Planning For New Arrivals Post-TEOTWAWKI

by M.D. Creekmore on June 14, 2013 · 40 comments

No matter how prepared we are, supplies and space are finite. Providing for the needs of everyone showing up at our doorstep after the shtf is impossible, but the question remains who should be turned away and what will you do if they refuse to leave?

How many people could you provide for and for how long? Most of us have only enough for ourselves and our immediate family. A family of four with a years supply, taking in just one extra person reduces their stockpile by 25%. Two extras and your down to six months at best. Three extra – you get the idea.

My family knows not to come to me looking for a handout. They are welcome to set up camp at my place if needed, but they know to bring their own food and supplies and to be ready to do their share of the work.

It’s true that there is safety in numbers, but only when everyone works together for the common good of the group. More hands make lighter work but there will be no room for slackers.

The thing with family is they often bring extended family and sometimes even their friends, who may not share your beliefs or work ethic. Should you take them in or turn them away? What will you do if they refuse to leave?

Most people think they are entitled and will feel no remorse or debt sponging off you, and if you don’t give them what they want, don’t be surprised if they try to take it by force. They may leave, but they will come back, possibly with armed reinforcements.

It’s best to keep your mouth shut and to look as poor and helpless as everyone else. Most people think I don’t have a pot to piss in or window to throw it out of. Hopefully they will pass me by thinking it’s not worth the effort.

In a sense survival is looking after number one, putting yourself first may seem selfish, but sometimes we need to make difficult decisions in order to stay alive. If it comes down to me or them – it’s them.

What will you do when unwanted visitors come to your door looking for a handout post collapse? Will you turn them away? Or will you pull the trigger if they refuse to leave? Could you live with yourself in the aftermath?

That reminds me; I need to finish digging that hole out back – never know when it could come in handy…

What have you done to prepare for new arrivals post-TEOTWAWKI?


SW June 14, 2013 at 8:12 am

My mindset is simple. If I’m spending the time and money to prepare to survive.. the I have to look after myself first. It’s gonna be bad enough that I’ll most likely have to take my folks in (which have their heads in the sand), I sure can’t take on any others.

If you try to take my supplies by force… you better have a big force cause you’re essentially putting my life at risk by taking my supplies. I tend to take offense to that and will react accordinally.

Survivor June 14, 2013 at 8:28 am

Like kinky sex, it’s only weird the first time…after that you’re used to it. Your first turn away will be the hardest. They’ll get easier after that.

If they won’t leave? Easy, they’ll die of starvation at my front gate smelling the rich, fragrant odors coming from my kitchen.

If they decide to use force or return with force? Jump large, scooter….

ohiosurveyor June 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm


NANN! June 14, 2013 at 10:31 pm


JAS June 14, 2013 at 9:59 am

You might as well realize that if anyone knows you have supplies, a lot of people will know. People talk way too much. You will have to defend your resources right from the start. The second point is, you can not store enough food and water to last forever, so if it is more that just a temporary SHTF situation you had better planned for how you will get food and water. Where I live, we can grow crops year round, so our garden is always producing and we are always planting new seeds to stagger our crops. We have several plans for filtering and purifying water as well. I walk daily and talk to different folks around the area and one of the things I try to find out is whether their pool is fresh or salt water. I have compiled a list of every pool in our area. We have rain catchment, but it is hiddened in our back yard so no one knows we have it. Just like everything else, if they know you have it, they will take it first chance they get. In a long term situation, we will not have as much food and water as we are used to, but we will be able to survive.

Retread June 14, 2013 at 10:58 am

We’ve been prepping since Katrina. OPSEC has been a high priority for us. However, folks talk, gossip and generally blow your secret no matter what you say/do. We came up with a corrective plan just a few weeks ago.

We’ll build an alternative storage place (large root celler in our case) when no one is visiting or around. After we move all our stuff to it we plan to prepare to decorate the old spot for troubled times. We’ll make it look like it was broken in to and robbed. We’ll do that at shtf.

Our hope is that when the uninvited show up without supplies, we will appear to be in just as bad of shape as them.

We have a few acres (fruit trees, gardens, animals for meat, etc) which we never imagined to be a problem. How to make that disappear? We still have a problem. Any ideas you have are most welcome.

Ah Crap June 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I’m planning on buying an old container and burying it on a moonless night.

RedC June 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm

If the animals are small & not loud, could u hide them in a shed or garage for a period of time?
Can u build a brick wall or sturdy wood fence around your garden? or a row of thick shrubs/ small trees/ w/ some thorny things in their midst? One side of our back yard is like that, & it’s as private as a wood fence & looks so natural.

axelsteve June 14, 2013 at 11:08 am

Well it depends on your situation. I live on a city lot with a 2 bedroom I bath house. I can`t take in many people.I already have 4 in the house and with 4 dogs it is pretty full. It will be a challenge to feed my household with new arrivals as it is.

Penny Pincher June 14, 2013 at 11:33 am

It’s obvious I have a garden – hard to hide one unless you are doing food forests, but those look like weeds, so that’s kind of hard to get away with in the city. That being said, if zombies eat my garden they might get a meal or two and that’s it really at any one given time. In order to expand the garden I recently planted some sunchokes in a wild place down the street – they won’t take any special care and they will yield food in winter when it all looks dead. Likewise I’ve been collecting edible weed seeds – purslane, lambs quarter, dandelion. You can’t really subsist on greens alone, but it’ll be something at least.

I’m planning on moving some of my food and things offsite and bury them in gamma-lid buckets or pipes. Just want to get some mylar bags and o2 absorbers first and do it right. The other question would be, where to put them? I don’t have a specific route picked out for escape from the city, since I’m not sure where I would go, but that’s going to be a consideration. The trick would be to place only cheap stuff I can afford to lose there, and maybe to cover 2 or 3 possible routes. 10 bucks worth of beans and rice and a small water filter would be a good start – and maybe a change of clothes and a box of ammo.

Penny Pincher June 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

Then, if I’m wiped out by zombies I can still go get the buckets, see, and use them at home.

Penny Pincher June 14, 2013 at 11:58 am

I realize I’m only answering the question indirectly. I’m basically trying to spread out the supplies so that I look poor at home, should someone show up wanting my supplies. Too many people know I have them, I would have to either get a retreat, or I’d have to hide some stuff in caches, and since I can’t afford the land, I’m going for caches. That way I can cover an escape route too.

Linda June 14, 2013 at 11:54 am

I have given some thought about how to deal with a prolonged grid-down and mostly lawless situation, when hungry neighbors or strangers come to my door. I live in a conservative, gated community in the Mojave desert, gun ownership is very common in this state, and there were a lot of “vote for Romney” signs posted on front yards in my neighborhood during the last election. So I expect there will be armed neighbors and their vehicles barring entry at the main gate and the iron gates in front of the drainage channels, so I’m not too worried about hordes of looters getting in. And anyone climbing over the masonry walls will make good target practice. There are also working horse ranches and horse boarding facilities on all sides of our neighborhood and ranchers know how to shoot varmints of all types.

My intention is to cook a pot of rice and a pot of plain pinto beans at the start of each day. How big the pots are depends on whether I think I’ll be feeding just my own household or others too.

The next step is when someone knocks at the door asking for a food handout. This becomes a safety vs. civilized behavior situation. I can assure you I will be well-armed and ready but polite. Anyone who is courteous and respectful in their request for food will be told that I only have some cold, cooked rice and beans but am willing to give them a single portion if they have a plate or bowl. While exercising extreme caution, I will take their plate or bowl and bring it back to them with food in it. I will do this each day until the food I cooked that day runs out.

I know it is risky being kind to hungry strangers, but I have to live with myself and my behavior too. And deep down I am not all that selfish about food. I can stand to lose 20 pounds on an involuntary diet.

They will have to find their own drinking water and eating utensils. Because I live in the desert I am very aware of how precious water is and am not willing to share my water or trade it for any amount of gold, diamonds or platinum. I can be really selfish about drinking water and keep a clear conscience about this.

Anyone looking for food who shows a surly attitude will face the business end of a loaded gun and, if he or she does not quietly leave, the situation will escalate. I will have no qualms, in a lawless situation, about leaving a few dead examples on the curb in front of my house. And I’m fairly sure my neighbors will back me up on this – we are mostly a conservative and independent bunch where I live in the Mojave and have a deep respect for private property ownership. We used to hang horse thieves and cattle rustlers here and that attitude remains.

Ah Crap June 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm

“I know it is risky being kind to hungry strangers, but I have to live with myself and my behavior too.”


R-Me June 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm


Oldokie June 15, 2013 at 8:26 am


worrisome June 14, 2013 at 11:54 am

Family, I am stopping at family. Most of which are able bodies and helpful. Those that are not are not for a reason and they are welcome. There a couple of friends that can come as they will come in prepared to take care of themselves and help us as well and are already working towards it. Hoping that by the time it gets really bad, we will be close to or heading towards the bol, we sure are working hard on getting it done! The east coast family are set up and the cabin there will feed and care for 10, which is how many there are back there…for a year. Their systems were just reloaded last month, propane tank refilled; gas supply rotated; cleaning supplies, bath supplies, first aid supplies and food supplies just rotated and reordered. All they need is a load of firewood and that they will work on over the summer. My eldest daughter back there is a whiz at keeping it all up since I went back and set it up.
In the meantime, I try to help those around me as I can when it causes me little sacrifice.

Ohio shawn June 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm

My family knows about my preps, they know they are welcome to come and stay with us for short term emergencies ( tornadoes, hurricanes,etc).
They also know that in a true long term situation they are welcome to camp out at our place but they have to brig their own gear and food. I have a solar powered well, so all I will offer is strength in numbers and drinking water. My kids come first, always. As a busy ant, I can’t feed the grasshopper come winter.
This may seem cold and calculated, and it is. However, as a father my job is to make sure my kids become adults.

Ah Crap June 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I’m already planning for my kids to join me, so my preps take this into consideration.

R-Me June 14, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Please tell me more about your solar powered well! Can you switch from electric to solar? And is the solar panels on your pump house?
I looked into hand pump and company wanted $1700 , my well man said there is a paten and no waytogetaround it. I’d be very interested in hearing about your set up.

TG June 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I have a hard time prepping for my own large family. Then I also know who is knocking on my door post collapse, they are the same ones who knock on my door now.

Any extras, well the guys will have to deal with them. The first hungry kid I see and I will be running the local orphanage. Lucky for me that while my dh still has his head buried deep, he is the family first type of guy.

Fixit June 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm

It is well know that I prep. I have people that come up to me all the time asking about a source or a way to do this or that. So below the radar is out. I do make it clear that if you are going to show up at my door you need Ether to preposition supplies or bring it with you. The propositioning being preferred as it can’t be taken away while traveling that way.
As for turning away of people without anything, if I give them a little am I not just prolonging thier agony ? If they try to take it then be it on thier on heads. The exception are those who are an asset not a burden. The first to show up here will be the handout people. But 30 days will thin them out.

Winomega June 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Well, I may have to re-evaluate how soon I can start looking to become somebody’s plow-mule. Or perhaps I should reveal my location enough to find someone who is willing to let me be a plow-mule in exchange for a weight of basic carbs, or maybe an animal-share. (I sponsor some cows and chickens now, reclaim the debt in being part of a post-Ragnarok cluster.)

But my plan before becoming a plow-mule was just to look like one of the desperate masses anyway. My husband went away on a business trip for a week and I felt that cooking (so therefore eating) was too much of a bother when I didn’t have anyone to be civil to and had no one else to yell about wanting dinner. I also don’t shower as often as a non-recluse anyway.

Hunker-Down June 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I am an OPSEC junky.
My son has been told MANY times that when his town begins to smell like Detroit, to come to our house with food, fuel, guns, ammo and tools. He doesn’t know we have a stockpile of long term food, water, water filters, propane fuel and appliances. There have been gas workers, phone workers and others walking in and around and under our supplies because all they see are plastic boxes. They have no idea we could cover the doors and windows and live inside for 6 months.

Hopefully “the new arrivals” other than our son and his family will think our junky place has already been raided and keep walking down the road.
After TSHTF I will dump an old mattress (well watered) in the yard along with old clothes, stuffed chairs, a T/V, and several trash bags. I have some fake bullet holes to put on the house and windows. I will make a sign for the yard, “HELP-Have Cholera – need medicine.
If they walk through this, phase II will not allow them past the door.

Brenda June 14, 2013 at 6:21 pm


RedC June 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm

How do u make or get fake bullet holes? Sorry if it seems like a dumb question. I’m a gun-owner but have never tried to fake bullet holes.

Brenda June 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Have you seen the cars that looked like they had a baseball stuck in their window? It is fake, it is nothing but plastic that sticks to windows like the Christmas decorations. I’ve seen the bullet hole ones on a car but I have not seen them to purchase. That would be a good idea to do. I especially like the sign about needing help.

Becky June 15, 2013 at 1:04 am

I saw the stickers on amazon…someone might be able to link it for you.

Hunker-Down June 15, 2013 at 10:07 am
Oldokie June 15, 2013 at 8:34 am

Like the Cholera sign, good idea.

Rick June 16, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Only if they can read and know what cholera is…

Donna in MN June 14, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I think if we have to bug out and use up all our own supplies on the run, we wouldn’t be welcome with ourselves here.

If people came to my door begging for food, I would give them fishin line. a hook, a worm and tell them to catch some fish down the trail at the lake, bring the fish back here and I will supply the veggies and other food for a meal. If they don’t want to fish, they they can eat the worm.

Brenda June 14, 2013 at 6:18 pm

We live a couple of miles off of the main road outside of town. We do not have many neighbors and I have been trying to encourage them to have a garden. We do not let anyone know that we are prepper. People think we have a garden so that we can feed ourselves.

I have not been able to look that far ahead yet and right now we do not have a way of repelling unwanted visitors. Eventually we will have the weapons that we need, it just is not possible right now.

I am mainly concerned about providing for my immediate family. As they would bring as many supplies as they could I mainly worry about a place for them to sleep. If sons and family can make it here there would be about 17 of us.

R-Me June 14, 2013 at 10:07 pm

We are in The same living situation, so far off any main road,,even our driveway is 1/2 mile long. No one would just wander up to the door (why walk all that way up a dirt path if you don’t know whats at the end of it?) We have no neighbors in sight of the house and very serious about OPSEC.
Son lives 1 1/2 hr away and his BOL is our place, I expect him at the door (no food but well armed).
No one else would even have a reason to be here, but if they are traveling (like my son) Iwould offer them a spot in the barn to sleep & meal in exchange for a days work. And I don’t expect to see them again,,,this offer is only good once then be on your way.
Weare also well armed!

RedC June 14, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Only about 1-3% of Americans are preppers, but not sure if that includes Latter-Day Saints & others who stockpile food. But most people that we know will not be prepared.
I could only handle immediate family. I may help a few low income friends if possible w/o them becoming dependent, but they live 4 miles away, which may be impossible to get to safely.

I suspect that turning away starving people w/ young children is going to be gut-wrenching for many of us, my spouse & I included. We’ve never had to face those kinds of decisions.

NANN! June 14, 2013 at 10:31 pm

I don’t plan for any new arrivals. I have helped all of my local relatives make their BOBs, and made suggestions for them to prep on their own. More than one relative has mentioned coming to my home, and I’ve made it clear…’bring all the food, water, weapons/ammo you have and your own pillow’.
My only concern is my step-son showing up with my ex-inlaws. Not happening.

k. fields June 14, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I’m willing to share what I have as I do now, hell, I’ll share my last loaf of bread with you, but I won’t tolerate someone attempting to “take” what I have worked for. Thanks to 14 months in SE Asia in the late 60′s, I have no problem pulling a trigger if need be. People here know me and know I would be easier to work with than against.

So what about outsiders? I doubt the situation will present itself. I don’t have any family remaining and I selected the site of my homestead specifically to avoid people (and nuclear fallout – hey, it was the early 70′s) and I just don’t see the hoards of mutants emerging to roam the countryside as some writers suppose.

Oldokie June 15, 2013 at 8:53 am

Well, a lot of people know that we have stored “stuff” for emergency situations. My children and grand children are in another state. In a shtf situation we would most likely be on our own. At our age we probably have a different outlook on sharing our supplies than younger people. If our kids and grandkids can’t make it to us we would most likely share more than we should. Sharing is one thing, having someone try to take it is another. Since we aren’t spring chickens maybe the reason we felt the nudge to store so many things is to be able to help others. Course the sharing bit goes out the window if the kids and grandkids do make it to us.

Not_So_Much June 16, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Just over a year ago we moved from southern CA to an area where a high percentage of people do plan and prepare (blue water barrels in most garages and a high percentage of concealed carry, etc). Would I say I’m 100%? No I doubt anyone is, but feeling way better than pre-move.

Pineslayer June 20, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Strangers not welcome .I am constantly putting up supplies for the people that I want to survive with and live out the rest of my limited days. I don’t have the money to to help others, bottom line. I would love to help out the whole world, OK maybe not the whole world, but my empire is not that rich. Even sharing knowledge, advice, and a bowl of rice will put you and your group at risk. Heartless, maybe, but I have the girls to look after, job one and I take it very seriously. I have many good friends and neighbors that I enjoy spending time around, but most think that the universe will provide and things will get worked out civilly. They also believe that people will pull together and a God will look over them, I wish that I had that much faith. Unfortunately most humans are clueless and we will have to deal with them.

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