SHTF – The Beginners Guide for Preppers

Maybe you just finished watching the evening news and wonder what might happen tomorrow. Could it a terrorist attack on a major US city? Will solar weather take down the power grid? There are a myriad of bad things to ruin your day, week, month or year. The prepper community calls it SHTF, short for “shit hits the fan.”

Like many people, your paycheck does not stretch as far as it used to. In fact, you may have had a pay cut or have become unemployed. Before maxing out your credit card, take a breath and take stock of what disasters are most likely to happen in your town.



Air is the most immediate need you will face. Without it, you will die within three minutes. Unless there has been a biological, chemical or nuclear event in your neighborhood, you will probably plenty of it available. The good news is, air is still free.

Have a Gas mask or breathing apparatus in your bug out bag or near to hand for extra security.



Water is nearly as free as air and just as necessary. It is an essential prep item and without it, you and your loved ones will die in three days. Unfortunately, your water supply is not as reliable as your air supply, so this is another prep item you need to plan for. Fortunately, it is very easy to lay in a supply of stored water without spending money.

The easiest way to do this is to save clear plastic bottles and jugs after you have drunk their contents. Wash them thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinse and sanitize them with a weak bleach solution. A few drops of unscented chlorine bleach diluted in a gallon of water is sufficient.

Fill them to their tops with tap water. There is enough chlorine in city water supplies to keep it safe and potable. Make a note on your calendar to empty and refill them with fresh water every six months. New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July are easy-to-remember dates.

White plastic milk jugs and ones that have previously contained household cleaning supplies and chemicals are not suitable for water storage. The best containers will have something like “PET” or “PETA” stamped into the plastic on their bottoms.

Government preparedness guidelines once advised storing one gallon per day per person but have revised this to “the more, the better.” The bare minimum is two gallons per day, but five or more give you a wider safety margin. Water gets spilled in the best of times. In the worst of times, this may become a matter of life and death.

Store more water if there are babies, young children and elderly adults at your house. They become dangerously dehydrated more quickly than healthy adults. Do not forget your pets.

Better still invest in a a water filter.

Preppers - Water



Next, you and your family need a snug and weatherproof shelter. During inclement weather, you will survival about three hours without it. Now is the time to take care of all those minor household repairs you have been putting off. Check the locks on outside doors and all windows, and replace any that seem worn or flimsy. A few dollars’ worth of repairs ahead of time is worth several thousand afterward.

During emergencies, local authorities may advise residents to shelter in place, more commonly known as staying indoors at home. There is always a possibility that you could lose your home or apartment due to weather, fire or some other disaster. Now is the time to plan ahead.

If you have friends or family members who live nearby, discuss with them what you would do if someone’s home were destroyed. This is a two-way street. If you plan to go their house if yours is lost, be prepared to return the favor if a friend finds himself in the same situation.

After a widespread disaster, such as a tornado or flood, most of the homes in your town may be destroyed or uninhabitable. An inexpensive but good name-brand emergency tent can be your friend. These can often be found used on eBay, in thrift shops or at garage sales for surprisingly little money. If you need to shelter three people, buy a six-man tent; for four, an eight-man tent, etc. The additional space will be needed to store bedding, clothing and other supplies.



A healthy adult can live about three weeks without food. As a beginning prepper, you might think that those cases of dehydrated foods or COMBAT RATION are your only option. They do provide a sense of security, but you will not need them to get through a long power outage, a bad weather event or a terrorist-induced economic shutdown.

Break the habit of running to the supermarket every day to pick up tonight’s dinner or to purchase a pantry staple you have run out of. Get out Grandma’s vintage cookbook and learn to cook from scratch. Cook a double recipe of your family’s favorite casserole, serve one half for dinner and tuck the other half away in the freezer.

Your best friend is a well-stocked pantry full of quality canned foods; bulk items such as rice, beans and pasta; seasonings and baking products. Buy foods that you and your family enjoy as part of your usual diet. Choose easy-to-prepare comfort-food items such as macaroni-and-cheese dinners, beef stew, soups, chili, etc. These require little or no complicated preparation, little cooking fuel and very little water.

A Few Other Considerations for Preppers

Battery-powered lamps and Solar Power Bank, lanterns, more batteries than you think you will ever need, or oil lamps with extra wicks and plenty of lamp oil will keep up morale during a blackout. Stay on top of your household laundry so that you do not run out of clean clothes at the worst possible time. Keep your car’s gas tank at least half full at all times.

Where to Start

For more information on getting started in prepping, visit our store for useful and potentially lifesaving advice and products.

Better to be a Year Early than a Day too Late When the SHTF

If you are reading this, then you are least curious about the potential for a dangerous breakdown in society, otherwise known as a When the SHTF scenario. It’s a real possibility, and the immense consequences from such an event demand serious preparation. In this post, we will discuss how to plan and what to look out for to prepare yourself for anything that might happen.

Be Prepared When the SHTF

The first thing to know is that we are living in uncertain times. The rise of global terrorism, domestic political disputes, and an alarming reluctance to act on the part of Western powers means that the threat of something drastic, like a nuclear exchange or an event of similar scale, has never been higher. China is expanding its territorial ambitions and making it clear that it can take what it wants by force, if necessary. Russia is declining as a world power, but still desperate to asset its power in dramatic fashion. ISIS and its many offshoots are interested in acquiring nuclear material and doing everything they can to disrupt American society. Iran has secured a deal to grant them access to world markets while they continue to militarize. Here in the US, our political process has been hijacked by insiders and politicians afraid to take a real stance in the face of danger. For examples, look no further than Obama’s infamous “red line” on Syria, the reset button on Russian relations, or his inability to use the word “terrorism” to describe the vicious attacks of ISIS and their affiliates.

It is easy to see that these many threats pose a challenge to the average citizen. Any one of them could boil over at any time with devastating consequences. Consider what would happen if two countries had a nuclear exchange. Large parts of the globe would become uninhabitable. It would be an exceedingly dangerous time, because governments would break down, along with the law. The essential supply chains that bring us essentials like food and water would be destroyed, along with the rest of the economy. All of the things that we take for granted would no longer exist. It is not hard to imagine that the society that arises in such a situation would bear little resemblance to our own. There would likely be looting and gang violence. People would fight over the precious remaining resources.


Being Prepared When the SHTF

In this deadly environment, the people most likely to survive are the ones who prepared in advance. This preparation takes many forms. On the one hand, you need to be able to prepare by acquiring supplies. This will take the form of keeping a supply of basic goods that you can depend on should the worst happen. The more drastic way to prepare is to build, buy, or otherwise obtain a safe location that you can use as a safe house in the event of an emergency. Both of these are important elements to being prepared, and a person with forethought will make sure to take care of both far in advance of anything going wrong.

Let’s start with the basic gear. Many people keep what is called a Bug Out Bag Survival, or 72-hour bag. This is a bag pre-packed with everything you will need to survive on your own for three days. This is meant to be enough time to get you to a safe house or other location that has safe and can support life for an extended time. Your bug-out bag needs to contain food, water, and any other tools you think are necessary to survive. This could include a Waterproof Sleeping Bag, Fire Starter, navigational tools like a compass, spare clothes, weapons, and anything that might help you survive in your local climate. Remember that you cannot predict when such an event might happen, so be prepared for daytime, night time, and all forms of local weather. Even beyond the 72-hour bag, you will likely want to stock some supplies in your house like canned food and other necessaries. You can keep these in a basement or other safe place.

The other important way to prepare is in making or obtaining a safe house. Your safe house can either be part of your residence, like a fortified basement, or it can be located some distance away, like a cabin and property out in the woods. Either way, the goal is the same: to have a safe place to go that can give you shelter, store your supplies, and protect you both from environmental hazards and thieves. That means that it needs to be concealed in in a remote location. It should be large enough to be your functional home for as long as necessary. That means, for example, you need enough land for farming if you plan to do that. You might need a bunker in case of nuclear fallout: buried shipping containers are a popular choice, or you could build a concrete shelter in the ground. The earth is a natural barrier that can protect you from fallout until it is safe to come out.

You also need to prepare mentally. That means acquiring the knowledge and skills to survive in a dangerous situation. Consider both short-term skills like combat and navigation and long-term ones like farming, construction, and animal husbandry. You cannot be sure what you need, so it is better to overdo the preparations from a “better safe than sorry” point of view.

If you need to fill your bug out bag or are looking for other supplies, check out our online store. You can find just about anything you need there, so take a look around and see if there is anything you need. Remember that it is much better to be ready and spend a little time and money than to be left with nothing to protect you in a worst-case scenario.


Better to be a Year Early than a Day too Late When the SHTF