I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how best to explain preparing for a SHTF situation. FYI, SHTF or WROL is basically a scenario where the “world as you know it” has gone completely to hell and there’s no expectation that it will return to normal anytime soon.
Anyway, it hit me that the BEST want to explain the concept, IMO, is like this: Prepare Like You’re 100 Miles from Civilization, Then Prepare Like Everyone is Within 100 Miles of YOU!
What exactly do I mean?
It’s simple really. Start by pretending like you literally live in the middle of nowhere. Your nearest neighbor is across the river and over the mountain so-to-speak and the nearest town is at least a few days walk away. Perhaps living somewhere in Alaska would be a good example.
The question is: how would you need to prepare for this scenario?
Prepare Like You’re 100 Miles from Civilization
Well, you certainly wouldn’t be running to Walmart every 15 minutes because you forgot something to make tonight’s meal! The first thing you have to do is to PLAN AHEAD. This mean stockpiling necessities such as food, medicine, sundries, and really anything and everything one could possibly need to live for months or years. It’s a giant goal to be sure.
The second thing you would need is to be seriously SELF SUFFICIENT.
This means collecting and purifying your own water and I’m not talking about a few water barrels and pool shock. You need to think bigger than that… like cisterns and gravity water filters. Granted, you could do this with barrels and IBC totes if you must.
Food would need to be stockpiled for years instead of months. Gardening, hunting, and trapping would be must-dos as well. So too would be preserving said food supplies via canning, dehydrating and more. These are skills our ancestors once had that many of us do not.
Power would be another big one. An off-grid power setup–be it solar, wind, or hydro–would be a must as well. Fuel storage would be on the order of barrels and not jugs. Certainly there’s more to it but these are a good start to thinking “in the right direction.”
In essence, you need to think BIGGER and MORE!
Third, realize that there is:
- no more Walmart
- no grocery stores
- no public utilities
- no police
- no fire department
- no hospitals
- no doctors
- no medicine
- no hardware store
- no mechanic
- no seamstress
… you get the idea. You’ve got what you’ve got. You know what you know. You’re on your own. You either have it or you don’t. Eventually you’ll probably be able to barter but I don’t see that happening for quite some time.
Once you’ve worked to prepare like you live nowhere near civilization, now you need to plan like everyone is nearby… and I mean EVERYONE.
Prepare Like Everyone Lives Within 100 Miles of You
Obviously, this isn’t possible but I’d imagine it sure can seem that way during a SHTF scenario. What do I mean, though?
Well, the biggest assumption is that nearly everyone out there is NOT like you. They are not prepared. They did not bother to stockpile any food, water, medicine, and so on. Their 401k’s and IRA’s are worthless. And their kids are hungry.
What do YOU think they’re going to do?
They sure as shit aren’t going to just sit there staring at the wall until they die. Well, most of them won’t. They WILL, however, go on the hunt. They’ll search out anything that’s of use and eventually they will come looking for you and yours.
And they won’t care if you have a family of your own or children who would starve just like theirs. At this point it’s literally either you or them and I’ll guarantee they don’t care about you. That’s just the way things are, the way we’re “programmed” to survive.
You need to consider this and act like everyone around you wants your stuff. As such, you need to do these things:
- Keep your mouth shut. I’ve failed at this (at least online) but you don’t have to. Don’t let ANYONE know what you’re doing or what you have. This includes neighbors, friends, and even family. The only exception is if you fully expect to survive SHTF with any of these folks. I think the WW2 saying “loose lips sink ships” is a good one to follow. You’ve been warned.
- Keep all of your operations on the “down low” once SHTF has occurred. That is, enact and follow all of those pesky OSPEC rules–light, noise, odor discipline–to avoid unwanted visitors as much as possible. Despite your best efforts it’s a distinct possibility that somebody will come snooping around so you’d better have a plan for that too.
- Be prepared to distract, dissuade, or deal the aforementioned prying eyes be it via diversion loot, outright charity, or lethal force. Your choice as deemed appropriate.
- If/when SHTF occurs you need to do everything in your power to look, act, feel, smell, and otherwise be like everyone else. You shouldn’t be clean shaved, have “extra” pounds, wear clean clothes, etc… at least not out in public. If you stand out then you’re going to be a target. Don’t be a target.
- Avoid interaction with others at all costs! The more people who know that you exist the more chance there is of someone becoming interested in your “goings about” than should be. Remember that times are different. Those that survived any length of time have either prepared (meaning they’re more like you) or they’re likely ruthless, cunning, deceptive, and probably not very good people.
- Pray. A lot. You and I are going to need more help than we realize!
The sad truth is that SHTF here in America will be one hell of a horrible ride if for no reason other than it shifts everyone’s paradigm from having everything I need taken care of (relatively speaking) to I’ve got nothing, now what do I do?
All I can say now is: “Good luck to you and yours.”