Everyone says go for the guns, THE GUNS!!! I am not going near a store that sells weapons, that’s where all the crazies are going to be. There are two places I’d loot before I got out-of-town.
The first would be a library/book store. Being an aircraft mechanic, I would say I am a fairly handy person but there are still a lot of things I do not know. I would look for any “how to” book I could get my hands on. I have never successfully grown a garden and being able to produce food would become essential.
It seems in most apocalyptic shows and movies doctors and nurses are everywhere. I wouldn’t count on running into a world-class doctor around every corner. So, I would also be looking for medical books. Books on smithing and weapons-making would give you the knowledge to make shovels, axes, knives, and possibly even gunsmithing. The last books I would like to find would deal with making some sort of power-cell or solar charged battery. It is not like the internet and power grids are going to last forever. I would try to create a library of useful information.
The second store I’d hit would be an eye doctor. I am blind without my glasses or contacts. I would die in mere minutes from running into a giant hole or cutting myself on some object I didn’t see. It would not be awarded a noble death, it would be an ironic, sad fate. I might not be able to find my prescription, but I should be able to find something close that would help a little. Over 50% of the population wears corrective lenses. This would give me a commodity that a lot of people wouldn’t think of. This would give me a form of currency that I could trade for other goods.
After hitting up the library and eye doctor, I’m heading for the hills. A nice cabin in the Blue Ridge or Smokey Mountains sounds nice. There seems to be plenty of places to disappear out there and I’d have all the books I could read and have a way to read them.