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.
Is It OK To Find Places To Scavenge After The Apocalypse?
After any kind of major disaster where food or water is limited, people will scavenge to find what they need. Some may see it as looting, others as justified means for survival. Whether it is acceptable to take things that aren’t yours depends on the nature of the place and the events that have occurred.
Obviously, this article relates to a post-apocalyptic world. Don’t go grabbing supplies from any of these places until then! Only when society has collapsed and law no longer exists should any of this be considered.
Some of the locations mentioned in this list are businesses. After the collapse of society these are very likely to be totally abandoned. This makes the business locations easier targets for scavenging.
Some of the locations included in this list will be owned by private individuals. Even after the apocalypse, the owners may still be living in or using the buildings. Some may be abandoned if the apocalypse wipes out a large proportion of the population. Only consider scavenging locations that are obviously abandoned. Don’t break in to properties that may still be in use. Not only is it unethical, but it will put you in serious danger of being attacked.
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.
Eight Places To Scavenge After The Apocalypse
Here is our list of eight places to scavenge after the apocalypse. We’ve not included the most obvious places, such as food shops, supermarkets and distribution centres. They’re likely to be targeted first, and by many people. Here are eight less likely places to have been wiped out!
1. Office Buildings, Great Places To Scavenge After The Apocalypse
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. A great starting point to find food is any kitchen area, 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.
2. Schools Will Be Overlooked Places To Scavenge After The Apocalypse
Another great place to find loads of useful things after the apocalypse. Schools will be abandoned very quickly after the apocalypse, 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.
3. Storage Units Might Contain Many Useful Things
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!
4. Car Dealers and Workshops For Tools And Spares
Car dealers may not be an obvious place to scavenge after the apocalypse, but there are likely to be plenty of useful items.
Often, car dealers 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.
5. Farm Buildings Could Help Growing Your Own Food
Farms are far less likely to be abandoned than schools or office buildings. However, in a major apocalypse that many people have not survived, you may find abandoned farms. Farmers store a variety of useful things in their farm buildings, including animal feeds and medications. You may also find water tanks.
Another item to look for is bags of seeds, which could be very useful for growing your own food. 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.
6. Marinas and Caravan Parks Could Be Useful Places To Scavenge
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. However, bear in mind that the boats and caravans may belong to survivors. People might even be using them as their bug out locations. Only look in places that you are sure are abandoned
Abandoned boats and caravans might still 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.
7. Scrapyards For Tools, Spares, Materials and Equipment
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.
8. Pet Supply Shops For Extra Food After The Apocalypse
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.
There Are Many More Places To Scavenge After The Apocalypse
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, and buy a map, it might just save your life.
Do you have any other ideas for less obvious places to scavenge after the apocalypse? Let us know in the comments below!
The ukprepper.life family are UK preppers who love to be prepared for everything, from the minor day to day emergencies, all the way to major disasters and more. Between us we have many years of experience prepping, and we’d love to share our experiences with you.
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
UK Prepper says
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
UK Prepper says
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.
Zulu 3-6 says
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.
UK Prepper says
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.
UK Prepper says
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.
UK Prepper says
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.
UK Prepper says
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.
Barry Brumfield says
“Marinas, caravan parks, and farm buildings.” Say what? Maybe in GB you can break into someone’s boat, camper, or farm and get away with it, but in the USA, even post collapse, what you are proposing is theft of a person’s property. Even years after a collapse all three of those locations can still be occupied by the owners. So you say, “oh I’ll just call out first before breaking in to be sure the property has been totally abandoned. Do it and you will probably get shot when you begin breaking out a window or kicking in a door.” DUMB! A property owner is in no way legally or ethically obligated to answer you.
UK Prepper says
In the UK you’re less likely to get shot as gun ownership is much less common that in the US. It’s not impossible though. However, I’m not suggesting that it’s ok to break into places without being totally certain they’re abandoned.
Appropriate places to scavenge after the apocalypse really depend on what happened in the apocalypse. If there was some major disaster that wiped out the majority of the population, there are going to be many abandoned places. If there are large numbers of survivors, then fewer abandoned places, but much more competition for food. More survivors also means much more danger of your own stores of food being stolen too.
Dan Wesson says
To build on the pet store idea, pet stores in the fish section carry antibiotics and antifungals for fish tanks. Those are exactly the same tablets that are given as prescription medication from your local pharmacy. So, it is very useful to scrounge those up in the SHTF world.