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

OFFGRID Survival book



  1. For water purification preparation…buy/store 35% HYDORGEN PEROXIDE AND DILUTE (garden of eden is the best)
    This will sterilize all things and goes a very long way.

  2. All good comments on an excellent article. If I may add a few thoughts…1. Water is a major concern. I know all can’t achieve this but many of you can as I have. Have a well drilled below 75′ to insure clean water. Once it’s completed, install both a electric deep well pump and a provision for a manual pump. You will have all the fresh, clean water you need. Check you location for old landfills and/or toxic waste business near there. We have both a deep well and a 5 spring river on our property. 2. Sanitation is VERY important. The garbage bags are an excellent idea but remember if you are burning it you must have a very hot and long time fire. 3. Get 3-6 dogs from your local shelter. Pit bulls and Pit mixes are EXCELLENT!!!! They are very smart, territorial and love to play!!! They are great for security. Most people are inherently afraid of barking/growling dogs esp latinos and blacks. We have 6 and KNOW ONE COMES ON OUR PROPERTY!! We have WARNING signs posted and are fenced completely around. They have been trained NOT to eat anything except what we give them. Shock collars work well for that training plus they wear them all the time in case they get some moron who can’t read or has a death wish. If we get there in time we have just thrown them(2 times)back over the fence and they can fend for themselves. The police who know us won’t even come to investigate. They just tell they were lucky to be alive!!!
    4. The other thing is only for people who live in rural areas. Make sure you have at least 1 tractor and a backhoe/loader. The tractor for all your ground prep for new crops. The backhoe for grunt work, dirt work and burying the dead fools, who tried to invade your sanctuary. 5. Fuel supplies. You can purchase many types of storage tanks today. We have a 2000 gal tank and many others for a total of around 5000 gals of diesel and gas. Plus we have a 45KW diesel genset with 80 gal tank, a 5kw gas genset a truck that holds 90 gal of diesel.

    We are pretty much self sufficient here. We grow most of our own food, fruits and veggies, also root crops and we have cattle.

    We have pretty much covered our asses here. Now for the real good news….we DON’T LIVE IN YOUR FASCIST AMERIKA ANYMORE!!! We got out years ago when I smelled the shit getting ready to hit the fan. So all I can say is start buying metals, not large bars, get a passport, start looking for a new home away from home NOW!!! Start moving your money/metal out while you still can. Remember, no foreign want Gringo accounts anymore. Too much BS with the IRS reporting now. Now there’s a terrorist organization if I ever heard of one. F’m.

    Anyway we wish you all the best in your survival preps. Hopefully someone will take monkeyboy out or by some miracle Ron Paul and Jesse Ventura get elected. Good luck and may the Force be with ya’ll.

    • Sorry..I’m on medication for URI and it doesn’t have spell checker in it. “Remember, no foreign want Gringo accounts anymore.” Is suppose to read, “Remember, no foreign BANKS want Gringo accounts anymore.”

      There are others but I’m tired now and you can figure them out on your own.

      Have a great life…..

  3. Wow! Just stumbled across this site…what a pack of paranoid, delusional, self-obsessed losers! Unfortunately for you, the world won’t end in a catyclism whereby you are the only ones savvy enough to survive…you will all grow old and live off the government-provided pension while you search for other conspiracies and excuses to rant your demented theories and laughable survival tactics.

    • Good luck with your “plan”. Sounds like you have just the one.

      Oh, look! The new iPad is out.

    • I’ll bet your watching ‘American Idol’ right now? Isn’t that right, “Dutch”? C’mon, just admit it.

    • Im new to this myself, and I do find it difficult to believe. But remember that the office managers at 911 were very quick to tell the employees in the second tower that they should go back to work. The smart ones told the managers to go fuck themselves and got out fast. They lived…the others died.

    • Gosh Douche,I mean Dutch,

      What an impotent, I mean important post. Now we just need to CARE what you think.

      Go back to the Media Matters website and kneel in front of Soros like you always do. At least you can’t talk with your mouth full.

    • You’re an idiot. These people aren’t any of the adjectives (paranoid, delusional, self-obsessed are adjectives) you wrote here. Wake up!

  4. Your best bet is to buy a camper trailer or boat.

    We were nine days without power here in an ice storm and the camper sure was handy. Heat, A/C, stove, fridge, microwave, TV, stereo,and the mobilty to go where things were in plentiful supply, toilet paper, bread, fuel, etcetera.

    • We also have a stocked camper, Ready for when we need it. Either pleasure or emergency. Thinking that will be our plan after day 3.. Get it and GO.
      Our house is stocked for probably 90+ days. We can load most of our supplies in an hour and be gone..

  5. Considering the points that there will be fake police and fake military and the true police and military WILL be confiscating firearms (and very likely any stored food, medicine, etc. “for the good of the community”), and considering that there could very well be forced evacuations to Superdome-type FEMA centers, has anyone considered how to deal with the sudden appearance of uniforms? I mean, do we even bother finding out what they want first? If we let them get as far as stacking on our front porch and surrounding the house, we lose. I’m thinking the good ones would have refused to participate in the unlawful orders. Is a warning appropriate or does that only tip them off that you likely have things they want?

    • I jest hope to GOD that the good ones will refuse, then there won’t be anybody to come on the porch…But looters & thieves,game ON,watch out for the trip wires & A.P.D.S. Jest saing(NO TRESPASSING) but you can stack if you want to.
      (ANTI PERSONAL DEVICES) Think dog shit& nails
      the address is 123 Freedom ln.

  6. Ho-hum. I have plenty of guns and ammunition and know how to use them. Better yet, I live in a neighborhood where guns are frowned upon by my liberal neighbors, making them easy pickings when fulfilling my requirements.

    • Instead of aiming to be a useless predator by killing everyone around you and robbing them, why not get off your backside and make an effort to look after you and yours by prepping?

  7. The BEST list yet! Other “Patriots for Profit” & “Survival Gurus” only touch on these subjects. 3 tons of MRE’s & half a dozen “Zombie” killers w/500k rds ain’t going to make it. Each of the 10 threats listed requires rigorous pre-planning. The sh*t is in hand, looking to be thrown into the fan. Prep NOW. Stay frosty & standby.

  8. I’m surprised no one has mentioned rounding up all the politicians, bankers, lawyers, judges, and ceo’s, and just eliminating them permanently before the SHTF.

  9. Rule number one during firearm confiscation. Give them everything you have…bullets first at 1200+fps. If you give up your arms willingly you may as well put a bullet in your head first to save yourself from the horror that will come later.

    • Agree. Several other posters have some ideas that do raise a good question; Why do we have to be constantly on the defensive? Every site has all the info on how to defend ones self. How about going out, grabbing these A-holes by the nose & dragging them to the nearest tree? Waiting for the arrival of SHTF just promotes their own self worth & inflated egos. Put Fear onto their doorsteps, not ours.

      • Good point. When I started prepping several years back, during the Clinton years, I created a mission statement to focus my preparations. I have all points in the article just need emergency power covered, way expensive. Some preppers are focused on the wrong type of disaster, i.e., the Yellowstone super volcano eruption. Maybe it happens this year, maybe in a thousand years. The current impending economic collapse is real as it the tyranny of the US government.

        To your point, my original mission was “to develop the capability to conduct sustained combat operations against a rogue government”. We have arrived at that point.

        Prepare for what is most likely to happen. Water, food, sanitation, medical needs, weapons, ammo and alternative currency are the 7 categories common to all preparations. The mission statement shifts the focus as to which category requires the most attention. Combat operations has a different focus than just surviving an EMP burst or hurricane. So focus on the mission and duration then hope you guessed right..

  10. Surviving: Tools required – 1 weapon (optional: bare hands)

    Step 1: survive attacks or attempts to aquire materials.
    Step 2: aquire materials (food/medicine/water/weapons/ammo)
    Step 3: Find shelter until next day
    Step 4: Repeat all steps

    It is that simple Jack. Anything you “prep” you will likely have to leave behind at some point (after it has attracted enough ‘flies’) and if you live for any significant amount of time (in anarchy) these steps are what you will be doing anyway. So get a gun or a knife and get good at it. And welcome to the nightmare world of death and suffering that you helped birth.

  11. When the SHTF…not IF…but WHEN…

    I cannot foresee the Worst Case Scenario developing.

    Of course I cannot foresee it as I have not ever in my life EXPERIENCED anything remotely like some of what is being described. The truth is that most reading these descriptions would believe them to be paranoid…delusional…and so aberrant that they tend to dismiss the idea that anything so horrible could possibly develop. So they respond like Dutch.

    The sad truth is just because I have not personally experienced anything remotely like this does not mean that it will not happen.

    There are many places in todays World where this is CURRENTLY HAPPENING. Any warzone is an example of the Worst Case Scenarios development. Lebannon…Iraq…Afghanistan..and other exotic places are just naming a few.

    The US Military personell deployed overseas to the theaters of horrid destruction and desolation can testify from first hand experience just what it is like to exist in one of these Hellholes on Earth.

    One of the problems is the xenophobia and lack of cosmopolitan exposure which the average citizen of the United States exhibits. This is what causes some posters to react in revulsion and disbelief to what many here write about.

    My wager is that many whom write and are prepping are ex military. You have seen it therefore you know it. It is too bad that the average American has been sheltered from the truth…have had their attitudes molded by the propaganda spewed by the corporate Main Stream Media…thus do not have…or cannot fathom…a clue about the upcoming devastation which awaits them.

    May God help us all.

    Tall Tom
    I Cor 13

    • Tall Tom,
      I, myself, am a working, prepping, fairly young, single mom. I have never been in the military.

      I feel that I am the only one in my circle of friends who is prepping. I do look for websites and threads like this to learn what more I can do and skills I can work on to be more prepared. I have plan A, B, C and etc, just in case.

      I just began to work out to be physically ready. I read books to try to be mentally prepared. I read the Bible everyday to my daughter, so we are spiritually prepared. However, I am still scared and feel that I can’t emotionally prepare myself in the least. Suggestions?

      • Proverbs 3:5-6

        It is okay to be scared. It is okay to be emotionally unprepared. So long as you have a “survivor” instinct, and a Mom’s tenacity to defend your daughter, you WILL either survive or die trying. Keep on doing what you know to be right and the LORD will honor that. In the end, the Holy Spirit WILL give you the right words and the right thoughts. On that you CAN depend.

        I am former military, but I’m also 70 years old and can’t move as fast as I once was able to. Still, when it comes down to it, it really doesn’t matter if I don’t survive because Heaven is my ultimate end.

        God bless and keep the faith until the END.

  12. laundry….without machines, laundry needs are very physical, require proper equiment to heat and rinse water, big tubs and lines for drying..etc. I have not seen underwear and socks or towels or sheets on many lists, or how to do a fully manual laundry. Clean clothes and washing up after sick and wounded is just as important as medical and sanitation.
    your sleeping bag will stink pretty quick, and all that special gear will smell like an old hockey bag in time. Baking soda by the barrelful, woodash, big tubs, and bolts of basic fabrics like sheeting and shirting and canvas/denims. A young girl would start weaving her houshold linens for years before she needed them, because it takes that long to weave and spin cloth!!!!
    Just one thing I have seen overlooked many times, and I do weave, and can even MAKE paracord, but no one will have time or equipment to weave. Cloth will be very valuable.

    • Learn how to make Lye Soap. Easy, uses the ashes from the wood stove and cleans everything. Even kills bacteria. A little soap, water and elbow grease and your laundry is done.

  13. We have been building our safe haven for 4 years, well 120 volt that can run from either of our gen. set or solar. Feeds a 100 gal tank. Hardned house, Stock pile of what is needed for a 2 year stay. I am a Ham radio operater with HF VHF UHF and back-up rigs plus complete station in SUV. We have at least one back-up system for all. Its taken a long time to get ready and if done over time works well.We have gone with 2 deisel gen. set as fuel does not go bad as with gas. Got off Nat. Gas and went to propane 2 systems to have control over that also. The Goverment has given all ulities to the Army so they can be cut off at any time. Have to be able to get off the grid for a extended time. Good luck all and have a plan and keep working on itto improve on it. We will be on our own and don’tlet people around you know what you have, There will be no food water ect

  14. Cannibalism will become a problem once again in the Americas and much of the world due high price of food after hyperinflation has set in, two large scale environmental disasters(Gulf of Mexico oil spill and Fukushima nuclear disaster) and the destruction of the food supply due to genetic engineering.

  15. The book “Dare to Prepare” is a good start for learning how to prepare for the upcoming SHTF scenario.

  16. It sounds to me that most of ya`ll got a roof over your head. A realy good reference is the FOX FIRE series!! I am surprised I have not heard any mention of it. CHECK IT OUT! there are a few different volumes. By the way , I would just dig a hole in the ground and take a dump there then cuver it back up. For water, just get some plastic streatch it out about 2 or 3 ft. above ground to catch morning dew. For food or security – can any body say PUNJI STICKS!!!, maybe not bamboo but you could just sharpen some sticks, kind of sick isn`t it-more ways than 1 to use punji stick! Always cary a good knife, some fishing line, rope, some plastic, clothes. If you get wet and cold you will suffer! a good hatchet or ax – go figure! you guys see, I have been preparing for survival for a few yrs. now and don`t know if I look forward to it at my age but I have been ready. When it happens people will betray you even your best freinds – as I found out the hard way. I have been getting used to living on a 100. buck a mo. and it isn`t that bab once ya get used to it!, I do own my onw property in country though – lucky me for now any way. Heres to yal and hope it does`t ever come to this we all talkin about!!! My van has been foll of supplies now for a few yrs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.