5 tips to survive a worse case SHTF scenario.

apocalyptic scene

Surviving a long-term SHTF Crisis is all about knowledge, training, and preparation. While some websites are dedicated to selling you a bunch of fancy survival gear and Doomsday Preppers garbage, we are dedicated to giving it to you straight. Yes, survival gear is important; but without taking the time to increase your survival knowledge, to practice your preparedness skills in a real-world setting, and without really understanding why you do or don’t need a certain type of gear, nothing you can buy is going to help you survive.

But if you take the time and put in the effort, then you are going to put yourself a thousand steps ahead of the panicked masses when things go bad. If you do all of those things on a regular basis, chances are pretty good that you’ll not only survive a worst case SHTF event, but you just might actually thrive. Fail to prepare, and all I can say is good luck, we tried to warn you!

Here are five small things you can do to prepare yourself for future problems:

Perform a Threat Assessment

People evacuating before a disaster

One of the best ways to really test your level of preparedness is to do an in-depth assessment of your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to different threats you may face.

If you plan on Bugging Out analyze your plan for weaknesses.

  • Do you know your routes without a map?
  • Do you know where to find food and water along your routes?
  • Do you have a plan B?
  • What are the most likely threats?

If you plan on hunkering down:

  • What are the most likely threats that you’ll face?
  • Do you have a security plan?
  • Is your location equipped and strong enough to face these threats?
  • How long could you survive at that location before leaving?

Create a worse case scenario evacuation plan

evacuation bus

Get out your notebook and start to figure out what you would do during a bug out situation.

  • Do you know where you would go?
  • Do you have a plan of action in place?
  • Do you have alternate routes?

If not, now’s the time to create an evacuation plan.

Create a Survival Binder

Survival Binder

Knowledge is one of the most important things you can have is any survival situation. But how can you remember everything?

A good way to start is by putting together a personal survival guide filled with important articles, tips, and how-to guides. The guide should be filled with things that you would have a hard time remembering in a survival situation.

Test your Skills

Knowledge is great, but have you ever tried to put that knowledge to use? To be truly prepared, you need to start practicing your survival skills in a real world situation. A survival situation should never be the first time you test your skills.

Take an inventory of your supplies

Take an inventory of your supplies and calculate how long you can realistically survive with what you currently have. If you’re not satisfied with the outcome of your inventory assessment, make a list of what you need and then start stockpiling those items.  Check out our list of long-term survival foods for some ideas.


  1. old soldier
    November 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Good advice, advice I “aim” act on.

  2. norman
    November 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    sounds like good advice.

  3. BlackDog
    December 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    I’d like to add a tip, if I may. If you live in a city over 1 million people — a Phoenix, or a Chicago, or a Miami — you will need to get out of Dodge at least days before TSHTF. Otherwise, you will not be going anywhere. You need to decide what type of news would send you scurrying. And you need to discuss that with your family/friends/anybody that might be bugging out with you. You won’t get a second chance. The authorities will block off the roads ‘for your own protection’ and turn you back on the backroads and trails. You need to be out of the area and into your ‘sweet spot’ BEFORE TSHTF! Oh, and try not to depend on all the movies and books out on survivalism. There is definitely some useful info to be gleaned, but remember, any SHTF or grid-down occurrence will be like nothing else you (or anybody else) can imagine. So don’t expect things to happen the way they do in books or on TV.

    • William
      January 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      Very true. I live in Houston. When hurricane Rita came, the evacuation looked like something out of one of the bad disaster films. It was scary and hectic. Fortunately, I was one to keep my head about myself and got my family where they needed to be. Hurricane Ike hit, and we stayed. Wasn’t a good idea, but I was prepared with food and water. We went almost 8 weeks without power. It was scary/entertaining to watch people at the stores and gas stations freaking out. I learned that the biggest threat will come from the unprepared freaking out and over-reacting. When I saw some of that, I came to the conclusion that people will have to be relieved of their biological functions simply from their spastic reactions threatening my family’s well being. Sad, but true. Been through two WSHTF scenarios and seen it.

  4. Teresa
    December 16, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I don’t think any 1 person can prepare for everything. There will always be things that are unimaginable. Think about the towers. Hardly anyone ever expected OUR planes would be highjacked and used as missiles targeting the American people. And when it did happen no one expected them to fall. How do you plan for that? Whats next? I suggest we share possibe situations and ways to plan.

  5. brandon illsley
    December 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    MUST HAVES:drinkable water. Food, shelter, basic medical supplies. guns and ammo, someplace safe and at least 4500 ft above sea level. safety in numbers

    • big butowski
      December 31, 2011 at 7:08 pm

      4500 ft above sea level why?

      • Hannah
        January 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm

        In case of mass flooding… GTB prepared for anything when the SHTF! Good luck everybody.

  6. Jeff W.
    December 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I have a first and a second bugout location,first is reachable in a half an hour however the second is much further but also much more secure. It is all about dessisions and timing as far as martial law and being able to travel.

  7. Survivor Mike
    December 26, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Great post – love the way you guys break things up into sections – makes it much easier on the eyes for the readers.

    Just curious, how many out there actually test out their preparedness? I have to start doing that myself.

    • Nor' Country
      January 16, 2012 at 6:33 am

      @ Survivor Mike…

      However you decide to test your plan, be sure to have a pen and paper with you to make notes on your weak areas. I carry a digital recorder and make notes to myself about what is working and not working. At the end of the test, I review my notes and make the “after action report” which identifies the short comings and forces me to schedule a time to get the right equipment or skills needed.

      For example, my matches got wet. The problem is the gasket on the match case is bad. In the “after action report” I note the problem and set a deadline to get the new gasket (or in this case to replace the whole thing) as in my next trip to town for supplies.

      Can you tell I work in emergency management and disaster planning? The biggest problems I come across in this line of work is a failure to fix the problems identified in the exercise or test of the plan. I come back six months later to re-test a client’s plan and have to write them up again for failing to fix the problems from the first test…

  8. Nor' Country
    January 16, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Can do, will do, and have done…

    Can do: figure out the plan.

    Will do: implement the plan.

    Have done: test plan and patch up weak areas.

  9. Joe_downSouth
    February 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Good stuff here…
    I´d appreciate good advise on how to prepare for road stalkers with machine guns; sunny MX has turned into bloody MX… Thanks for the advise and take care.

  10. Bparker
    February 27, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I am in Florida and some times it is very difficult to decide on when to bugout with a hurricane on the way. By the time you are sure its going to hit your area, the roads are a disaster. Any suggestions?

    • Bparker
      February 27, 2012 at 10:16 am

      I have had a few things happened to me in recent weeks and they opened my eyes to how unprepared I am. I am far to depend on my job for survival. I could really use some tips on how to get started. I did alot of hunting and fishing when I was a kid, so I am not completely ignorant but need a lot of help on survival. This looks like a great place to get started. any information would be appreciated. thank you and I look forward to chatting!

  11. richard104
    July 11, 2012 at 12:57 am

    When the SHTF, remember that what you have (in the ways of preparedness) others will want and try to take. If you’re going to defend your castle, you may have to do so in shifts with armed sentries. That is why it is much safer in numbers, so prep with others in mind. Most of my family doesn’t believe in prepping, but when TSHTF, i know that they will be knocking on my front door. I have already planned for them in my prepping. You may want to learn how to get “natural drugs” from surrounding plants/vegetation.

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