Question of the Day: What Does SHTF Mean to You?

Previous Post
Next Post

A reader on the left coast writes . . .

Many people here and elsewhere invest a lot of time, money, and training in the pursuit of home defense in case the manure lagoon hits the 1 MW wind turbine. But what does this really mean?

One needs to prepare for situations based on expected probability and the negative consequences. What situations do you expect to encounter, how could they be, and what are their odds? My professional life (computer security) requires me to think about scenarios and their probability and I applied such an analysis to my own life.

So this is what my worries are . . .

I’m a small-town Californian and I’m prepared for an earthquake. There is about a 1 in 20 chance of their being a bad earthquake (Magnitude 6.5+) where I live in any given year, and a 1 in a 200 chance of something near-apocalyptic (Magnitude 8+).

I have five days worth of dedicated emergency “food” plus my normal pantry. My tool collection includes lots of flashlights, an always charged, a battery-operated Sawzall, a crowbar, and a six foot digging bar. A wrench is zip-tied to the gas meter.

I also maintain friendly relations with my neighbors, since I may need to dig them out or they may need to do that for me. Two of them have pools providing a foul-tasting, but usable water supply. Finally there’s my gasoline siphon and my vehicle assortment, including a dirt bike with knobby tires, room for two, and lots of luggage space.

So I can dig out and stay put for a week or more. Or I can take myself, my girlfriend, and our two cats a hundred miles away from here regardless of the number of fallen overpasses, clogged roads, collapsed freeways, burning gas-stations, or landslides in the way.

When I begin to focus on training (which I need to do), it will be first aid, broken bones, and crushing wounds, since the expected bad incidents are earthquakes and car crashes.

I also worry about daytime burglary because its unfortunately common. I keep the doors locked and windows latched. Any possibly unattended windows have blocks to limit their travel, and I purchased a safe. My goal is simply to be a harder and less-attractive target than other houses and to have additional protection for any irreplaceable or particularly valuable items.

Yet I have no worries about someone breaking in when I’m home, as I know the odds.

My small-town paper helps keep things in perspective. Digging through the archives it seems that a “break-in when people are home” robbery occurs about once every two years or so. So with about 30,000 households here, the odds are about 1 in 60,000 in any given year that I will face a night-time intruder. I’m three hundred times more likely to have the San Andreas fault try to chuck me and the rest of California into the Pacific.

So I don’t need to sleep with a gun next to my bed. I’m far more likely to need a Stanley Fubar.

This is what SHTF means to me, and how I’ve prepared for it. What does it mean to you?

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. The folks in Maine probably felt the same. Guns were down on their list of priorities. Until they needed one and then it was too damn late.

    I live in CA also. Quakes are just a small part of my preps. We live in a time when the neo not-zees like miner49er are stirring up antisemitism and parading in their SS black uniforms.

    I sleep with a gun next to my bed. My quake tools are kept in the garage.

    • I lived through the ’94 Northridge Quake. I prefer to never have to go through that again, especially now that we have an entire generation of angry Leftists who believe Guv exists to feed them, and you exist to serve Guv’s efforts to feed them. If the Big One hits, the Haz household will be hunkering down and staying frosty for the roving hordes looking to loot.

      The author of the article touts that he has five days’ worth of emergency food. Umm…make it five weeks’ worth, and you have a good start. Best is five months or more.

      • I Haz a Question,

        I agree completely that everyone should have at least a five week supply of food–and five months would be even better as you stated.

        Note that a five week food supply can be pretty inexpensive and compact–especially if your staple is the world staple: rice-and-beans. Supplement that with some dried and canned fruits and even canned vegetables and you will be in pretty good shape. Of course you could always keep some canned meats on hand as well. Canned chicken and tuna fish are affordable and compact.


        Salsa and bottled vegetable juices are shelf-stable without refrigeration (although requiring refrigeration after opening), inexpensive, and wonderful sources of vegetables.

        Figure out which spices and cooking methods make your rice-and-beans taste good well in advance. Then have those cooking cooking methods and spices available for several weeks even when they not available on a societal level. That may mean keeping a significant supply of propane on-hand for cooking. Similar to finding out how to season and cook your rice-and-beans well in advance, test your propane supply well in advance to ensure that you will have enough to get through a disruption of several weeks. That could mean keeping multiple 20-pound propane tanks on hand that you would only use for emergency purposes.

        Last pro tip: keep a significant supply of paper/plastic plates, cups, bowls, and eatery on-hand. If you are surviving on your five week food supply, you probably don’t want to expend resources to wash dishes.

        Oh, and make sure you have enough water available to cook whatever you plan to cook.

        • +1 on every point you made.

          I would add that a person should buy/store only what he (and his family) will actually eat. I learned that lesson over a dozen years ago when the first batch of my first preps approached their “best used by” dates and I cycled them out of storage. Beans and rice will only go so far before the Mrs decides she’s had enough and no longer supports that for future batches.

          My food is divided into 20% long term (25-yr shelf life freeze dried), 40% mid term (5-yr shelf life emergency rations), and 40% near term (2-yr rotated “real” foods like canned fruits, vegetable, meats, and soups).

          And yes, completely agreed on the sundries like disposable paper plates/napkins, toiletries, cutlery, etc. And water…I always have two weeks’ worth of immediate bottled water for the house, plus two small filled tanks for washing hands/dishes (we’ve had to use these for real-life issues like a busted water main down the street, etc that took 48 hrs to repair), plus a longer term filtration solution. I have filtration equipment that will allow me to raid the community pool (5-gal buckets at a time).

        • Rice and beans check, water filters check, tools and the precious metals that feed them check. Paper plates…good concept that I need to stock up on.

      • Haz, one good read, is from Selco Begovich, who survived the Balcan Civil War in the 90’s. He addresses Americans romantic notion of what an SHTF scenario would look like and shows the harsh realities. He delves into communications, being street wise with bartering and not being attached to things. The read is quite an educational one from one who has been there.

        • Read his story several times. In fact, his experience prompted me to also consider waste handling during SHTF. Meaning, if things go sideways and deliveries are affected, trash pickup would likely be as well. Imagine going just four weeks without the usual garbage pickup. What would you do with all the trash your household generates? In my case, I could dig a pit in the empty open area near my house and burn my trash (and likely my neighbors’) in a makeshift “Dakota Pit” style in-ground kiln, but imagine most suburban areas. Yikes.

        • @Haz Yup, people couldn’t figure out how to clean their ass when the toilet paper shortage occurred, imagine what it’ll be like when the toilets don’t flush!

        • There was a dude from Argentina that related a lot of their mid to late 90s descent into collapse and what came next out to about 2009 or so. Gives a lot of insight for what the “refugees” are coming from and are used to/where some of our regions could easily end up with.

        • Also consider toilets not working and how to cope long term with that. It cracked me up the TP run during covid. The fools weren’t buying food, but TP. All the while I was thinking to myself that given enough time they wouldn’t need it. Your comment, Haz, reminded me of the time when the NYC garbage workers went on strike when they did not get their pay raise. It took, what, a week, if that, for the city to realize how important they were? And then compound that by months or even years? Yikes!

    • Interestingly enough, as you speak about miner49er stirring up Neo-Nazi ideology. Progressive college students all over the nation are working much harder at exercising Neo-Nazi ideology. Than actual Neo-Nazis. Even the KKK must be sitting back, taking it easy as those same college students do their Antisemitic work for them.

    • The SHTF Has happened many times over in the united states. The 1906 san francisco earthquake. Hurricane Andrew. The huge forest fires in california. Natural disasters are not really the issue.

      The real problem is when the police are ordered to stand down and allow cities to be burned to the ground. And the innocent to be murdered where they stand.

      It’s the man-made SHTF that is the most worrisome. You can recover from a natural disaster. But a man-made one is never-ending.

      San Francisco is a zombie Apocalypse because of drug legaliz@tion, as well as making it legal to steal anything up to a $950 in value. And that is all man-made. That has nothing to do with acts of God.

      Now, the question is. Are you allowed to take whatever measures? Including deadly force to defend yourself and your property???

      I can tell you the federal government can certainly kill you to defend government poverty. Recently, secret service agents opened fire on potential car thieves. In Washington DC. And “of course”, government property is far more valuable than your property.

      • The narrow minded author who lives by odds has everything in his tool box but the one tool needed for survival when someone comes along and wants his motorcycle and his girlfriend and perhaps they tortured cats as a child. And as for his bedside Stanley Fubar well that won’t cut it when cornered by evil that can amount to earthquakes, floods and tornados all rolled up together.

  2. It can mean several things, like, rampant lawlessness. Inability to move about without the risk of attack. Not being secure within one’s own home. A general inability for law enforcement to deal with criminals.

    That’s just a few off the top, I’m sure others will offer other examples…

      • Am I ever glad the little time I spend in those places is *highly* limited.

        What I described can happen anywhere, if you’re sure it can’t happen where you are, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

        Among my core group of friends, we have gamed it out, and we agree the need to team up will be *critical*. We’re also fully aware if things go so far sideways (large roaming bands , like ‘Walking Dead’ style) all bets are*off*… 🙁

      • SFML
        And this bears a reposting from Sipsey Street Irregulars..

        This is no small thing, to restore a republic after it has fallen into corruption. I have studied history for years and I cannot recall it ever happening. It may be that our task is impossible. Yet, if we do not try then how will we know it can’t be done? And if we do not try, it most certainly won’t be done. The Founders’ Republic, and the larger war for western civilization, will be lost.

        But I tell you this: We will not go gently into that bloody collectivist good night. Indeed, we will make with our defiance such a sound as ALL history from that day forward will be forced to note, even if they despise us in the writing of it.

        And when we are gone, the scattered, free survivors hiding in the ruins of our once-great republic will sing of our deeds in forbidden songs, tending the flickering flame of individual liberty until it bursts forth again, as it must, generations later. We will live forever, like the Spartans at Thermopylae, in sacred memory.

        — Mike Vanderboegh, The Lessons of Mumbai:Death Cults, the “Socialism of Imbeciles” and Refusing to Submit, 1 December 2008

        • No idea how I missed that one 15 years ago but good to read in its entirety even if they do make a critical oversight in assuming only democratic cities are vulnerable to such an attack (see Texas on grid issues and others on ……..other issues I will not mention).

          Thank you this was a great read that still has a lot of relevance.

    • The plan was obviously to hand it over to Harris during the first term. As good as Dems are at propaganda, even they couldn’t force Harris onto America. Remember Senile Joe accidentally saying the quiet part out loud?

      “And like I told Barack, if I reached something where there’s a fundamental disagreement we have based on a moral principle, I’ll develop some disease and say I have to resign,” Biden continued. “We don’t have that I’m — we haven’t — and we’ve discussed at length our views on foreign policy, on domestic policy, on intelligence.”

      What leader would ever say that? The people who voted for that senile puppet are more mentally ill than he is.

      • Hey now, gasoline was 2.19gallon when Biden got elected and then it went up to 5.89 and then when Biden got elected he got it down to 3.59 a gallon.
        Noone gibs theBiden any credjit.
        Jesus rode a donkey because he voted Democrat.

  3. I live in Cook county,ILL annoy. SHTF quite often. And now the DIMSCUM© is attempting to disarm me. Always ready. Always prepared🙄

  4. Living in Tornado Alley we are under a constant carpet bomb threat half the year.
    What I’ve learned is “Fck it.”
    All I need is a hole.

    • “Living in Tornado Alley we are under a constant carpet bomb threat half the year.”

      Yeah, herds of cattle sucked up by tornadoes raining down on your head. Free snacks for your kin. 🙂

      True story, the very day back in the early 1970s when my family arrived in southwest Oklahoma, a bunch of tornadoes touched down in the county that night. Fun times… 🙂

      • Sorry to hear that gunnygene.
        Life goes on, it just sucks more.
        I had to sale my house because to many memories and to many plans had me bawling.
        Keep on Trucking👍

        • Yeah well, sometimes the only thing a man has left to look forward to is his own death. I’m 79, so it won’t be long now.

        • I am very sorry to hear about your loss, GG..

          I thought I was going to lose my wife of over 40 years back in January.

          I watched my wife go full code while she was in hospital. Luckily, I was helping with the respiratory therapist trying to get her pulse oximetry working correctly, (she has Renauds so her fingers don’t work well for O2 monitoring.) She reached out and grabbed my shirt and started saying ‘Help me, help me please,’ and then got quiet. I thought she was hypoxic, but then I looked down at the telemetry unit display and saw her drop in to bradycardia, (about one beat every two to three seconds.) I quickly checked her electrodes and then yelled at the nurse. She took one look at the monitor and turned towards me and said something like ‘I think we need to code this..’

          No shit, Sherlock! I pointed at the button and said loudly, ‘NOW!’

          It took about 10 seconds before people started pouring into the room, but that was long enough for her to go completely catatonic. The sight of her sitting up in the hospital bed, eyes wide open and seeing nothing will be with me until the day I die.

          They managed to resuscitate her, and she spent the next two months in the hospital. She’s still not fully recovered, as she had a bit of brain damage from the metabolic ‘crash’ but is doing much better now.

          Intensive care doc said I ‘bought’ her at least 30 to 60 seconds. I asked him about the telemetry alerting the staff, but he said it had just been setup and not ‘patched in’ yet so the system would not have alerted on it.

          It’s really something how an incident like this really re-arranges your priorities in life.

          She still has the underlying cardiac condition, so I’ve been cherishing every moment since.

        • A final thought:

          “COME not, when I am dead,
          To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave,
          To trample round my fallen head,
          And vex the unhappy dust thou wouldst not save.
          There let the wind sweep and the plover cry;
          But thou, go by.

          Child, if it were thine error or thy crime
          I care no longer, being all unblest:
          Wed whom thou wilt, but I am sick of time,
          And I desire to rest.
          Pass on, weak heart, and leave me where I lie;
          Go by, go by.

          Alfred, Lord Tennyson”

      • I’m 73 gunnygene. My wife of 50 years is still with me, but I know we’re on borrowed time. My mind simply shuts down when I think of being alone.

        • “My mind simply shuts down when I think of being alone.”

          If it happens that way, you will be astonished at the silence that follows. It is not the talking about “big” things you will miss, but that when something minor, or routine crosses your mind, and you turn to mention it to your mate….she is not there.

          The Colonel and I spent much time preparing for a future based on mortality tables, yet it is I who remains. I can say that the only thing I can give thanks for is that the Colonel is not here to see what is happening, all around. And I realize how selfish of me it was to prepare her for being alone, and face tomorrow by herself.

  5. Winter weather and civil unrest are probably the biggest threats in Pennsyltucky. Preparation for both is a built in part of life and covers other bases as well.

    Plenty of stuff at home and enough stuff in the vehicles to either get home or get away. I always carry a gun, a multi tool, and a flashlight that uses common batteries.

    A gun, a light, and a multi tool should never be more than arms length away. You can probably survive needing 2 of those things and not having them. Not having a gun when needed will almost certainly be tragic. If you have guns and choose not to have one close by when at home that is a mistake in my opinion.

    For water concerns, Costco sells 4 packs of Lifestraws for cheaper than 2 of them cost anyplace else.

    • The Crimson Pirate,

      Anyone who is serious about being prepared for “bad times” absolutely MUST have Lifestraws. They are inexpensive, compact, and light.

      Remember the “Survival Rule of Threes”. In adverse conditions you will rarely survive beyond three:
      — hours without shelter
      — days without water
      — weeks without food

      We almost always have shelter and would almost always have food before three weeks. But getting drinking water within three days could be a real problem for many people in many regions.

    • Bought several packs of the Lifstraws when I first noticed them several years ago, and have at least one in every vehicle. Have given several away to friends and acquaintances with similar mindsets, and told them where to get more. When traveling over the Cascades in winter, we always have extra clothes, rain/snow gear, yard waste size garbage sacks, everal methods of fire starting (pezio spark propane torch) and enough food and water for at least 24 to 48 hours.

      Home, well, I grew up in a home at the end of a single phase non-looped distribution line, so we were on generator for at least several days a year, and needless to say I have gen sets for both our house and my dads place..

      BTW, I was watching a documentary about a 50kw AM station near St. Louis last night, and one of the things that was mentioned was the presence of several buildings near the tower site that were, according to the engineer narrating the show, fully EMP proofed, (including pneumatically inflated mesh door seals,) and contained gear that is to be used to broadcast in the event of an EMP strike on the US. They said the 6000 gallons of diesel should keep that auxiliary gear running for several weeks, if I understood correctly. Apparently, it’s part of a government network of similar installations across the US. It makes sense to use AM stations due to the simplicity of the receivers and the long range inherent in signals of that frequency.

      (Brings back memories of ‘cat whisker’ and oatmeal tube AM receivers, but I’m outing my age here..)

      • Stuck in Pugetopia,

        There are several “clear channel” A.M. broadcast stations around the United States whose charter is to stay up and running and disseminate critical information if a catastrophe occurs which causes widespread and long-term destruction. That is my understanding anyway. I don’t know any details such as how much generator fuel they would have on hand or whether they are truly hardened for an E.M.P. strike. (That is difficult to accomplish at an installation which necessarily has exposed conductors with high voltages, currents, and thus power on them.)

        On the plus side those Clear Channel A.M. broadcast stations typically reach out well over 120 miles (and up to 200 miles if you have a sensitive receiver with excellent antenna) during the day. Of course their range is much farther at night–easily 500 miles and up to 900 miles in some cases. On the minus side, few people have sensitive A.M. receivers with excellent adjacent-channel rejection and excellent antennae. (And some/all automotive manufacturers are even attempting to phase-out A.M. radios on their electric vehicles.)

        I have to wonder, though, if the idea of Clear Channel A.M. broadcast stations providing critical information for weeks/months after a catastrophe (such as an E.M.P. strike) is a quaint idea and would fail in practice. Why? Because those stations need people to operate/maintain them and I have not heard of their personnel having any special capabilities at all to survive for any length of time during such an event. And even if said stations were somehow fully automated, they would continue to function only until some sort of failure which would be likely at some point.

        My personal opinion: your best bet for receiving information via radio is to be able to listen to amateur radio operators and short-wave radio which have ranges of several hundred to several thousands of miles when conditions are right–which occurs frequently.

        • I generally would be very skeptical about any government information that would be supplied to the public through the clear channel transmitters. Then, as now, it’s better to have an alternate form of communication. A shortwave set would be really useful to have, but even a c.b.transciever would be useful. I get a kick out of the number of people who think prepping for an emergency consists of a backup source to charge their cellphone.

        • Yep. No disagreement there.

          BTW, got my 2nd Class FCC cert back in the 1980s, when there was such a thing.. 😉

          Loved listening to short wave radio as a kid. Lots of memories being at my uncles listening to his gear late into the night..

  6. The things that have greater odds of happening are the things you prepare for – not necessarily the most but perhaps first.

    The chances of getting stuck by lightning are so remote ya don’t even think about it but that doesn’t mean you spend time outside in a storm with a copper rod. I’ve seen the way things get when the power is out. That will affect everything. With the loss of basic utilities like power, water, gas, and even communications you will feel isolated. Keep atleast a few extra cases of water, paper goods, and some kind of food that’s easy to prepare. Having some type of generator and the fuel to run it is nice. But there is a balance to be had with this stuff. It does a person absolutely no good to have a room filled wall to wall with 9mm ammo when someone else has your only 9mm firearm AND you have no water to survive. Have guns and ammo for sure. But you just might need plywood for the windows and extra blankets too. especially for areas prone to tornadoes and hurricanes. If I already have 5,000 rounds of 45ACP and 100,000 rounds of .223, my next $25 purchase just might be a self powered weather radio. Having a working CB radio might be something to consider. Medication is very much a concern aswell.

    *know your neighbors* and be willing to help if something happens.

    The difference in these things has more to do with how long it lasts. Wether it’s days, weeks, months, or years. Do what you can in this life but a subscription to Netflix can take money away from things you really need to be buying. Even though you might actually win the Lottery, the odds of it are so remote that it might need to be low on the list of priorities. Spend your money as you see fit. But if everything is going to liquor and the local strip club then you wont have anything when you truly need it.

  7. It’s not just the probability of the event; the potential impact also matters. A low-probability chance of a low-impact event (e.g. being inconvenienced) isn’t worth a lot of worry. Low-prob times high impact (e.g. a good chance you could die) is worth some preparation. As is low-impact but high-probability happenings, as those can becomes quality-of-life issues.

  8. Power outages cased by extreme weather (heat/cold but no snow, wind) and the open border are my biggest worries, with local crime a distant third. A fireplace and stack of wood, and a backup generator, largely mitigate the first challenge. Firearms are required if living within an hour’s drive of the southern border, so I keep a number of them handy at home and in the vehicle. Crime isn’t a huge worry because the homestead is a good 20 minutes from the closest population center, but I keep valuables locked up in a safe nonetheless. Top it off with a couple weeks worth of foodstuffs and a full freezer, and a functional water well. It is helpful to have neighbors of a like mind and similar politics.

    • “Power outages cased by extreme weather…”

      Hurricanes, here. In the 2004 triple-hurricane season, I was a bit distant as the power grid goes, so was among the last to get it restored. Out of power 9 days total (over 3 storms) motivated me to buy a generator, just so I could keep the lights and refrigerator powered…

      • Geoff PR,

        Nine days total? Pffffft. That sort of thing is relatively commonplace where I live–AND FOR NO DAMN GOOD REASON! (As it turns out I am on generator right now–probably because a mosquito farted in the woods or some such non-reason.)

        Anyhow, the lesson stands: it is a good idea to have an alternate electricity source which you can rely upon to keep your refrigerators and freezers running, your home’s heat and/or air conditioning running, and your lights on.

  9. There are degrees of SHTF. We saw almost the severest in Israel, last month. No, I’m not prepared for that, not really. At best, I might take a couple with me. I don’t live in earthquake country, but I live on the fringes of wildfire country. We’ve fought fires right here, on my property and on neighbor’s property six times in the 35 years that I’ve lived here. Worst comes to worst, we can’t control the fire, I send wife with kids 100 miles toward the Mississippi, away from danger.

    Breakins. I’m prepared. Sumbitch comes through my door while I’m at home, one of us will be carried out on a gurney. Stuff happens, it could be me.

    I’m not much worried about other scenarios. Terrorists probably aren’t coming to my backwater, nowhere town. Biker gang, maybe, but, that’s extremely rare, and I have always got along with bikers. I can probably talk my way out of trouble, unless they are all just strung out on drugs.

  10. History shows that empires last 200 – 300 years. When they fail, civil wars or similar turmoils are inevitable. We are approaching our historical end and there are plenty of indications that this end will not be peaceful. Difficult to tell how long will one need to protect himself and survive, much depending on where you live. It is logical to assume that large cities will erupt quickly and violently. I don’t think that one can amass enough weapons, food and water to make it through unscathed. Having an escape plan maybe a more prudent choice.

    • Alexander,

      While I recognize the attractiveness of an escape plan, I am thinking that it only works if you escape at the onset–within the first several hours–of some disaster that would eventually motivate you to escape. But how would you know to escape so soon?

      If you wait several days (or worse a few weeks) to try and escape, I fear that marauders and land-based pirates will take you down in short order. Think about it for a moment. If you try and vacate in a car, consider how many pinch-points there are on our roads and highways. (Hint: they are everywhere.) It would be exceedingly easy to ambush you and take your resources at one of those pinch points. And that assumes that the roads are not already impassable due to countless disabled vehicles dead on the roads.

      Walking to escape is not practical–you simply cannot carry enough resources and be mobile/fast enough. A bicycle is not much better than walking and you almost have to stay on the roads at that point which makes you vulnerable to marauders and land-based pirates as I stated above.

      I can only think of two escape methods that seem to have a significant probability of success. The first is moving downriver on very rural streams in a canoe (and even then only at night). The second is to hop on dirt-bikes or snowmobiles and haul @$$ off-road (a.k.a. “Baja”) to pre-planned resupply points with gasoline, food, and water in hidden secure storage that you put there in advance–all on your way to your ultimate final destination with significant resources.

      Okay, I just though of a third escape method with an extremely high likelihood of success: you have a small airplane within one or two day’s walk and you fly to an alternate living location–assuming that your airplane’s fuel tanks are always full and your alternate living location is within range without refueling or that you can somehow guarantee your ability to refuel. Unfortunately, that is beyond the grasp of 99% of the population.

      • “…it only works if you escape at the onset–within the first several hours–of some disaster that would eventually motivate you to escape.”

        Why it’s smart to keep essentials in the vehicle you use daily…

      • Perhaps it would be prudent to move out of the big cities beforehand. In factoring in all the pluses and the minuses, consider the risk of living in a big city.

        • Agreed. Escape the population centers as early as possible, before the SHTF. If you are tied to a city because of a job, find a way to do it remote or get a new career.

          A lesson learned from the “Great Pandemic of 2020”, many companies shifted to remote work. Suddenly, Idaho, Montana and many rural communities were inundated with workers from Seattle and Portland metro areas by employees of Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, etc… These were the smart ones, as they realized the cities are death traps.

          These wonderful new residents sold their overpriced homes, bought acreage and had off-grid homes built all over the Inland Northwest. Best of all, they kept their six figure incomes. Some even left some of their socialist ideologies behind.

          Again, escape the cities now and get started on living, not just surviving.

  11. President Biden evacuates all of the Palestinians from Gaza to the United States would be a more extreme example.

    All of President Obama’s bastard sons along with ANTIFA resume demonstrating and no longer pretend that they are mostly peaceful.

    All of the sleeper agents from China and ISIS and Al Quida who’ve already exploited Biden’s open border to enter the US begin engaging in active terrorism.

    In all three of these scenarios, most local law enforcement as well as the US military will be attacking Normal Americans. The liberal employment of thermonuclear hand grenades will be necessitated.

      • As my ‘handle’ indicates, we are currently living in part of Pugetopian Paradise, and it makes me rather nervous.

        Our ‘regular’ home is in Eastern Washington.

        High mountain passes make a convenient choke point, and being on the ‘wrong side’ of that…

        Plus we have access to a fully off grid cabin if we are on that side of the ‘hill.’

        The other thing is that all of the Central Washington hydros have the ability to ‘island’ the hydro projects from the rest of the grid. (And has been tested back in 1999 as a ‘just in case’ of y2k causing major problems.)

        Actually, with proper switching, almost the entire Pacific Northwest COULD island from the rest of the grid, assuming the infrastructure is in place to do so.

        Now, if Grand Coulee gets nuked, all bets downstream are off, including Portland being flushed out to sea..

  12. SHTF can mean a LOT of things.

    First iteration: aggressive animal attacks. I have fended-off aggressive dog attacks twice.

    Second iteration: mugging/armed robbery. I live in a community where such things are exceedingly rare (allegedly) and I was the target of armed robbery twice. Fortunately I recognized both events while the robbers were still about 40 feet away. My proactive response motivated those two scumbags to vacate the area.

    Third iteration: natural catastrophe. Violent storms and associated prolonged electricity outages are my risk. I have endured several multi-day electricity outages (including a storm this year which knocked out my grid electricity for 5 continuous days) and significant tree damage. I have a gasoline powered generator with a respectable supply of gasoline as well as a chainsaw with ample supply of gasoline and two-cycle oil.

    Fourth iteration: coordinated terrorist attack at home or away. I carry a full-size handgun chambered in .40 S&W with at least 30 rounds of ammunition pretty much at all times. I also have long guns at the ready at home if needed.

    Fifth iteration: long-term and widespread infrastructure collapse. Of course this has not happened yet. Even so, there are countless vulnerabilities which are exceedingly easy to exploit plus foreign and domestic enemies who would love to see the United States implode. In that scenario I have more than 1600 watts of solar panels for long-term electricity generation (which will operate my refrigerator and deep-freezer indefinitely), significantly more than a 5-day food supply, a nearby pond (200 yards away) with quality drinking water (and required associated water purifiers), a sizable supply of firewood for cooking and home heating, respectable gardening capability (for possible indefinite food generation), decent food preservation ability, and I have significant radio communication (both listening and transmitting) capabilities if needed. Of course I have a variety of items for site security which I will not disclose on this forum.

    A note on transportation in a long-term event: your odds of reaching “safety” are close to zero in all but a tiny number of situations. I recommend that everyone invest much more heavily in their ability to survive a long-term event at their home.

  13. SHTF lies outside the realm of natural disaster or even made made ones, something like the Yellowstone caldera erupting, comet strike, nuclear attack, etc…
    Essentially any disaster where there is no hope of outside help for a considerable period, if ever.

  14. At least I live in the United States of America and not in the, not so free, jewish state of israel.
    Where a civilian can own any long gun they choose. And if they’re in the Jewish state, maybe they’re allowed to have a handgun???
    But limited to fifty rounds of ammunition.

    At least in the United States. I can bring to the flight whatever I can afford to pay for.

    • If the people in the israeli settlements had been allowed to have AR15 rifles?
      I would say most of them would still be alive. Having a select fire weapon is nice, but it’s not necessary.
      And people can continue to dismiss the low cost bump stock all they want. But it was very effective that day in Las Vegas.

      What’s really interesting is that no one has decided to expend the resources. to actually put together a shooting scenario involving the bumpstock.

      But it was done. When somebody did set up a scenario involving the Charlie Hebto massacre in France. In that case it was 22 caliber revolvers versus select fire long guns.

      And in the real world in India, a teacher and a student held off attacking terrorists with handguns. Shooting back at the terrorists. Who had AK47s. Allowed more than 150 students to escape to safety.

      • As was said in other forums, what would have happened that day if even 50% of the people at the ‘rave’ were armed with even a basic 9mm and several magazines?

    • AMEN! Who would have thought, that with the many and manifest dangers the Jewish State faces from those sworn to “Push the Jews into the sea and hold them under for five minutes”- Yasser Arafat and the PLO’s words- that the Hebrew people are disarmed by their government! WTF??? That borders on insanity from where I stand… Inexcusable governmental failure.

  15. edit
    At least in the United States. I can bring to the fight. Whatever I can afford to pay for. Every family member with an AR15 rifle. And at least 1000 rounds of ammunition each. And perhaps hand grenades as well.
    Thank god for our founding fathers and their writing of the second amendment.

    • The 2nd Amendment is nothing more than words on parchment. That holds no sway against tyranny. As is being witnessed in numerous cities/states across the country. Unless ‘We the People’ do their duty and protect and defend it and thus their Rights.

  16. if the $100 bill is not asswipe, it’s not shtf. you can still buy or move your way out of the crap, if all has not collapsed. So there’s very little need of anything other than travel money, maybe water, water filter, overnight camping gear, some food, maybe a mountain bicycle, and/or a raft, need a pistol, maybe concealed armor, night vision. to get around some problem areas (off road but not a full blown shoot everyone or they’ll shoot you sort of shtf.

  17. Let’s be honest, im a real SHTF scenario, you really shouldn’t be worrying about the cats. And 5 days worth of emergency food is barely a start.

      • (snicker)

        Yeaaaahhhh. I cannot see very many cats cooperating with a trip on a dirt bike.

        Cats are pretty resourceful and very good at hunting small rodents and birds. If you have to vacate your homestead, simply put your cats outside before you leave. If there are no water sources nearby, put a giant water container outside for them before you go and then leave with a fairly clear conscience.

        Oh, and if you are leaving them outside in very cold winter conditions, leave their food outside in a giant container along with some kind of shelter for them to keep them dry, out of the wind, and off of the cold ground. (That last bit means putting a dense pillow in the shelter for them and you can even bunch up a blanket on top of that pillow for them to snuggle-up in.)

        • “Yeaaaahhhh. I cannot see very many cats cooperating with a trip on a dirt bike.”

          Believe it or not, mine would have been just fine, since her carrier at home was her ‘safe space’, with a blanket crumpled up inside…

        • Excellent tips. I think we would take the dog, a big dumb American Staffordshire. Our four Incredibly Spoilt Cats would have to fend for themselves.
          Frankly tho, we are too old and basically unwell to get far and I plan to hunker down and rely on God and guns to get us thru. This is our home and our base and we have enuff to get by for a month or two, maybe longer if need be. If not, we’ve lived pretty well in the “Greatest Country On God’s Green Earth”.
          Oh and the cats are fat enuff to eat in a pinch aka “Book Of Eli”. 😉

    • Cats and dogs should be let go and allowed to roam on their own to fend for themselves if the situation gets to that point. The odds are one way or the other that they will either become food for something else or will become the hunter. By that point though, 5 days worth of food wont mean much. But that is based on the idea of world wide apocalypse like The Walking Dead. Not everything is like that. The odds of that is actually quite low compared to other more likely things like Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Things that are horrible but are comparably short term events. Criminal activity is a thing that is always there to one degree or another so firearms and ammo should always be a part of any kind of preparedness plan. Basic human needs should be part of it too like water, food, shelter, and the capacity to make fire if at all possible. One should be able to handle it if things change and you have to leave. But you can have all the batteries in the world and still not have enough. That’s where people working with other people comes in.

  18. The shit can hit the fan in a lot of different ways. Large and small. For me the big ones have mostly been hurricanes. A couple I had to endure. More I had to work. Katrina was a SHTF event. 30″ storm surge and 150 mph winds at sea level. Gun fights, looting and arson were common. On a smaller scale we had a SHTF event here a few nights ago. I don’t know if you guys know what an Internet cafe is, but I’ll define it for you. Trouble. This story is told to me by a guy I worked with and was on the scene. The Internet cafe closes. Security guard is escorting the manager to her car with the days reciepts. They exit the front door. Security has his weapon drawn per policy. A bad guy rounds the corner of the building with his weapon drawn. Gunfight ensues. Security is wearing a “tactical ” vest, but doesn’t have the kevlar inserts in it. He pushes the manager out of the line of fire, but takes one to the chest. He connected also , but he didn’t see bad guy #2 coming from behind the other corner. Security caught one in the head. Both bad guys are in jail, but that was SHTF for everyone there night.

  19. My professional life involves a significant amount of reliability assessment and risk management. So, this is the kind of thing I think about. Every risk management or reliability assessment, inherently, is a risk/reward/cost computation. How much does the probability of a ‘failure’ multiplied by the cost of that failure compare to the cost of a unit of prevention for that failure multiplied by the reduction in the risk of that failure? Basically, that is it. It can get complex in the details, depending on the system, the setting and the types of failures, but, essentially, answering the question, “Does the cost of preventing this event outway the cost of suffering this event given the probability of this event?”, is what it all boils down to.

    I have had many discussions about self-defense and preparedness, along these lines, with people in similar lines of work. The unanswerable question, really, when it comes down to it, is: How much is your life and the lives of your loved ones, and/or, your stuff, worth? If the answer is “infinite” then, ratios are a lousy analysis vehicle because, either “everything” or “nothing” is the ultimate mathematical solution.

    I split my time between an urban home in a somewhat densely populated neighborhood and a rural cabin on several acres of mountain pine forest. In town, the greatest threat to my safety is probably automobiles (well, heart attack, cancer, etc. but, you see what I’m saying). At my home in town? Probably a neighbor losing their mind or, maybe, a burglar. Burglar has happened but, I wasn’t home and he didn’t get much. Neighbor losing their shlt has happened more than once but has never made it to my doorstep.

    In the high country? Fire. Fire is my greatest threat. Second is severe weather. I don’t really have to worry about unannounced visitors because they have to cross quite a bit of open ground before they get to me and mine and, unless they’ve been there before, they are unlikely to stumble upon my cabin.

    What do I personally do to mitigate these threats? Well, I know how to prevent and fight fire, I am well provisioned for bad weather, I drive vehicles well suited to my settings and I lock my doors. Oh, and, I keep a piece (or a couple) with me all the time, too. I also have extras stored at each location.

  20. Living in the desert makes me worry about power outages in the summer. I don’t think trying to sleep when it’s 115f outside is possible. I can’t image wtf people did before AC. If those Bidensurgents attack our power systems in the summer we’re toast (pun intended)

    • The things to look for when it’s 115 outside is shade, a breeze in the air, and water. Plenty of water. It aint easy but it is possible. What’s worse is when it last for 4 or 5 months. You can see not only the bushes and plants die but also whole trees.

        • “Phoenix is toast without power. 120°F for days on end.”

          I can deal with Phoenix heat at 120 F, since the humidity tends to be low.

          Florida after a late summer hurricane that saturated the ground is pure misery…

    • I grew up without AC. It wasn’t a big deal, simply because there was no AC and you didn’t know any different. The closest thing to cooling was a old steel bladed fan with big openings in the cage. Still have the scar on my foot from sticking it inside that metal cage. We also hung wet sheets in the windows to help chill the breeze at night. We slept outside when it got really hot.

      • You grew up in a desert location w/o AC? I lived in a rental house for 2 years with just a swamp cooler. Great during the dry spring/summer but gnarly when the “monsoon” season starts. Hot and relatively humid. It felt like you could wring out water from the furniture. Not to mention it was a mosquito injection system. Try to sleep with skeeters attacking while it’s too uncomfortable to cover up with blankets! I would go to the mall just to cool off.

  21. When rare hurricanes come my way I split up the axes and saws throughout the house, get my tarps out and tape big a big X on every big pane of glass. I had to get a gun permit and carry off property, all the time, as the comrades of the Party have gone Soros curious to the point that rape, murder and armed robbery are common where they were extremely rare before.

  22. “So I don’t need to sleep with a gun next to my bed.”
    idiot logic.
    So I don’t need to sleep with a gun next to my bed … until i need one.

  23. updated.
    “So I don’t need to sleep with a gun next to my bed.”
    idiot logic.
    So I don’t need to sleep with a gun next to my bed … until i need one,
    and it’s not there.

  24. i live down the road from kenosha
    so thats my biggest concern
    another kenosha
    except in my neighborhood
    after that
    its a long period power grid failure
    i figure i got enough food water and medicine
    guns ammo cash and gold
    -and enough shooters that live in my house-
    to last about six months

  25. …SHTF? To me, that’s “No electricity, no drinkable water, no idea when that will change”.

    There’s a small portion of the population that’ll raise hell at any opportunity, but they’re generally not suicidal. If they meet resistance, they’ll go have their ‘fun’ somewhere else. But after a few days without food or water, even the good folks feel the pressure, and start to consider doing things they normally would not.

  26. I think it all depends on where you live. Your abilities and access to clean water, food and electrical power. Where I live our public utility district (power company) is owned by citizens of the county, We have two hydroelectric dams. We can shut down power to other entities we sell power too and supply ourselves. We have two Large fresh water rivers for clean water.
    Our issue is climate. last summer it was 117 Deg F and last winter it was -10 deg F below zero. That is a 127 degree temp swing from summer to winter /six months.
    In a true SHTF scenario, I think about people who have never had to live without electricity, food in the refer will spoil quickly. Water pumping systems will not work. There will be no trucks delivering goods. Most people have never prepared for this type of crisis.
    I have prepared and can survive without power for at least 3 months. I have a well on my property for water and food stores for three months, even without electricity.
    What will people in large cities do? They have no chance. They think they will bug out, not going to happen, roadways are clogged now on a Friday afternoon, what will happen in a crisis?.
    If your prepping doesn’t include firearms, well, you are prepping for someone else.
    It all comes down to an old saying. “If you fail to plan, well you plan to fail”.

    • Ok, I’ll bite…

      Do the rivers begin with the letters ‘W’ and ‘C,’ and the hydros both start with ‘R’?

  27. Well, let’s see now, author resides in LaLa Land where elves and fairies protect him from the evil morlocks. No one needs a gun, until they do. If the author is playing the odds, what were the odds that a maniac with an AR would shoot up a bowling alley and bar in a remote town in Maine? I’d say astronomical doesn’t begin to describe them but it happened. Also, a lot of people might not have died in Maine if Brian had a gun behind the bar and knew how to use it instead of a knife. Brian thought he didn’t need a gun until he died wielding a knife in a gun fight. I’d say to the clearly anti-gun author, buy a gun and keep it handy, it’s the only way to be sure.

    As for SHTF events, economic collapse, war, and food shortages. Weather events, power outages, and the like are not SHTF moments, they’re minor inconveniences unless it’s something like Katrina on steroids.

    I look at the essentials of survival as food, water, shelter, and the ability to defend them.

    I can live off the land, I’ve honed my hunting skills and have all the equipment, ammo, etc. I need to last me the rest of my life including all that I need to defend what I have. I’ve also identified and cultivated edible vegetation. I have peach, plum, & cherry trees. Canning isn’t a lost art (yet) and I suggest folks brush up on it. My family and friends will not go hungry.

    I have a fireplace and wood is plentiful. There is a stream on my property for clean water. Hand saws and axes to stay strong. I have a 10Kw generator and lots of fuel for those minor inconveniences and for the beginning stages of any SHTF events. I have a solar generator to allow me to charge my night vision optics long term should I need them for defense or if game becomes scarce.

    Other than nuclear fallout, I can survive for the remainder of my natural life and feed family & friends (as long as they aid in defense and food processing) if need be.

    • “There is a stream on my property for clean water.”

      And if there is enough flow and vertical drop, a small hydro gen set..

    • I’m with you, VNV. I’m way back off the road at the top of hill, I own ridge to ridge and surrounded by woods. I have two spring-fed ponds stocked with bass and bluegill, two wells, solar, ample propane and diesel, and pallets of dry goods. Fruit tree orchard with apples, pears, peaches, blueberries, persimmons, walnuts and pecans heavy on the branches. Chickens and peafowl (excellent alarm system), large garden, a couple beef cows, big mean dogs, ample deer, turkey and small game, a well-stocked armory, a bad attitude, and family within a mile. One way in, and nobody’s coming up that hill.
      A country boy can survive.

  28. I remember hearing about my friend in Venezuela dealing with a toilet paper shortage and thinking that would be crazy. I never thought I’d see that here.

  29. We lost power for 5 days when tornadoes dashed thru the state in maybe 2007 or so. I saw how unprepared i was. It was a bad feeling. We had 2 little ones and had to bug out to Bham and stay in a hotel for the remainder.

    There was no gas. No food hitting grocery stores , no power etc. Was a wee bit scary.

  30. SHTF can mean a variety of things.
    The Hamas attack was a very short term, localized, intense, horrific SHTF event for those people in that war zone.
    It could be a short term, localized event weather, like Hurricane Katrina. No power, no fresh water, food was questionable and rule of law varied from none whatsoever, to LEO trying to force people with the means to survive a few days or weeks out of their homes.
    It could be a long term, regional event like the Balkan/civil war. Fighting in the streets, trade was at your own risk, no rule of law, water came mostly in the form of rain and rain collection. There were food drops from the US or UN convoys but they were intermediate and unreliable.

    Having been to the sandbox, access to fresh water without the grid and means to purify or filter it is my top priority.
    I have a very well stocked pantry. I have small and medium livestock and can process and cure the meat. I have wild game on my property.
    I settled where I did as not many people think to go North toward the snowbound Hinterlands. I have plenty of firewood, the means to fell, block and split. I have serious cold and wet weather gear.
    I tend to think of hope for the best SHTF of maybe a few days without power, roads snow blocked to worst SHTF of complete and total break down of society, the economy, ROL, maybe even the grid for a prolonged period of time. Months to years. Then it is me and my neighbors on our own. Being we live in the hinterlands anyways, we figure that anyways.

  31. @gunnygene and @possum
    Not this:
    “COME not, when I am dead,
    To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave,
    To trample round my fallen head,…”
    – – Tennyson

    But this:
    “Go rest high upon that mountain…
    Wish I could see the angels faces
    When they hear your sweet voice sing”
    – – Vince Gill

    • Remember me as you pass by.
      As you are now, so once was I;
      As I am now, so you must be,
      Therefore prepare to follow me.

      • “Remember me as you pass by.
        As you are now, so once was I;
        As I am now, so you must be,
        Therefore prepare to follow me.”

        When one passes 70, and the mate crosses over the river, it becomes impossible to any longer believe you are immortal, with plans for a future where there is no separation. It is then that you feel the destroyer of worlds truly awaits.

        • try losing all your friends…kids moving away….no one to talk to…every time I see that movie “The Martian”…I think that’s me…

  32. @frank speak
    “try losing all your friends…kids moving away….no one to talk to…every time I see that movie “The Martian”…I think that’s me…”

    Am there, doing that. The Colonel was my only friend. “Kids” all middle aged, busy lives.

Comments are closed.