SHTF is a famous acronym for preppers and it simply means “Sh*it Hits The Fan” – it means that a situation has gotten worse, either an emergency, a catastrophic event or a crisis. A lot of situations can be related to this. And most of them are only possible scenarios that can happen in the future. Examples of potential SHTF situations are: Natural disaster, power outage or the grid is down, economic crisis or economic collapse, wars(civil wars, nuclear wars, etc) pandemics, food shortages, etc.) Preppers and prepping is ever so popular after Covid-19, and e-commerce stores selling disaster preparedness items has soared. Web sites such as Amazon.com and www.disasterprepstore.com offer bug out bags, food storage, water filters, survival seed banks, and other crucial survival gear. Sometimes these situations are unpredictable, that is why it is important to be prepared and have a “Plan” ready in case that emergencies happen.
When creating a survival plan consider the following:
- Create a survival plan if you need to leave your home.
Have an emergency bag/kit packed and ready. Your emergency kit should contain the following:
- One gallon water per person per day
- Food that lasts three days for an evacuation or a two-week supply for home use
- Battery-powered or crank radio
- First aid kit
- Medication that can last seven days
- A multi-purpose tool like a swiss knife
- Items for hygiene which includes, but is not limited to, toilet paper, feminine products, towels and garbage bags
- Emergency blankets
- Local area map, if needed
- Phone chargers, preferably solar powered
- Copies of personal documents in a waterproof case
- Emergency and family contact information
- Emergency Cash
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
We understand that it feels daunting trying to prepare all of these things which is why we suggest you buy an emergency kit if you can afford one. One of the most lauded option would be the Food & Water Emergency Preparedness Kit while others prefer to have a First Aid Survival Kit. We recommend preparing for the situation most likely to occur in your area. For example if you live in Florida you should have a hurricane kit with food water and a ready to go pack with everything you need to live if you have to evacuate or worse.
- Know where to go, in case you need to evacuate.
Take note of what disasters would most likely happen around your area and try to see if your local community has an evacuation plan for such. If they don’t exist then it might be time for you to develop your own plan.
When developing an emergency plan, it is important to consider the following:
- Conditions where evacuation would be needed.
- Conditions where it would be better to take shelter
- A clear chain of command and designation of roles for the people around you, like your family
- Specific evacuation procedures including your routes and exits
- Method for accounting people after evacuation.
Where you need to go would highly depend on the circumstances of the emergency. In cases of earthquakes, a large open are is preferred but in cases of hurricanes, people are suggested to stay indoors and barricade their windows.
- Have alternate routes to your destination, because the highways might be flooded.
It is good to keep in mind that in events of emergencies, majority of the people would be panicking and rushing to buy supplies (Remember when people hoarded toilet papers?). Thus, it is crucial for you to plan alternate routes in case the highways are flooded. Keep in mind that alternative routes can also be congested when several people know of its existence so plan multiple alternatives as you do it.
- If a natural disaster like a flood, wildfire, typhoon, or tornado nears your home, it’s best if you leave
- Pack your Bug-out bag, stockpile on supplies that you need for survival.
A bug-out bag should include the essentials:
- Non-perishable food & water (1 gallon per person per day)
- First aid kit, medication, prescription medications
- Duct tape
- Tent, sleeping bags, foil blankets
- Firestarters like lighters and matches
- Hand Crank radio and flashlight
- Solar lamps and batteries
- Dust Mask
- Multi-function tool
- Extra change of clothes, light jacket, head gear, hand warmers
- Manual can Opener
- Sanitation and Hygiene kits
- Handyman tools, and self-defense weapons
If you need to survive in the wild make sure that you have supplies to create your shelter, either a tarp or a tent. Plan your food ration, food supplies in your bug-out bag should have at least 72 hrs worth of food. If you can gather for at least a week, that’s good, but make sure you have a plan on how you can source out your food supply after that. Next to consider is drinking water, know how to filter your own water supply, in case that you will run out.
- If you need to stay home – this will be a case where it’s more dangerous to go out.
- Make sure that your home is safe, from intruders, and from other natural calamities.
In case of hurricanes, keep away from windows and glass doors. Close all interior doors while keep external doors secure and braced. Curtains and blinds should be kept closed and do not immediately think it is safe simply because there is a lull, it may be the eye of the storm and the winds will definitely pick up again.
- Store enough water and food supplies for everyone.
As a rule, make sure there is at least one gallon of water per person every day. As for food supplies. Ready-to-eat canned meat, fruits and vegetables and high energy foods like peanut butter and granola bars is preferred in keeping a short-term emergency food supply.
- Make sure that heating in your home is working.
Heating is another important part of survival. Therefore, it is essential that your heating actually works so take the time to check your heating system every once in a while because we do not want it to fail in more crucial times.
- Make a plan on how you will get your water and food supply in case that they run out.
Food and water emergency supplies do not last indefinitely so it is good to have a plan in case your supplies run scarce. While highly unlikely, it is still good to be prepared in how you acquire your food and water supply in case the government is in shambles and could not help the people. Perhaps it might be time to start a garden or polish your fishing skills.