Good Hardware


[Stanley Classic 99] is a simple, cheap utility knife with all-metal construction.

[Picquic Super 8 Plus] is a durable multi-bit screwdriver with a strong unified design.

[Sony ICF-P26] is a simple, portable FM/AM radio that runs on standard AA batteries.

LED Lightbulbs provide cost-effective energy savings with great lifetime.

[Electric Kettle]. Fastest safe water-boiling residential appliance. ~5 minute boiling time of 1L water at room temperature. Convenient automatic turn-off. Versatile option to set temperature threshold. Boil water with this then pour into pot for rapid cooking.

Household Chemicals

Vinegar. Mildly acidic, cheap, versatile. All-purpose cleaning, flavoring, food preservation, odor removal, soil pH balancing.

Fire Extinguisher

Consider this your one-time insurance payment against small to medium household fires.

A standard size ABC fire extinguisher will suffice. Be sure to understand how to operate the extinguisher before you let it rest in a widely visible position. A larger residence will want multiple extinguishers.

Electric Power Bar

You likely have several of these already, but it's worth investing in a rugged version for long-term peace of mind around your family, home, and assets.

Power bars are pretty simple devices. They expand and extend a single electrical outlet into many ports at a distance. However, they can break and cause fires or electrocution when misused or even normally used heavily, such as with long cables, multiple devices, or high current tools like electric space heaters. The worst risk comes from failure of the power bar itself due to cheap components and manufacturing defects.

Fatal Fire Incident – Multiple devices, overextension

Serious Fire Incident – Power bar failure

Caulk and Filler

This investment requires a bit of effort, but helps solve a pernicious category of home dangers.

Caulk and filler seal cracks and openings to defend against water penetration, air penetration, and insect invasions. The risk of water penetration into your home is not only the weakening of the structure but also the growth of toxic mold, such as black mold. Air penetration can bring in unwanted outdoor heat during summer and release important indoor heat during winter. Insect invasions can range from a frustration to a serious danger in certain cases.

I recommend pure silicone caulk. It lasts for decades and produces tight waterproof seals. Excellent for use around kitchens and washrooms.

I recommend water-based wood filler. It cleans easily and cures without solvent fumes. Good for filling normal openings up to medium size.

Heater and Air Conditioner

Most modern homes have built-in or pre-existing temperature control and ventilation. If your place does not, you will need to prepare a space heater and air conditioning unit. Prioritize heating over cooling because heat is easier to dissipate. Air conditioning units require a window for easy installation; otherwise you will need to drill a hole through your wall to the outside.

Kitchen Utensils

Stainless steel spoons with rounded handles are fundamental.

Wooden cooking utensils avoid the clanky noise, weight, and heat transfer of their metal alternatives. That said, metal cooking utensils are more durable, easier to clean, and mitigates mold growth.

Electrical Tape

Electrical tape is versatile. It is opaque, stretchy, and removes easily without leaving residue. Good for covering up electronic lights for sounder sleep such as with modems and routers.

Utility Knife and Scissors

Utility knives and scissors provide an easy way to open boxes, split packaging, and cut materials neatly. Safe and durable utility knives have a retractable blade and metal frame. Consistent scissors sport a dependable fulcrum and full metal construction. Simply place them both in a convenient adult location for prolonged accessibility.

For a good utility knife, I recommend the Stanley Classic 99. Cheap and durable, it sports full-metal construction with a retractable blade and spares stored in its frame.

For a good pair of compact scissors, I recommend the Tweerzerman 2000 Shears. It is robustly sharp with a dependable fulcrum.

Measuring Tape

A measuring tape is versatile for home organization, product design and evaluation, body measurements, and more.


Calculators are one of the few data-centric devices still useful separate from smartphones for saving several seconds of access time.

Portable Radio

When a blackout occurs, you want to stay updated on the latest news from radio stations.

Get a radio that is small and light enough to carry in one hand. Ideally, the radio has a hand strap.

The radio should have a foldable, telescoping antenna for durability.

The radio should have an unseparable battery cover for one-piece dependability.

The radio should accept common batteries (AA or AAA) for convenient usability.

The radio should have a continuously adjustable volume ranging from a quiet whisper to at least a loud conversation.

Toilet Plunger and Scrubber

Get a multi-width plunger that will work with different toilets without problems. A good plunger will last for years and save you a great deal of hassle. As for scrubbers, you can get a compact, cheap one and it'll do the job.

Smoke and Gas Alarms

At a minimum, you need a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. Modern safety regulations generally require these, so your home probably already has the requisite alarms- but check to make sure. If your home has a natural gas intake, you will want an alarm for that as well.

The AA battery-powered alarm designs are easiest to install and replace. Be sure to understand where to correctly install the different alarms for proper locations and heights. Test and maintain your alarms on a regular schedule.

Electric Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush improves the ease and consistency of brushing teeth properly. It offers convenience features such as a built-in automatic 3-minute timer. Charging is safe and simple with wireless induction technology. Replacement brush heads cost about the same as a manual toothbrush.

First Aid Kit

Prioritize commonly used items to deal with cuts, slivers, stings, burns, and bruises. Common items include small adhesive bandages, basic ointment for cuts and scrapes, disinfecting wipes, distilled water, rubbing alcohol, tweezers, compact scissors, sting wipes, burn gel, and instant-action ice packs. Other items include large bandages, medical tape, sterile gloves, gauze, air-activated heat pads, compression pads. Store first aid items in a clearly marked container. Keep your primary first aid kit at home, and bring a more portable secondary kit in your car or personal bag.

Emergency Supplies

In case of natural disaster or major infrastructure outage, you want to have enough food, water, and supplies to survive until the relief effort matures. Prioritize food cans and pouches, water bottles and tanks, cutlery and food containers, paper towels and rolls, soap and sanitizer, blankets and towels, garbage bags for disposal, sealable plastic bags for utility, flashlights and batteries. Prepare portable carry containers or boxes that you can use to easily haul the supplies to your car if ever necessary.