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:
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.
One of the biggest things that hold people back from starting with disaster preparedness is that prepping is too expensive…
Yes, stockpiling an entire year’s worth of disaster supplies can take a big toll on your budget if you try to buy everything at once. However, I truly believe that creative thinking is one of the most important prepping skills.
When you think outside of the box while prepping, you realize that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on supplies. For example, you could stockpile cheap items and use them to barter for necessities like food and water.
None of us knows what will happen when the SHTF during a disaster situation. We can only do our best to imagine possible outcomes and prepare for the worst.
In a SHTF situation, the following 19 cheap items will likely be in high demand. So you should consider stockpiling them along with your everyday preps so you are prepared to barter for anything you need during a SHTF disaster.
1. Checklists To Get Organized
Getting prepared for disasters is a multi-step process. With so many different things to think about and gear to get, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Our checklists break down everything you need to do and stockpile to be prepared for major emergencies.
The entire bundle includes 15 different checklists and worksheets to help you get prepared for a small investment of just $7
Buy the checklist bundle now for $7
2. Fish Antibiotics
As I talk about in this post about emergency hygiene, disasters almost always lead to disease outbreaks due to crowded, unsanitary conditions. Antibiotics will be needed to combat diseases.
Most doctors won’t write a prescription for “just in case” antibiotics. However, you can legally buy fish antibiotics and keep them as part of your disaster preps.
You can buy fish antibiotics here
Or read more info on fish antibiotics for humans here.
3. Lighters and Matches
With the grid down, people will need to heat their homes and cook with fire. And what do you need to start a fire? I couldn’t find any stats on how many people have matches and lighters at home, but I’m guessing that most people are severely under-prepared.
Lighters and matches are very cheap and take up little space, thus making them one of the best cheap prepping items to stockpile.
Read more about the different types of lighters available.
4. Female Hygiene Items
My wife started using a menstrual cup a long time ago, so we don’t have to stockpile female hygiene items. Most women don’t use one of these though, so they are going to need lots of pads and tampons. More on feminine hygiene.
Disasters cause disgusting, unhygienic conditions. Disinfectants will be in high demand. I’d recommend stockpiling bleach because it is cheap and can be used for disinfecting water. See How to Disinfect Water with Bleach here.
Batteries are a bit pricier, but worth stockpiling because they will be so valuable. Note that batteries will be virtually worthless if an EMP disaster strikes because all electronic devices will be fried. Consider using a Faraday cage for your important survival electronics.
For other types of disasters, consider getting rechargeable batteries and adding a rugged solar charger to your preps.
7. Cooking Oil
As someone who goes backpacking frequently, I can tell you how much of a difference a bit of oil makes to meals. I carry a small squeeze bottle of oil to add to my meals. It makes them taste better, prevents food from sticking to the bottom of the pan, and also adds important dietary fats.
8. Face Masks
Remember 911? People are still dying from the terrorist attack because of asbestos and other hazardous materials they inhaled. A simple face mask (aka respirator) would have prevented many of these deaths. N95 face masks are very cheap, take up little space, and will be very valuable when SHTF. Put some in your bug out bag and keep extras stockpiled at home. Read about N95 respirators for disaster prepping here.
9. Pain Killers
Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and aspirin will all be necessary for reducing pain that comes with disaster-related injuries.
Don’t forget about tooth pain! I’ve talked to a lot of war and disaster survivors and one thing they mention is that dental hygiene usually goes to hell in SHTF situations. Tooth pain is hellish.
I’m betting that people would trade you buckets of food for some cheap tooth pain relief! (Amazon Link)
Recommended reading – Preppers Emergency Dental Kit
10. GI Medicines
All first aid items are going to be in high demand after a disaster. However, GI problems are the most common ailment after disasters (from the unhygienic conditions and drinking untreated water). If you are going to focus on one first aid item to stockpile for bartering, make it GI meds. Here is a decent list of OTC GI medicines.
Recommended reading – Homemade Diarrhea Remedies
11. Plastic Tarps
Plastic tarps are one of the most diverse and useful survival items. There are many uses for tarps, like making shelters, boarding up broken windows, and collecting rainwater.
12. Vinyl Gloves
You’ll need heavy-duty gloves for sorting through rubble and debris. But those super cheap nylon gloves will also be important for treating wounds, changing bucket toilets, and much more. You can buy entire boxes of gloves for just a few dollars.
For bonus points, stockpile string for candle wicks and make your own candles out of used wax.
14. Sewing Kits
You can get mini sewing kits at the Dollar Store. These will be important for fixing clothes, backpacks, tarps, and sleeping bags. The needles in the kits can be used for all sorts of things from removing splinters to sewing up a wound (in extreme cases). Note that I use dental floss instead of thread for sewing because it is waterproof and stronger. But those cheap sewing kits are still great for bartering.
15. Toilet paper
This one should be obvious. Oh, but in case you run out, here are some toilet paper alternatives you can use.
16. Water Purification Tablets
Water Purification Tablets are great SHTF barter items because they are so small. You can carry them in your Bug Out Bag and use them as currency.
In addition to stockpiling bullets, you might want to learn to make your own ammo. For more on that, read How to Find Ammo when SHTF.
18. Sterile Bandages
You can make your own bandages. But most people won’t think to do that. So stockpile lots of sizes and types of sterile bandages.
This is a commonly overlooked survival item. I’ve talked to some people working with refugees and they say that everyone is in desperate need of socks and shoes from walking so much. Stockpiling shoes is a bit more difficult, but you can buy cheap socks and barter them when SHTF.
Read more about survival socks
This isn’t exactly an “item,” but don’t underestimate how valuable knowledge is!
When you know how to do things like make your own bandages or candles, brew your own alcohol, grow your own food, or fix a generator, you will be able to barter your skills for whatever you need.
More importantly, survival knowledge allows you to become a valued indispensable member of a community. Learning survival skills costs absolutely nothing and your skills go with you everywhere.
So start now before it is too late!
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When the SHTF
These days, do you ever find yourself wondering about eschaton, doomsday, apocalypse? I do. No reason in particular.
Apocalyptophiles have a handy acronym for the stage of human existence that comes after the fan is hit by that which should never be in proximity of a fan. When the SHTF, they tell us, they intend to be ready. Lately I’ve been wondering whether the preppers are on to something. What if 2020 to date turns out to be a mere amuse-bouche to a banquet of catastrophe yet to come? What if an electromagnetic pulse takes out the power grid, Kamala Harris …
Something to Consider
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November 2020 shtf
.SHTF MYSTERY SURVIVAL GEAR NOVEMBER 2020
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