The Aftermath: Preparing for Post Disaster Problems

Check out any survival or prepper website, and I can guarantee you’ll find all sort of articles on prepping for disasters and what to do when a disaster strikes. Unfortunately, one important aspect is often overlooked, even by many of the so-called experts: How to prepare for Post-Disaster Problems.

What about the Aftermath?

While prepping for disasters is an important topic, one that we’ve covered numerous times here on OFFGRID Survival, you need to start putting some thought into what will happen and what you’ll do in the aftermath of a disaster.

What problems might you face post Disaster?

Living for an extended time without Utilities

A downed powerline and transformer after a storm

Once the main disaster dangers subside, a whole new set of challenges is likely to pop up. One of those challenges could be a total loss of utilities. Whether it’s damage to the power grid from a storm or natural disaster or a more serious problem like a terror attack or EMP attacks that causes long-term damage to the grid, you must be prepared to survive for an extended period of time without access to public utilities.

What does that mean?

  • You need to be prepared to live without electricity for weeks, maybe months. After Hurricane Sandy, communities throughout the Northeast went without power for weeks, and in some areas, power was not restored for months because of the overwhelming damage to local infrastructure.
  • Water, water, and then some more water! You need to plan for the possibility that your water could become undrinkable for some time. Make sure you have at least two weeks’ worth of emergency water on hand at all times — more if you have space.
  • You need to have a Sanitation Plan. Think about it, if something goes wrong with your local water and sewer infrastructure, sanitation is going to be a huge issue, one that could kill more people than the initial disaster.
  • You need to have ways to cook your food. Without electricity or gas, do you have methods to prepare your emergency food stockpiles?

Resources to overcome this problem:

Living for an extended period of time without a grocery store.

Looting in a grocery store after a natural disaster

Depending on the disaster, there is a good chance local delivery services could be disrupted. Since most grocery stores no longer have local warehouses and depend on complex computer systems to manage their daily deliveries, anything from a power outage to road closures could wipe out your local store shelves in a matter of hours.

Most stores only have a three-day supply on hand at any given time; once people realize a disaster is imminent, supplies will be wiped out quickly. The recovery timeline for grocery disruptions after disasters can vary widely, ranging from days to weeks or even months, depending on the severity of the disaster and the extent of damage to the supply chain infrastructure

Preparing for Post-Disaster Violence

People Looting and burning down a building

This is a big one! Today’s world is becoming increasingly unstable; every time you turn on the TV, it seems like some group is protesting something, taking to the streets to create chaos and fear, or burning down their own neighborhoods to push some ridiculous social agenda.

If you think things are bad now, just wait until you see what happens in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster. These same groups are going to be looking to take advantage of the situation; throw in the unprepared masses who failed to prepare for disasters, and you have a recipe for chaos.

Listen, we live in a world where even during the good times, chaos seems to rule the day. Just look at what happened in Baltimore and Ferguson, and then consider how in the last year there have been multiple people who have targeted and killed police officers simply because they were cops. What do you think these people, who are already mentally unbalanced, are going to do when the shit hits the fan?

Things you need to consider:

  • People are going to be desperate; even your “normal” neighbors could become a threat once they realize they don’t have what it takes to survive.
  • Criminals are going to be roaming the streets looking for easy victims. You need to know how to defend yourself!
  • Social unrest is not just a possibility, in today’s world, it’s almost a guarantee. You need to be ready for looting and rioting, especially if you live in an urban setting.
  • Home break-ins are going to skyrocket. One of the biggest problems during events like Hurricane Sandy and Katrina was people breaking into homes to steal whatever they could find. Many criminals though it would be easy pickings because so many homes were left vacant after the evacuations; for those that stayed behind, the threat was very real and in some cases very deadly.

What you need to do:

If you want to dig deeper into this topic, a large portion of my book, The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide: Self-Reliance Strategies for a Dangerous World, deals with these issues. I dedicated an entire section to dealing with violence and the criminal threat.

Preparing for threats from your government.

Police confiscating firearms and raiding homes during Hurricane Katrina

First off, since some people are a little sensitive these days, let me say this is not political; it’s reality. The simple fact is, once things go bad governments at every level are going to be a threat to your safety and security.

From incompetent government emergency planners, who seem to make every disaster so much worse, to scarier situations like gun confiscations, travel restrictions, mandatory curfews, and martial law, you need to be aware of the steps your government will take in response to threats.

  • Don’t wait for the government to issue an evacuation order, by that time it’s usually too late.
  • Don’t trust everything they say. They may have a fancy title, but in my experience with emergency planners, most are more worried about their cushy federal jobs than they are saving people.
  • Be prepared for chaos! Just look at how the government responds to disasters that they know are coming, they usually make things even worse.
  • Be prepared for crackdowns on your liberties.

The most important thing is to have a plan. Having a plan to deal with these post-disaster threats can help minimize most of them and can assist in ensuring the safety of those you love.

Shirts of Liberty

OFFGRID Survival book



  1. I don’t know if they are available, a bug out bag that is also a life preserver or flotation device. Seems it would come in mighty handy in an area that floods.

    • HI B (From CA)

      Have a look for backpacks that are also dry bags…There are a few yachting companys that make them and i know some of my mates who do white water rafting and canyoning here in New Zealand use them…They are super strong very waterproof and float very well too…I have a 30l one i always use when i sail offshore…so google, them or even look at Amazon as well…If you get stuck let me know and ill try help you out..Regards W

  2. A barbecue, charcoal, and wood and an old fashion percolator. A large mortar and pestle to grind the beans. And a hand held mill to grind wheat berries into flour. In the country, it will be a lot different than in the city. Either way, instead of fearing how bad people will behave, it is better to start making alliances with neighbors now, so you can help each other when the bad times come. When FEMA shows up just tell them; “No thanks, we’ve got it covered”. Ha

  3. Great advice!!
    I would also like to add the question of the local prison population. How far are all detention facilities from your homestead? How long after each disaster before the prisons empty?
    Refer to the clips after “I Am Legend” on the DVD . . . all pertain to disaster scenarios . . one specifically to EMP and prison population . . .
    I’ve not seen this addressed anywhere so far.
    I, personally, am sitting in a hot spot in the center of three prisons!!!

  4. My advice is to relearn the skill set of the rural Americans of the 19th /early 20th Century … Make a conscience decision if you are going to be viewed as predator or prey.. We are just 9 meals from Anarchy and 90 from Cannibalism…Think I’m joking or over reacting .. I guarantee that before 30 days is up people will be eating people … Just a historical Fact ..

    • I agree, everyone should study survival skills while the grid is up and the computers are on!
      Better yet, print off all the articles you can about everything you can think of and start a library so you will have this information when SHTF happens.
      I’ve started my own and also started stock piling building materials, food, ammo, medical supplies, ect..
      Time to get busy folks!

  5. Already started my library, leaning the “old” skills, and fortifying home while looking for secondary location.

  6. Already started my library, learning the “old” skills, and fortifying home while looking for secondary location.

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