Survival Gear

10 Tips for Preppers to Prepare for SHTF Situations

Being prepared really isn’t that complicated, it just takes a willingness to do something about your situation. If you haven’t started prepping, it’s time to start taking the decisive actions you need to take to keep yourself and your family safe.

Prepared Scout

Here are 10 ideas that can help get you started:

1. Threat Assessment

Part of truly being prepared for anything, means knowing exactly what threats you’re going to face and then analyzing how those threats will affect you in the future. By performing a realistic threat assessment, you can get a better idea of what threats you’re facing, and learn how to prepare for those threats in the future.

2. Planning for the most likely SHTF Scenarios.

When you’re just getting started in the world of prepping, preparing for an EMP or an asteroid hitting the earth is probably not the best course of action. While both of those scenarios are scary, the probability of them happening is actually pretty low. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t prep for these things, I’m just suggesting that you prep for the most likely dangers first.

3. SWOT Analysis

Performing a SWOT Analysis is a great way to determine how prepared you really are. A SWOT Analysis is a simple, but useful method of pinpointing your Strengths and Weaknesses. Performing one will also help you identify Opportunities that you can exploit, and Threats that you might face in a SHTF situation.

4. Living Debt Free… Is it part of your survival plan?

It’s great to be prepared for an end of days scenario, but what happens when you’re faced with a foreclosure or the possibility of living on the streets? Is that not a survival situation?  To be truly prepared for the worst, we must also think of our financial security. That means paying off debt, living within your means, and starting an emergency fund.

5. Get in Shape NOW

No matter what survival situation you may ultimately find yourself in, there’s one thing that you’ll likely find; survival is going to be hell on your body. One of the best things you can do to ensure your survival, in just about any situation, is to make sure your body and your mind are trained and prepared to survive. That means motivating yourself to get off your butt and get in shape.

6. Train with Repetition

To really be able to rely on your knowledge when things go bad, you need to run through your survival techniques in a number of real-world scenarios and environments. The more you train in real world situations, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to perform these skills in a high stress survival situation.

7. Train Your Mind

Survival isn’t glamorous, and it’s nothing like what’s depicted on T.V. Survival shows. It is downright brutal, and will beat the hell out of you not only physically, but emotionally as well. Don’t overlook the importance of cultivating a mindset that will allow you to face life’s greatest challenges.

8. Survival Intelligence – Power of Information

In a survival situation, knowledge is going to be a critical factor in determining the outcome of your situation. The ability to be able to predict what will happen during an emergency is an important part of being prepared. Start gathering a list of trusted resources and information sources that can help you prepare for whatever the future has in store.

9. Be Prepared to Bug Out

Many preppers talk about the prospects of bugging out; but how many of them have the skills, or the strength to actually do it? It’s one thing to talk about bugging out; it’s another thing to carry your gear 10-15 miles a day in dangerous and unforgiving conditions.

10. Bugging out with Kids

During a SHTF situation, maintaining a sense of normalcy is going to be a very important concern when dealing with children. With children, comfort items can go a long way in helping them feel as safe and secure as possible. Don’t overlook how important it will become to give them a sense of comfort and control during a stressful SHTF situation.

110 Comments on 10 Tips for Preppers to Prepare for SHTF Situations

  1. Jon

    I must say that I am finally feeling a little more prepared. Well at least more than I was when I first started coming here.

    I am embarrassed to say however that I never considered debt to be a threat but after reading the entire article that you linked to it really makes sense. Time to put that one on the list. Damn

  2. Sasquatch

    If you plan on covering a lot of ground, extra socks, mole skin, and ibuprofen are priceless. A decent cap to keep the sun out of your eyes is a major plus too. Staying hydrated with water and carrying salt tablets is a very good idea also. Avoid the hottest time of the day if you can, and take rest breaks every few miles. A good attitude can make a bad situation survivable.

  3. John sawyer

    What does shtf stand for

    • Robert

      Shit Hits The Fan

  4. thing one

    shtf – sh!t hit the fan.
    is it just me or is the #1 tip just a bad version of the #3 tip?

    • JoePrepper

      Is it just me or do you have no frickin clue what the hell you are talking about? Did you actually click in and read the articles? Because 1 and 3 are two totally different articles. Yes 3 covers threats but 1 is a much deeper dive into the subject.

      Anyone that knows anything about SWOT’s or Threat Assessments knows that each part of the SWOT is a separate Analysis. And ofthen Times Threat Assessments are preformed on what was found in your SWOT

      • dewey barnes

        youre kind of an asshole

        • IMTHOR

          May I add some adjectives? “big”, “useless”, “offensive”, “chronic”….

      • Gordon

        And you sir have, and I quote you, “no fricin clue” how to write responses to people’s comments. Be kind and informative. Insulting others and calling them ignorant or “clueless” does not make you look smarter than the rest of us. People of low intelligence resort to those tactics. Kill with kindness and knowledge.

  5. Nathan

    re:#4, debt. Might not be a bad time to buy property though. Buyers market in housing, interest rates are low, blood still flowing in the streets from the ongoing housing debacle. Could be an opportunity like gold was 10-12 years ago, nobody wanted it during the internet stock boom – then it quintupled in price a few years later.

    Also a good bet that regardless of whether Obama or Romney wins, neither is going to balance the budget. That means deficit spending, which means printing money, which means inflation. Inflation is good for debtors.

    • dude

      If you rack up credit card debt buying food and ammo, what are they going to reposses?

      Just default

    • Steve French

      When SHTF, you can presume that society will pretty much be lawless. Possession is 9/10ths of the law, and the other tenth won’t matter.

      Whether your rent your home or own it, in the end it will come down to what you can defend.

      If you can’t defend it, you will inevitably end up bugging out.

  6. old soldier

    This is a very article and I agree with all the items, except number 2. If you think EMP is one of the least likely, please think again. Per all the articles I’ve read and from my experience, EMP is just as likely as a hurricane. Of all the man made disasters, this is the worst and don’t think the “bad guys” doesn’t know it. The U.S. is very vulnerable to attack and that’s what threat assessment is all about. The “bad guys” don’t need an ICBM to do the job. A ground to air missile launched from a freighter off the coast with a warhead, will do the job of shutting down communications, transportation,power, you name it.

    • Off Grid Survival

      Thanks, Old Soldier….

      I think you are 100% right on it being a very real threat, and I probably shouldn’t have lumped it in there with asteroids.

      I agree that there are people out there who would love to carry out this type of attack, and the consequences would be devastating to this country.

      I think the main reason I added it to the article was, when talking to people who are just getting started in the world of prepping the moment you mention EMP’s CME’s etc… they almost instantly tune out or become overwhelmed.

      But I do agree that it’s a very real threat and I’ll try to do an article dedicated to that topic in the very near future.

      • Ricky

        Could somebody post an acronym list so people who aren’t as deeply into these subjects as other people are can understand whats being said?
        Please excuse my ignorance!

        • DrDave

          Electromagnetic Pulse – basically fire off a specially calibrated nuke in the atmosphere over the US and the electrical pulse will fry our electricity supply/distribution. A history professor wrote a fictional scenario of life in the US after an attack, using his perspective of siege situations. It’s terrifying. The name of the book is One Second After. Everyone here should read it. My library has it, but it is usually checked out, but you can buy it in paperback cheap.

          • EZTarget

            VERY GOOD BOOK!!!
            Anyone that hasn’t read it should.

          • MarkEnter your name...

            Yes, good book. EMP’s can also be caused by solar storms/flares.

      • zometimer

        An asteroid/meteor strike would have the potential to create an EMP.

        • BrianWorf

          No. A meteor or asteroid impact would not release the gamma radiation needed to cause an EMP.

    • somegooddude

      Or even a strong solar flare could cause a global blackout.

      • WhoWudaThunkIt

        Here is a web site called RadiationNetwork it reflects the U.S. MAP and all the points of radiation emission. It is an interactive map and updates every minute. Would be great to bookmark this link on your cellphone when you are mobile bugging out.

        • Bullrideraz

          the SHTF as a result of an EMP… I doubt any cell phones will be operating !!

    • sertories

      Old soldier has it down. well these ive seen , seem to of been written a while ago, Here we are knowing damn good an well. Isis will find a way to come here or atleast it will seem like hell on earth here. The high possiblity of that or ebola right now would be enough for me even if I didnt understand prepping. I heard my father prepared for everything, so maybe it just runs in my blood. but my last and most leathal problem is a way to stock up on my thyroid meds unpackaged or else they dont half a long shelf life.. this really freaks me out. What good am I to my team or my son if im weak. open to ideas for no thyroid and life dependant on synthroid.

      • Kenny in Virginia

        Your thyroid relies on Iodine. Radiation tablets contain a form of iodine and are used to protect us from radioactive fallout by flooding your thyroid with good iodine so the radioactive kind can’t get in. Foods high in iodine are kale, spinach and others that I can’t think of right now. Iodine and Iodate tablets have a long shelf life but I don’t think they are useful as a daily treatment. If you’ve been using sea-salt, switch to iodized salt instead.

    • Mike

      Remember here awhile back when North Korea tested its first missile. The media reported it as a failure because all it did was go up 25 miles in the air. If memory serves me isn’t this the altitude that they say a nuclear blast would have to be at to cause a man made EMP? Do not underestimate North Korea. The little fat hothead that runs the show over there sees America as a hindrance to combining both the north and the south into one nation. He would stop at nothing to remove that blockade if he thought he could get away with it. 2 little fishing trawlers parked off each coast and two submarines would be all it takes. While NSA is busy spying on Americans our enemies could be plotting this very scenario SOS yes I believe an EMP threat should be taken very serious.

  7. Jay

    If there is one thing I have taken from this site, and all the reading I have done so far, its that no matter how much gear you have, the most important things you can carry with you are skills and understanding. What good is a bunch of 550 cord if you can’t tie a knot? What good is that firesteel if you have no idea how to make a tinder bundle or properly feed a fire? Its like owning a gun but never having fired it. Many people put huge emphasis on gear. Its only a paper weight if you don’t know how to use it. Learn skills! Take a class, read a book, practice! I’m off to get my First Aid/CPR/AED certification in a bit. I have gear, but I’m constantly working on skills.

    • Dr. M

      Jay, I think you truly summed it up here. I am in the medical profession and have always carried a full EMT medical bag in my car. I purchased it after taking a CPR / First Aid Certification course through my employer.
      The point is, (that you so well made) is that NONE of this gear is going to help if you don’t have the knowledge or skills. I’m new to prepping and survival but have learned to make a fire with a fire starter and take along a little survival kit and emergency Bivvy when I go hiking. Like my emergency first aid bag, I test and practice using everything so that when the time comes there won’t be too many surprises.

    • Dale

      I am a husband and father of 4 great kids. We live in Alabama and I was raised up hunting and fishing. I totally agree, having a survival skills is probably the most important thing. We have some prepper supplies as we are just starting but I have been taking my 15 year old son survivor camping for years now, he can make a fire, filter water, make a shelter, hunt and fish and dress them both. We talk about the what if’s all the time so I believe outside of a huge flood or asteroid I think we would make it!

  8. matt stewart

    WATER! If you dont live on a river or large body of it, your bug out plan better take you straight to it! Having a hand pump well on your property would be great, but you cant catch fish in that. Canned meat can last 10 to 15 years, get some, freezed dried food is light weight and good for the bug out, but very high dollar. Your weapons should be chosen wisely… diversify some, dont depend on one shotgun and rifle and handgun, or caliber for each, aint gonna be a gun smith at the corner. TOOLS! Not just pioneer tools, any and all will help keep you sane and alive. Toilet paper is something to stack up, that would be worth more than paper money at the right time. I’m just an ole Louisiana boy, Veteran, Biker, etc.. just remember WATER!

    • Ed Slovik

      There are civilized people in other parts of the world who consider toilet paper an abomination. They clean themselves with water. Got rags? Got soap? I don’t get many of the “preppers” fixation on toilet paper.

      • S

        For a woman it can be a bloody mess. So TP is especialy useful for us.
        And what if there wasn’t any clean water around or enough to throw away? The smell can be bad on rags and will collect bugs if not washed. Used TP can be burned or buried. So can rags, but could be quick to run out and may be needed for other things.

        Also TP can come in handy to help start a fire in emergancy situations.
        Oh yes…. easier to blow ones nose, also to plug up nose bleeds.

        • Sokedai

          Try keeping a supply of Baby Wipes on hand for hygiene needs.

      • zometimer

        Same goes with using water for toilet hygiene, an unneeded waste of water.

  9. Bill

    This talk about “bugging out” is downright unrealistic for about 98% of us. First, for most of us there is flat no place to bug out to. There will be people EVERYWHERE with the same idea unless you are in the sticks in Montana or Wyoming. Secondly, if you think you are going to leave a big city like L.A. or New York and find a safe spot nearby, forget it. You will be shot down and robbed like a dog.

    The time to get out of the cities is NOW. Establish yourself in a rural area and be prepared to defend yourself and your property. This is the best most of us can hope to do. There simply is no place to run to.

    • Shooter

      Dead on!!!

      If you decide to walk out, get shopping cart or a game hauler (bigger wheels and easier to push) or even a wheelbarrel. I am in my 60’s and cannot hump a 70 lb BOB and the weapons and ammo needed to survive a three day hike.

      We are moving out to the country and looking for a place now. Any SHTF senario of over a month means death to most people in the cities if the cities cannot be resupplied. If you have prepped, you WILL be a target and unable to fend off the attacks.

      • Ed Slovik

        I would suggest that if you’re humping or hauling a 70-lb B.O.B. you’re carrying too much crap. You need water, food/survival bars, BASIC first aid gear (not an EMT kit), knife/multi-tool, gun, sleep roll, lighter, cash/silver, and not much else in a day or weekend pack.

        Slogging around the countryside with a 70-plus pound expedition rig on your back makes you a slow, clumsy target with limited mobility. I’d rather travel light with a pistol on my hip moving fast and out of sight.

        Fire steels, axes, entrenching tools, huge Rambo knives, wind-up radios, paracord, and so many other esoteric survivalist supplies are a waste of time, money, and will slow you down if mobility and speed are needed. Bugging out in place? Probably worth having.

        Imagine as realistically as possible your bug-out scenario. No two are alike. Climates differ. Water availability could be decent to non-existent. Pack accordingly. Urban escape considerations will differ from those of a rural prepper.

        Even trade considerations are different. Will you be more likely to prosper with barter items like ammo, tobacco, etc. or will cash, silver coins grease the way.

        Have a plan. Have a Plan B. Imagine and visualize your personal experience and plan as if it will happen that way.

        • BelleCheri

          This post makes the most sense. Think of the end game. Barter items which are easy to carry: #1, tobacco. Light, legal, an addiction. Recommended. Thanks, Ed.

        • zometimer

          silver and gold?=worthless.

          Ammo, axe, water, rope, food, matches, specialized skill sets, ability to remain calm, warm clothes, skills for your climate= survival

      • Mike

        I have a 73pound bag that I designed with wheels and a aluminum frame. In it I have everything I need for my family of 5 for 3-4 days. In that bag I also have a regress bag, that has the essentials to survive like water filtration, food bars, small first aid. I it gets to tough and I have to dump the BigBOB, I will regress with the smaller one. One thing to make sure you have in your First Aid is QuickClot, I had a friend who almost died because he fell of a bike and lost so much blood from a 3″ Gash and was miles away from help.

      • kramh

        I have news for you, we that already live in the country will be targets and have to fend off attacks from you folks in the city. The largest neighborhood army will win out in the country.

        • COVERT_1

          I agree but there will be people in the country that are unprepared and will still want to survive. These people are classified as zombies. They will want what you have and will come after it at all cost. When the defication hits the air circulator, the rules change. Survival of the fittest will be the norm.

  10. Rivet

    Can’t agree more with the “Living debt free” listing. Spot on.

    • Linda

      What of all the people (like us) who have only paid off half their house. There is no way to get thousands of dollars in a short time for retirees when Obama is in charge. Do you see a time of coming back to your house. To only have to bug out for a short time while others live in your house?

  11. Mike 414

    I have a question for everyone. I am new here but I do know that if the power grid goes ten days later the nuke plants go Fukushima. So why prep when we are all gonba get lethal doses of radiation. I am not trying to start a fight just curious

    • dee

      my understanding from some of the other articles i’ve read (mostly on this site) all nuclear reactors have an emergency shut down procedure backed up by diesel generators, rather i believe the exact statement was they are supposed to have enough

      possibly they wouldnt all melt down. maybe its just closest to the site of attack, asteroid, earthquake,etc. who knows we can only speculate, hope the info was helpful

    • RegT

      Mike 414,

      You are worrying about a boogeyman that doesn’t exist. All nuclear power plants have safety measures in place to prevent a meltdown, in spite of what the hippy anti-nuclear power people would like everyone to believe.

      However, even if every one of the few remaining nuclear power plants in America were to go into full meltdown – which will never happen – it would not contaminate the entire country. Many people would still be living in areas that were unaffected. That would still shut te country down, so you would need to know how to survive without power, grocery stores, gasoline, perhaps even a source of water close by, but you could survive, and you would not be irradiated or contaminated if you stay in a safe zone.

      • LINDA

        Take a look at Chernobel or the Japanese meltdown. Sorry about spelling. If we are talking about terrorists, it has been proved that ours are not well protected. I don’t think we can throw away any threat.

    • WhoWuddaThunkIt

      Stock up on Potassium Iodide, which fills and saturates the Thyroid Gland from absorbing bad radiation. That is the largest killer of Radiation. Wherever you are, seek a deep basement or the center of a large building away from windows, stay in place for at least 2 to 3 days hunkered down. Don’t be tempted to leave just yet, or look outside. Curiosity kills the cat.. Also stay away from the ground level as that is where the Nuke fallout will settle, and rooftops, just like snow. Only time will disburse the rad levels. Also stay up wind from a blast. Down wind will travel for miles depending on the intensity of the Rads. After about 5-7 days of a single event, the majority of the radiation will diminish. Keep your food and water where you will be staying in place, alone with your Potassium Iodide tablets. Not to endorse any site but CampingSurvival has 60 day tablets for about $15 – its a no brainer. Even have tablets for your pets at lower dosages. Go to FEMA site and read their surviving a threat topics.. Be prepared so you don’t have to go to a Club-FEMA Camp. ha.

    • Hellmer

      Actually, there is more merit to this than you realize. RegT, be careful with that assumption that it’s a hippy anti-nuclear issue – it’s not. I’m a trained US Navy Nuclear Machinist’s Mate so I have some expertise on this issue.

      The issue is not the reactors melting down (they won’t) – the issue is spent-fuel pools. See, in the nuclear power generation industry, there’s nowhere for spent fuel rods to go. Yucca Mountain is at capacity (mostly, but they can only take spent fuel that’s reached a set point of radioactive stability, meaning it has to cool off for a while first); there isn’t anywhere else to put spent fuel.

      Each major production facility (nuke plant) has its own cooling facility to prepare spent fuel for transport to Yucca. Without power, the circulation pumps in those pools shut down. When water stops moving over radioactive spent fuel rods, the water heats up. When water heats up, steam is produced (or, at the very least, evaporation). This builds up pressure in the building. Air doesn’t cool very well. Ventilation fans aren’t running either. Heat continues to build and build and build, creating pressure, more pressure and more pressure.

      Eventually, by most experts’ guesses, about 5-6 days after power grid loss, the pressure gets so high that the buildings blow, releasing tons of radioactive steam, gas, and other by-products into the atmosphere. For those of you keeping track, this happened at Fukushima twice (I’m pretty sure, might’ve been 3x) after the tsunami. Those big square-looking towers with the tops blown off, about 3 days after the event? Those were cooling buildings. That’s the threat.

      Be educated about the real threats guys. NBC masks and suits aren’t a gimmick – they may save your life. Know your prevailing winds and where you are in relation to major nuclear sites. And have a steady dose of potassium iodide tablets on hand – most will need them to combat the effects of the beta particle radiation.

      • stephen

        Where can I get good reliable information on NBC suits, masks and training? And a supplier where I can purchase them?

  12. Pam

    What does SWOT stand for? Although I’ve always felt one should prepare for when SHTF, no one has ever taken me seriously. It’s nice to know I’m not the only person who wants to be prepared. It’s time to stop thinking about it, though, and START preparing.

    • Off Grid Survival

      SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

    • uninformedluddite

      They will take you very seriously if and when the SHTF as they will all know who can provide their next meal. Don’t be surprised at the behaviour of friends, relatives, and/or neighbours either as they will be like jackals fighting over a corpse/

      • Old Scouter ( BE PREPARED)

        In reply to this post : They will take you very seriously if and when the SHTF as they will all know who can provide their next meal. Don’t be surprised at the behaviour of friends, relatives, and/or neighbours either as they will be like jackals fighting over a corpse… When making preparations for when the SHTF ( also it is not a matter of if but when ) you should not be telling everyone you know, it is monle to want to help friends and neighbors. Remember your loyalty should be to yourself and your immediate family first !!! BE PREPARED

  13. Skye Milo

    Funny how much of my life up ’till now has seemed to revolve around learning survival skills. Due to a “fairly adventurous spirit” for a girl, I now know how to use weapons, shoot (well), butcher/dress animals, spin yarn, knit sweaters, stitch clothes, stitch wounds, set broken bones, chop down trees, build a wood stack, build a masonry oven, make & bake my own bread, grow veggies 12 months of the year, etc.
    One tip I have: besides all kinds of guides on survival which might come in handy, if there’s one cook book (yes, that’s right: cook book) you should get yourself it’s the Joy of Cooking. It’s fantastic in telling you what to use if you run out of certain ingredients, it has a whole section on how to butcher and dress animals, how to cook game, etc. In my view it’s the most comprehensive book out there.

    • Nola

      Thank you for the reference. I have a neighbor with chickens and I have asked him to let me know if he intends to cull. I have offered to help to learn how to process chickens. Will look into the book too.

    • COVERT_1

      I want you on my team. I and a friend of mine have built a survival team and we are just about ready for anything that comes down the pike. Key personell is our strong point as we are all mostly former military. My son inlaw is 3/4 Cherokee and can gather a 5 course meal out of the wilderness. We all cross train each other as we all have different skills. Stay safe, keep your powder dry, and watch your back trail.

  14. Red

    The subject of bugging out with kids came up during a late night discussion with my wife. We then focused out attention on the children and came up with a new plan. We are moving further out in the country to a six acre farm house surrounded by mountains. There is a national park about eight miles from our property line full of trails and shelters. Not to mention various hunting and camping supply stores. The remote location feels safer but the short hike to more shelter and supplies seems to work better for us.

    • dirtpoor


      I am new. I’ve been wanting to prep for a long while now but it has not been fiscally possible. I have my house up for sale and am doing just like Red, buying a small house (it comes with 3 acres but I am going to purchase 2 additional acres that back up to it). It is in a low density area at the base of the Appalachians, completely wooded, with a well and septic. I can butcher a chicken (I don’t like it but I can and have done it) plus I will have a miniature Jersey Cow and also a goat or two for milk, plus chickens and a pig or two. I guess my biggest question is now, that I will have the means to start actually buying supplies, what should I get first?

      • B from CA

        Hello Dirtpoor!

        It’s been a year and a half. Did you buy that additional three acres. Your comment struck a chord in me. My initial reaction was “don’t burn a hole in your pocket, hold on to your cash”. Poor people are the biggest spenders proportionately, that is relative to income. Did you also purchase all those animals? It’s not cheap maintaining livestock, is it? Do you make butter and cheese? Do you sell the excess? Up there in the Appalachian Mountains are there any old men making moonshine? That’s an excellent skill in any neck of the woods. Water purification and distillation go hand in hand. In ancient times alcohol was used as chlorine is today. I have written a short book on how to prep when you are broke.

        I’ll say this only. Don’t let your children go without shoes. Baby showers result in acquiring clothes for an infant with no thought to the eventual reality that that baby will require clothing including shoes as the baby grows. When shoes or clothing go on sale buy in your children’s present size and every larger size the item is sold. Store items according to size in airtight plastic designed for clothing storage. You may not have a lot of money. But, if you have three to five acres of land, one thing you are not is “Dirtpoor”.

        Plant fruit and nut trees. Plant perennial vegetables that continue to produce year after year as opposed to annual vegetables which need to be planted every year. You are going to be busy enough with all those animals. Make sure to plant strawberries if they grow in that area Celantro(the herb/spice) and strawberries pull Mercury from your system. And plant an apricot tree. The pit contains a seed which if eaten in small quantities, prevents and some say may even cure, cancer. A fig tree is a great addition as well. Figs are expensive because they are highly perishable. They do not ripen all at once. They are helpful in preventing colon cancer. Avocado stores on the tree without dying for up to three months when ripe. It provides fats that are essential to sustain life. As does walnut. Almonds have among other nutrients magnesium as in Milk of Magnesia. Together with your figs, you will be clean inside as well as outside. Buy trees that are not genetically modified for planting. And be sure your vegetable seeds are also Organic and nonGMO. Stock your pantry with lots of Organic spices, include Organic grains that are not glutenous such as millet and kamut as well as wheat. Learn the art of baking, cooking, fermentation, cheese making, and other useful household skills. Tools for unplugging a toilet beyond a plunger, try Home Depot. That is my advice for the first thing to buy now that you have the money. What could be more useful when the Shit Hits the fan.

  15. terminal lance

    Is there any survival scenerios for the “rapture”…i have seen every scenerio but a biblical one

    • Off Grid Survival

      Pretty sure there’s only one way to survive that one….. FAITH

    • John

      I as a Christian believe in the rapture-remember, it comes after the tribulations not before.

    • Nola

      I am veryh interested in Biblical prophesy and recomend watching the “hal Lindsey” show. it is on Daystar a few times a week,including Sun. at 11:00pm It is about Biblical prophesey as it relates to modern day occurances and politicts. It does not contain any specifics about prepping, but the warning signs of the comming tribulations and how to recognize them. The fall of the USA is not specifically predicted, but is infered. The most useful predictions mentioned are about how the world will not support Isreal. We are going down that path. I would suggest following the Mormons on this one, as they have been telling us to prepare for the fall of the gov. for some time now. I have not researched this myself, but understand that they prepare for a year of food and water against the comming appocalypse that will happen before Christ returns.

    • zometimer

      LOL! religion will be something you will have to deal with if you bug out or in. People of faith will be even more ridiculous and fanatical than they are now. Learn their rituals and understand their customs. Most north americans are christian, fairly simple to figure out.

  16. Jasper

    Where will everyone bug out to? Just outside their city? North, east, south, west,…. where? Can’t follow the herd but all will need to find a safe livable place to be…..good luck!

  17. Shootit

    Waiting until after the event to bug out is like waiting to purchase gas after Sandy. Bugging after the fact will be very difficult. We are bugged, not a perfect spot, but 70 miles from a city with pop. 200,000. 125 miles up wind from the nearest Nuke Power Plant. Our biggest threats are Tornado’s, Ice storms, and Blizzards. We have spent 5-7 days living off grid multiple times for each of those events. It was the first event that got us thinking hard about some of the items we needed. Each event has showed us holes in our preps., so we are constantly making adjustments. Bottom line: Do what you can and Trust in the Lord for the Rest.

  18. Alphamutt00

    These are great comments and ideas. There is one thing that many “preppers” don’t all realize though. I have heard many people talk about their bug out plans including taking to the mountains and other large wilderness areas near them.

    I know several folks who own land in the mountains in the north eastern part of the state. Here in south central Tennessee, where I live, lots of people say they are going to bug out to the mountains if SHTF. While that looks good on paper, the truth is there are already people in those areas that own the land and have rights to defend it. In the event hoards of people piled onto their property to use up their resources there could be problems. We all have a right to protect what is ours and the people living in the mountains, wilderness areas, and other off the grid places in our country are no different. They don’t know who is a threat and who isn’t, so it pays for them to be vigilant and aggressive with strangers in a grid-down situation.

    Just food for thought, but for those of you thinking you will just head for the hills it would be a good idea to have your own place, or the place of a friend or relative (with permission) to go to in the event things go wrong. Should you find yourself having to go through or to a place like this the best thing to do is ask permission and be courteous. Remember, those folks aren’t looking for trouble but, knowing they are targets because of their preps and resources, they will be taking security very seriously. We should each have a few different places set up to go to ahead of time in order to avoid any problems that could have been prevented. Stay safe, strong, and always alert.

  19. Ken

    hey,Alphamutt00 you have brought up a very good point with the exception that mountain people don’t tolerate strangers. And, if this is a real SHTF situation there will be really bad people trying to get what they can by what ever means. That means robbery, murder and outright group mob mentality. You had better have a skill to add to a group or no one will want you with them. Using up resources and possibly bringing disease or sickness to a group. The fact that most people can’t stand a holiday with family, let alone a survival senerio. Family will throw you under the bus pretty are smart to try and set up ahead of time to reach a pre appointed place if this situation happens.

  20. Ken

    Does anyone know If a older auto with the points type ignition would run if a EMP strike happened. I have two older vehicles that I plan to use in a leave the city situation and was curious about this ?

    • kramh

      They should run, but the roads will be clogged up with disabled cars sand trucks stuck on the road. You could be attacked at narrow bottle necks. Your car will not stop rounds fired at you. You would need steel plates for protection to get where you want to go if you have enough fuel. You will need to protect your tires.

      • WhoWuddaThunkIt

        I would have paper road maps. GPS’s if they are working will point everyone to the same choke points. Then count on a few nuckleheads throwing roofing nails on the highway, and you will see massive traffic jams, with cars with all their tires flat, and loaded down with bug out supplies. Have you back packs (BOB’s) ready in case you need to abandon your vehicle and start walking. I would suggest the least traveled route with many exit points in case you need to bail out of the main road. Or a good 4 wheel drive to navigate the medians. I suggest you prepare to leave at a minutes notice, or wait a month secured at home, till everyone else kills each other in the panic rush. Its a judgement call. You need to think about every situation that could happen from your home to your bug out location. Cache the majority of your long term goods at your bug out location, hidden. Take a bicycle and a bike trailer on your vehicle to get to your BOL, in case you need to abandon your vehicle. Have a back-up to back-up plans. May be better to travel at night.

  21. geegee

    i live in california. i have been debt free for 13 years , i have no house morgage and i do have land way out i am putting a home on it populatio 838 were i am going i have rivers and streams running through, always have a plan i live in the getto of south central los angeles and many of us are pre pared to leave make sure your kids have bug out bags at school are school requires them for every kid

  22. WhoWuddaThunkIt

    Well we all know about economic collapse, our incomes are shrinking, the dollar is becoming worth less daily, the real barter items are not gold nor silver, because that too is depreciating. The common daily items we use to make our lives more comfortable will be the high demand barter items. What would you pay for a bottle of Asprin to get rid of a chronic splitting head ache? Trade a few of those gold coins for that? I believe a massive Electric Grid Outage will have the largest impact of SHTF. Every thing as we know it, will come to a screeching halt. An EMP, Terrorist Nuke or Computer Hack can take a lot of the grid out. Are you prepared with Potassium Iodide to saturate your Thyroid gland, so no bad radiation destroys it and they rest of your body? Stock up NOW, just in case. Imagine how many gold coins people will pay for a 60 day supply of Potassium Iodide. Be the hero in your neighborhood and buy a case of it.. Yep Prepare now with Water, Lots and lots of Food, Shelter, Guns and Ammo, lots of Ammo.

  23. mcrandell

    Working on the bob’s and pretty resourceful. Gleaning what I can. TY for all the terrific tips!
    We’ll be camping on and off. Getting ready to start carrying the bobs in the trunks of the cars…we’d have to do a bit of driving then hiking. Tobacco is key for trades. The Potassium Iodide is key too. Small med kits and dried food.

  24. hot_sauce_in_the_delta

    I live in the mississippi delta this is the best place to bug out when SHTF lots of game and fish i lived here all my life and taken camping trips for weeks at a time


    • Trog

      What about Government drones spying far and wide.

  25. Trog

    As an Australian living in a wealthy country we are hundred of miles away from threats. Or so we think. The Australian Government is one of the most intrusive nanny states in the world. The media is left wing, the Politicians are lying left wingers. And the population is disarmed. We are screwed down under.America sees Australia as some sort of utopia, but it aint, its overtaxed, super expensive and corrupt. I implore Americans to fight for your freedoms and retain your gun rights. We have fallen asleep in Australia ( a dangerous thing to do considering 300 million Muslims and China is on our doorstep) Both left and right of politics collude to make gun ownership extroadinarily difficult. My family has started preparing with food and survival equipment. Australia cannot continue down the path its going something will give sooner or later. Good luck and dont take your right to self protection lightly, In Australia the criminals and Police are armed to the teeth, ordinary Australians do not, we are sitting ducks.

    • stephen

      If the world falls apart, china will storm Australia and colonize the country and extract the resources.

  26. Touchstone

    What you said is SO true Trog. Australia is the most red-taped country in the world. America, fight for your right to bear arms! There is something wrong when a government, like Australia, disarms its own law abiding citizens so they can’t defend themselves.

  27. Jim B

    Hope it never happens but I have told both my Daughters If someone touches off a nuke anywhere in the world head for home. I live in the country. They both live in large cities. Also told them on the way home pick up any non pershibable items they can get thier hands on like cookies,soup,crakers convenience store type stuff. Everyone else will be sitting on thier hands wondering what will happen next. They have (My Daugters) been told by me dont wonder just head for home. I have GNS&AMMO.

    • Deb

      How can I stop my girls from moving to a huge city?

  28. Tombs

    My missus is one of the biggest threats to mankind, I’d like to know how I can prepare myself for when she get up in the morning. Cheers.

  29. David

    Tombs – that was funny! But in all seriousness, I think people get carried away as the article points out about trying to prepare for some massively, catastrophic event, rather than something a little more realistic. This was good information just for getting people more focused again.

  30. I have found just tackling a few items on the list every week, eventually leads to being further along than a lot of others.

    Practicing some basic scenarios, or heck, even doing some camping at least gets you a little more prepared then the average joe.

  31. trucker steve

    okay i am a otr driver. i may be over a thousand miles from home when shtf. what recomendations if any do ya’ll have besides water

    • 1Bigkid

      I work about an hour from home in an outdoor environment with travel consisting of equal curvy country roads, gravel roads and interstate. When considering getting home after an event a few of the best decisions I’ve come to is to have a bug out bag in my vehicle with contents to sustain me during light travel to keep me moving. Emphasize items like the sawyer micro water filter for $20 that allows me to filter and purify water while I move instead of having to stop and build a fire etc… Also since a person in good physical condition can walk about 10 miles a day it is a plus to own a simple trail bike that can be peddled through traffic jams etc. and will greatly speed up your travel.

      I’m presuming you want to get home above but you could just as easily stay put and live out of your truck if you have a sleeper etc… Invest in a mobile solar power kit from harbor freight to keep your batteries charged as much as possible after fuel is depleted. Buy a $5 metal oil lamp/ lantern from Walmart and a few liters of lamp oil. This would heat / light a truck cab for weeks / months. Stock pile canned meat packed in oil such as tuna. Keeps for years and oil can be pushed in lantern.

      Of course before settling in to your rig try to locate it somewhere safe near a good natural water supply. Keep fishing gear on hand etc…

      If you can’t afford a solar kit maybe buy a few of those yard lights that use solar power to charge AA batteries for its light. Buy equipment that use AA batteries. Take a long time to charge but can be used sparingly.

      • 1Bigkid

        Sorry… Meant used in lantern not pushed. :-)

  32. Tifani

    Hey everyone, I am new to this world of prepping. I feel completely overwhelmed on how to get started. The list provided seems like a start. What would be considered the most important task to learn first? I live in the city, I’ve never been camping, fishing, never shot a gun. I’m completely lost. Hopefully it’s not to late.

    • AOC

      It’s never too late Tiff, I was in your shoes a few years ago. Just start slowly and go steady…as Karen Hood says “buy just one or two extra cans of the food you regularly eat every time you do groceries and date and rotate them..use the oldest first ect..” That way it isn’t too expensive and it is useful even if SDHTF. It’s easy to get into, Just read the SAS survival guide and watch some Woods Master Videos and you’re all set to start. It is not something that you learn all at once. Practice makes perfect…practice whenever you can…practice starting fires (with spark, flame and friction), making different knots and how you would use them (reef, hitch, bowline ect)..get your hands dirty practice snares and stalking prey, food preservation, wild edibles ect. Slowly learn everything you can about medicine, food, defense and you will be fine…Life is 10% what happens and 90 % how you react to it.


      • stephen

        First aid course

  33. David D.

    One of the things I have done is to download apps from Itunes onto my Iphone. Example- Army Survival manual, air force survival manual, weather channel,wiki how, berries & herbs,flashlight, rec cross first aid, police scanner and a gps. All apps were free. They may come in handy as long as I can use the phone. I am also a 23 yr army vet, 15 yr scout leader, marksmanship instructor and certified archery instructor. Ii live in the MS delta.

  34. duce

    what good is an education if you dont apply it. what you dont know could kill you. so what these people are saying is knowledge is power in times of despair. armed with nothing but knowledge, and surviving the longest. skills that can find food water weapons shelter and avoidance when threatened.

  35. Bev

    It’s like anything we learn; just take baby steps and you’ll get there! There are still lots of things I feel I need, but I try ti just keep at it. I also have to consider that I’m handicapped,live alone and am not young any more. We all have to take into consideration what our own situation is first and then move forward.

  36. Kevin hudson

    I live in North ms 100 miles from the nearest large city I’ve been prepping for years I have chickens hogs cows fish ponds two large creeks with dams on my property barns and a shop filled with tools and underground facilities . I’ve installed solar power at my shop which also has living quarters . I’ve stored food seeds I’ve built an electric tiller with solar recharging .I have wood and natural gas for heating and cooking and convection a/c at my shop medical suplies spare parts for my jeep ham radio and I still add somthing every week plus a WELL stocked arsenal . I ain’t bugging out nowhere !!!!

  37. FaithDownSouth

    I am new to the site and unprepped. I am a single mother and I do not have a lot of money. I feel that its coming – a SHTF situation. And I am overwhelmed. I need to be prepared to take care of my 9 yr old and myself. My mother who is 65 and father who is 55 live about 15 miles from us. We are located in the panhandle of northwest Florida. Surrounded by water and military bases. I feel if we were bombed we would be hit first. But if it were a power grid situation, maybe it would be easier to get to my Mom and Pops. They have guns and ammo. Their neighborhood is prepped to some extent. My neighborhood is mostly military and family. I know the land. We are close to a couple cities but far enough out to not be in immediate danger. Bridges would have to be passed by city people to get out here. I have been through every hurricane that has hit the Gulf Coast in the last 40 years…never left and survived up to two weeks with no power…on my own then. After reading all the posts and the article, my first step is buying potassium iodide tablets, Sawyer Micro Water Filter, source of solar lighting powered by AA batteries with a solar charger(?), canned food (note expiration date rotations), medicines, 1st Aid class, learn how to start a fire, know how to tie knots and when to use them, have fishing gear, know herbs and uses, basic tools, radio, read & learn, what else??? Like I said I am new to this. But I know I need to start preparing.

    • dewey barnes

      Faith, hey relax a bit and realize where you are at, resources you already have at your disposal. I live in Pensacola, and the entire woods around this area and Alabama are completely edible, you can just about look everything you need up online, great books out there. Do not panic, its a killer, fear is a good motivator though. Start small, look for others near you that have skills, also as far as making fires, things like that there are so any resources out there, online, books on amazon, survival card decks, edible plants card decks, make it a game for you and your child …..

  38. Mary Ellen

    I’ll soon be 70, need a knee replacement, and don’t get around very good anymore. I won’t be able to bug out, and I’m sure there are many others like me. I live in the city, in an apt. complex highest floor. I imagine everyone will have the same ideas you post on this site. How can any one place be safe, really? If the enemy wants you, they’ll sure find you, using infra-red lights for those hiding in the woods, don’t you think? Maybe the safest thing to do would be hold down wherever you happen to be, for several weeks, until things become a little safer. With everyone panicking, the enemy will know exactly where to look for you. The only thing I know to do, given my circumstances, and with no place to go, is to store up on water, canned/freeze-dried food, lanterns, matches, potassium iodide pills, baby wipes, the usual first aid stuff, won’t name them all, and stay inside, off the streets. But that is pretty scary, in itself. People will go crazy and do anything to obtain water or food when things shut down/close. I wonder if they will bust in my door. That is a possibility, I think, and I cannot defend myself. Any other suggestions for this type situation? I’ve heard the gov. will be checking for hoarders, and if they are found, they will take every bit of the things you stored for survival. Really, no one will be able to trust Anybody during a time like this. People will turn against each other. It will be crazy, to say the least. We won’t even recognize this world. Sure, I could shoot somebody if they force their way in, but really…I’ll just get shot back, anyway, against a mob. Please tell me the best I can do in a situation like this. I am trying to prepare. Not freaking out. Just trying to survive like everyone else. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. I’m still trying to figure out how I could cook safely without electricity. Need help on that.

    • Enter your name...marge

      Sounds like you’ve thought of a lot. At the end of the day all you can do is your best. Unless you have means of relocating out of the city now, maybe a relative in the country? Or gardening skills? Sewing? Something like that might be welcomed with like minded folks you could reach out to. Just a thought. Good luck. We’re all just doing what we can, nobody knows the future.

    • Marge

      As for cooking I’ve got a Sterno stove with several Sterno cans. Pretty easy to set up, but it’s basically good to heat up thinks like soup or water. If you have a balcony get yourself a grill. Some apartments don’t allow grills but I’d get one anyway, even if it’s just a small one that uses charcoal., which would be easier and safer to store than propane. My dream item is a solar cooker. If you can swing that (about $400) you can use it whenever it’s sunny. That would depend a lot on your climate though. Check them out online.

  39. Dewey Barnes

    Sir, I like the article, one thing though, I know you talked about SHTF w/kids…..myself personally wont leave y dogs behind, cats go feral and can fend for themselves….what is your take on that???? thank you.

    • Greg house

      I love my dogs too, and would welcome them with me, I would also eat them both if I had too! Not as a hunger pain, but as a starvation preventer

  40. Chamele0n

    Good article. Many great comments. If you survive the initial event of any SHTF scenario, your biggest long term threat will be other people. For this reason, the most important prep in my opinion is a remote property that is easy to defend. All other preps will be much safer, you greatly reduce your need to bug out, and you don’t need to transport your preps with the Golden Herd roaming around. One other very important thing that is not mentioned much is the need to psychologically prepare for the wide scale death and gore that will occur. You need to be prepared to commit violence without a thought because hesitation will get you killed. Bodies could lie in the streets for a long time. Packs of dogs will eat them. Cities could easily burn when fire departments are defunct. There will be little to no law. Gangs will rape and pillage. Be prepared to see, hear, and smell death first hand. Remember, if SHTF, it will be worse than you can imagine.

  41. kingbach

    You all tactishits

  42. Thor Valhalla

    Good article . Preparedness and awareness are really important to secure our lives . Pampering kids will reduce trauma. thanks for the additional info.

  43. Too Sad

    I think it is a wise thing to find out where there are food pantries close to where you live. It could save your life and the stranger who wanders into your area looking for food. Instead of shooting him/her, direct him/her to the pantry. I’m thinking about this because I was well acquainted with several in the city I left, but I don’t know the where abouts of one where I’m currently residing. I was admiring a freeze dryer for home use but it cost’s five thousand dollars. A substantial investment I can’t justify. However, I am considering, after some deliberation, should I take the information to a local church and make the suggestion that they make the purchase and give them a small donation toward that end. I’ld probably through in a bag of beans as well. It’s partly altruism on my part as I really am a good ol soul, or a sucker, depending how you look at it. But mostly it’s the way I view survival. The more we can do now to prepare for economic collapse or what have you, the better off me and my loved ones will be. At least it gives us a little more time before we have to defend what we may or may not have. I believe in taking care of self first, family second, friends third, and the neighbors fourth. After the neighbors comes the rest of the people in my vicinity. People call it community but I don’t like that word much. Strangers who live near by. I’m not particularly friendly. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to have to refuse someone I’ve befriended. It would be a blessing and some relief if I knew that the entire “community” was at least doing something toward prevention. I guess it’s out of the question but it sure would be nice.

  44. Kenny in Virginia

    Looking for preppers in NRV of Virginia. Meet at Radford, Va. Library 2nd and 4th Saturdays each month. Exchange ideas, practice skills.

  45. Howard

    If you have a deer cart of some kind figure out how to attach it to a pack frame back pack or harness that way your hands are free that’s what I’ve done you can put your gear and small children on it to bug out

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