as coffee and tea bags.
Have a look for vending machines full of chocolate, crisps and drinks. Don’t forget to check out any conference rooms too, as companies often provide bottled water in their conference rooms.
Office buildings aren’t just a source of food and drinks. There will be first aid kits containing useful medical supplies, and check the toilets to grab paper towels and toilet paper too.
If all that isn’t enough, offices are also full of stationary supplies. Paper and pens are always useful, particularly if you have children to entertain and educate.
Marinas and caravan parks are both places that people go to stay for holidays, weekend breaks or nights away from home. As such, there will often be supplies of longer lasting food and drinks stored.
Boats and caravans might have food stored in them. There is also likely to be a small shop or office on site with more food and drink.
Both boats and caravans usually have first aid kits. Medical equipment will be in short supply after the apocalypse, so first aid kits will be very useful to find.
Both caravans and boats may contain transportable, off-grid cooking equipment. Many have bottled gas connected to a small cooker, which you may be able to remove.
And lastly, if you are still operating a vehicle after the apocalypse, you’re going to need fuel. Boats will be a useful source of petrol (usually smaller boats) and diesel (usually bigger boats). Boats are less obvious places to obtain fuel, so you should still be able to find some. You’ll probably even be able to find jerry cans at the marina so you can transport fuel easily.
Schools are a great place to find loads of useful things after the apocalypse. Like office buildings, schools will be abandoned very quickly, leaving behind many items that we can scavenge. The school kitchen is likely to contain food, as well as cooking equipment. The staff room and any other teachers’ offices will probably have snacks as well as tea and coffee. You might also find bottled water.
In addition to food and water, schools will have medical equipment and possibly some medications too. Some schools have a nurses office, which will contain medical equipment. If there is no school nurses office, then there will probably be medical equipment stored elsewhere, such as in the school office. There are also likely to be first aid kits in many places throughout the school.
Food, water and medical supplies are obviously the most important items in terms of surviving the apocalypse. However, as time progresses, other things will become important too. For those with children, some form of education will be important, and schools may provide equipment and books to help with that.
Storage units seem to be becoming more and more common. Nearly every town now has industrial buildings offering self storage. People now often use storage units to store extra furniture, or to empty out the contents of their garages. These are likely to be great places to scavenge after the apocalypse.
You’re likely to find tools and equipment in storage units. You’re also very likely to find furniture, and that could be very useful. During the apocalypse, you might not think you need new furniture, however you may want materials for increasing your home security. Disassemble wooden furniture to provide materials for increasing your home security, including boarding up windows.
You never know what you might find in a storage unit, but there will always be something that you can make use of. While you’re in the building, check for vending machines and first aid kits too!
Car dealers may not be an obvious place to scavenge after the apocalypse, but there are likely to be plenty of useful items.
Car dealers often provide drinks for their customers, so may have bottled water. There may also be vending machines. Some of the higher end dealers also provide canned drinks and snacks, so there will be a supply of those.
Moving on to the workshop, this will be a great place to find all sorts of tools. The majority of people probably won’t be using a vehicle after the apocalypse. If you are, however, car workshops will prove to be very useful places to find the equipment and supplies you need to keep it running.
Farmers store a variety of useful things in their farm buildings, including animal feeds and medications. You may also find water tanks.
You may also find bags of seeds, which could be very useful for growing your own produce. In addition, there is likely to be a supply of fertiliser, weedkiller and insecticide.
Farm buildings also contain tools and equipment that you will be able to make use of. If you are still running a vehicle after the apocalypse, you may be able to obtain some fuel here too.
A scrapyard isn’t going to be a great place to find food. However, if you’ve ever seen the TV show Scrapheap Challenge you’ll know that they’re great places to scavenge for tools and materials. You’ll be able to find plenty of materials here for making items to secure your home. There will also be plenty of materials to make your own tools. You might also be able to create home made weapons with the items you find here too.
Dog food, yummy. If you’re desperate though, pet food contains plenty of nutrition. Or of course, if you have pets living with you, you’ll want to help them survive too.
In a disaster, pet supply shops are less likely to be scavenged for food than supermarkets. If you can’t find food elsewhere, then pet food will keep you alive.
This list isn’t just to give you eight places to scavenge after the apocalypse. It’s to help you think differently about your local area, and consider places that might be useful to you in a post-apocalyptic world. Identifying places to scavenge after the apocalypse is just one of our five things to learn about your local area. Make sure you know your own area well, it might just save your life.
Do you have any other ideas for less obvious places to scavenge after the apocalypse?
Scavenging or looting what’s the difference. Call it what you will but be careful. It’s one thing to go through a school or abandoned office building but quite another to be raiding someone’s farm or boat
I agree, even in a post-apocalyptic world I’d only consider looking for food or tools in places that are obviously abandoned.
I would think the most dangerous aspect of any apocalyptic senerio would be searching for supply. Probley best to stock up for as long as possible until the herd is thinned. I live near a major highway so there are hundreds of semi’s filled with who knows what. I don’t think the truckers will attempt to defend their cargo. Just saying
Very true. I’d avoid scavenging as much as possible, and rely on my own stocks & self-sufficiency. In an emergency though, if something was needed then avoiding the most obvious places is best. As time passes, materials run short and tools wear out, there may be good opportunities in some of the places listed above.
Trying to scavenge where people may be living (boats, farms, etc) may be quite dangerous. Offices and schools may be safer, but you must keep your guard up.
Yes, places where you’re less likely to meet people might be a little less dangerous, but after the apocalypse nowhere will be entirely safe. We’ll always have to be aware of our during surroundings and avoid the risk of conflict as much as possible.
Another place most people wouldn’t think to scavenge: try looking for canned food in the dump or the landfill. To avoid liability, grocery stores and food pantries and the like periodically dispose of cans of food past their “best by” dates. While the nutritional value and taste do tend to decline after that date, that doesn’t necessarily mean this “expired” food isn’t edible and filling; and for so long as the cans haven’t been damaged or rusted badly enough to be leaking (if anything is leaking out, anything could be seeping in) and aren’t bulging (puffing out is a sure sign of spoilage and food poisoning), the food therein should still be good for some quick calories.
speaking of food pantries and other such charities, while it’s fair to assume they’ll be picked clean if your civilization’s decline was gradual enough that volunteers there had time to raid the shelves and storerooms and sufficient capacity in their vehicles to carry all the plunder home before closing up shop, there’s a good chance those places will still have a lot of food left for the plundering if your civilization’s collapse into anarchy was more sudden and all potential raiders’ time and resources were limited. Be sure to check to see whether the abandoned charity/food bank/food pantry/etc. has a basement or storage trailer or some such expansion to its storage areas, as these are the last places fleeing volunteers and roaming bands of scavengers would have the time and opportunity to raid. While it’s still likely those previous raiders will have had the means to have taken most or all of the better and tastier stuff, members of your family will undoubtedly still be grateful for canned asparagus and sealed bottles of grapefruit juice and anything else edible and potable they can get from such places if they’re hungry and thirsty enough.
Great ideas! Our society is very wasteful and disposes of so much edible food and useful resources, so after the collapse of society all of the things that might have been considered waste previously suddenly become very useful.
Just FYI, Those kinda places are first on my list. Tools, supplies, medicine. Just be sure you’re either alone and invisible or have at the very least two other people with ya.
Things will git spicy very fast so don’t expect mercy, especially from Liberals… leastwise, that’s how it’ll be over here in the states. Don’t know ’bout UK but gangs will still be gangs ‘cept they’ll be joined by those with skills, equipment (G.U.N.S. and other things that go boom.) and uniforms. Savvy??? As for pharmacies etc. Those mentioned above will probably git there first. Your call.
dry goods and canned goods. Pet food would be a last, last, last resort. Unless y’all have pets of course. I have several.
Trust only those you know. Even if family. By trust, I mean only tell them what they need to know. At first, there will be a lot of eye opening back stabbing going on.
Watch the movie; Red Dawn. First version is best. Consider it a tamed down primer.
Good fortune to ya.
One side note… If you think it’s OK to raid good people, you’ll end up hunted down and ended. That’s how it’ll go down here. Eventually, good people will come together and help each other just like that tale of Robinhood. Honor and ethics don’t fly out the window just because times are bad or changed. God is still God and honor is still honor.
I totally agree. I wouldn’t want to take anything from other people, but focus on only abandoned places to scavenge after the apocalypse. How many places get abandoned depends on what’s happened though. If there are more survivors there will be fewer abandoned places and more competition for remaining resources.
safety is always going to be a major concern when looking for resources after a disaster. There will be a lot of competition from survivors to get anything they can.
Here in the UK, ownership of weapons and particularly guns is much less common than in the US. Military, some police and some farmers or land owners have guns but the majority of the general public do not. That does not mean we can be complacent about security and safety though.
The best solution is always going to be to have enough resources stored so you don’t have to scavenge, at least early after a major disaster, but you can never 100% predict what you might need.
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Scavenging After The Apocalypse
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