Prepping

What’s YOUR SHTF Plan?

tunnel

Everyone has a general plan for any given crisis, the plan, you might call it. This plan will be tailored to fit as many possible SHTF scenarios as possible, improving reaction time and simplifying the response to danger.

We’d like to encourage more of our readers to share the nuances of their SHTF plan here on TSB, so in the interest of being what we’d like to see, I will be detailing the coarse overview and variables of my personal disaster response plan and my reasoning and personal “triggers” that will set my plan in motion. Hopefully this will kick off our initiative in earnest.

Read on to see what sorts of mayhem yours truly will be getting up to and hopefully away from.

A Quick Word

Before you delve into the finer workings of my personal preparedness plan, understand that everything about it is contextual. Any serious prepper, or even novice student of self-sufficiency will see the fundamentals of gear, skills and mindset underpinning the individual components of the plan, but much of the rest of it may not make sense to you, or even seem incompatible with what you would do.

That’s ok: Context is everything, and what is workable, even applicable to my scenario may be unworkable or even unthinkable to you. Don’t look at my plan as a problem to solve (though feel free to comment down below), look at it as an informative glimpse into the perceptions, limitations, priorities and threats of another person.

Take those questions that pop up in your mind while you read and apply them to your own plan to refine it. That’s critical thinking at work.

Enough preamble; let’s get to the good part.

The Basics and Mindset

Before we get to my response proper, I am going to take a minute to pull back the curtain on my life so you can better understand (or condemn) my reasoning. I am a single male, middle age, in good shape and overall good health living somewhere west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Mississippi river. I have no injuries or ailments that hamper me in any way, save for being very fair-skinned and somewhat averse to very hot weather; physically and mentally I endure cold far better.

Besides my relationships with my friends, obligation to my neighbors and the community at large, I am completely unfettered; I have no one and nothing truly depending on me, not even a dog, so I can react quickly to any emergency and I will be the only person slowing me down.

I will help those close to me at every opportunity, but I am under no delusions as to the immovability and/or treachery of strangers; if I cannot render aid in an efficient and safe way, I will not risk my neck for them. After all, I have to be alive to make things better for me and mine, and I certainly do not want to die.

As far as skilled goes, I have worked hard to be a generalist, a jack-of-all-trades or renaissance man. I know a fair bit about many things, and an awful lot about a few things: I am a fair outdoorsman, navigator, mechanic, cook, hunter and medic and a superb driver, shooter and persuader. I am also a good pack mule, an can carry a 50lb pack a very long way at a good clip before I run out of gas.

The Essential Plan: Stay Put Whenever I Can, Run Like Hell When I Can’t

My SHTF plan is very bug-in centric, as most should be in my opinion. My neighborhood is semi-rural, a good clip outside the local and convenient city which is ideologically stable and not prone to any outbursts of political or any other mob violence.

I am on good terms with nearly all of the people in my neighborhood and close with several families. There are 3 that are “clued-in” to what I am about and are on the same page as I when it comes to prepping. These folks form a good nucleus of support for most problems that would come our way.

My home modestly hardened with heavy mylar application on all the windows, which are set into reinforced frames and the exterior doors have anti-kick devices installed. The doors themselves have a custom sandwich of composite armor inside, which has been tested against intermediate rifle fire. Additionally, one large centrally located closet in my house and my basement have been modestly reinforced as shelter locations; the basement benefits from extra sealing against water and has a hardened “sub-shelter” large enough for me to take cover in with a small stash of equipment like my BOB, which is perpetually packed alongside my vehicle-based GHB.

For natural or man-made disasters, I will simple stay home and lock the doors, and expect to weather even an intermediate-term crisis with no ill-effect. The biggest natural threats would come from bad storms or tornados, which are common when the season hits. Flooding is normally a concern in my community, but my house is strategically located on high ground along a drainage path with a nearby spillway making short work of even torrentially rains. Winters occasionally turn rough with wet, slushy snow sometimes freezing over for a couple of weeks, and the aging infrastructure of the area is prone to failure, making cold weather blackouts a proper survival hazard.

Material Preps

I am skilled and trained enough to make use of my tools and stash of building materials, tarps cordage and the like to keep even my damaged home inhabitable in the aftermath if I need to, or camp out if I can’t. The last part is a tertiary option, as my neighbors know they can count on me to keep an eye out for them, and they will do the same for me should I roll snake eyes in the disaster games.

I have a 6 month supply of food, water, toiletries, sanitation and medicine with a supplementary two week supply “speedball” that stays ready to load into my vehicle at a moment’s notice and in about 3 minutes flat. Short order and to-go, more on that in a minute.

I have a pair of identical AR-15’s, a pair of identical pump shotguns and the same with handguns. I have 4,000 rounds total minimum on hand for the rifles, 400 rounds of buckshot for the shotguns, and 100 rounds of slug. The pistols each have 2,000 rounds. Each gun functions as a ready reserve for my use in case its twin is deadlined, or to hand off to a friend or neighbor in the event of need. I have a smattering of other guns in various makes and models, but these are fun, work or collector guns and I do not maintain a stash for any of them.

Going Mobile

In the event I have to bug-out, be it from a major oncoming disaster or severe civil unrest, I have a selection of privately owned remote destinations across two three states where I can go to either A.) wait out the problem in seclusion or B.) rendezvous with close friends and their families for mutual aid in a crisis. I have a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of the less travelled rural routes going to these areas from my home and office, and utilize pre-loaded GPS routes as backups.

My BOB and vehicle-based GHB are packed with everything I need for extended time away, including shelter, navigation, clothing, rations, water filtration, tools and fire-starting modules. Their contents are identical save the GHB is lighter and tailored more for continual movement, though either can function as a reserve in case of loss, theft, or what have you.

My vehicle itself, a late-model compact SUV renowned for off-road capability, is outfitted with modest, low profile upgrades that enhance its range, power and reliability as well as its cargo capacity. It is small and nimble, does not appear as a monstrous prepper-rig or off-road fun machine and has plenty of room for me and my things with one passenger, though they had better be travelling light.

I keep this vehicle stocked with my GHB, a repair kit with tools, common spare parts and belts. It has a discreet attachment point for two jerry-type fuel cans I will quickly mount when it is time to go wheels up. Regarding the speedball I mentioned earlier, this is a comparatively small 2-week load of food, water and other necessities I keep in easy to handle containers specifically for a vehicular bug out.

I am prepared to abandon everything else at home in the instance I am bugging out, though any of my neighborhood allies will be able to help themselves so hopefully it will not be wasted.

Takeaways

You will note I have prepper for the most common, survivable scenarios, not major, XK-class planetary destruction events or anything else. The reason is that events of that nature will be largely unsurviveable no matter what we do, and so I choose not to concern myself with them. I do focus though on being light, adaptable and enjoy having the safety net of duplicates for all major life-support supplies and equipment.

I have taken pains to ensure myself, my home and vehicle are as reliable and rugged as possible within reason. I have no desire to live a life in a constant state of condition red, or an overtly “high-security” mode with trimmings to match.

Conclusion

That’s my plan, what does yours look like? Let us know in the comments and let’s keep the conversation going!

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About Charles Yor

Charles Yor is an advocate of low-profile preparation, readiness as a virtue and avoiding trouble before it starts. He has enjoyed a long career in personal security implementation throughout the lower 48 of the United States.
View all posts by Charles Yor →

35 thoughts on “What’s YOUR SHTF Plan?

  1. nobody can stay in place. The cities will be out of water in a very few days, once there’s no electricity. The cities will burn. Anyone wanting to overcome you can just snipe thru your windows or set your house afire. Private ownership of land wont mean a thing if shtf. Nobody will be able to be out and about in daylight without being shot at (frequently) . NVD goggles, passive IR scanner, solar charger and enough sense to stay underground during daylight hours, are essential. If you are underground during daylight hours, nobody is even going to know that you’re present, so why bother to own the land? The better land is not for sale, at any price and the owner’s can’t defend it, regardless. So I just have some spiderholes in the woods near my local water source. If shtf, I’ll expand on or more of them horizontally into tunnel. I can do so while remaining out of sight. One hunk of woods is like any other, so there’s no reason for any enemy to desire that spot, and when (not if) I silently shoot some of them, they’ll move on.

    I too, have a six month supply of food, grains, legumes, honey, and salt, but it’s buried/scattered in the BOL area, so that I can access it as needed and so I need not worry about defending it. I also have some non-hybrid seeds and experience with sprouting and root veggies. Access to and ability with a silenced autorifle, subsonic ammo, concealable armor, night vision, AP ammo for a pocket 9mm, all are assured. So is a cache of sedatives, vitamin/mineral tablets and pharmaceuticals. I have a mountain bicycle-trailer set up with which I can move 100 lbs over 150 miles per night, if need be, on pavement and 30 miles per night off road. It’s foolhardy to imagine that you’ll be able to use 4 wheeled vehicles once shtf. All it takes to stop them is 1″ of wood and 3″ of nails. The flat-tired vehicles will pile up at choke points and you wont get around them. Better move to where you need not do more than walk for one night to a FINE BOL.

    1. Bill,

      nobody can stay in place. The cities will be out of water in a very few days, once there’s no electricity. The cities will burn. Anyone wanting to overcome you can just snipe thru your windows or set your house afire. Private ownership of land wont mean a thing if shtf. Nobody will be able to be out and about in daylight without being shot at (frequently) .

      You really haven’t thought this through very well, have you? I agree that the cities will be places where one would not want to be; but, on our privately owned rural acreage we have had time to develop redundantly backed up systems for all life support from power, to heat, to water. Likewise we have trusted neighbors we have known and work with for decades, all of which have skills that fill an array of coverage. If you come here and try to shoot at me or mine, I suspect one of the sensors, the drones, or the dogs will make the task a lot less easy than you seem to picture in your scenario.
      How long can you survive in your spider holes and tunnels with no outside support when groups of people start looking for you? Even suspecting you are sniping from underground would no doubt make a few people think and hunt you down. Some with shotguns for group protection while other simply pumped gasoline or kerosene down any hole they find and set it afire.
      I suspect you are either a 15 year old boy or someone who hasn’t done this much in real life.
      You could of course just be an urban commando, who would not survive a week in my back yard.

      1. so you think that they, moving, will notice me, in a hole, first? And when some of them get silently shot, the others want to risk having the same thing happen, when there’s no medical care? They’re going to say “eff this area”. Like I said, one hunk of woods is like any other, you aint gonna have outside support either, and you’re going to have LOTS more problems than me Drones just tell people that you’re there. The above ground structures tell them where, too. Everybody “thinks” that they are going to be top dog and every one is going to do what they say. lol. They’ll shoot you in the back, is what will happen. They can’t even agree on a common rifle and load, and you “think” that they’ll agree about guard duty, latrine duty, discipline of their whiny kids, etc? you’re dreaming.

        1. Bill,

          so you think that they, moving, will notice me, in a hole, first? And when some of them get silently shot, the others want to risk having the same thing happen, when there’s no medical care? They’re going to say “eff this area”.

          I don’t know who “they” are; but, if me or one of mine were shot or shot at, you would find your hidey hole in the middle of a forest fire, and I hope you have enough compressed air or O2 stored to breathe through all of the smoke and other combustion products. Also, if your little hidey holes are so great, why would you pop up and shoot at anyone to announce your presence.

          you aint gonna have outside support either, and you’re going to have LOTS more problems than me

          Actually we already have outside support, with numerous professional medical personnel, heavy equipment owner / operators, and practiced shooters in our MAG. We also have communications covered 6 ways from Sunday.

          Drones just tell people that you’re there. The above ground structures tell them where, too.

          Hard to hide the structures; but, we can fill them with armed resources and those drones can operate miles away, and provide recon after dark without even being detected.

          Everybody “thinks” that they are going to be top dog and every one is going to do what they say. lol. They’ll shoot you in the back, is what will happen. They can’t even agree on a common rifle and load, and you “think” that they’ll agree about guard duty, latrine duty, discipline of their whiny kids, etc? you’re dreaming.

          So you’ve read Patriots (a book I contributed to) or maybe Cold Camp or “Lights Out” and assume that everyone is trying to be “in charge” of a group? Top Dog? All we want to do is live together in our rural neighborhood sharing resources, fellowship and work with our MAG and neighbors.
          And then:

          lol. They’ll shoot you in the back,

          So shooting someone in the back is a laughing matter? You are definitely a 15 year old or one sick demented puppy, since the moral human beings I know don’t find that funny.

          1. dont mess with what aint yours and you dont get shot. There’s no such thing as a deciduous forest fire that is any threat to a man in a tunnel. There just isen’t enough of a fuel load. That only happens in coniferous woods, only certain times of the year and only if small fires have not been allowed to clear off the forest debris. Effing with the lid of my spiderhole is going to get you shot, and there’s no reason for me to care what you think about it. You johnny come lately guys all “think” that you’ve got it all figured out, you’re so special, etc. To hell with you. you’re nothing special and bullets will prove me right.

          2. Bill,

            dont mess with what aint yours and you dont get shot.

            What ain’t mine? I thought you said there was no such thing as private property? I love inconsistency, for the introspection it gives you into the mind of the hypocrite displaying it, LOL.

            There’s no such thing as a deciduous forest fire that is any threat to a man in a tunnel. There just isen’t enough of a fuel load. That only happens in coniferous woods, only certain times of the year and only if small fires have not been allowed to clear off the forest debris.

            If you mean that the fire cannot produce enough thermal load to “cook” you in a tunnel, you would be correct; but, you seem to have forgotten that you still have to breathe, and even a a smoldering forest will use available oxygen and produce combustion products you would not want to inhale. Have you done the calculations for air exchange in your tunnels and determined from where the fresh air will be located and pumped into your underground abode and how to power the pump?
            Perhaps you are trying to copy the tunnels of Củ Chi used by the Vietcong that were somewhat successful; but, required thousands of people and generations to construct and maintain, and even then were miserable places to live or hide.
            The average adult, when resting, inhales and exhales about 7 or 8 liters of air per minute. That totals about 11,000 liters of air per day. Inhaled air is about 20% oxygen and exhaled air is about 15% oxygen. So if you have a hidey hole with a 10 x 10 x 10 foot room or 1000 ft3 (2820 Liters) you will exchange air in the entire cavity (room) completely every 6 hours and replace 25% of the oxygen with CO2 with every breath.. In the first 6 hours you will reduce the oxygen content from around 20% to 15%, the next 6 hours will reduce the oxygen from 15% to 11.25% and 6 more to 8% with your final 6 hours at around 6% at which point you will most likely pass out before reaching the theoretical 4.5% 6 hours later. Mental functions become impaired and respiration intermittent at oxygen concentrations from 10% to 14%. Humans will not survive with levels at 6 percent or lower. You may not cook; but, you could well suffocate.
            When you calculate the size of tunnels and rooms that are basically hermetically sealed, these calculations are an important part of the design and relatively easy to perform with a simple calculator.

            You johnny come lately guys all “think” that you’ve got it all figured out, you’re so special, etc. To hell with you. you’re nothing special and bullets will prove me right.

            “Johnny Come Lately”? You turned 12 in 1964 which makes you a year younger than me and I’ve been doing this since I was 8 or 9. I also never said I was special; but, I seem to have gotten under your skin because I chose a different path and perhaps have very important things you don’t, like relationships with other human beings. If by the age of the mid 60’s you have no one to be concerned about or to be concerned about you, then I guess I pity you more than anything.
            I will say that ranting and threatening has never gotten me anywhere and has obviously not done much for you either. When I read you telling me to go to hell I can almost picture your middle finger being raised in my direction, and either the words or the gesture are signs that the argument has been lost by a person frustrated with the debate, and lacking real solutions to present in response.
            I BTW have been hunting and camping for almost 60 years, growing up in the wooded hills of the Allegheny range of the Appalachians in western Pennsylvania. I never hunted with a 1911; but, still have a Savage .22/.410 I used mostly for squirrels as a kid, and that has taken many a rabbit and squirrel and a few whitetail deer.
            In any case I wish you luck; but, more importantly, I wish you peace and can find the peace I have with my family and friends, since you appear to be a sad, angry, frustrated old man, ready to take on the world instead of embracing what it can offer.

          3. i never said that there’s no such thing as private property, but the definition of ownership, post shtf, is going to be what it was 1000 years ago. What you can defend is yours, what you can’t or wont, aint. If I’m in the area, it’s mine. Find out the hard way.

            Guess you can’t read. I said that you need to be undergound for a year. Eventually, you’ll need a group, but I dont want anything to do with them until they’ve proven their ability to survive for a year. There’s no way to know if people are waf until things get really tough, and those you know today will just drag along others who for SURE aint waf, and if you kill or drive off the worthless ones, , you’ll find OUT how great “your” people are. They’ll shoot you in the back. you’re just setting yourself up for failure. If 10 people know your biz, I guarantee you that 100 people know. I also guarantee that 90 of those 100 wont be waf when times get tough and many of them would shoot you on sight.

          4. nope, I”ve got a 31 year old Filipina dentist wife and her lovely 9 year old daughter. i”m doing just fine, but nobody else gets invited to the party. Whether you want to take on the world or not, shtf will mean that you have no choice.

          5. Bill,

            i never said that there’s no such thing as private property, but the definition of ownership, post shtf, is going to be what it was 1000 years ago. What you can defend is yours, what you can’t or wont, aint. If I’m in the area, it’s mine. Find out the hard way.

            Fair enough on the clarification; but, if you choose my area, your technique will fail quickly, because like 1000 years ago, single people were simply peasants or serfs, since one man with any weapon cannot take on an overwhelming force that has technology and armor.

            Guess you can’t read. I said that you need to be undergound for a year.

            That’s a nice assertion; but, I don’t see the need with proper preparation unless it’s a nuclear strike, in which case you would need to be living in your cave starting now and never peeking out. Can you enlighten us all about why underground living for a year is required, other than it’s your only plan and you can’t see the wisdom in other’s ways of thinking?
            Can you also enlighten us how you plan to provide food, eliminate waste, and breathe during that year? Unless you have that complex already in place, you have some serious work to do. I am really interested in the breathing part, especially when the land above you could be covered with ash and smoke.

            Eventually, you’ll need a group, but I dont want anything to do with them until they’ve proven their ability to survive for a year.

            So when all of the people crawl out of their holes, you will consider them good allies, even though they may have your same attitude about people and holding property, and have really done nothing more than survive? Surviving a year in a hole may mean they are survivors; but, still doesn’t mean they work well or get along with other people or would make good trusted allies.

            There’s no way to know if people are waf until things get really tough, and those you know today will just drag along others who for SURE aint waf, and if you kill or drive off the worthless ones, , you’ll find OUT how great “your” people are. They’ll shoot you in the back.

            I have no idea what waf means; but, can tell you that my MAG is solid and proven. These are hard working, honest, ethical, dedicated, rural people who have already gone out of their way to help me, as I have for them. I still find it sad to know of someone in their 60’s who doesn’t have a group of friends and relatives who can be trusted. My best friend once told me that I could call him @ 3:00 AM with a place to meet and to bring a shovel, and “no questions asked”, he would be there. These are the kind of friends any of us can have, if we are honest and very lucky. It may however take some work and trust on your part.

            you’re just setting yourself up for failure. If 10 people know your biz, I guarantee you that 100 people know. I also guarantee that 90 of those 100 wont be waf when times get tough and many of them would shoot you on sight.

            It is really sad that someone can have that perspective on the world or perhaps live somewhere where that scenario could be true. In my rural ”Community”, such things simply do not occur, and any vermin from the cities miles and miles away, would quite likely be dealt with before they even get here. You do your plan and me & mine will do ours.

          6. everybody thinks that their people are solid but the second that they get into any kind of trouble, they start snitching. You’ll find out the hard way. There’s maybe 2-3 in a group of 20 that are worth a fuck, the rest will be nothing but trouble. You’ll be lucky if your own kids aint part of the latter group.

          7. Bill,

            nope, I”ve got a 31 year old Filipina dentist wife and her lovely 9 year old daughter. i”m doing just fine, but nobody else gets invited to the party.

            Good for you. Are all three of you going to spend a year in a hole in the ground? Are you the only shooter or can all of you defend the hole?

            Whether you want to take on the world or not, shtf will mean that you have no choice.

            Perhaps; but, that no doubt applies to you also, and I have tons of backup, with medical personnel, trained communications operators, and formally trained snipers on my side. We also have armor, physics, chemistry, and lots of agriculture.
            Good luck to you, and let’s hope we never get to test our theories, since the best insurance outcome is the one where you never have to file a claim.

          8. Bill,

            everybody thinks that their people are solid but the second that they get into any kind of trouble, they start snitching.

            I’m not sure who would be snitching to whom about what, and I feel comfortable with our informal group, since we have established relationships going back 30-50 years and more with some of them, and have already gone through crisis’s like blizzards, major power outages, fires and droughts. Most of these are hard working rural folk who have never had time to sit back and let others do the work; but, who have always given and gotten help from the surrounding community when it was needed, no questions asked.

            You’ll find out the hard way. There’s maybe 2-3 in a group of 20 that are worth a f***, the rest will be nothing but trouble. You’ll be lucky if your own kids aint part of the latter group.

            Luck has nothing to do with it. My DD could likely be stuck up in New England; but, the boys, one an Engineer with no mortgage who collects class 3 firearms and the other, a business guy & former Marine Scout Sniper are some of the best men I have ever known.
            I still have a question though. What is ”waf”? No on I know knows the word and Google doesn’t seem to have a clue either, since I’m rather sure it’s not a “Web Application Firewall”

          9. it’s a laugh that you “think’ you can trust a bunch of people who are not your own close relatives, and the hoipoloi that they WILL insist on bringing with them if shtf.

          10. Bill,
            “hoipoloi?”
            You must really be a city slicker, since out here, everyone already carries their own weight and I don’t know any elitists in the hoi poloi crowd. Many of my neighbors already voluntarily help me with chores; drop off excess produce, etc as we do for them. Unlike the city rat race, we have true community here where chasing the almighty buck is not the top priority and most know the difference between “Quality of life” and “Standard of living.”
            My community reminds me of the Maxim by Richard Bach in his book “Illusions” where he states: “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”
            I am truly blessed with my local community that does include several relatives, all of whom are at least part time farmers.

          11. keep dreaming. Prisons are full of people who trusted “close friends” and relatives, who folded at the slightest of pressures.

      2. I’ve taken more game with my 1911 and .22 unit than you have with a shotgun, i”ll wager. Been doing so for almost 50 years now. Given my 6 month supply of grain etc, already in the drums and buried at the BOL, I’ll last a lot longer than anyone who ‘s out and about in daylight. Half of the group wont show up, do you realize that? they’ll be looking for lost kids/pets, get shot. That’s easily foreseeable. Ive got several spiderholes, all of which can easily be extended into tunnels. If a group wants to commit suicide by hunting for me, I can just move to the next one, and from there, hunt THEM. I’ve got NVD goggles, they wont. I’ve got a silencer, luminous sights, they wont. Having above ground structures tells them where you are, shooting at them, having dogs or drones just tells them that you have something worth taking. You have a road, lots of people know about your place, too. It’s inevitable. NOBODY knows about my spiderholes and if they did, they’d never bother to look for them again post shtf. That’s the beauty of the entire concept. I’ve fired over 200,000 rds in combat practice and matches testing same. I went to two world championships about such things, once in Rhodesia, and once in S. Africa.

      3. you’re the one who aint thought it thru. I’ve been working on this stuff since 1964, when I turned twelve. groups are trouble. They are bound to bring people you aint planned for, who aint waf, who are sick or will get sick, be trouble.

        1. Bill,

          you’re the one who aint thought it thru. I’ve been working on this stuff since 1964, when I turned twelve. groups are trouble. They are bound to bring people you aint planned for, who aint waf, who are sick or will get sick, be trouble.

          I’ve been training for this same stuff since 1959 when I was 8; but, @ age 12 ( in 1963) I did get my first bolt action rifle, and by 1965 (age 14) was doing survival camping weekends in the hills of western Pennsylvania’s Appalachian mountains. As for my MAG, we didn’t look for or recruit anyone; but, since many of the folks in our rather large rural neighborhood are already LMI’s, an organic group simply formed. No top dog, no sick kids, just a variety of adults who help each other out. Actually, there is a young kid in the group who is 15, stands 6’ 5” and can work as hard as any man. For a group to work out, a person has to be able to work with others and perhaps you cannot, so to each his own, and good luck to you.

  2. Not more than 10% of the population can just leave job, biz, home, school at will. So people WILL nearly all wait until the last minute and then lack of water WILL force a mass exodus from cities and towns. Only 2% of our population lives on working farms and ranches. It will be your neighbors trying to kill you and take your stuff, FIRST, then the “townies” will follow, like locuts. NOBODY knows everyone who lives within 20 miles of them, and that’s just one night’s hike. If they have a bicycle, figure 30 miles off road, 100 miles on pavement. So if you “think” you have a “good relationship” with everyone close to you, you’re fos. until you’ve fought alongside of people, you have no idea if they are capable, loyal and on the same side as you are. Disesases will run rampant, too. So the best thing will be to avoid people completely, for as long as possible and then be very patient and careful in how you research and get involved with people, using dead drops, signs, message arrows, etc to develop trust, after having established that they are not slavers, rapists, cannibals, etc.

    1. Bill,

      Only 2% of our population lives on working farms and ranches.

      That would be me and most of my local relatives and neighbors.

      So if you “think” you have a “good relationship” with everyone close to you, you’re fos. until you’ve fought alongside of people, you have no idea if they are capable, loyal and on the same side as you are.

      You obviously must be a city slicker, where, distrust of everyone seems to run rampant. We have known all of our neighbors for at least 10 years with some more than 50, and while we have not “fought” together, we have all worked on projects together and pretty much know each other’s abilities, work ethics, morals, ethics, and intentions.

      Disesases will run rampant, too. So the best thing will be to avoid people completely, for as long as possible

      Diseases will run rampant? Why is that? All it takes for avoidance is good quality potable water and proper sanitation. Also those neighbors who I somehow cannot know well, are a nurse ( a niece), and Fire Chief Paramedic, and his wife who is a Paramedic / Nurse Practitioner. I don’t know if you’re just trying to stir up the post for responses or you really live in a situation where you distrust everyone. In either case, it’s truly sad.

  3. if you “think” that your neighbors will watch their kids starve rather than kill you and take your stuff, you have another think coming. Ditto their dying of diseases, when they “think’ it’s likely that you have antibiotics, etc. Don’t form groups prior to shtf, guys. People talk WAY too much and telling anyone that you have this or that, or intend to, one day, will become general knowledge amongst WAY too many people. After a group has PROVEN their ability to survive shtf for a year, ok, start checking them out. Just cause you need something from them doesn’t mean that they’ll have it, be willing to trade it to you, or that they wont just kill you and take your stuff.

    shtf is not yet, but govt’s HAVE surrounded and burned out US citizens, forced them into concentration camps, etc. Your home is the LAST place to have more than about 10% of your preps. The only thing that belongs there is your BOB.

  4. I’m pretty much a bug-in sort of guy, in the big city. While I can get by fine in the woods thanks to the military and Scouts, I grew up in a big city (Detroit) and worked as a suburban police officer next door to it too. I’m pretty street savvy, I’d like to think.

    Now that I live in Florida, there is a lot more water available in the neighborhoods than one would find in a city like Detroit. As long as you can filter and purify it, you can drink it.

    Then if all else fails, I can use my last ditch plan, “When you’re frightened, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” 🙂

    1. Zulu 3-6,

      Then if all else fails, I can use my last ditch plan, “When you’re frightened, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”

      You forgot one additional step before running in circles. Unless like me you are follically challenged, you need to first set your hair on fire, LOL.
      People tend to avoid crazy people on fire.

  5. Charles,
    This was a good presentation to get people thinking.
    I agree that context is everything. Your threat matrix (threats and the skills and mitigation resources you require to face and survive the threats) will be your own. Location is a large part of the equation, since states like California have wildfires while the Gulf States have hurricanes, each of which requires their own special attention.
    You and I sound similar, except I have perhaps 30 years on you and do have some age related health problems that could be a problem. I’ve had people ask me why I continue to pursue the hard things I do that I once did easily, and I guess the answer is that not pursuing them means giving up, and then you are as good as dead. In my case I have a wife, grown children and friends; but, I don’t consider them burdens, since in a real SHTF scenario, many would rally here, and we would become a formidable team.
    You have me beat as a mechanic; but, I have “people” in the group for that and other than keeping engins running, I’m pretty good with anything electrical or electronic, teaching many new folks enough to get their ham radio licenses and set up and operate their gear.
    I have very serious expertise in some areas, very little in some areas; but, a good general idea of how nearly everything works and the ability to logically figure things out. Today we often scoff at the generalist, since he is the “Jack of all Trades, Master of None. ”. I really want the Master to do cardiac or brain surgery; but, for most things in life, knowing “enough” generally makes you the most useful.
    We rented this place for 2 years (1984-1986) and then purchased it at a great price, knowing it needed a lot of work. Other than the new roof and the new replacement windows, I have done all of the renovation, from rough and finish carpentry, to plumbing, and electrical, including installation of the new gas water heater when the old electric unit died. I got a job done I needed in my spare time for a lot less money than hiring it out. This is what a generalist can do, so I’m all in with you there.

    My SHTF plan is also very bug-in centric and I agree with your opinion that this is generally the best option.
    My neighborhood is very rural, with our closest villages being about 6-7 miles east or west with populations of 2000 and 250 respectively
    The city with all of the good shopping, etc. is 15 miles from us and has a population of about 20,000.
    The capital city (Columbus) is 60 miles and is close enough to travel on occasion; but, most of our needs are met with the local city and villages. Our whole region is somewhat peaceful and conservative, with the only outliers being the Amish and their buggies, and in a pinch, they make very good and resourceful neighbors.
    While not many in our large neighborhood would call themselves preppers, by that name, rural people tend to have a self reliant streak in them and a ”can do” attitude. We also tend to have equipment and skills that may not be generally found in urban and suburban areas, and keeping livestock, bees, or chickens here is just normal, with no one giving it a second thought.
    While our house does not have hardening against small arms fire, we do have a 50 yard clear area around the house, with electronic proximity sensors on the property and cameras in discrete places. Several of our MAG members are neighbors and are hams, so we have various forms of communication, some of which are LPI (Low Probability of Intercept) means, so we can communicate somewhat covertly.
    The locations of our houses sound similar, with Tornados or a house fire being my only real threat, although massive flooding could make access to some of the local communities hard. Our power is relatively stable, since our rural cooperative (founded in 1935) is rated as one of the best in the east; but, we also have provision to power the whole place for weeks or longer should the need arise. We have also established relationships with specific neighbors who will use us as a rally point, helping provide security when required, or just charging batteries or getting a hot shower when that is all they need.
    On Material preps, we also have two large post & beam barns with at least small sections of each having provision for heat, and while we don’t necessarily want to go live in one of them, they would suffice in a pinch. One has our horse and goat; but, both of them have large supplies of plywood, dimension lumber, nails, screws, and other fasteners, as well as a small electrical supply store.
    We could feed 4 people for 2 years or longer; but, the longer an event lasted, the more work it would take. We do still grind wheat berries into flour occasionally for practice; but, doing it for fun and practice is a far cry from being a necessity, although you need to do what you need to do.
    With my size, age, and health, I’ve switched to only 20 gauge and .410 bore shotguns and mostly 9mm for handguns and rifle; but, in a real SHTF event, those who come here as the rally point, would bring more than enough to fill any void
    We basically have no bug out plan except neighbors or relatives within a 6-10 mile radius. Our only foreseeable bug out scenarios would be short term (tanker truck accident with noxious chemicals up wind) where even a hotel or motel would suffice for a day or so, moderate term, being a house fire or a direct tornado strike, where we move out for a while, until repairs or reconstruction are completed. Since this house and the surrounding barns have already been here nearly 100 years, the probability of either event occurring is rather slim.
    Our vehicle kits are identical and the contents are changed based on the seasons, with perhaps the most important thing being our ”½ is empty” rule, where you never allow either tank to get below ½ full. This may mean going out of your way on occasion to top off on the way home’ but, it means that you always have sufficient fuel to travel a fair distance to the hospital or other locations if required.
    Our current vehicles (Honda CRV’s 2003 & 2018) are not meant for serious off road travel; but, have bags packed and stowed and have enough capacity for more gear or people. I grab my EDC vest and communications gear on the way out the door every time I leave the property, so that adds one additional layer of support.
    Unlike you, we do not plan a permanent abandonment, since we’ve spent 34 years here and have it nearly the way we want it, in the general rural neighborhood where my wide has lived most of her life.
    I pretty much agree with your Takeaways and understand that surviving a planet destroying asteroid, X Class solar flare, or nuclear strike will be mostly the luck of the draw, at which point you do your best with what you have, and feel lucky to have survived.

    1. even with the densest of foods, under the stress of shtf, a big man, in cold weather , is doing to need nearly 2 lbs of food per day. A suv is 3/4 ton of hauling capacity, at most. 4 people are going to total at least 600 lbs and might well be 750 lbs. That leaves 1000 lbs for gear and food. It’s not going to be much food for 4 people, when you figure 50 lbs of gear, guns ammo, etc. for each. 200 lbs, of food each, tops, which means you’ll run out in 3-4 months. Lots of people mean lots of food and you’re not going to be free to have livestock, or a garden. Even a barking dog is out of the question, since it will just tell people where you are. shtf is going to be hell on earth, for at least a year no matter who you are, your location, gear or skills. Very few are going to want to bother getting thru it, it’s going to suck so badly.

      1. Bill,
        First of all, who measures food in pounds?
        What you need to calculate is calories and those can be easily attained by adding fats and carbohydrates into the diet.
        As for the hauling capacity of an SUV, that only counts if your plan is to bug out, ours is to bug in, and become the rally point for a lot of other folks. As for the stress, I don’t see why properly prepared, the stress is much more than normal, if you have the proper mindset, attitude, and training. Also, the cold weather only affects things if you are planning to live out in that cold and we do not plan or need to do so, since we have a good tight house with numerous ways to heat it with plenty of fuel.

        you’re not going to be free to have livestock, or a garden. Even a barking dog is out of the question, since it will just tell people where you are.

        But we already have livestock, chickens and a garden, as do most of my neighbors, and we plan to keep them as long as we can, since we already work together and will continue to do so. As far as telling people where we are, the many buildings on the property already do that; but, they can and will be housing more than a few animals if that situation comes to pass.

        shtf is going to be hell on earth, for at least a year no matter who you are, your location, gear or skills. Very few are going to want to bother getting thru it, it’s going to suck so badly.

        So now you know what SHTF is going to be? Perhaps you could let us all in on the secret.
        You could also have given those poor folks in Indonesia a heads up on that surprise tsunami.

    1. Bill,

      You strike me as a person who has not served in the military, particularly one that stresses infantry combat training (Marines mostly, Army to a lesser extent). Nor, does it seem you served in combat with one of those branches. I did as a Marine in Vietnam and later as an Air Force security police senior NCO in Desert Storm.

      Spider holes/tunnels are not the best fighting positions, particularly if you are fighting a reasonably well trained and armed opponent and expect to survive. A Marine rifle platoon would go through you like poop through a goose. For that matter, so would an Army rifle platoon, and probably a flight of Air Force Security Forces. Ask the Japanese and Viet Cong about spider holes.

      Against an opponent not so well trained and armed, but equipped with some common sense, would do exactly like TOP said, set the woods on fire and kill anybody who runs out. Having also fought wildfires in my life, they are incredibly hot. You will run or roast, even in a spider hole or shallow tunnel.

  6. do you wan t to live in a hole in the ground? it only makes burying bodies easier. you have the time now, to build community and start assembling A NEW PUZZLE, so your area can be a place of stabuility and not just a slaughter house. do the work now , make lists of friends and foes . in the book 1 second after, when they political elite comes together and determines, what farms, they will loot and how much. those farmers will pay up . reminds me of the story the little red hen.
    i may be willing to barter, but you didn’t help me raise my cattle or farm my farm. i’m not going to roll over and let those political elite, come back and loot me thrice. my farm, my rules. they are already on a known shit bag list.

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