Costco Emergency
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25 Things to Buy at Costco and Sam's for Emergencies (Besides Toilet Paper)

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Costco Emergency
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America

Ready for Anything

Toilet paper, hand soap, and household disinfectants have flown off the shelves as the coronavirus pandemic worsens, and warehouse clubs have become a first stop for worried shoppers. But even if they're fresh out of Charmin, Costco and Sam's Club have a lot to offer anyone who's preparing for an emergency, viral or otherwise. From toiletries and food to more specialized supplies like generators, here are some safe-not-sorry buys to consider.

Not a member? You can apply here for Costco and here for Sam's Club.

Prices and availability are subject to change. Some items sold out online may be available in store or vice versa. Prices also may be lower in store.

Ivory Dish Detergent
Sam's Club

Ivory Dish Detergent

Price: $35 from Sam's Club
Buy It
If crowds have cleared the aisles of hand soap, it's time to get a little creative. Dish soap is often gentler on sensitive skin — a nice bonus when you're ramping up the hygiene. This carton of 10 will last a while.

Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen IB Caplets
Costco

Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen IB

Price: $10 from Costco
Buy It
When sickness is rampant, saving yourself a trip to the pharmacy for meds is a smart move. These two 500-caplet bottles will last and last, even for bigger families. Of course, also consider cold medicine, antacids, and other common over-the-counter needs.

Member’s Mark Exceed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Sam's Club

Member's Mark Exceed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Price: $30 at Sam's Club
Buy It
Don't forget about Fido in a crisis. Warehouse clubs are one of the best places to stock up on pet food on the cheap, and reviewers love this formula made with wild-caught salmon as the first ingredient. (Got a cat? Remember the litter, too.)

Netgear Orbi Mini Wi-Fi System
Costco

Netgear Orbi Mini Wi-Fi System

Price: $120 from Costco
Buy It
Telecommuting and e-learning will be a whole lot harder if your Wi-Fi isn't up to snuff. This plug-and-play router comes with a satellite extender that provides speedy wireless coverage in up to 4,000 square feet, no matter how device-happy your household.

Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal Variety Pack
Costco

Quaker Instant Oatmeal Variety Pack

Price: $11 from Costco
Buy It
Instant oatmeal can be a winner even with the queasiest tummies, and it's usually good for a year or longer. It's also cheap and filling, making this 52-count variety pack a great choice for your just-in-case stash.

Member’s Mark Premium Diapers
Sam's Club

Member's Mark Premium Diapers

Price: Starting at $12 from Sam's Club
Buy It
No one needs to sell parents of small children on why keeping an emergency stash of diapers is a good idea. Sam's diapers are as cheap as 11 cents each, less than half the price of Pampers Swaddlers. Oh, and don't forget the wipes and, if needed, formula.

Brondell H2O+ Coral Single-Stage Undercounter Water Filtration System
Sam's Club

Brondell H2O+ Under Counter Water Filter System

Price: $90 from Sam’s Club
Buy It
Unless there’s a direct threat to the water supply, why pay for case upon case of the bottled stuff? This single-stage filtration system can remove lead, chloramine, chlorine, and 56 other unsavory things from your water, and each filter lasts for six months or 300 gallons.

Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothbrush, 8-pack
Costco

Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothbrushes

Price: $17 from Costco
Buy It
It’s best to replace toothbrushes after you’ve been ill, experts say, especially if you have underlying health issues. With this pack of eight, you’ll have a ready supply.

Lego Classic Bricks
Costco

Lego Classic Bricks

Price: $47 from Costco
Buy It
File this firmly under luxury, not necessity. But for parents with kids suddenly home from school for weeks, any type of screen-free entertainment will be much appreciated, and this 1,500-brick Lego set allows for creative, open-ended play.

Pantene Advanced Care Shampoo
Costco

Pantene Advanced Care Shampoo

Price: $10 from Costco
Buy It
At roughly 26 cents an ounce, Pantene is your best bet for stocking up on shampoo at Costco. This 38-ounce bottle (and its conditioner counterpart) should last several weeks and then some, especially if you use only what you really need.

Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Free & Clear HE Liquid Laundry Detergent, 146 loads, 194 fl oz
Costco

Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Laundry Detergent

Price: $17 from Costco
Buy It
This 194-ounce jug of detergent that’s free of irritating dyes and perfumes can power through a whopping 146 loads of laundry. (That’s close to five loads a day for a month, if anyone’s counting.)

Mattel Mega Card Game Pack
Costco
Kirkland Signature Protein Bars
Costco

Kirkland Signature Protein Bars

Price: $40 from Costco
Buy It
Non-perishable foods are a must for plenty of potential emergencies. Protein bars like this highly regarded Costco brand have a long shelf life and deliver a lot of energy despite their small size.

Opti-Free Pure Moist Disinfecting Solution
Sam's Club

Opti-Free Puremoist Disinfecting Solution

Price: $22 from Sam's Club
Buy It
Contact wearers, don't forget to keep solution at the ready. This kit with two large 14-ounce bottles also includes two replacement cases (change them no less than every three months, experts recommend, and always rinse them with solution after removing your lenses).

Tampax Pearl Advanced Grip Tampons
Costco

Tampax Pearl Advanced Grip Tampons

Price: $16 from Costco
Buy It
Stock up now (or on pads, if you prefer) and you'll be happy to avoid a last-minute trip out of the house when that time of the month rolls around again.

WaterBrick FoodBrick Storage System
Sam's Club

WaterBrick FoodBrick Storage System

Price: $175 from Sam's Club
Buy It
These stackable, interlocking 3.5-gallon containers make storing an emergency supply of food and water a little easier. The four air-tight, moisture-resistant FoodBricks can keep food fresh for the long haul. The six WaterBricks resist extreme temperatures and can be frozen.

Kar’s Sweet and Salty Mix
Sam's Club

Kar's Sweet and Salty Mix

Price: $13 from Sam's Club
Buy It
Trail mix might just be the perfect food for emergencies: It's shelf-stable, packs in plenty of protein and carbs, and mixes sweet and salty in a way that makes it way more appealing than digging into yet another canned good.

Cascade Mountain Tech LED Lanterns
Costco

Cascade Mountain Tech LED Lanterns

Price: $25 from Costco
Buy It
No power? Don't drain your smartphone's battery by relying on its flashlight. These three pop-up lanterns store compactly when you don't need them but provide up to 180 lumens of bright light when you do. They have four modes including an attention-getting red flash.

Type S Lithium Jump Starter Portable Power Bank
Costco

Type S Lithium Jump Starter Portable Power Bank

Price: $60 from Costco
Buy It
In this smartphone-dependent age, most of us have an external battery lying around, but can yours jump-start a car? This high-capacity battery comes with jumper cables that can do just that, plus it has a built-in flashlight and two USB ports for charging laptops, tablets, phones, and other devices.

First Aid Only First Aid Kit
Sam's Club

First Aid Only First Aid Kit

Price: $25 from Sam's Club
Buy It
You can make your own first-aid kit, but paying for the pros to do it is a lot more convenient. This 106-piece case includes 19 products like bandages, gauze, ointment, and tweezers in a sturdy, mountable metal case.

Firman Dual Fuel Generator
Costco

Firman Dual Fuel Generator

Price: $600 from Costco
Buy It
As warmer weather approaches, so does the threat of stormy weather and extended power outages. This Firman generator runs on both gas or propane, offering added flexibility, and comes with an all-weather cover. The 8-gallon tank provides 12 hours of power at a 50% off.

StarKist Chunk Light Tuna (12-pack)
Sam's Club

StarKist Chunk Light Tuna

Price: $10 from Sam's Club
Buy It
Tuna will always be a popular pick for emergency prep: It's cheap, it lasts, and it's an easy way to add protein to pasta, salad, a sandwich, a pita — whatever you can dream up, really.

Kirkland Signature AA Batteries
Costco

Kirkland Signature AA Batteries

Price: $17 from Costco
Buy It
Chances are your old flashlight and radio run on 'em, so why pay more buying small packs at the supermarket when you can get 48 batteries for about 35 cents each?

Augason Farms Emergency Food Supply Kit
Sam's Club

Augason Farms Emergency Food Supply Kit

Price: $23 from Sam's Club
Buy It
It will cost you, but anyone who wants a no-muss, no-fuss supply of emergency food that can last for up to 25 years (not a typo!) can stock up on these kits. Each just-add-water, ready-to-eat kit has five kinds of food and feeds one person for three days.

Midland Emergency Crank Radio Bundle
Sam's Club

Midland Emergency Crank Radio Bundle

Price: $75 from Sam's Club
Buy It
Cell phones are great, but not when they're dead. An old-school radio is still a great tool to have on hand for power outages, and this one even features hand-crank and solar-power options for the most dire circumstances. A two-way radio with a 26-mile range is also included.