What if SHTF Right Now?
Let’s do a small exercise. Say disaster struck right now and you have to bug in. Maybe it’s an EMP, maybe it’s an economic collapse, maybe Martial Law or State of Emergency are declared for some reason. What would be the first things to cross your mind when SHTF?
I should probably end the article right here and leave you find out what those things are on your own but, then, I wouldn’t be helping too much. See my suggestions below but don’t let that stop you from coming up with more on your own.
Where is everyone?
As long as you’re safe, you’ll want to know where your spouse and kids are. Next, you’ll probably want to find out if your relatives your neighbors are ok. As long as you’re checking to see if everyone’s OK, you might want to get in touch with friends and relatives from another state to find out if whatever’s happening is affecting them as well.
How bad is this, should I bug in or out?
This is something you need to consider early on because bugging out along with everyone else might be tricky. Generally speaking, if you neighborhood, town or region is or will become uninhabitable, you should leave. Bugging in is the more likely option because it’s safer in all other cases but you may be forced to leave at a later date if things are getting worse.
How soon can I get home and what’s the best route to take?
If you’re not at home, getting there quickly is critical. Knowing the ins and outs of your town or city is something you should have thought about in advance. Keep maps of the area as part of your EDC and on offline maps on your phone.
Why didn’t I EMP proof my electronics?
No one really knows what type of Faraday cages can protect our electronics but one thing is clear: you have to at least try to keep some of them protected.
How long will my food and water last?
Since the crisis is just starting, one of the scariest things is that it might last for years. Sure, at some point you’re gonna figure out how to get more food and water but what you really want is to rely as little as possible on outside help.
How am I going to feed my pet shtf?
Pets can be an invaluable help post-collapse. Cats hunt mice, dogs protect you from bad guys and they will all keep you and your family entertained.
I wonder if stores are still open.
This might be tempting but also extremely risky. When shtf angry mobs are going to empty all shelves in a matter of hours and, unless you want to return home with bruises or even injuries, I suggest you stockpile in advance.
Will I still be able to go to work when shtf?
Probably not, but this is the last thing you should worry about. You can figure it out later. Unless your boss is in your survival dream team or a friend of yours, you should probably leave this matter alone.
Why didn’t I take care of that medical issue I was meaning to?
Good question. I actually got a wisdom tooth pulled out today and I’m sitting here with an ice pack in my hand, typing with the other. I postponed this enough but I had to do it. Besides, all the high tech equipment that dentists use might not work or even be stolen post-collapse.
Speaking of which, you should focus on learning the basics of survival medicine so you can deal with as many health issues on your own as you can. http://www.thesurvivaldoctor.com is a great starting point.
How long will the gas in my car last me?
I suggest you keep the tank full at all times. An extra canister is also a good idea, so is having a secondary bug out vehicle such as a mountain bike.
Where’s my survival bag?
The sad truth is, you may not be close to you bug out bag when it hits. This is why it’s good to have several survival bags in strategic places an even an everyday carry kit. For more info on which survival essentials to keep close to you at all times, check out this article I wrote.
Do ATMs still work?
And, if so, will they still accept my credit cards? If so, this would be a good time to take out all your cash. Of course, your priorities should be, in order, safety, air, water, shelter, guns and ammo, food and THEN cash.
Is my house at risk?
That’s hard to tell without knowing the disaster but it’s something to think about today. As long as you have a plan of action for each disaster, you should be able to quickly decide whether your house is at risk when it finally hits.
Does everyone else know about what’s happening? I should warn them.
I wouldn’t do this unless I was sure I’m safe, my family is safe and that everything else is taken care of. Besides, attempting to communicate might tip off the wrong people to track you down. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it, it all depends on the disaster but using your Facebook to tell all your friends where you are might not be the best idea.
How and I going to get out of town?
That’s something you should have thought about in advance. Your bug out vehicle should be ready to go, you should know all the routes to get out as well as the means to assess which ones are safe and which ones could be dangerous.
Is the transportation system still working?
Probably not but if you have a head start before everyone knows it’s about to hit, taking the bus or the subway might work.
Why didn’t I set up that rainwater harvesting system?
Good question… why didn’t you? J
These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself but, to make this exercise even more powerful, you can pretend a specific disaster has hit and take it from there. Don’t underestimate the power of imagination and visualization when prepping for the worst.