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
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
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:
- It Starts with Developing your Situational Awareness: This is probably the single most important self-defense skill you can have. It will allow you to defuse most dangerous situations before they can become a threat to your safety.
- How to Protect Yourself from Violent Mobs of Criminals: The really scary thing about situations like this is when people start to mob up and form groups. You need to be prepared to take on multiple attackers, and you need to know how to quickly get out of hotspots and trouble zones.
- Surviving Active Shooter Situations: Sadly this is a SHTF situation that we have to deal with now, in our everyday lives. Imagine how bad things will get during an actual crisis!
SHTF Sanitation Issues
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
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.
For more information on Ham Radio and Emergency Communication, check out these articles:
- Prepper Radio: The No-BS Ham Radio Technician Exam Prep Guide Your Key to Passing the Amateur Radio Technician License Test and Taking Your Emergency Communication Skills to the Next Level
- Emergency Communications When TSHTF
- Ham Radio Cheat Sheet
- Situational Intel: Knowledge is Power during a Crisis
- Ham Radio FAQs
- The ¼ Wave Droopy Ground Plane 2 Meter Antenna