Hypothetical Wednesday January 10, 2017 – What Would You Do?

There has been a major event that has shut the power grid down resulting in a WROL (without rule of law) situation. It’s been three months and the power still hasn’t been restored and your supplies are running low and you and your family are having to do without basic necessities such as food and medicine.

You had just started prepping a few months before this disaster struck, and had been putting back food supplies and other essentials but had not yet managed to build up a sufficient stockpile to see you and your family through a prolonged disaster such as the one you’re now facing…

But you do have weapons and ammo… and you know that your neighbor is a prepper and has plenty of food, medications and other gear stockpiled for their family… Their group consists of three men, their wives, and several children including two teenagers.

Altogether they have eight shooters in their group and are well trained and well armed with each being armed with an M4 and Glock 19. Also, their property may be boobytrapped and they may have IE devices but you’re not sure.

What would you do?  Why?

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. I would request a “speak too”with the head man, but against those odds by pass and scoruge / forage, if no agreement could be obtained

    • I am 72 years old and 100% disable I been rob here in Seattle after that I got a WA. State C.C.P. I have no fear of using my 45. so a little stoking up as much as I can ! I think I have enough to last a month

  2. PrepperDoc says:

    figure out what your advantages are to benefit their group if you were part of them; is it a win-win for all?

    Assess how you would fit into their plans. Eight people is not a lot for maintaining a 24-hour watch and also growing food. I personally would want to have more than 8 on my watch schedule….

    Assess how trustworthy THEY are also. Do you fit in philosophically / emotionally / religiously with their group — this isn’t going to be easy since you’re not really a known quantity to them and if you are really a square peg in their round hole philosophical group, neither you nor they may be happy.

    I would also begin to figure out how you are goiing to grow, make or find what else you need, should an alliance not work out; also find other alternative alliance possibilities.

    Obviously, you have survived (many around you may not have by this point) but your positiion is weakening.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      By the way, this is a very good question to pose!

      • I agree. It is a very possible situation.

        • living near a lake I would start a trot line and haul water from the lake daily. they may see me doing my thing being no threat to them. After a bit I would make small talk with them over time. If they were not the type of people I want to be associated with I would give them a wider berth. I don`t care if they are well prepped if they are the wrong type of people I would keep away.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            Your trot line thing made me think of The Donner Party. I watched a U-Tube video on it a few months ago.

            They were trapped close to a lake. I wonder why they didn’t chop a hole in the ice and fish? I don’t like fish, but in their position you can bet I would chop a hole in the ice and be eating fish!

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      I agree also. This is the most probable situation for many of ‘Us’. One side or the other. To one degree or another.

  3. It seems like you know a lot about these people. Did you make friends before SHTF? You should have as now is too late to do so. What to do? Hope there is something left to forage and no one is out to kill you for the small tidbits left.

  4. IMO your only option is to talk and try to set up some kind of trade. If you try to force it, you loose. People with only guns and ammo are one of the main threats that people like me worry about.

    Depending upon the time of year and your climate, you might be able to work together for your mutual benefit.

    I hope you had a relationship with them before things came apart. It would certainly make things a lot easier.

    And this is another fine example of getting started NOW. Figure out what you need to live, how those resources are going to be replaced, and how long yours will last. Personally, I figure my supplies will only last 1/2 the time I think they should, and it will take 2-3 times as long to replace them. Redundancy is our operational standard.

  5. Thomas The Tinker says:

    If I’m to be this guy… God bless me for starting to prep when I did as any time is a good time. Damm my luck at having come late to the riot. ( MommaSan and I didn’t pick up our first lot of ‘seeds’ until we had 6 months of ‘grits’ in the pantry. )

    My neighbor(s) have their act in top shape and I would be a fool to think they did not know / see the condition of my preps.

    Call a parley and talk it over on the bluntest of terms. Ask.. don’t beg. That you didn’t do this two months ago is ON YOU. Showing these folks that you are not just willing but that you are going to make a go of it. this ‘May’ earn you some help. Begging (IMO) will… get you on the threat list as it shows desperation.

    Outside of this weeks ‘What IF’ : Interesting how many of ‘us’ think in terms of nobodyknowsnothing about the neighbors until after an event. I’ll take that and ware it. I’m new to this part of town and I don’t know squatolla about most of the hood I’m in.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Thomas The Tinker if you use wood as heat on Airport Hwy across from what use to be Art Iron (don’t know the name of it today) there is a place that is always putting out pallets for people to pick up for free.

      It takes a bit of work to break them up into burn size, but they are free.

      Every so often I grab a few to build an outside project.

      • Thomas The Tinker says:

        Chuck… San Marcos Mercado, behind the Monroe street Anderson’s (if you ask first for the busted ones), Furniture Row….. Now that we live in a house with a fire place and pit I’ve been taking close note of where to find them.

        Airport hywy….. just off Burne Rd. towards the ‘Trail’?

        Chuck I’ll be at the MVGCA show at the Rec Center. Deep discounts on Safe Queens and Ammo.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          Airport hywy….. just off Burne Rd. towards the ‘Trail’?

          Yep that’s it, if you go over the railroad tracks you went too far. It’s on the left side right across from the iron company. They put pallets out all the time, you just stop and load up. There use to be a sign saying “Free pallets.”

          Not going to the gun show, I’m pretty well set for guns and ammo. These days I take any extra money and buy silver, not guns.

  6. Make your peace with God, cause if I was the neighbor I wouldn’t have anything to do with you at that point. Far too late to be building alliances with strangers, especially those with nothing to offer. And even if they were willing to take you in, you would always be a second-class citizen in the group at best, or a slave at worst, because you would be totally dependent on them. And at that point, you won’t have the luxury to demand that they hold the same beliefs and morals as yourself – you will be the one to have to adapt if you want to live.
    90 days out has given you time to be in the middle of a huge harvest of even long-season garden edibles (season permitting) and having had three sequential litters of rabbits, four sequential hatchings of chickens and be more than halfway to new baby dairy goats and fresh milk. Or if the season hasn’t permitted, you could be growing and eating short season cool/cold weather crops (greens, peas, beets, etc) or sprouting seeds indoors. Even if you don’t have seeds or a garden, you shouldn’t be too hungry, cause you could at least be fishing, hunting, trapping, harvesting cattails, acorns, nuts, roots, apples/crabapples/berries/grapes still hanging, wintergreen berries and leaves for tea, maple and birch saps, seeds persisting on plants, the inner bark of most of the Pines, Slippery Elm, Black Birch, Yellow Birch, Red Spruce, Black Spruce, Balsam Fir and Tamarack, gleaning harvested fields for fallen grains (with permission) and making teas of pine needles, staghorn sumac and rose hips for vitamin c to prevent scurvy, the inner bark of wild black cherry and slippery elm to deal with colds and willow to treat pain – even in the dead of winter.
    This is what I find so sad about most preppers…even though they are “preppers”, it seems like most want to continue in their present urban/suburban lifestyle until the moment all heck breaks loose. They are going to have a really hard time. Those who survive and thrive will be those in temperate climates with arable land and enough rainfall to grow crops and are already producing food and livestock pretty much year round. It takes time to learn about and practice food production and livestock husbandry to be successful. And we need to have already built excellent relationships with our immediate neighbors…because you need them.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Wonderful ideas! Very smart thinking. I’m able to about half of it so far, will eventually be able to do more of it. I’ve always thought that one of the most important preparations was to have enough seeds on hand to keep most of the neighborhood able to PLANT right at the beginning of the catastrophe.

      • You are on the right track, Doc…but take it just a little further. You would be far further ahead if you already had both plants/trees and animals growing all the time…because who knows when the coming Darker Ages will arrive? That way, whenever they come, you already have crops & livestock in various stages of growth, rather than having to wait to start harvesting. And you can just skip all that panic! The biggest difference between the “standard” garden (where you put in the garden in late spring then harvest as crops ripen) and a
        “food production garden” is that with the latter, you are always planting something and always harvesting something. That way you can have fresh food available all the time and rather than harvesting a crop once during a two-week period, you can arrange it so you can harvest that crop for months. You do that by planting early, midseason and late varieties of each crop, and succession-planting those varieties every week or two. Even here in a northern tier state (think deep snow and -35 degrees), I can harvest salads all winter long with an improvised small short hoophouse. And in even in that, I have mostly mature crops to eat all winter, younger crops that will mature in early spring and two ages of seedlings to plant out in the big garden in early and late spring for the next two harvest periods. This winter I have about 15 varieties of lettuces, spinach, kales, 3 kinds of beet greens/baby beets, mache, green onions and chives. Would have had carrots but forgot to plant them (sigh).
        Having lots of seeds on hand at all times is reassuring – and necessary. I keep at least 5 years worth on hand for my market garden, plus metal garbage cans full of hull-less oats, wheats (soft for cakes/pastries, hard for breads and durum for pasta) , 2-row malting barley (for beer), dry beans, flour, meal and popping corns, etc. I don’t even have much room to plant those…but my neighbor to the south does (on his 7oo acre certified organic farm). And he has already received his SHTF assignments (hehe).
        And you can do the same thing with fruits and berries. Which is why the orchard keeps growing…started with a handful of ancient trees and a handful of just reaching full bearing trees. And now we have 35+ trees with 8 on order for this year. You can have apples and pears to harvest from July to November by selecting the proper varieties! And gold/red/black raspberries all during the same time, with strawberries from June to frost.
        It takes planning, practice and some hard work…but would far rather invest time in the project now rather than starve slowly later. And even if the coming Dark Ages don’t come soon…it just gives me more time to practice and teach others. And saves me a fortune in food costs – growing food is like printing money. Every bite of food you can grow is one you don’t have to buy, which frees up that money for something you can’t provide for yourself!
        I plan to thrive, rather than just survive.

    • not everyone is able to keep livestock where they live… some towns are like that unfortunately! I could just imagine these people around me freaking out if we had chickens running around – rabbits I can see us being able to hide. gardening yes- and I’d love to do aquaponics, but if there is no electricity there will be no pumping of water to keep it clean/flowing… sounds like we are going to be doing a lot of fishing and crabbing!

  7. Tend your garden. You do have a garden, right?
    Offer to work for them, in exchange for food & water.
    Offer to use your skills to benefit them.
    Consider fishing, hunting, trapping.

  8. The fact that my neighbor and I have made it 3 MONTHS into a collapse is a feat in and of itself. I would think that by this time we have had more than one conversation about the ongoing issues and our own well-being. Thinking about this from “the other side of the fence” for a moment (as though I were the well prepped neighbor) I would certainly want to make an ally of the family that made it this long. If they approached me asking to join up I would definitely look for ways we could work together.

    With that in mind, in this scenario I would approach the well prepped neighbor about joining forces or at least forming a MAG. Maybe they could expand their security perimeter to include my place while I went out foraging or scavenging. Maybe they would even have enough extra to trade with my family for skills and labor. Given the layout of this scenario it seems as though the groundwork is being laid to attack the neighbor and take what he has but that’s not even something I would consider.

    • My four sons says:

      Agree, I don’t think an offensive attitude here benefits anyone. Set up to get shot if you try and that’s not what I am about either. Survival is about conflict avoidance until you can’t avoid it any more. Looking for a fight is a good way to find one maybe a bigger 1 than you want.

    • Tend to agree, Novice. It would be the height of idiocy to get into a firefight. In this scenario, it is a complete no win. I post earlier that getting to know your neighbors is a key prep that gets overlooked a lot. That will not change after the balloon, in fact will be even more important. Peaceful coexistence is the watchword whenever possible, as no individual or even family has every skill needed in a SHTF situation. Of course that requires that you have something worth bartering or trading, so you need to be figuring that out. Skills and knowledge are more valuable than “stuff” as a general rule.

  9. My four sons says:

    The only choice is too offer yourself in any capacity helpful to them in exchange for what you need. If they will not help you, try and scrounge or move on. Eight shooters you are not going to force them into doing anything they don’t want to and an attempt to do something like this would force a retaliation. One would hope you offer them something of value and they would see you as a benefit to keep fed.

  10. Assuming I do not know these people, I would be very cautious. To attempt to communicate, I would leave a sign near the edge of his property facing in. Saying I would like to peaceably meet with him the next day at noon under a white flag at that location to try to barter things.
    Standards always have a sniper covering you and wear body armor!!!

  11. I get clean and shaved, have the wife give me a haircut, and then I show up with an honest to God resume. I can’t bring supplies, and I know that I will be a drain on theirs, at least in the short term.

    I make the case that at three months, we are out of the short term situation, which is all I was able to prep for. What I can bring is skills, which is what I have on the resume. I will put everything I can think of on that list, triaged between “expert”, “trained”, and “familiar.” For the things that I do for a living (computer and AV stuff), I’ll list that as expert. I’m not going to lie — because it’s going to be a bad situation if it turns out that they actually need an expert in that field and I can’t produce.

    For things that I’ve had actual training in (thankfully for me, that’s electronic repair, radio operations, first aid, and carpentry) I’ll list that. For familiar, I’ll list things that I’ve done but haven’t had formal training (firearms handling, plumbing, solar power, gardening, PBX phone system admin, everything I can think of).

    I’ll also bring (but not disclose) an inventory list of things that I can bring from my own location — essentially everything I can strip out of my house and bring. (Frankly, that inventory will be the thing that I do as soon as it is clear that the power isn’t coming back relatively quickly.) This is everything from my survival and camping gear down to the springs in my attic ladder and the pipes in the crawlspace. I’ll have this list either in anticipation of striking a deal on the spot (to go over on what I should bring immediately on return) or to prove that when they ask for something, I’m not just saying “sure I have that” on the spot. If I can pull out a sealed envelope that has that on it, that’s a damned fine magic trick.

    You’re showing up applying for a job. You need to treat it that way. Any other adult or teenager in your group should do the same. My wife is expert in knitting (with the State Fair blue ribbons to prove it) and project management. She’s trained in gardening and food safety management. (If they’ve been dealing with the runs for weeks, that may be the thing that seals the deal.) She’s also trained in Medieval History — including domestic methods, which are going to be damned handy at the three month mark.

    People can take stuff from you. They can’t take knowledge. Even if I showed up with a giant pile of supplies, that might not get me in. The things that they can’t take from me, and can only be given freely, are what will make the deal.

  12. Brian Marks says:

    UK survivalist’s perspective,
    It is a crime to hunt with a bow or crossbow in England, but I’d do that straight away when the power goes off.
    I live near an area rich with game that circa 99% of our local population have no idea it exists. I also live 5 minutes walk in 3 compass points from rural land.
    I’d orientate my body clock so I can leave my house before dawn and hunt the game that runs around the young woodland I know well.
    I would then knock on the neighbors door and offer them some fresh meat on the pretext of ‘just in case you are running low’. That lets them know I know what they do and that I also do likewise, it also introduces an element of mutual trust which may work well to form future relationships together. Note I never tried to take their stuff but offered some of what I had !
    In my country guns are not so much a common thing but we are well stocked with bolts and spare strings. My son has several modified air rifles and pellets a-plenty he bought especially to take down small game. I can take down bigger game like small deer with my crossbow and there are a fair few around my location.
    I have solar for my Ham radios and my wife’s insulin cooler pack so that’s really the only power I need.
    Fortunately I have some good friends who belong to groups that have survivalism as part of their ethos and suffice to say they would aid in gathering together to make a more defense capable body of ‘patriots’, we have already spoken about such things.
    All in all, my food preps on their own are good for 3 months + and ignoring our stupid UK laws can only make what we have in place go that bit further.


  13. Prepared Grammy says:

    Excellent question! I probably would have talked to my neighbors before now. But if I hadn’t, I would see what my family and I could offer in exchange for what we needed.

    By the way, I want to give an update on my son. He was in an accident at work (He’s an electrical lineman. He was on the top of a pole with charged lines attached. The pole broke below the ground. He was shocked and the pole landed on him.) and I asked the pack to pray for him. He has a broken knee that the ER completely overlooked, a complete tear of the MCL, and the cartilage is really messed up. He is going to see an orthopedic surgeon, and will be having surgery as soon as possible. He is also looking at a lot of therapy. Please continue to pray for him. Thank you.

    • Will do Grammy

    • Babycatcher says:

      Will do. What’s his first name or initials? That’s scary, what he went thru. Hugs to you all.

    • Almost There says:

      My mom fell down a flight of stairs. Do you think they took x-rays of her whole spine? No, they didn’t. She kept complaining that her neck hurt. 6 weeks out we took her back for more xrays.. found out she had broken her C-7….and had to have surgery to repair the damage.

      Prayers for your son for expidious healing.

      • Babycatcher says:

        Prayers for your mom as well! Yikes! That fall could have killed or crippled her! Will pray for a solid recovery!

    • PG,
      Definitely praying for A.

  14. Three months in and still expecting someone else to take care of you. Expecting others to provide is a plan for dying slow. Should have had food growing all this time, been hunting feral pets and edible vermin, foraging edible weeds. Live trap a few rats and raise them for meat. Same with pigeons. All of that to stretch your stored goods. I’ve read the bones and they are yours.

  15. At three months out and in a lawless situation there is going to be a dieoff of unprepared individuals. There will be plenty of scavenging. If you have guns and ammo, you have a means of protecting yourself. If I were this guy I would go scavenging.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Might not be the first one at any given place, but I will be out scav….. looking for surplus in about 6 weeks while visiting the stealth garden patches…. Then… this could be the dead of winter!

      Assuming my preps were only 90 days deep.

      Bam Bam…. I’ll trade off covering the 6 if you’ed like to set up a route!

    • PlantLady says:

      Scavenging is going to be ultra-dangerous because hardly anyone is truly prepared…so pretty much everyone surviving is going to be out looking for stuff. I’m pretty sure its going to be like Black-Friday to the nth degree, cause everyone will be armed, desperate and their and their children’s lives will depend on what they can find. And about half (or more) of them will be predators hanging around waiting to take what others have worked to scavenge.
      And then there are the moral aspects. Do you know the owners of what you are “scavenging”? If no one is around, do you know if they or their heirs are all dead…or on their way out of a city on foot, so they just aren’t there yet? Or perhaps they are just out scavenging themselves?
      And who is going to be watching your place and protecting your stuff from all those other scavengers while you are out scavenging?
      I’m going to let folks bring needful things to me. We have plans for a combination trading post/grocery, library, pub, post office and medical center. Every small community needs a hub – somewhere to buy/trade with the community at large, a place to share news, socialize and plan matters of community interest. It fits so well with being well-prepared. If you are well prepared you have the ability to grow, process and preserve most of your own food. And to make sure you have enough, you always plant and preserve a little extra. And in a SHTF world, that extra will be highly valuable trade goods. And for even more valuable trade goods, make some extra drinkable alcohol from your grapes, apples, berries, grains and hops. Use your grain mill for flour and cornmeal and then use your wood cookstove to bake breads and other baked goods -because who else around you has a grain mill or wood cookstove? Put up extra jams and pickles and fermented vegetables. You probably will have a medicinal herb garden for your own use, there is another source of highly desired trade goods. Since you are going to be doing most all this for yourself anyways, just do a little more and you have a perpetual stock for your grocery, alcohol and food for the pub and medicines for the medical center. And rather than traveling around with this highly valuable merchandise, peddling it house to house during dangerous times…have folks come to you. And when they come, you will be the first to learn the latest news of the area – probably your greatest resource. Plus have first pick of desirable trade goods. And let’s face it, the well-prepared are going to end up taking in some of the less well-prepared. Rather than taking in useless dependents, choose wisely and there are your gardeners, livestock stewards, orchardists, cooks, clerks, security personnel, etc. solving your labor needs for such an enterprise. And you will be lessening the load of hungry, desperate people in your area.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        Scavenging is going to be ultra-dangerous because hardly anyone is truly prepared…so pretty much everyone surviving is going to be out looking for stuff.

        Yep hunting will probably not work so well. In the 1930’s game was hunted to almost extinction.

        Better to have an air rifle or air pistol and lots of pellets. Birds are easy to kill, they think it’s safe 30-feet up in a tree. Every bird on the planet is safe to eat. No there is not much meat on a bird, but you can kill a lot of them in a day.

  16. gary in bama says:

    As a man I couldn’t go to them begging. I would ask to talk explain my situation and ask them to watch over my family while I was gone Hunting/scavenging for food. If aid was offered I would accept for my family. If one of them wanted to assist in hunting/scavenging it would be a joint split of goods. A family unit can respect a man trying to provide for his own.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      If I was your neighbor….. I’d take you up on the deal Gary. Sound honest.. fair..

  17. mom of three says:

    This is why you get to know your neighbors, you feel each one out to see what they believe in and how much gardening, canning, stuff like that they do or don’t. I know 7 neighbors pretty well and I believe we could work together not everyone is going to turn into a killer overnight. I think most people, will work together if it means life or death but still have your guard up any situation can go from good to bad in a hurry too.

  18. Red tower says:

    Three months out its time to start rebuilding civilization. Time to start your own business and accept payment in food, meds, supplies, etc. In exchange for your skills. During the depression, my G-pa found himself without work and means to care for four daughters and wife. But he had a mule and a wagon. He started working as a dreyman-wagon for hire, and began picking up trash. He scavenged for food and clothes for the girls. G-ma sewed them as needed and tore other clothes into rags, which he sold for a dime a dozen (literal). Some of the richer ladies in town realized what he was doing and began tipping him, or giving him sacks of vegetables they “didnt want”. Not once did he ask anyone to help, but worked for every bit. they made it, barely at times, but after WW2 was able to upgrade to a bigger wagon and a team. I have a pic of him standing on a load of hay. So it is possible for people to survive if they go do, instead of waiting for help from others.
    For myself, me and DH would have been out and trading skills after about the first week. Fully armed, if course, since it’s WROL.

  19. Sarah Querry says:

    EVENING FROM SEATTLE,WA. I well change the subject THE last 3 weeks I have “NOT” done a damn thing prepping ! MY sister died and then her hubby died 3 days latter IT hit me like a rock! +trying to get new “MEDACARE ” coverage ! I fell bad I did not do a damn thing !+ I was running short on $$$$! SORRY ABOUT VENTING

    • Sarah:

      Don’t feel sorry about venting. You need to, andif this is the only place you can…vent away!

    • mom of three says:

      Sarah, I wish I were closers so sorry for your lost, I will pray for you. What an absolute horrible time for you and your family, take care and just do what you can do..:(

    • Sarah,
      Like JP says, vent away. You and your family are in my prayers. Take care of yourself.

    • Almost There says:

      Sarah Q,

      I am so sorry to hear about your sister and brother-in-law. Just tragic. Prayers for you and your family for strength during this very difficult time.

  20. Since my group is low on food, but has weapons and ammo, I would talk to the other group about forming a common security force, as 3 months in WROL could mean some serious urban gang types trolling our area for supplies. I also know in my group we have skill sets that are useful, so I would offer them to their group. ( daughters a nurse, other speech therapist, wife is great scratch cook and really good grade school teacher, myself, carpentry, reloader, several water filter systems, solar bank and batteries, etc. ) this should work to convince them that we would be an asset for awhile at least.

    Luckily I am known and on good terms with my neighbors, and feel we would be at the forefront of forming a combined team to weather the disaster situation for as long as we needed to. Bow hunting is my passion, and we have lots of deer and smaller game in my area, so hunting to suplement our supplies would be very productive.

  21. I don’t see any need to worry about how you fit in philosophically, emotionally, or religiously with the neighbors. I don’t care what religion a person is if I need to work with them for survival. People need to quit dividing people up by religion! I would be loathe to work with people who have not done anything in three months to prepare for the day the food runs out. However, I do agree with: don’t beg; work at something; offer them something.

  22. Given to my current physical/medical situation, I honestly don’t know what I would do. About the only thing I could do is offer small services should the need arise. Like sewing/mending. I hope I never have to find out. My problem would be protecting what I have.

    I have made it a point to know the pathology of my immediate neighbors. Nooone are preppers. I have one neighbor that hunts and I know he has guns. We are probably the only two in our area that could stave off intruders (hopefully).

  23. Try to establish a combined group that would be mutually beneficial to all parties.

  24. Jesse Mathewson says:

    In that scenario, my personality, I would befriend if possible and add my limited skills to assist.

    Thankfully. I am the guy with multiple plans, bol’s and groups. 🙂

  25. I think it’s important to produce a highly valued commodity. I have a sizable stash of yeast, sugar, corn sugar and plan on making beer , wine and any other type of hooch I can.
    I’m an alcoholic so I can’t use my own product but just about everybody else is gonn’a need a beer

    • If you can get some supplies that could be converted to distillation, you’ll have a hugely necessary product. Between its uses as a solvent, medication, and as a fuel (for heat, light, and engines) there is going to be a huge demand for high proof ethanol, even for recovered alcoholics.

      Double so for non-recovered alcoholics.

      • I was up around Pecos NM about 2 years ago and an old outlaw buddy taught me how to make watermelon shine. He used the meat to make the shine. He put the stuff in in two 15 gallon plastic feed tubs, put the yeast in and covered with a towel. I’m going to have to ask him how much sugar to add. The idea is that yeast eats the sugar and eliminates alcohol. It starts bubbling in about a day & cooks for about 2 weeks. When it stops bubbling the sugar is consumed and it’s time to cook. He had a still from Great Divide that’s a 5 gallon stainless steel container with a stainless cooling coil coming off the top. It’s cooked on a sturdy short propane grill like the ones you can deep fry turkeys in. Don’t get it too hot or it will evaporate rather than condense. Always throw out the first cup or two. It has a bluish tint. That’s the stuff that will make you go blind. Don’t cook it down to the bitter end either for the same reason. A 5 gallon bucket of mash makes about 1.5 quarts of pure D alkyhol. Be careful because after a few sips and you can get real stupid real quick.

  26. I would hope that if I had just started prepping and my neighbor was prepper as well, we’d be on friendly enough terms to work together prior to such an event.
    First I’d try to get in their good graces, and see if I had any skills they lack. If not, I’d at least try to setup a security arrangement with them, freeing me up to forage and hunt.
    I’m not stepping up to eight on one odds.

  27. Offer barter for my medical knowledge and care also barter security for deer meat. It is hard to put myself in that scenario though. I’ve been obtaining for years.

  28. My family is all adults now. When the power went, we would have left SoCal for Texas (even if we had to walk in winter). We have several places to hole up there where we can survive off the land with family even if we could not take our supplies with us. We hope to buy our own place within the next year.

    If we had stayed against my better judgement, I would not expect my neighbors to pick up my slack. I would have offered an alliance immediately. If for some reason we made it this far at odds, I would try to make amends, but wouldn’t count on any success.

    In addition to the armory you described, I already have significant supplies and means to acquire more “disaster specific” supplies as the disaster began.

    In addition, there is lots to forage and tremendous wildlife through our area due to the creek and the excess chicken scratch! On our property we get dove, raccoons, squirrels, possums and more and we have means to take them or trap them.

  29. Chuck Findlay says:

    I also question how you know so much about your prepping neighbors.

    The details are way too specific on a subject the neighbor would keep secret.

    I’m not a new prepper so I won’t answer the question. It doesn’t apply to me.

    But with that said I think it could be possible that those of us that are well prepared could easily be facing less prepared.

    The question (being it’s asked on a prepper site where well prepared people gather and talk) should have been worded to ask the well prepared what they would in this situation.

    If a not-so-prepared prepping neighbor came to me for help I don’t think I would give food. That could easily create a bunch of dependents.

    I have a lot of books on a just about every prepping subject we talk about here. In fact every time someone talks about a subject I haven’t thought of, within days I search out the info on it including putting in a book order on Amazon. I make MS Word files on the subject, I look at and download U-Tube videos (backup them to DVD’s) on it, I also practice the it if it’s something you can practice.

    So I would offer to let them read the books (not take them home to read, but read them under my watch as books will be precious.) to learn more. I have all the best wild food foraging books printed so far. Not that wild food is going to have the best taste, but it will give a person food to eat.

    I also would help them by teaching what I know, and I’m sure they can teach me things. Try to forage a productive relationship with those around you.

    I would always be on guard as you can never know what is in someones heart. Being married and then being raked over the coals has taught me that.

    • Chuck Findlay,

      It is, as the title states a hypothetical question… mainly, meant to let preppers see how their not so prepared neighbors will view them and what they might do once their supplies run out.

  30. Chuck Findlay says:

    I bought some Mayday Bars ($5.50 for a 3,600 calorie bar) I have 6-months of them in a metal box. Doesn’t take up a lot of space, taste like a dry cookie. The dog ate them, I ate them and my son ate them, They actually taste OK, we all liked them. I have 2 weeks worth of them in my van. One package says it’s 3-meals.

    It’s easy to build up a supply of them and while I don’t want or plan on eating them every meal, every day. A few meals of them every few days can extend your food supplies a lot. $5.00 for 3-meals is a good price.

    They say they don’t make you thirsty, but they do for me, but water is very easy to come by and easy to filter so being dry is not a big issue.

    The new prepper should look into these bars as a way to build their food supplies so they will not be dealing with the issue of this post.

    • Almost There says:

      Thanks for the review of the bars Chuck. Good to have options for the calorie packed bars, tabs, etc that don’t take up much room and can even go in our car for emergencies.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        Almost There I also have 3-months of Survival Tabs. The tabs are very good. If you put them in a bowl next to the TV or computer you will eat them, and eat them till they are gone. they are like candy, they are that good, they melt in your mouth…

        • Almost There says:

          I bought some of the survival tabs, but they were misrepresented, as they said they were chocolate and even had the picture on Amazon showing chocolate, but when I got them, I couldn’t find anywhere where it said it was chocolate and they tasted more like malt flavor, which I did not like, and they had already used up 2 years of the 25 year shelf life, so I returned them. In searching them out, it looks like there are 2 kinds of survival tabs. One is “The Survival Tabs” and one is “Survival Tabs”. I need to order the one that actually has chocolate on the picture.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            I wrote a review here, link is in it, The Survival Tab –

            • Almost There says:


              Yes, your review alerted me to such a thing even being out there… I remember Chuck’s comments about eating them for snacks, and wanted some to have for my car, so I ordered some. But the seller misrepresented them or I was sent the wrong one. The seller didn’t say I got the wrong ones, even sent them a picture. I would have happily taken a replacement, but they didn’t offer one to ensure I received to correct kind. I will look up your review when I’m ready to order again.

              • Jesse Mathewson says:

                Make sure to tell Amazon CS regarding the misrepresentation so they can term that vendor. That is bad business for sure.

  31. Chuck Findlay says:

    I don’t know how much of a problem a new prepper with only a few months of food will be after a SHTF event that stops the flow of goods and or causes the dollar’s buying power to go away.

    I think the real problem is the unprepared, they have nothing in their homes. I just got home from repairing a few things in a low end rental property. It is lower in income / level then a Section-8 house is. The property owner rents to people that can’t for some reason get Section-8 help.

    I repaired a rotted bathroom floor and loose kitchen cupboard door hinges. (These people for some reason are really hard on kitchen cabinet hinges as this is very common??) This gave me a look into their food storage. To be blunt, they have no food in the house to speak of, there was maybe 2-days worth. I opened the refrigerator and freezer. The freezer had only ice cube trays, the refrigerator had 7 eggs, an almost empty butter tub and ½ gal of milk. That’s it for food in the house. And the bathroom had 1.5 rolls of TP. But I guess if you are not eating much food, you may not need TP???

    I’m in these houses every few days and they all share this same problem. They don’t have anything in the house. They don’t even have beds, the mattress is sitting on the floor. There is no dressers to put clothes in, clothes are piled in garbage bags. Many times they don’t have a kitchen table, and when they do there usually is no chairs to go with it.

    They do have big TV’s, video games, lots of cartoon DVD movies for the kids and smart phones. She also had what looks to be a new Kia sitting in the driveway.

    Like I said above, being a handyman I get a somewhat unique look into these people’s lives that most do not get. It’s sad to think a majority of Americans live like this.

    Even in the more affluent homes I kinda see the limited food storage. These higher income people have more money but I don’t know that that puts them in any better of a position. If we get economic SHTF these middle class people may not be able to buy food the same as the lower income people won’t be able to buy it. If money is worthless you can’t buy food as your money is worthless. In the last 30-years I don’t think I saw more then 3-dozen homes I was in that had any kind of stocked pantry.

    Higher income doesn’t insulate a person from economic-SHTF if you don’t use that income to buy food and preps. And few people have bought any extra food. It’s going to shock people when their money won’t buy food. If (when) the ATM machines don’t spit out money they are going to loose it big time.

    I hate to think of how any kind of disruption of food will impact these people. You have to believe there are going to be riots, suffering like this country has never seen and a lot of death fro the riots and lack of food.

    It’s not going to go well for people like this; if they get any hint of a prepper with food they have no choice, they will come for it. They must get food or die and they will get violent in an attempt to get it. They may sit for a day or 2 waiting for the government, but when you are starving you can’t wait long.

    • PlantLady says:

      I feel the same way about folks that seem committed to being prepared – but aren’t already growing large quantities of food, both plant and animal. Does it truly matter if you have one week or three months worth of food stored – they are only a finite resource…so it’s just a matter of how fast you starve.
      To ensure a constant supply that will last through any length of emergency, you need to grow food all the time if you want to eat all the time.

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