SHTF Survival: 10 Disturbing Threats That You’re Probably Not Ready For

SHTF Situation

When planning for a SHTF Survival situation, there is really only one thing that you can be absolutely sure of: Survival is going to be a much bigger and tougher challenge than you ever thought possible. While there are some things you can do to prepare yourself for the chaos ahead, the reality of the situation is that when things go bad, there are going to be things happening that none of us prepared for or could have ever imagined.

What is SHTF?

SHTF has multiple survival meanings, but the acronym itself means Shit Hits The Fan. The meaning is pretty straight forward, but basically, it’s just a prepper/survivalist’s way of saying that during a long term survival crisis or collapse of society things are going to get bad, real bad! How bad none of us really know, and what dangers we will face is only speculation at this point, but one thing we do know for sure is that most people have no real clue to the dangers they will face during a collapse scenario.

Prepping for SHTF Scenarios

It’s not hard to imagine things going bad during a long-term disaster or collapse situation; all you have to do is look at how quickly things turn south during normal yearly disasters to get a sense of how bad things could get. Even during somewhat predictable events like summer storms, flooding and hurricanes we see a large section of the population turn desperate. From people who failed to prepare totally losing their shit in the grocery store when they find the shelve empty to the assholes who take advantage of every disaster to hit the streets looting and attacking innocent civilians, you can find plenty of examples that should at least get you thinking of what you need to be prepared to face.

10 Realistic SHTF survival situations that most people Don’t Prepare or Plan for!

While many of the threats you will face can be easily predicted by looking at recent events, we wanted to look at some very likely SHTF scenarios that very few think about, and almost nobody prepares for. These are threats they may present themselves during short-term disasters, but in all likelihood, these threats will be the ones that start to pop up during those extreme long-term situations where people lose hope and become desperate.

SHTF Law Enforcement Issues

Fake Police Officers

1. No Law Enforcement

During an extreme SHTF scenario, it is very likely that law enforcement and emergency responders will be pretty hard to find; in fact, I would go even further and say that they will become nonexistent. Even during small-scale disasters, law enforcement officers often leave to take care of their own families first. When things go bad (empty grocery stores, no utilities, mass riots, violence, etc.) you are more than likely going to have to defend and take care of yourself.

2. Fake Law Enforcement

In a SHTF Scenario, you need to be on the lookout for everything including people impersonating law enforcement and military personnel. During a catastrophic event, you will most likely see criminals preying on the innocent by pretending to be either police, firefighters, emergency personnel, or military officers. In fact, almost every time a natural disaster hits we see criminals posing as some type of first responder in order to gain easy access to areas where they can then take advantage of the situation and loot homes and businesses.

You have to be able to quickly determine who are the real law enforcement officers or be prepared to stay away from people at all costs.

3. Law Enforcement and the Military Will Try to Take Your Guns.

Think it can’t happen? It already has!

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass ordered all local law enforcement, including the U.S. Marshalls office and the National Guard, to seize all civilian firearms.

Without warrants, armed National Guard troops and New Orleans law enforcement officials forcibly confiscated over 1,000 legal firearms from law-abiding citizens. The New Orleans gun confiscation should serve as a warning to how the government and law enforcement officials will react during a large-scale national disaster.  

It’s very high on the probability list that they will come for your guns!

SHTF Personal Safety Issues

Safety Threats from Looters

4. Gangs & Raiders

When things go bad, there will likely be more people who mean to do you harm than there will be people who are prepared. This is something that you must accept and learn to deal with. The fact is, most people have no idea what it really takes to survive, and once their safety net is removed, they will become increasingly desperate and unpredictable. Even your once jolly neighbor will become a threat when he is faced with surviving without knowledge or supplies.

Let’s face it, even during the good times there’s a certain segment of our population that’s just downright insane. From the idiots who go nuts and riot after their team loses a game to the violent criminals and gangs who are already terrorizing big cities throughout America, there’s little doubt that a total collapse will make urban living almost impossible.

5. You need to be able to Defend Yourself.

During an extreme emergency situation, the lunatics of the world are going to be roaming the streets looking for easy victims to target.  If you’re serious about survival, you need to train yourself in multiple self-defense styles and techniques. This means arming yourself with not only weapons but also with the knowledge of how to defend yourself without them.

These are things you should be doing now to ensure you can protect yourself during a SHTF situation:

SHTF Sanitation Issues

Garbage in the streets

6. Garbage will become a Killer.

This is another survival topic that’s not often thought about or discussed, but it’s one that will probably become one of the biggest problems you will face during any long-term disaster situation. If the gangs and criminals don’t get you, the real danger might actually come from something that you already have in your home: GARBAGE!  

You need to have a serious plan on how to deal with it and how to make sure your general sanitation doesn’t become a threat. Check out our article on how to deal with Garbage during a SHTF disaster.

7. You have to Stock up on Sanitation Items

When planning to survive a long-term disaster or collapse, one thing that’s often overlooked is the danger associated with a lack of adequate sanitation. It’s certainly not a pleasant thing to think about, but this one issue has the potential to kill more people than any other survival issue we can talk about.

Even today, because of liberal policies that are destroying big cities throughout our country, we are starting to see Medieval diseases reemerge because of unsanitary living conditions in homeless and immigrant populations in these urban hell holes. In fact, in California multiple disease outbreaks are running through these populations including Typhus.

Mental & Physical Health Issues

Mental Health during Survival Situations

8. Maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude during a Survival Situation

The ability to maintain a positive mental attitude during a survival situation is something that needs to be taken seriously. It’s also something that you need to start working on now, before disaster strikes.

Making it through a survival scenario often comes down to how well you can control your emotions. Keeping a positive frame of mind in the face of an unthinkable threat will help you process what’s happening and will help you respond to the situation without giving into fear.

9. You must be prepared to face a number of physical and mental challenges.

From dealing with a lack of sleep and inadequate hydration to coping with hunger pains and other stressors, survival can take a huge toll 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 to survive. This means motivating yourself to get off your butt and get in shape before it’s too late.

SHTF Communication Issues

10. You will be cut off from the outside World.

In a survival situation, knowledge is going to be a critical factor in determining the ultimate outcome of your situation. The ability to be able to predict what will happen during a survival situation is an important part of being prepared and often comes down to your ability to send and receive information.

When the power lines go down, and the radio stations stop transmitting, there’s one line of communication that will still be alive and well.  

Having a good Multiband Ham Radio will allow you to send and receive critical emergency information during a disaster. It’s also a great way to find alternative news sources from around the world.

Shirts of Liberty
The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide

214 Comments

  1. Good points! I’m a water treatment plant operator and have already begun planning for a loss of that ability. I did not however even contemplate garbage or the loss of sewer! Both which would no doubt be gone in any type of catastrophe.

    • Some people think about work, social governments, laws so forth…….forget ’bout it. Buy yer food, weps and meds. The law enforcement taking of guns only works if there is a base of operations that has resources, if the country crash that will not happen. You may have some local gunsmoke sheriff, mayor or so on thaT DEEMS they know best, the law of man won’t matter at that point for the first 6 months to a year, it will be everyone for themselfs. The cleaning up of bodies, and anything else that is not related to hunkering down, and waiting for the roits and mobs to wipe out most people would be foolish. I figure anyone you run into after 6 months is a bad MOFO or very stealthy to not be taken down or joining of a gang. You have to wait and protect yourself and forget ’bout it.

      • Actually, Dan, the govt made weapons confiscation a priority in the immediate aftermath of hurricane Katrina. They (national guard) stormed folks homes, took their guns and had the audacity to tell the people, “you don’t need these, you have us” and I also heard, “you trying to make trouble? only criminals have guns, so you are a criminal.” Others were just shot, point blank, jerks didn’t even hesitate. Yes, Law Enforcement WILL come and try to take folks guns. Go out in your yard, dig a hole for an outhouse, and then go into your home’s crawlspace and hide at least one gun and the ammo for it. Better safe than sorry.

        • I was a National Guards man at Katrina. I was also at the meeting when we put a stop to it! It was the National guard that ended the illegal gun confiscation. It was also on of the key moments in history that brought the 2012 Supreme Court decision of the “Posse Comitatus Act”. The US Government is full of checks and balances. One of which is the Nation Guard against the Federal Army. That was the moment when “Big Army remembered that they don’t control us. That is why an active duty army infantry from the 3erd IN Div. is on permanent quick reaction force in the US. And they have been used. The guard is made up of your neighbors and peers. They will probably be one of your best allies in a crises, make friends now. The Guard may be the only Government entity, including the Police, I’ve been around that doesn’t have an us against them attitude, and I’ve been around a lot. We had quite a few people coming up to us saying, thank god you’re here. They felt like they needed help and protection from the local police and fed agencies, and for the greater part they did. Katrina will be remembered in history for a lot more than being a hurricane.

          • Adam is absolutly correct, the National Guard will follow the laws of the land and that means the US Constitution and The Bill of Rights. We all swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemys forigen AND domestic. There will be no confiscation of weapons from lawful citizens. Your National Guard lives in your community and are far more attached to the local community then Federal Law or Regular Army. With that said, the Reqular Army WILL NOT violate the Bill of Rights or Constitution either. The Army is the guardian of your freedoms regardless of whether its Federal, National Guard or Army Reserve.

          • I commend you guys for keeping true to the oath of service that we all took when we signed on for service.. I also thank you for you service and time…

            I do have a question as you have lived the choice to decide to either uphold the constutition or ingor it.. im wondering how the NDAA will play into future choices..?

          • Thanks for all you did for us during that time. I was one of the many truck drivers during that time that was bringing in fuel. I was actually told not to come back without a weapon. And I took that warning seriously.

          • Good for you. Am proud of those who remember the oath we took, I am veteran, I know what is coming and am proud of those who are willing to serve the people not a tyrant government.

          • Thank you!!! I am from Indiana and had 3 of my friends leave to help. I have heared the horrer stories.I know it was really bad. After 2 days we left with our pantoon boat to help. I am glad you said something so I did not have to.

          • Adam
            Hats off to you sir
            You are so correct. What’s odd is so many people do not understand even the basics of government and so easily so thoughts giv is bad, military is bad, police are bad. It’s rediculous. Thank God every day people for our NATIONAL Guard. THEY GUARD OUR NATION. They are NOT ran by our normal military branches and they ARE AND WOULD BE people like neighbors and friends etc. What a story Adam. It needs to be told as I have not heard how that all happened. You need to contact a local TV producer and tell them you have a incredible true story and almost anyone would immediately recognize how interesting that story would be. Or better yet call the NRA. and tell them your story. Or American Hunter magazine.
            I am a police officer and we all cringe at the bad cops and actually hate them more then the public does. Our dept would NOT agree to Any order by anyone to compensate guns There are entire movements by law enforcment to join together to make that intention clear.
            Here is the irony. People who talk out their butt are actually PRODUCING the disinformation which will become the trigger to anarchy. How ? By spreading crap just like the article Adam from our National Gaurd responded to. You see all the preppers etc that are mentally preparing to shoot anyone walking down the street or any law enforcment or national Gaurd THEY WILL BE THE ONES THAT GIVE THE REASON TO BIG GOVERNMENT TO GET THE GUNS. I think a time is coming to when SHTF but the tragedy will be the millions of normal people who will want and need help who wouldn’t kill you or rape your wife etc if you were to offer them something to eat or shelter etc. If anarchy happens it will be a result of cleverly planned schemes from our enemies abroad or hidden cells in our own givernment but what they KNOW THEY CANT BEAT is the AMERICAN SPIRIT ! They know they CANT beat us if we ban together, take care of one another instead of kill each other. Figure out how to put back structure and law and order vs how to bunker down and kill anyone who knocks on your door. The sad part is most of the real men in America are at a age now where they are no longer here. Instead we have what better resemble punks or thugs or maybe best said as wimps who in great time of national crises will only know how to think of themselves. America is losing because we are eating ourselves from within. We have fallen for the fear. We have believed the lies and all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to DO NOTHING and that’s exactly where we have been for a very long time.
            Go ahead and prep. It’s something we all should do but guard your mindset. Prepare NOW for how you will think when it happens and be intentional about it and realistic. Put some back for others or at a min be willing to share something when the 35 year old father and mother with 3 young children are walking down the road being threatened by others and hungry. What will you do when the father desperately needs to do something for his wife and children ? Shoot him ?
            The bunker down mentality is WHAT THEY WANT and they almost have it all where they need it for us to finish ourselves off. They CANT DO IT but it’s not just because we have a right to bare arms. It would be because we have that right AND the same American Christian spirit our fore fathers had. We need the HEART that made us great. Make no mistake about it
            Get on board. Tell others. Spread the truth

          • I know your comment about the gun confiscation during Katrina is two years old but as a US Marine I’m glad somebody had the integrity to stop seizing the guns. We took an oath the uphold and defend the constitution and it really pisses me off when I see military or law enforcement violating people’s rights like they did in Katrina. Semper Fi.

          • Adam, I always thought the National Guard stayed in the States as a defense for the citizens here in the States. Why, then, are they being deployed overseas?

          • Thanks for that info: that makes you fill better at least we have the guard that will help us. How do you go about getting to know guard members from your local erea ? Please give me some insite.

          • I served a total of 25+ years in the military – active, reserves, Guard and State Defense Force – so appreciate the sentiment here of never firing on the community from which Guard members come. However, one of the potential problems from Federal disaster planning is that element of the “plan” to federalize Guard elements in one State, say Georgia, to put down civil disturbances or to “aid” in disaster relief in another State, say Missouri, where there would be no community bond. While Guardsmen are local, most of Guard assets and property in any given State are Federal property, including weaponry. It might stretch Federal assets in a densely Guard-participating State like Alabama (AL Guard at one time was considered to constitute the 10th largest army in the world), but the Federal forces could be empowered to seize all their assets and property, effectively disarming a non-conforming State Guard. Many States have an official, though unarmed, State Defense Force (another community-based force) under the State Governor, subject to no Federal control. While many of their members are veterans of one or another of the military branches, many have no more than very basic training in military courtesy, drill and ceremonies, proper dress, and Army-style Common Tasks. So, when you reach out to Guard members, reach out also to your local State Defense Force – maybe enlist, get some training, meet local like-minded folks, get an idea of what your State disaster planning may entail. When SHTF, we are all in this together.

          • Adam, it truly was a privilege to read your comment. Thank you for your service, a real hero protecting the people. Hats off to you sir, and all the brave men&women standing up for We The People.

          • I spent 6 years in the Nebraska National Guard. and the remaining 28 years in the Army reserving training troops for desert storm etc. Knowing what we know now, I do;t believe the vast majority of reserve troops will try to disarm the public similar circumstances. I don;t know aything about these regular army folks

        • heather that will only work if folks allow it. yes many were taken after katrina but there was a choice they could have fought back. and after katrina most of the military vowed to never again follow an unlawful order to take folks guns. now you will as has been said have some who feel they know best but many have become oathkeepers as i am. this list includes many sheriffs and police along with many from the military. we have sworn to uphold our oath to defend our nation from all enemies both foreign and yes EVEN DOMESTIC WHICH WOULD INCLUDE ANY WHO TRY AND CONFISCATE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS.

          • well! PRAISE GOD ! I am so glad to read the comments from our National Guardsmen — I know and work with the Guard here is SC – GOOD MEN who vow to protect the rights of Americans to bear arms. shoot – even my local Sheriff, deputies and local police all tell me how glad they are that I and people like me are ARMED!
            and to comment regarding hiding guns – I’ve noticed lately that when I purchase ammo – I am required to show and ID ! I cannot believe this is happening in our once great Republic. We have all been asleep…

          • I was there also with the WA National Guard. We stayed at the convention center then later stayed at the Methodist Hospital. We never did any gun confiscation at least not the 81st BCT I have no idea what units were taking firearms.

          • I too am a Christian & have “the Faith”, however, the Lord will be VERY busy during a SHTF situation wherein we must remember; “The Lord helps those that help themselves” & “Faith is worthless without works.”
            In this “situation” your DUTY as Americans is to study & understand the Amendments as per the US Constitution & remember, from experiance, our Police &/or Government DON’T!!
            WE are the Government. Our Elected “Representatives” will be gone like the rats on a sinking ship.

          • That’s what I’ve been trying to tell people who try to paint all P.D. with the same colors as the bad cops. There are MANY oath keepers in the ranks but they keep quiet. They have to.

          • To Zerod
            Sir you need to read your Bible if you are going to so boldly proclaim it as no where does it say God helps those who helps themselves. As per what you say about the police you are also wrong. You make a grave major mistake of riding a wagon made up of the bad cops yet they truly are a minority Most cops are cops because we have a deep inner desire to protect and serve not beat up innocent civilians etc etc. There are bad in every group but since you like catchy phrases how about ” one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole group” or ” don’t throw baby out with bath water ”
            Just please be careful throwing around Christ name and saying you have the faith. Be sure you know how His ambassador should act

          • With the qualifications of our current candidates, SHTF may come in surprising forms. Getting and maintaining a support group of preppers, friends, club or church members will be vital, in addition to being prepared physically and financially. Think USFIRST, instead of mefirst! Tribe/community/county/state/nation.

        • most likly they will check the crawl space, after all it is a common hideaway spot,I would recommend hiding them in a wall or underground or in an air duct(just be sure to put the gun in a bag so it wont rust,also you do not want gun cleaning supplies or anything else related to guns lying around because then they will know that you have a gun.)GOD bless America!

          • PVC pipe will hole a lot and you can bury it anywhere in the yard. Just glue a hard cap on one end and a screw cap on the other end. You can hide weapons, ammo, and supplies with little work.

        • I agree with author and Dan….prepare now and don’t rely on anyone (police, FEMA, etc). Law enforcement personnel have lives too and they will be looking after themselves; who would leave their wife and kids flapping in the wind?

        • Your are right. Only keep what you need to in your house. Extras should be stashed. In more than one place if you can afford it.

        • Then I will kill them first. try and take my lawfully held weapons and I don’t what side of the law a person is on, they’re dead.

          • The minute you kill them you become a criminal and they have cause to take your guns, silly man. How about not advertising you have guns, online here, and think of a better way to deal with that “knock on the door”. I have a decoy weapon I will hand over. Others are hidden/no easily available…no ammo in sight. If I put up a little fuss about handing over my decoy they might (probably will, they have a lot to do) just take it and mark my door as “searched”. Just something to consider. I kinda like the thought of my door marked as “searched” so they don’t come knocking again.

        • All good points, however….Katrina was a localized event. If there is a national event, most of any police force and/or guard will be attending to their own families…not supporting the result of a corrupt government or new world order…

          • Tina Holaday, the National Guard is a state’s resource, yes, but the state governor may “loan” them to the Federal DOD for deployments overseas. Most of the time, when a National Guardsman is deployed, their deployment term is much shorter than their Regular component counterparts. It depends on how much money is in the budget to pay for it. The reason for this is real-world exposure is a much more powerful on-the-job training tool than the simulations and scripted scenarios that formal training is usually comprised of. By the way, I was active duty, as was my husband (we are both recently retired), and not one military soul that I have ever known would follow an unlawful order such as confiscating legally owned weapons. I’m. It saying there aren’t those that would, there are criminals, even in the military. I’m just saying it’s a very small number. Not the majority.

        • I think, if I understood correctly what Dan was saying. He means after a real catastrophe like an attack on our country like an EMP or other such thing, there will be no attempt to take weapons because they will be too busy trying to figure out how to get themselves up and running again. It would be foolish for them to think they could pull off a gun confiscation with no backup. They would be slaughtered by the very people whom they are trying to disarm. They would be better served by trying to organize the armed populace to protect the resources they have got.

        • Gun confiscation might be feasible in a small scale localized disaster but not a long term national disaster they don’t have the resources the government is not coming to take your stuff they’re not coming to help you they’re just not coming they’re going to be too busy worrying about their own family and recources

        • Try and take my guns and I will kill those that attempt to do so…even if they are law enforcement. Why you ask? Because: 1) the act of confiscation of weapons is illegal, 2) fighting an illegal act is not illegal and 3) I spent too long in the military (20+ years) protecting the constitution to sit on my ass and watch as weapons (protected by the same constitution) are confiscated. I say BRING IT!!!!

      • If they come and try and confiscate my guns they are dead………I will not under any circumstances relinquish my means of self defense.

    • I work at a sewer plant and we’re prepared only as much as most sewage in our town flows downhill…we have a few pump stations out in the system and generators for each but how long will that work?

      • One of the sanitation horrors is that low lying homes might have their toilets flood backwards as pumping stations cease operation. There’s a valve you can get if you live in a place that’s below the magic mark, it seals your sewer line to prevent the backwards flow. But yeah, you could wake up to find your on-the-grid home uninhabitable.

        I’m sure some folks here know more about it.

        • It is referred to as a “back-flo preventer” and it’s usually a simple one day install. If they install it inside they go through the floor, dig down to the discharge pipe, cut into it, attach the check valve, and cover it up, with a small access pipe sticking up with a cover.

          • AFP is taalking about a permanent installation. My idea is for a quick fix during a crisis, but it still requires pre-planning. The backflow shouldn’t be under a lot of pressure, but the inflatable plug can be reinforced by wood block bracing after installation to precvent backflow from pushing it out of the pipe. Sewage in your house and no running water to clean it up with would be a huge problem. If you can access the pipe, a ball valve could be installed and closed during a crisis if needed. Don’t know how the county would feel about it, though. What they don’t know won’t hurt ’em.

        • Get a plumber’s inflatable test plug to fit your main sewer line (probably 3″ pipe), a bike pump, rubber gloves (it will probably be yuccy). There is probably a cleanout fitting in the line before or right after it enters your house. Mine has one and the house id 10 Y.O.

        • I’m a LEO and I’ll damned if I’m taking a law abiding citizens God given right to defend themselves and their family.

    • hi. We have thought of all of these. I must say I find it sapriseing about the poop and garbage stuff.we do not have garbage pick up. No problem there. And when I was setting every thing up I just figured with no power no toilet. We have 6, 1kwh wind turbines and 32 solar pannels. And a chain link fence that is all hooked up with electricity. But We are diferent than othere preppers. We live in a town and we are totaly off grid. We even getpayed by the electric company for the power we do not use and they take from us. My hubby does not “need” to work but he gets on my nerves so he goes to work. lol We also produce all the food for our selves and 2 other families in our area for years. I think that what we have done is like prepping to the extreem. We can bug out and do this any ware. We live in a small town and we have town meetings ware we all go over what we will do when SHTF. We have many NG members. What more should I be doing? I am at a loss. Just short of getting a tank, I am not sure what else to do?

        • That soap will be nearly useless if you don’t have water to rinse with! I store a lot of sanitation options, such as hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, and so on to cut down on water usage.

      • If you are getting paid by the electric company, then you are not off grid. With that set up, when the power grid goes down yours will too. I would install a back up system, not connected to the power grid that will kick in when the grid goes down.

      • When people approach yell we need food. Do you have any food? That should discourage them from trying to rob your food supply.

    • In general if a cities water was contaminated at a main point how long do you think you could run water in your house before the conatmited water reached your home. Obviously depending on where it was contaminated in relation to your home. Hard question to ask and answer since there would be so many variables unknown.

    • Another issue no one thinks of.. when the city sewerage system fails raw sewerage will completely fill the underground pipes and back up into your home, Solution is putting a GOOD stainless ball valve in the FULL diameter of your pipe where your houses sewer pipe enters the street. when you install the valve make a cement stop block to keep the pipe from blowing apart at the connections before the valve.. SHTF = close the valve fast !

  2. Not to sound like an ass, but if you haven’t thought of these things already then you’ve got a long ways to go to be even remotely prepared for a mild SHTF scenario.

    • Very true. These are good points, and a good prepper has already considered each of these possibilities and more. Add to this: dead bodies – if they are not taken care of, they could cause the spread of disease, also. If you can’t bug in, transportation could be another problem. Moving your family, your stuff, and getting away without being targeted, or running out of gas, or breaking down, etc. There are many angles to consider. Good luck!

      • Rapid disposal of all dead bodies is an important point, as in past wars corpses often killed more people than the enemy did. When corpses are allowed to remain exposed they begin to rot, then the fly population dramatically increases. Next time you eat chow with all those flies around just remember where they were a short time ago. There are so many that you can’t stop them from walking on your cake, so transmitting desease from rotting corpses to you really is just a cakewalk for the flies. So if you can’t dispose of the bodies, then you’ll need to plan for a fly and vermin proof cooking and eating area as well as body disposal.

        • Russ: I’m assuming burning dead bodies incl dead livestock, other animals would be main way to dispose, unless there is heavy equipment and diesel fuel to run it for mass burials. Same goes for household garbage.

          • Get some caustic lime. Cover the corpses with it before burial. The corpses will decay without the stench.

          • In a SHTF situation involving mass deaths people won’t have the TIME to waste digging mass graves and laying out lime. If they are SMART they will burn them, but I suspect in an everyone fend for themselves situation a lot will just be left to rot and spread disease.

          • Fires could draw attention that there is someone present, and surviving. If a relative dies, and there is not government official coming around to dispose of bodies, I suggest finding a spot a little ways off from your living quarters for the fire. Remember, dead bodies can contaminate under ground water supplies, so digging a hole may not be the best solution.

          • Gday. If you have to burn bodies in an open environment you have to leave the clothes on, sounds weird but if they are naked they will not burn properly. You definately want to burn the bodies, they can still contain certain pathogens like Hep C, plus the smell is yuck and if they are buried near a watercourse they can contaminate drinking water. On a side note, if the fire is left long enough it will reduce nearly the entire body to ash, but some of the internal organs are very difficult to burn. I’m not a murderer or some weirdo that burns people. It’s part of my job.

        • ok, i know everyone feels the “weirdness” as of late, but this morning in my back yard as i let the dog run, i found 2, (NOT ONE) but 2 drowned sqirrels in my pool. i know they were probably playing and fell in, but we’ve had a pool up for 16 yr.s and NEVER this!!! (6-30-12)

          • Oh, no! not the dead squirrels syndrome…Wait maybe they committed suicide knowing what is to come…. Ok, for real check the heat, what is the temperature in your neck of the woods?

          • Well, thats one way to get rid of them. I’ve come to hate squirrels since moving to a rural area. They eat everything in site whether it’s ripe or not.

          • The earths core has stopped spinning thus affecting the electromagnetic field so the squirrels were confused….LOL

    • Some people are very new to prepping, and may not have thought of these things yet.
      There is a lot of info out there and it all can be very over whelming for anyone who is new to the idea of prepping.

      • Im new to prepping and I need to know anything I can about it from firearms to mental and physical preparation. Also I would like to know about some items I should buy now and what I should pack.

        • Welcome aboard Chris. If you’re just starting out pretend there is nothing functioning. What do you need to get buy on in the short term? Food, water(guns/ammo a given). I went to SAM’s and bought 50lb bags of rice and pinto beans(still cheap). Stock as much as you can. Food is a great bartering tool. Make a list of the basic things you use during a year. As your budget allows, stock up. Pasta, olive oil etc. Things that don’t go bad fast. Also, find someone with likeminded thinking. Don’t tell everyone what you’re doing. They’ll know where to go when the SHTF

          • Thank you soo much. I looking for a decent size bag and I just ordered a SOG knife ( seal pup elite to be exact). And I did the same thing at sams, literally today. Rice, different beans, oil, and pasta nooddles. What would be a good fire arm to protect myself.

          • I disagree. Those just getting started should not overwhelm themselves. Do a ONE DAY scenario fist–most disasters or grid downs really are for only an hour or two up to a few days. Start there and you are already better prepared for anything. Then 3 days, a week, etc.

            Do not forget that one reason most folks are unprepared is because disasters over 1 week have been rare for over a century (except unemployment)

          • Esther is right – plan first for one-day, then three, and work your way out to 40 days without electricity, water, sewer, gasoline, passable roads, commerce, etc. More than 40 is difficult to plan for.

          • when u start to perpare think in 3’s( 3 days, 3 weeks, 3months, 3 years, 30 years) and then mulipile that for every person ib your group, and here is another thing, the things u take with u will run out at some point, learn skills to increase your chance

          • i was an army ranger, my DI made a good point 1 day. we all had very expensive knifes ,just throwing them at a tree, he ask to see 1 of them, he throw it at a tree but just missed it broking the tip of the blade, he pulled out his kitchen knife and throw it and it stick in the tree,and he said .see u had knife worth 150 buck and u cannot use it now, but mine only cost 1.50 and it can be resharpen,point is it is not the price of the equipment u have, but how well trained u are at using it

          • and chris, buy equipment that has several uses , for if you have to carry items on your back. the weight will be a big factor for every1, a SOG knife is a good knife but it is hard to cleana fish ,or skin a deer with or to split a piece of wood to start a fire

          • Chris this is the first time I have been to this site and I see people talking about buying large amounts of food that will store. This is ok if you are in a very remote place. Most of us will have to leave, I will I am to close to 3 big cities not good. Get out buy a dehydrator make jerky dry fruits and veggies. and get peanut butter great for protein Go get a tetanus shot buy ammo. Have a plan, I have a set course to the Rockies and a base ready. I have M.R.E. s guns and ammo buried on a set path there. It is 2000 miles there do I know me and my family can’t carry everything. So every 50 miles we have supplies all off main roads. I spent 15 years in the special forces. Remember you can’t carry a lot of things with you. Get water purification tablets so you don’t have to carry water it is to heavy. You can go any creek pond or lake fill your canteen ad a tab and drink. I picked a place for us 65 miles from any town. This extreme I know but people will kill for no reason when law is gone. Hurry and make your plan now I have spent 3 years getting ready. As soon as it happens get in your car and drive as far west as you can till the shit hit the fan then hike it from there. But you have to get out away from other people

          • Hi Chris
            Chaswoody provided a lot of good tips, but when he said “think of 3’s” he missed two…3 minutes and three hours. Air and proper shelter for conditions. By no means did I come up with this, it has been out there for a long time. Read one of Cody Lundin’s books. Easy to read, funny at times, but packed with a lot of things to consider.

            Happy prepping

            OD

          • Why does everyone keep saying their plan is to “drive west as far as you can”??? The west is populated too, this is not the damn old west! The Rocky Mountains are no place for someone thats lived a pampered city life. If you don’t already live here, you will die from exposure..if the wolves and bears don’t get you first. If you don’t want to be in the city when the shtf, move now. But don’t come here, we’ve got enough unprepared people who will just make things worse for the rest of us.

          • I disagree. I say let EVERYONE know what you are doing, and when they show up unarmed, use them as food or slave labor.

        • Good for you Chris. You have already started. You are searching the web. There is much info you can gain from this site alone. Welcome aboard.

          • Chris now get good hiking or combat boots. Hot and light cold weather cloths. I Kbar knife. As for weapons I will pack my .45 auto, 3 AR15’s and a .22. People laugh at the .22 but you can kill about any food animal with a head shot for the bigger ones like deer and not much noise for to be located. Get a good military backpack a folding shovel to carry on your waist. A military compass and maps. It is not late to take a class to learn how to use one basic know how isn’t hard. In your money allows it night vision goggles is a must coz you don’t want to move during the day till you are out of populated areas. First aid is I must take a basic class could save yours or your family members life. Read up on herbs, a lot of cooking herbs help your body more than you might know. Like I said before get purification tablets for water a lot of them. You can only carry a gallon on you, but with the tabs you can carry maybe 100 gallons worth of drinking water. Carry a magnifying glass so if you lighter is done or you matches are gone you can still start a fire. Pack socks, a blister can lead to death if it gets infected. Get the backpack now put 40lbs in it and start walking, through the woods if you can get there you can walk all day carting the weight. My 10 yo boy can hike 8 hrs with 20lbs now. If you have a family they will have to do the same as well

          • 2000 miles is a long way for a refugee. Lots of things could go wrong along the way and you’ll have lots of company.

        • Chris no one can be sure of there metal capability until the real thing happens but i do have place for you to start 1,hearing 2,smell 3,sight and 4,this is the big one training your brain These are the most basic survival tools

        • Welcome Chris. I would suggest to start listening to the podcast at thesurvivalpodcast.com. The guy is up to almost a thousand podcasts where he covers gardening and all kinds of preps, and interviews experts on a wide range of topics. Start with the basics and build up from there.

      • Brian is right. I gave very little thought to this type of until Hurricane Katrina. I mean, I had a plan to head for the family farm after 9/11, but it wasn’t a solid option. But my wife’s side of the family live in Louisiana, and the stories I’ve heard from them have convinced me that this is a paramount necessity. One of our Aunts actually saw a car full of men force their way into a gas line at gun point in Baton Rouge a few days after the levees broke.

        The points made here are a good jumping off point for people who have not really given this a whole lot of thought.

      • Chris – When you can, do some searches on You Tube. There is an amazing amount of information / videos that you can learn from and things you can make that will not cost a fortune, food storage, weapons, bug out bags, etc. I just learned how to make olive oil lamps! Good Luck -Be Well

    • Exactly… I was thinking the same thing. If these issues haven’t crossed your mind, then you’ve got more thinking and research to do.

    • well these are all good points but if we were all as good as the youngprepper than we would have all thought about these things and these info boards wouldnt be necessary… I for one am thankfull that new information is always circulating the net.. thanks…

    • It may be true that those people who haven’t thought of these things have a long way to go, but you had a long way to go when you first started too, and I’m sure as time went on you became aware of many things you hadn’t thought about.

  3. I have an above ground pool that will serve 4 to 8 people for a year. My next project is to run guttering with a flexable detachable hose to refill it when it rains.

    Sewer line is in backyard with a upright vent hole next to the house. Put a five gallen bucket on it with a toilet seat. Rinse it down 2 or 3 times a day with pool water and you are good. If that fails then the man hole to the sewer is also in my backyard and can do the same as above with plywood support.

    I have traps,guns, plenty of ammo for each gun. back up water in addition to the pool, and 4 55 gallon drums that will give me over 200 gallons of extra fuel. Fireplace and cast iron will work in a pinch, so will charcoal grill and propane grill.

    Bugout location is just under 2 hours away with well and plenty of land to survive on. Wife has canned enough food with bought dry goods to last family for over a year.

    Be prepared

    • Another good way is to get the proverbial 5- gal. bucket w/ a toilet top (can buy at emergency essentials.com) Then put dirt in the bottom of it. Now, do your duty in there…and put more dirt on top of that. Keep going that way til full- top w/ more dirt, then put lid on. Keep it for a year and you have compost.

      • Can human waste really be used as compost? I was told you can’t or shouldn’t use waste from any meat-eating animal. I guess if you’re a vegan then you’re ok?

          • Sorry, but there *is* something to K’s info. Fecal material from humans needs to be boiled to kill off harmful organisms (like the worm ascariasis) then mixed with sand or other soil in order to use it on food-producing crops- and even then there may be issues with concentrations of heavy metals. Vegans aren’t safe either because they may be ingesting already-infested tomatoes, lettuce, etc. Check wiki’s page on `night soil’ and please do more research before you implement this.

          • I just did a study for our Las Vegas Roadwarrior Survivalist group on Composting.Composting is a great idea…but its a little complicated. Please study up good before you put it in your garden.

          • I think K is right. I have read that human fecal matter is one of the most infectious substances on the planet.

        • K: I have used compost from cat manure and chicken manure on flowers and bushes; chicken, goat, horse or cow manure on tomato, pepper bushes . Mainly I use fruit and veg waste for compost. I would never use human, hog or dog waste. For melons, squash or anything touching the ground, I’d use veg compost or cow manure.

        • K, I heard you could especially if you use a composting toilet. As for me, I will pass on this one. I make a mean mulch pile that will work well.

      • A lot easier to use existing toilets and place a small trash bag in the now empty bowl and dispose after each use. Eventually you’d run out of bags, but for a shorter crisis it would be a preferred method. Having lime on hand would help as well.

      • You guys make everything so complicated. You wanna be a prepper? Build an outhouse. If you want to know how to properly survive a real SHTF situation, you better start thinking about how your great grandparents lived. They managed without running water, indoor toilets, and storebought food. They had an outhouse and a well with a handpump. You waste thousands of dollars on expensive knives, waste really useful 5gallon buckets, buy overpriced and mostly useless guns and you invest in freeze dried food that has zero nutritional value. Build an outhouse, then support a boy scout this year and buy a tin of popcorn. When you have eaten the popcorn, wash the tin and use it to store toilet paper. If you buy the big tin, it will hold feminine hygiene products as well. Problem solved.

        • Exactly! I would suggest getting some Foxfire books and books on basic self sufficiency. At the very least, people should be trying to grow a garden.

          • The Foxfire books are full of stories how folks used to live but IMHO are a little short on details. I prefer The Mother Earth News for real detailed info on a huge variety of topics.

        • My family owns a small cabin that sits in the middle of 80 acres. It has no plumbing or electricity anywhere. It’s been in the family for 4 generations now. We will often go there for extended “retreats” once you have the basics established you’re fine. There is an outhouse, wood stove for heat and cooking, a stream nearby and we collect rainwater in large drums attached to the gutters. There is established grounds for gardening as well as a pond for fishing. It’s not fancy, but I LOVE being there. We have recently added a few solar powered battery chargers for flashlights and such. The time I have spent there has taught me a lot and I employ many of the same backups in my home. I live in a small rural city and we have a wood stove in the house and garage, short wave radios with their own power, a river close by, trees for fuel, and established gardening space. I don’t think we need drums of food and so on….we have the essentials established and a place to go if we have to leave. I also have books on hand that have campfire recipes and other survival techniques. No need to get crazy! Get your essentials know how to find the rest and you’ll be fine :)

        • You are right, after the shtf, when your supplies are nearing the end you need to know what you will do next. My grandfather cured his own hams, raised chicken and gardened, etc, Learn how the folks did it back in the day. All the survival gear, bug out bags etc will not help you then, knowledge will

        • There is an endless supply of 5 gallon buckets available for free. Just ask around. They are great for storing everything from food to supplies to human waste if the time comes.

        • DON’T build that outhouse YET!

          Most counties that have code enforcement do not allow open pits (outhouses) of any kind.

          I’m sure there won’t be much enforcement AFTER SHTF, so that will be the time to cobble something together.

    • You can’t drink pool water, and you can’t filter out the stuff in it. The best thing you can do is empty it, then refill it and don’t put pool chemicals in it. Then be sure to put a good pool tarp or two over it to keep everything out, including sunlight, which will give you algae. It takes me a couple of days to fill my 24′ round pool, which holds 15-17 thousand gallons.

      • Do you think it would work to just stop adding pool chemicals and let the water is yucky and green? Then filter the ugly water. I figure if algae can grow and bugs can live, then maybe the water can be reset with the help of a good Berkey.

      • A simple solar still would remove MOST of the harmful volatiles, heavy metals, particulates, and bacteria. However, might want to follow with a suitable volatiles absorbing filter. Be sure to follow a regular prophylactic regimen on the still apparatus and post-distillation storage containers as needed.

        • By the way, even if you have suitable water filters, pre-treating heavily contaminated water with a solar still, will significantly increase the lifespan of the filters.

      • Depends on how you purify your pool water. We use a Floatron, an ionizer, which cuts us to about 2 chlorine tablets every 7-10 days in a 34000 gallon pool. That makes our chlorine level lower than most tap water. In a pinch the floatron works pretty well by itself for weeks. If the pool gets too green, add fish!

      • Anyone who has ever filled an inground swimming pool knows just how filthy the water is. I wouldn’t want to drink that would you? You can’t see the bottom of the pool once that water is in it.

        At the very least, store up glass jars with water before disaster hits. At least you’ll have tap water to drink. eBay may have glass jugs. Not sure. A friend mentioned, but when I asked her if they were plastic, she didn’t answer. Plastic emits a chemical into water too, so not safe to store water in it for very long.

        In the US, buy apple juice in those wonderful 1/2 gallon glass containers. Then save them to store water in after finishing the juice. I’m in the UK. We don’t have those glass bottles here. :-(

        • Glass is breakable and heavy. Just wash your plastic soda bottles out very well and seal. They are easily storable in crawlspaces, closets, and the like. Can be ‘treated’ before drinking (if you don’t trust the regular chlorine in city water to do the job) by leaving in the sun for a day or two or adding 8 drops of fresh bleach. Also easy to transport if necessary.

    • I was told of an idea to dispose of human waste by using buckets or barrels and mixing in quick setting concrete mix as you fill up the bucket. You would have a concrete block that should be easier to dispose of.

      • Have you priced concrete lately? This option for waste disposal simply isn’t feasible (unless you own your own concrete plant).

    • It will not be possible to use the sewer for a toilet, when the power goes out they will stop pumping the waste out of the end of the line, the lines will back up, all your uphill neighbors sewage will come into your home thru your toilet or out of the opening in your yard, you will want to plug the sewer cleanout in your yard

    • Hey Okie,

      I too have a pool but am getting conflicting informatin on how to make sure the water is safe for drinking and cooking…purification, filtering, etc., It is perfect for grey water.

      Do you have any answers ?

      Thanks,

      Mike

  4. Booby Traps, Explosives & Canons (like the olden days) will take carry of almost anything. Save the ammo for up close situations & hunting. Toilets, out house. Same in the city. Water Purification tablets. Bed sheets, shirts, etc. all work for wiping your butt in a SHTF scenario, wash, hang to dry reuse. Garbage should be recycled, cans and bottles for carrying water, tools, making things, etc. Compose all organic material and burn the rest (which will be very little). CB Radio, w \Battery Pack, Solar Powered Trickle Charger.

  5. An excellent article with excellent points to ponder. If a person hasn’t thought of them, this article will serve as a reminder. The thing is it’s never too late to prepare. Item 1 is a “biggy”. With the cuts to law enforcement across the country, it can definitely be a problem in a disaster situation. Item 4, gangs, is something very few people even consider. I have. I used to have a real interest in them. Took courses and attended seminars …read books on them. They are well organized. Few people realize that. Even to some extent, the police. They have a command structure in place, have an organization, and, in the really organized ones, have a dedication to each other and the organization. In a disaster situation, they have the numbers and organization to survive and …can be a real threat. Just a suggestion to close out my comment. Put together a few key books for a disaster library. A sprinkling of emergency medicine, survival techniques, small farming techniques, to name a few. There’s an old maxim “there are two kinds of knowledge: the kind you know and the kind you know where to find.”

    • Sorry to piggyback on your comment..

      In the event of a major loss of the power grid am I correct in thinking that the door, gates, and electrified walls of (most modern)prisons/jail will stop working? Basically opening up, and releasing all the prisoners that get past the few armed guards at the prison?

      • yep thats correct, if i remember correctly when katrina hit they just let all the prisoners and jailed out after they ran out of food and water. prisons only have enough food to last a few days max for all the prisoners, im sure its the same for jails. they let them all out ( murderers, rapists and so on) and rounded them up when things calmed down.

        • Jails, NO, that is not correct, the locks are NOT magnetic they are electric and driven by GEARS. If the power goes out, nothing happens but the gear locks will NOT turn. In the event of a fire, guards have to hand crank the cells open. Houston loses power several times a year and we have never had a jail escape or prisoner escape.

          • prisons and jails do have generators. the company I work for operates the generators at two different prisons in nj. but, they usually run on natural gas, which is piped in from somewhere else. if the gas plant goes down, so does everything that runs off of the gas coming from it. their emergency generators run on diesel, but you can only keep so much diesel fuel onsite.

    • My 6th grade teacher (back in the 50’s) said. “I can’t teach everything you need to know. But I can teach you how to find it.” Then she took us to the library.

  6. #6 and #7 are great ones. We really don’t understand how running water and sanitation pickup keep us healthy.

    Be able to treat and purify our water will be key.

  7. Between #1 and #2 should include “paramilitaries”, think “brown shirts”, uniformed or non-uniformed political police, that identify each other with some distinct identifier, such as a hat, arm band, or t-shirt. They may have an existing list of people whose homes they raid, or they may go door to door conducting searches and confiscating things. They will likely violently assault or kill, and they may have field prisons for those they just ‘arrest’ as hostages. They may have sub-groups that act as death squads.

    Often these are organized from other, existing organizations, like unions, as well as criminals released from jails and prisons. They are scum.

    Paramilitaries can be used to prevent or disrupt public assemblies, political opposition, purges and raids on hated groups. In some cases, they may work with the police and military, who usually disdain them.

    After WWII, they were most common in central and South America, but also in the Middle East.

  8. My vote is for #6, garbage as a killer, because most people have no idea what to do with their trash if the garbage men don’t pick it up every week! Fast forward a few months and diseases will rampant.

    • Well everyone getting ahead of your selves speaking as a person who has spent 28 years in the military,I tell you if it comes to the disaster you are talking about esp if the big bombs drops well I hate to be a party pooper but you dont want to even live thru it sorry.. but its real folks and as for trash its better to tear up as much as you can look as if you have nothing the more trash you have the more it makes you look like you have alot ..dont talk to strangers keep to your self at first if you have supplies do not ever tell anyone you have got anything if anything act as if you dont . if you have kids tell them to not ever talk about anything in the house as far as toliet stock up on gargage bags wrap them in the toliet stock up also on that stuff they put in the tanks of commerical Greyhound or RV’S it will keep the smell down but the trash bagg is the best …in case if the plumbing goes out ..there is a company out there you can request there catalog its call Emergency Essentials that is loaded with all you need ..

  9. All good points. An interesting note though is that during Hurricane Katrina one National Guard unit stood down upon orders to confiscate weapons. Not all would do that but it is nice to know that some still have integrity with regards to their oath to defend the Constitution. Another lesson from Hurricane Katrina is that they sent in military contractors, mercenaries, to do the dirty work.

    • More and more U.S. military personnel know what is coming, and the job they are expected to do. Which is why they are being shipped out, and foreign troops brought in to practice the maneuvers necessary to arrest and kill. It is unlikely that either are aware they will never see home again.

      After a carefully nutured, decades-long global hatred for Americans, we cannot count on common sense from other humans. It will never occur to them that they have been played, or that Americans couldn’t possibly be responsible for the cruel actions of their rogue government, so don’t expect it from them. Nor can the reasonably sane expect humanity from troops who hate us and are trained to kill. There is a language barrier to make it even less likely. If you have truly wanted to be self-sufficient, now would be a good time to adopt the mentality that you are now exactly that. It is entirely possible for you to become a professional at it.

      • I live overseas and I’d really like to find a way to get information on what’s going on over here. I read a lot of these SHTF things for the US, but I don’t know what to expect over here. Is there any kind of global mailing list or something?

        • Since the global economy is global, and since the U.S. dollar is the international medium of exchange, (as I think you are aware since you are an expat like me,) when the SHTF it will be global. It doesn’t matter where you live, global is global. Be prepared.

      • only those Americans in suits or unusually expensive “civvies” will be identified as the devils in disguise, the rest of the world knows the score! most of us now know that the American “people” have been sold out. some things cant be faked .I am a person with very little in comparison to the “elite few” i could easily identify them, as could the rest of the “people” what I am trying to say is lets not make the “people” so paranoid that they wont help or accept help from their peers. those who live in western cultures understand exactly what has taken place in the U.S.
        Maintain order, group together, UNITE United you will never walk alone.
        UNITED WE STAND , DIVIDED WE FALL
        Have No Fear!! Interact, make new friends, be more open, dont crawl under a rock, that would be the worst thing possible, this is not a planet for 1% T.T.F.U
        be proud, be alert, be your higher self, show your strength defend your belief and peers, share and share alike, help those who need it, eliminate those who try and take your freedoms as they did before. who dares, wins!

        • If you feed one, you will end up feeding hundreds. They will use tactics like sending a child to your door begging, if you give food, then later 20 will show up.
          GANGS will get BIGGER and more violent the more hunger there is, they will join forces and TAKE whatever they find.
          Hate squirels and birds, they eat everything in the garden. If they don’t what’s to stop your neighbor from coming over the fence at night and eating half of what you have grown?
          If you need 24 hour patroling you’d better have neighbors who join with you and live with you to guard and patrol, even in daylight. Armed gangs will venture farther out from the cities the hungrier they get. They will forage and hunt for food relentlessly.

          • RG- You are absolutely correct brother, people will learn the hard way not to be an easy target. I live in a “certain neighborhood” where you do NOT “help” the neighbors or even speak to theme wandering around, especially after the SHTF. On a normal day, they always ask for cigarettes, spare change, rides ect. I am working 7 days a week & doing everything I can to get my family outta the hood and on some agricultural land. Out in the rural country where everyone knows everyone, I’m sure the risk of helping people is nowhere near as bad as in the city. At the same time we both know to TRUST NO ONE.

  10. What about community organization? SHFT scenario you will need help. No matter how much you prep. Knowing your neighbors and being like minded will help. If your neighbors think a collapse scenario is crazy talk, then tell them to prep. for natural disaster and keep the “crazy talk” to a minimal.

    • Overcast, perhaps we can get the community organizer in-chief to set things up for us! I’m sure he will help to maintain the peace.

      • Falcon, I love and appreciate sarcaism. I forgot community organizer is what B.H.O. did before becoming the power broker he is. Still I stand by my statement.

    • I agree with you, we will all need some sort of cooperation with neighbors to succeed. Unfortunately, 95% of this society remains completely oblivious to what is flowing at their feet.

      • I’ve read mixed things in regards to banding together with neighbors. Most people think that preppers are wackjobs. Trying to convince them to prep may put a target on your back. SurvivalBlog, for instance, says keep your preps to yourself and tell NO ONE… because when the shtf, your neighbors/friends/family will turn to you. Turn them away and they are desperate then you have a major problem on your hands.

        • How many of us want to live without helping our neighbors,family, and friends? Better to have extra stored, help your neighbors every chance you get. Make your home a haven for family, so you will have added protection. Better to be a part of a community protecting each other than having everyone hate you.

          • Bezy, I couldn’t agree with you more. We all have friends and family that have skills that we will need in a WROL situation who will not prep for one reason or another. It’s better to prep a little extra and be able to help them out and have them with you than it is to try and be a lone wolf.

          • How many of us have ALL the skills needed to survive all alone? The reality is we will need a small group of like minded folks who can each contribute their knowledge & skill sets to the group for anyone to survive.
            The old ones can teach the old ways,the young & strong can do the heavy work, medical personnel can keep us healthy, teachers can tend to the children, veterinarians tend the working animals and so on. A well planned out, well rounded group will have the best chance after SHTF.

      • I don’t have access to easy water – clean or unclean. That is why I am working on storing potable water that can be filtered. There is a seasonal creek that runs through our farm, but it is almost 1/2 mile back of our home. I could not carry water that far. I am thinking of setting up a bug out location near the creek and away from the road by have not accomplished that yet.

    • I’m with Mike. Community??? What community–you mean those leeches that don’t even speak when passing??
      Yeah, feed one and you’ll be feeding a hundred.
      Nope—I sacrificed for what I have and can’t save the neighborhood.

      • i agree, if people have thier heads in the sand now, why should we save them, i know it sounds mean(everything is a process in life SHTF is no different 1st there will be chaos, then as people come together on thier own ,there will be order on same small scale, you can only trust those who prove themself for the good of the group,but until that times comes many will die,thur no fault of thier own and some thru falut of thier own,look back into history you see good things from people but alot of bad things, understanding people and how and what makes them think will increase your odds to live

        • First, I don’t trust anyone now, and I’m sure not going to trust anyone if the SHTF! People can be very manipulative, and very good liars. I am going to be as inconspicuous as possible, and keep my mouth shut. Silence is golden. The more unprepared people you take in, the more responsibility you have that may interrupt your mindset, your strategy plan, and the very thing you have been prepping for, and that is surviving! That is not a good time to have a “weak moment.” I have seen a lot of great ideas, but I have also read some of the comments, and I see some of you as a target, with some unfeasible ideas. What if, after you take people in, they become aggressive or greedy? They start playing on your sympathies, start manipulating you? They want to bring other people THEY know in? What if you have to leave, and go somewhere else? They do not have the same mindset as you, and you become their caretaker? I’m just sayin. You do not need any unneccessary distractions. My momma always taught me to never pick up hitchhikers. On another note, I came across a tip that I have not seen in anybody’s comments. Start collecting your dryer lint in a bag. It is great for starting a fire. Plus, if your lighter runs out of fuel, just the spark from trying to light it will quickly ignite using dryer lint.

  11. One of the TOP threats in a SHTF situation (and one that never receives the coverage it deserves) is FIRE. From the moment the Golden Hour strikes all the way to a year into WROL, fire will be the constant killer. Mother nature will quickly reclaim those nicely manicured lots/lawns/parks and open spaces. Who’s going to be mowing in a SHTF situ? Think of all that high grass and brush – we will all be surrounded by it. Can you move your family and your gear fast enough? Will you have the means to do so. Think of all the open flame that will be used to cook and heat. No water pressure. No services. All you can do is get out of the way. I hope all of you take this into consideration when making your preps.

  12. I think this is why communication is paramount ,one person would never be able to conceive every threat scenario. But a network of educated and motivated individuals can foresee or anticipate a majority of those threats. I think it can be shortened to two things only 1. Maintain a working knowledge of surviving, hunting 2.maintain communication with other like minded knowledgable people either by radio, messenger or community.

  13. In reply…

    1. No Law Enforcement.
    I think a lot have taken the beginning steps. Record firearms sales in the last 2 years support that. To see what’s happening with that, we need to look at enrollments in training academies and schools catering to civilians.

    2. Fake Law Enforcement
    Spot on. Home Invaders are using the fake cop scheme even today.

    3. Law Enforcement and the Military Will Try to Take Your Guns
    Yes, they will – even when laws are passed to make that “illegal”. They will use the defense of “we have suspended such laws for the public safety.”

    4. Gangs & Raiders
    Another great point. Urban life may very well be short in a sustained grid-down reality. I suspect even friends will turn to violence when under extreme pressure.

    5. You need to be able to Defend Yourself
    This follows on points 2 and 4.

    6. Garbage will become a Killer
    Distance between it and living spaces is important. Regular hauling away of refuse could be problematic in an unsafe environment. Local disposal is hard, especially with limited space, but it may be necessary for a time. Triple bagging bio waste for later dumping is a good idea.

    7. You have to Stock up on Sanitation Items
    Disinfectants and hygiene items are truly overlooked preps. Good call.

    8. Maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude during a Survival Situation
    To keep the mind healthy, a prepper needs to provide for himself some of those items that he enjoys now. Comfort foods, hobby supplies, media, etc…. Those, along with preps designed specifically to enable survival should help bring a sense of security and even fun.

    9. You must be prepared to face a number of physical and mental challenges
    Supply and practice. Focus and intent. Training and encouragement.

    10. You will be cut off from the outside World
    That HAM radio, or even a shortwave receiver, will go a long way toward allowing the collection of news and information.

    • re: sanitation and hygene. no one yet has mentioned that water can be filtered thru pure clay kitty litter which is actually a form of bentonite which will absorb fungus, heavy metals, radiation etc. (it would still need to be boiled or have purification tablets or bleach added to kill bacteria though. I believe a big bottle of bleach goes a long way though) Also, vinegar is a disinfectant which is also anti-fungal/antibacterial. A well prepared person may do well to know how to make it…

  14. I simply do not have sufficient money to be independently off the grid with a home tied to self-sufficient processes at all levels (greywater systems, etc.). I also do not believe we will have a nuclear armageddon with everyone fleeing everywhere at once. Just a continual deterioration of society.

    I did live through the Rodney King riots so I have directly experienced the disappearance of law enforcement and even a case of phony law enforcement. Getting out of central urban zones is key to ANY preparation.

    I do think that being on septic systems along with well water addresses the critical sanitation issue. That’s not out of reach for many. Unfortunately, I do not have well water, but it’s mountain melt, gravity fed and on septic. I’m doing what I can, but if 500 neanderthals come looking for my stuff, I can’t stop them all.

    • I know… I’d love to be prepared, but I can barely afford to just take care of the basics right now. I don’t know how people do this…. So far I’ve stocked one bottle of water and two cans of organic veggies in the garage. lol

      • One thing you can do with minimal resources is stock up on some canned goods, enough to get you through a temporary disaster at least. If you have enough chili, batteries, water, flashlight, etc. you can at least survive short term natural disasters. All for a few bucks really.

      • K, I prepped on the cheap and I have some hints that worked for me at my site. Start with 3 days worth of food like pasta, white rice, some canned meat, even ramen noodles to start. If you by soda in liter bottles just clean them and refil with water. Buy a 5 gallon bucket and a tarp and you will at least have a way to collect rain water. Another bucket for the potty and shredded newspaper can be used to cover up your “stuff” Buy a box Heavy duty garbage bags 4 mil. thick. This a great multi tasker from covering broken windows, trash, a tarp/shelter, A poncho, to warming water in the sun for cleaning up, but not drinking.
        A little first aid kit and some candles and a Bic lighter.
        You can probably pick up a few items to start for about $5.00 USD
        Even if you only have 3 days worth of food and water you are more prepared than 80% of most people.
        That’s your 72 hour kit and you just start building on it and make your 2 week kit. I’m not sure about the gun laws of your country but can you buy pepper or bear spray? that will give you a little defensive weapon. Plus now that you are out of panic mode you can shop for a little water filter that will cost $20.00-$50.00
        I know it’s tough but get at least 3 gallon/12 liter of water and 12 cans of soup/stew and or beans. Add a pound or 1/2 a kilo of rice and pasta and you will have the beginings of preparing.

        • K. you can purchase a water purifier from lifestraw for as little as 20$ there are retailers in US AUS UK check on line for your closest they are good for 1000lt of dirty water.
          You are not alone with a tight budget, those who have young kids are in the same situation. associate with like minded groups as the saying goes, there is a safety in numbers, dry foods, basic utensils, fishing hooks, knife, and a lighter. if you dont know how to fish get out there this weekend and learn, it is easy good luck and have fun!

          • K: Mike is right, wasp & hornet spray can hit the “target” 10-20 feet away. They have to be closer than that for pepper spray to hit the mark. Go straight for the face and eyes. Keep it at your bedside at night. Of course, it “almost” goes without saying, keep it out of the reach of children. Store tap water in 2 liter plastic soft drink bottles when the soft drink is gone. If you buy even one bottle water to drink while out and about, save the bottle, refill it and store when you get home. Ask friends to save them for you (tell them a friend is collecting them for an arts and craft project). Fill them with tap water and date them. Keep a bottle of plain unscented household bleach and don’t use “splashless” bleach such as we have here (it has a thickening agent that you don’t want). If your city water is chlorinated the water virtually has no expiration date.

        • and dont forget if you dont have a gun, you’ll still have kitchen knives, garden tools, etc. I read
          somewhere that wasp spray is a great defence tool for home invasions, it sprays 20 feet and the person has to go to the hospital for the remedy.

        • I haven’t seen this mentioned..in the comment above jamie mentions pepper/bear spray. If you can’t get that you probably CAN get wasp spray. It sprays from a decent distance (think of trying to kill wasps)and if you use it as you would pepper spray, to the face of an attacker, they are supposedly blinded by the stuff and will have to go to the hospital for an antidote. My Gramma sent me this info years ago in response to a mouse problem. It will kill mice. I’m stocking up on several cans!

        • Cheap sticky hairspray works fantastic for self protection. Dollar stores have a small purse size. Go for the eyes and run fast. It works, I have used it!

          For food: If you are a newbie it may be better to store canned food with low sodium/low sugar than pasta or dry beans (unless you are going to sprout the beans). How are you going to soak the beans and cook for hours?

          Check out how to make a soda can stove online and you will be able to heat food in 10 minutes and boil water, at least.

          Also store some extra Nutella, Peanut butter, crackers, healthy cereal and canned milk, powdered milk, or boxes of Almond milk or Coconut milk. Don’t forget a bowl and can opener. At least you will have something to eat fast.

      • Give up chit–we have no cable/tv here. No entertainment; no dining out; no hair cuts; no flowers or shrubs this year; no blings at all and there are ways to eliminate the ‘wants’!!!
        Buys lots of rice and ramen noodles.

        • Sooooo AMEN! to giving up the “chit”. Plant carrots as a flowerbed border (they make a beautiful border). I’m still pulling carrots from last year, just keep them in the ground until I need them. You can do the same with other root veggies.

      • K, I have a book recommendation for you. It’s titled “Surviving Off Off-Grid” by Michael Bunker. I suggest finding it on Amazon.com and perusing the reviews to see if it’s something that would interest you. A major aspect of this book is prepping on a budget, or, more accurately, simplifying life such that prepping becomes a natural way of life.

      • K, be prepared for 2 scenarios: 1. Stay at home 2. Fleeing.
        Also whether you go it alone, or with at least 1 (trustworthy) other.
        If at home, stock up on high protein foods, tinned mackerel recommended. Forget veggies. Start looking around your area to
        identify edible plants, get a book from the library on it.
        If fleeing, how much water can you carry? Best to take chlorine tablets. Also iodine which is dual use – medicinal.
        Good quality multivitamins and minerals. Going without food is not that hard, (did it for nearly 10 days) at 1st it’s largely
        a mental issue.
        The main point is to last longer than most of the others.

        • My father hunted for deer, squirrel, frog legs, possum, and other game and taught us how to fish for what kind of fish we wanted for supper, bass, bream, crappie, catfish. We had an outhouse and a well that dried up every summer. Later we did have one cold water tap on the back porch. We foraged for poke salad in the spring, gooseberries, blackberries, wild chestnuts, etc. My mother was a spinner in the cotton mill making $20.00 a week and when she bought groceries, the only things she purchased were “staples” like sugar, flour, cornmeal, rice, tea, and coffee. We had a cow for milk and butter. Chickens for meat and eggs and pigs for meat and lard. As I grew older, I couldn’t wait to get out of that lifestyle, went to college, became a nurse and God greatly prospered me. But over the years as I observed US and world politics, world leaders and their wars come and go, I grew to realize how fragile the world has become both politically and financially. Looking back over my 65 1/2 years I must now say, being raised in “poverty” was the best lesson in prepping I could have ever had and I thank God for the lessons that came out of my childhood. My prayer is that God blesses us all but the life lessons He sends each of us are some of the richest resources we have. Learn those lessons well and actively seek more knowledge in self-reliance. As for me I’m building on the medical aspects of a 32 year nursing career while growing veggies in flower beds, planting berry vines (naronia and gogi) in plain site that no one here has ever seen and just think they are ornamental. I live in the southeast US with a Super Walmart 2 miles away, maybe it’s just here, but on Saturday evening and Sunday it looks like the aftermath of a food buying frenzy for a population preparing for a hurricane. I once asked the produce workers to check the storage room for a bag of Irish potatoes and was told they were out and wouldn’t have more for a couple of days. THAT told me the truth of the stores only having a 3 day supply of food. Sorry for the long post but this is one of the best sites I’ve seen and just wanted to let you know a bit about me because I plan to visit you all often on this site. Great info here!

          • Nurseprepper: Am new to this site and have found your posts very helpful. I, too, am a nurse of over 35 years. Have been prepping for little over 2 years and feel we have so far to go. You’re right about the way you were raised. Though it was because of resource management that you grew up closer to the earth, my own parents both enjoyed that type of raising, yet have only begun trying to instill that wisdom to myself and my siblings in the last 8 years. They’ve seen the wisdom in the “old ways”, and I’m so afraid they will die before they can impart what they know. We’ve started writing down their thoughts and the stories they tell us. Each time there is a nugget of information that will make us more prepared for the hard times ahead. I look forward to hearing more from everyone on this site. So thankful I found it.

        • Leaving? Don’t bother taking anything with you because the gangs (both city and country) will have setup road blocks and will take anything they want from you when you approach. You’ll end up with nothing in your car or truck unless you are ready to shoot your way through a roadblock… maybe not too wise if you are out-numbered and out-gunned.

          Unless you get to your destination within a relatively short period of time you aren’t going to be able to travel much at all, period.

          Face it, you’re going on an extended camping trip for a very long time. Learn outdoor skills and pray you can get to the mountains and fresh water.

          • You are exactly right, you will not be able to get out, especially if you live in a large metro area. You know what the traffic is every day, now think about it, when shtf happens, you will not know it for a while, if at work you will think this is just something small, you will jot leave right away in fear of losing your job if this isn’t real. Then when you decide to leave everyone else will also and the traffic would be horrendous at best, with everyone in a panic accidents would close roads entirely, so now you have to walk home if at a possible depending how far you live from work. Then your spouse and kids have to get home. So at best you are hours behind the mass exodus, where there will be gangs of looters, robbers, etc. Which you will not be able to outgun or outrun. I have seen grown men cower at the mere presence of someone trying to mug them, and that is without a major happening going on. You can’t carry everything that you will need, if you think youhave mapped out locations along your route to possibly stay for the night, believe me other people with have those same locations mapped out as well. And if you have a bug out location, it will be first come first occupied. If you think you can just go to the wilderness and survive, in certain locations that might be so, but when everyone has the same idea, how long do you think the wildlife would last? How many people go deer hunting every year and never see a deer to shoot, you would be trampling all over one another as well as shooting one another in fear of someone taking your things. All in all in would be total chaos at best, just admit you will have to bug in at your home or a friends home and try your best to defend what you have and establish a neighborhood or community group, that is going to be the best and only way for any kind of survival, because if you have small children or someone that is disabled you can not move and bug out. I know this post has been long but all the survival books and bug out locations will do you no good unless you are prepared to defnd your home and hopefully trying to branch out when things calm down.

      • Spend what you normally would, but put your “huy-one-get-one” specials in a closet and pretend you didn’t. Find a local cooperative or warehouse store and buy a big bag of rice for the same price as your supermarket small bag. Check out supermarkets in the lower-income and Hispanic areas for more inexpensive bulk items. Most independent health food stores need help making their minimum orders and will buy for you for a 10% upcharge; United Natural Foods is the big supplier and they have monthly sale items even in bulk that the stores can pass on if you ask. Start sprouting; alfalfa, radish and other seeds as well as most grains can be eaten without cooking if you soak them, providing a great source of fresh veggies in 3=5 days in a pinch.

      • K..I belong to Roadwarriors in Las Vegas a survivalist group…see if there are any organizations around and make friends and you can prepare together.My group is great…found some ppl I will likely get together with if the shtf. Good luck.

      • hello K, what most do not understand about prepping is this, 1st thing you have to do is change your mind set, and take small steps, think 3days, get all you need for 3 days and put it inot a backpack, then expend the 3 days into 3 weeks, with food change the way you eat, buy food like rice or pasta, cook it up,then find out diffent ways to enjoy it once you get into the habit of cooking like a prepper you will find it is not hard at all,then branch out into other areas, knowledge is free , if you do not have the equipment aleast you have the knowlegle on how to use stuff or how to improvise, but the best way to become a prepper is to change your life style and habits

      • I have two kids, and it’s often difficult to take care of our basic daily needs when life is good. I find myself, sometimes, wondering how I’m going to get our preps together. I am a beginner, and have adopted this idea:
        every little bit helps.

        So, when the kids finish a gal. of milk, I was the jug, and fill it with tap water. Every 3 mos., I replace the water in the already filled jugs (I keep track of when each jug was filled), so not to be poisoned by leaching chemicals from the plastic.

        Also, we get a few extra packs of pasta, or beans, or canned goods each time we go shopping. Not a truck load, just two or three cans here and there… It is slowly starting to build up. If we run into a time when finances are tight, I do not hesitate to dip into our food storage. After all, that is what it’s for. There have been a few times, over the last year, when MacGyverAsawa missed work, and the pay checks were smaller. Is that not our own personal disaster? And we ate very well that week, b/c we had our preps. Our preps are the same types of things we eat on a regular basis, not freeze dried stuff in industrial type bags that are impervious to weather… We just keep our prep pantry clean on a regular basis (to keep out pests), and rotate out things that are getting close to their expiration.

        Hope this was some help.

        • Do not use milk or juice jugs, no matter how much cleaning you do there will be a residue that will taint the water. 2 liter bottles from pop are a better choice.

          • Actually, you CAN use old milk jugs. I’ve done so for over twenty years. And I’m NOT dead yet.

            Problem is the plastic deteriorates over time–direct sunlight is the worst, keep them stored in shaded areas (think NORTH side if they are kept outdoors). YES, they CAN develop bacteria if there is a smidgeon of milk left (usually near the cap) after washing and rinsing. Keep an eye out for any discoloration of the plastic and immediately discard any that show blue, black, red or green spots of ANY size.
            Nowadays, I prefer two-liter bottles, but since I don’t drink soda, I only get those from others.

            They don’t survive freezing temps either, so best kept indoors out of direct sunlight.

      • K, I feel you. prepping on a budget is tuff but, feasible. Dried beans and rice relatively affordable and go a long way. Water purification tablets buy them now… food you can go w/o a lot longer than water. Go to any prep site order tabs, very cheap. Topical antibiotics, some form of defense and learn how to use it. Seeds again, many prepping sites for heirloom seeds very inexpensive. One day at a time. I’ve been prepping for years and still have not thought of every likely scenario and I suspect no one has. Fact is it’s impossible… I’ve also lived overseas. I know in several countries they have self-defense programs (for free) Put an ad out if there’s one ex-pat there are many. If your in the EU know it has already begun there and they’ve been squelching your news as well. When it hits the mainstream it will be too late. So reach out to ex-pats in the area you’re at. Combine your resources.
        ces.

  15. The thing most preppers are not prepared for is a “controlled collapse” that leaves governmental structures in place and where the rule of law does not break down. Instead this is charaterized by currency becoming worthless, gold and silver being confinscated and unemployment, and resulting lack of cash flow, causing them to eat into their supplies and liquidate their prepped assets. If this scenario followed by a hard collapse wherein only small “bubbles” of governmental authority remain the result is going to be catastrophic. The first portion of this scenario is the scenario of the Great Depression and the economic collapse of 1914-1918. If it were not for WWI and WWII these scenarios may have fed into the second scenario presented–here in the US. They eventually did lead to significant unrest elsewhere resulting in a world war each time.

    The point is that we are heading for a world war and the two scenarios above are likely to manifest here in the United States. Think about the scenario in Europe in the years between 1932 and 1941.

  16. Another point: Most preppers are assuming that their fellow Americans are all going to be looking to kill them and steal their stuff. While I agree these types of things will happen, don’t forget that the vast majority of people will not be like this. Prepare for the opportunity to help others as well as defending yourselves and you will probably find yourselves in positions of leadership. This nation needs leaders that think and plan ahead instead of the current crop of leadershit that thinks like grasshoppers.

    When the bad times come your neighbors may well look to you to provide direction and information rather than as a source to loot. Keep some hard copies of things such as instructional booklets on how to garden, animal husbandry, etc. and be prepared to teach them “how to fish” instead of either giving them fish or having to blow them away because they decide to take it. By all means, be prepared for that unfortunate scenario but do not allow it to be the only scenario that you prepare for.

  17. When I ran a business in gangbangville Los Angeles, I discovered the most dangerous bangers were not those infected with homicidal proclivities. It was the suicidal homeboys that made me think twice. You can’t reason with a rabid dog. Your only recourse is to shoot it.

    So… maybe survival is not worth the effort. My plan is to use my house as kindling to burn down the rest of the village. Survival is not the game.

  18. There is an Austrailian company named Primus that sells a solar powered cooler. I saw it in a catalog of theirs. I thought it was an awesome idea. Would be nice to have a cooler.

    • also on that website is downloadable manuals on survival and building a fallout shelter, and books about farming, soil management and I think keeping critters like chickens.

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