What to do when the SHTF and you’re not a Prepper

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In this guide we will try to make a quick reference beginner’s guide for people who aren’t preppers.  We’ve got a wealth of information on here but the reality is if you’re not a prepper and you aren’t ready for the SHTF, you’ll get jammed up in a hurry.  The goal of this article is to inform those too apathetic or lazy to begin prepping to give you a fighting chance in hell.  When you’re faced with a disaster such as; a natural disaster (i.e. hurricane, tornado, flooding), a terrorist attack, or the government coming to enslave you, you’re going to need to take some pretty important steps in a hurry.  Please keep in mind I am writing this article as a guide for someone who hasn’t prepped for any kind of disaster whatsoever.  Basically this is a crash course for non preppers…

Evaluate the threat…

The hope is you’re watching the news or your local social networks giving you a tant amount of warning.  With this information you will need to determine if you should hunker down or get the hell out of dodge.  To determine this you will need to ask yourself, is it safe to stay home, or will it be safer to bug out?  You determine this by looking at the disaster you’re facing and evaluating the potential threats you’ll face.  For example, if a hurricane is imminent and you drive a Toyota Corolla you won’t want to get caught in the middle of a storm like that, and you’ll want to hunker down.  If a dirty bomb goes off downtown, you’ll need to boogie and get away from any potential fallout and civil unrest.  Sticking around in a situation like that will get you dead in a hurry.  Moral of the story is you will need to decide whether it’s safe to stay home, or you need to bug out on a case by case basis…

One thing I need to make perfectly clear.  If you have no where to go (like grandma’s house out in the country), and the only place you can bug out to is somewhere out in the woods, but you have no survival skills like being able to fish, hunt, or gather food, you might be putting yourself into a worse situation by leaving your house. Essentially your reason for bugging out better be a damn good reason before putting you and your family in danger.

Getting what you need in a hurry…

If you need to bug out leave your house within five minutes of receiving the news.  If you were to wait any longer you’ll end up getting stuck amidst the chaos.  First as a rule of thumb never have less than half a tank of gas in your car.  You will need to grab a backpack and fill it up with enough food and water to sustain each member of your family for three days.  If any of your family members have a medical condition that requires certain medicine such as penicillin, be sure to pack it up.  Make sure you grab anything that will create fire (matches,lighters), anything you can use to protect yourself (knives, guns), and a first aid kit.  Where are you bugging out to?  You will need to have a location far outside city limits (at least fifteen miles) that is near a natural water source (lake, river, pond), and has plenty of potential food sources (fishing, game, edible vegetation).   Again I have to stress that if you have no survival skills whatsoever you better hope you have somewhere to go…  Wherever you decide to go should not rely on the use of major highways that run through arterial population centers.  your exit route should rely on rural bi-ways, surface streets, and/or off road routes., basically anything that keeps you from large groups of people…

Deciding to shelter in place could be the wiser decision for those with no discerning skills.  In almost all natural disasters water is your greatest comodity.  With this in mind the minute you learn of an impending disaster fill up every container in your home with water, once those containers are full, fill up your bathtubs and sinks.  In almost every disaster civil unrest, and looting and all but assured.  Protect your home and prioritize fortification by boarding up all first floor windows in a hurry.  Break up any furniture made of wood and attach them to your window frame with 4” wood screws.  Barricade all standard entry points like front and back doors as much as you possible can.  Since you didn’t prep any food or water you will only be able to rely upon what you have on hand.  Let’s hope you’re lucky when that time comes.  The harsh reality is there’s no way of knowing how long you will be sheltering in place.  Depending on how long the disaster lasts food, water, and/or medicine will eventually run out and you will need to leave.

Rules to survive by…

Stay away from people you do not know.  There will be people who are less fortunate than you, and much more desperate than you.  These people may or may not have weapons, but there is no doubt they will be a prominent danger to you and your family.  If you don’t know them or absolutely trust them, stay away at all costs.

Always have a weapon on you.  For the reason stated above you will always need a weapon, and I hope you are practicing your God given second amendment right.  Otherwise you will need to use whatever you can find to protect yourself with. Knives, crossbow, shit..even if you have to grab a rock and tie it to a rope to have some sort of defense you damned well better get that ready.  There are far more people out there willing to hurt you than you can possibly imagine.

You’re not too good to scavenge.  If you’re sheltering in place you are more than likely going to run out of onhand resources.  This means you will have to leave your home and find said resources if you plan on living longer than three days.  When scavenging never go into a building without knowing what you’re walking into.  For example, never go into a building or structure you’re not familiar with.

Keep a level head.  When the shit hits the fan things are going to get worse before they get better.  You will be faced with the feeling of impending doom, lives will be lost, and things are going to get really tense.  Anxiety, tension, depression, and all kinds of perturbing emotions will be racing through your body causing a variety of involuntary bodily reactions that could get you killed.  You’ll need to push all those feelings way down, buttercup.  The only feeling you need when survival is your only priority is your instincts..

Remember the rule of three. You can survive three minutes without air, three hours in a harsh environment without shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food.  At all times the rule of three dictates your survival priorities.  If you get close to these limits you had better hope you get a solution together quickly.

In closing..

The idea behind this article was to put myself into the shoes of someone who has no survival skills, and hasn’t prepper any food or water.  A person like this might do a quick search when things go down with only a few minutes to read this article.  With that in mind I outlined the most important things people like this will need to know before the power goes out.  If you are smart enough to search this prior to the SHTF, be sure to read everything in ‘Survival Skills’ and get informed.

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About Administrator Ryan

Administrator Ryan has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Emergency Administration and Management from the University of Kentucky, and has been the primary handler for usCrow.org since it's founding. Professional background includes over a decade's experience in survival and preparedness, graphic design, computer programming, website coding, and asset management. Personal background in mountaineering, climbing, rappelling, combat training, and big game hunting.

13 thoughts on “What to do when the SHTF and you’re not a Prepper

  1. Buy food you dont need to cook. Think cereal etc. Nothing is a bigger giveaway than the smell of home cooking.

  2. if you haven’t got enough food and water to sustain you for the length of the current event, whatever that is, you probably wont survive.
    don’t expect to scavenge for what you will need, other people will have the same idea.

  3. “the government coming to enslave you”

    I understand what your meaning was here, but I would argue that people being salves to government has long been established, its just in a different manner. We’re all part of the tax farm and like good farm livestock we produce for the government who has all the weapons and “laws” that coerce us to follow their orders. This leads many to the realization that we’re already enslaved. It actually more like 50% slavery. But is that any better than 100%? Those that would say yes, enjoy licking the boots of your oppressors.

  4. Pingback: What to do when the SHTF and you’re not a Prepper | prepsurvivethrive

  5. Boarding up the lower level if your house is good but you also need a way out. If you have a 2 story house, get a ladder and rig up a window on the upper floor using the ladder to enter and exit. Pull the ladder up into the house when not in use. In some communities, they passed laws on boarded uo houses that windows and doors must be painted onto the stren/plywood boards to give the appearance of a regular house. Good idea! Also, stop mowing your lawn and don’t let your trash pile up outside. This gives the appearance you have food if your trash is nothing but empty cans and MRE wrappers. No lights at night either. When you do have to go out, take on the “gray man” appearance. Stop shaving and bathing. Clean clothes and good grooming are a dead giveaway you have resources. Shuffle your feet and mumble to yourself. Best to always look like you have nothing.

  6. Good first thoughts,that said,your new and reading this want to offer a few thoughts,you may havejumped the mental hurdle which is the hardest part of prepping.For water the toilet holding tanks/water heaters(not on demand)will give a few gallons from toilet tank and 40 or so from water heater.Stock up on food inexpensively,have read a article/researched it and one can feed 4 folks for a year on 300 bucks/purely bland/need water/need a place to prepare it but will work.Buy basic stuff like bandages/med gear from dollar store for basics/same for lighters ect.A lot of what I enjoy in life already helps prep me/fishing/camping ect. have gear and knwoledge of it’s use/enjoy shooting/cross and compound bow so again have a step in hunting/self defense already.I am a carpenter by trade and thus a lot of handy tools that could be useful,look at what you already own and figure out new uses in tough times for em.Heck,the list is endless but if you read this article and comments you are on your way,can prep till the day of disaster and remember,the smalls add up,you CAN do it!

    • James, with all due respect, you can’t feed a family of 4 for $300 a year. Ramen Noodles, the cheapest thing you can buy, other than cardboard, will cost ROUGHLY, 20 cents per package, when bought in bulk (i.e. Costco, Sam’s, etc.). At 12 packages per day (3 x 4 people) x 365 is ROUGHLY $875! Not to mention the lack of nutrition involved. I seriously doubt anyone can exist in a healthy state living ONLY on Ramen Noodles for a year. Just to pick a site, Emergency Essentials has average to better than average prices on their storage foods. If you just picked beans, rice and wheat (bread) it takes 3.3, 6 gallon pails of each item, PER PERSON, to have 3 meals a day with rice, beans and bread, at a level of nutrition that will maintain health. Even at that, this isn’t even a healthy diet, but it will fill a hole (your stomach), with carbs and proteins. Salt and fat need to be added for a (more) balanced diet. Even rounding it down to 3 pails of each, rice, beans and wheat, that is 9 pails each x 4 = 36 pails. White rice is $55 a pail, beans (on average) are $70 a pail and wheat is $48 a pail totals ROUGHLY $1557 per year for a family of 4. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE any sugar, oil (fat, an essential nutrient, 2-3 gallons per person), flavorings (pepper, garlic powder etc.) or adjuncts (baking powder, baking soda, powdered milk, etc.) needed to actually make the wheat into bread. I would add about $300 more for the “add-ons”. This is ONLY a bare bones (no pun intended) diet without any meat or other forms of vital nutrition (iodine, iron, B, C, D vitamins, calcium, and others). The calorie content in this type and amount of food is the bare minimum for not starving to death. Just FYI for you and others…don’t believe the number of servings a product says it has in it. IT IS CALORIE COUNT and the distribution of protein, carbohydrate and fat values that determine the usefulness and survivability level of storage foods. If the calorie count of a product is hard to find out about, that should tell you something about that/those product(s). Be Well.

  7. Pingback: What to do when the SHTF and you’re not a Prepper | From the Trenches World Report

  8. This article should also serve as a wake-up call to those of us who are preppers; the great, desperate masses are going to be banging on your door!

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