The Here and Now, by Mark M.

Like many of you, I’ve read many articles on what to do when the SHTF or TEOTWAWKI. With the fear being put out by the media and politicians regarding Covid, many people who had never heard of prepping, survivalists, or even the acronym SHTF, are now getting quickly up to date.

For all the articles out there, once you sort the wheat from the chaff, there are usually some great pieces of advice regarding what to do when the SHTF, what to include in prepping, building a bugout plan, etc. But, what about the here and now? The time before everything goes south. What can you do? As it turns out, there is a lot of things that you can do, but will you choose to do them? Remember that at the end of the day, your life is in your hands.

Where Am I?

Let me be perfectly clear. Where you live is as important as breathing. Don’t think so? Let’s review history. During the end of World War 2, when the United States, Canada, Britain, and the Soviet Union invaded Germany, the country was divided between them. Yes, it’s a very generalization of a complex subject, but the end result was West Germany, East Germany, and a wall between them. While those in West Germany found economic freedom, those in East Germany found suppression and communism. While no one in Germany at the time could have predicted those outcomes, it is an excellent historical example of the importance of choosing where one lives.

Looking at the years 2019, 2020, and 2021, we find current times not only showing but upholding this idea. Democrat-controlled cities were allowed to riot, burn, loot, and pillage. Police departments in Democrat cities were defunded and crime spiked. Rioters were allowed to take over portions of cities and businesses were either shut down or severely interrupted. If you were that business owner, then that was your livelihood. If you lived there, you found yourself wondering if you would survive. In 2020, a retired St. Louis police captain was shot and killed by looters.

The response to Covid has also been an extreme example of why where one lives is as important as oxygen. If you had loved ones in nursing homes in the New York City area, they were given far different treatment than those in Florida. Even now, the treatments remain different.

You have to treat where you live as important as Oxygen. It matters greatly. No Oxygen, no life. The here and now is the time to start taking stock of where you are living and determining if it’s somewhere that will remain free.

How do you start making that decision? Start taking things in stages and break them down. Are you in a city controlled by Democrats? This is not a political article. It’s reality. Every major city controlled by Democrats is not a place of freedom. Is it a city controlled by a Globalist Republican? If so, then they’re going to be just as bad. Failed policies from both sides of the political spectrum can be found in many places. If you’re in one of these cities, are you truly going to remain free? How many died in the NYC area from failed Covid policies? How many in East Germany died from or were opressed by communism? Start making the changes to allow a move to a place that is free.

Not in the city? Are you in an area with draconian lockdowns from those in charge? School boards teaching things that have no place in the education system? Unfortunately, these can be found in many places. The choice here is a bit tougher. Do you stay and fight to make it freer, or do you move? Do you know the community? Is there a group standing up for Freedom already? Are the people in charge popular, even with the draconian policies? Take stock of the area, the people, the groups, those in charge, and then make a decision to stay or move.

Moving Isn’t Easy

It isn’t an easy thing to move, especially for families. To compound things even more, if you’re in a city and have managed to adapt to the lockdowns and riots, then you might think you’re going to be safe. You’ve made it through the worst. Maybe that’s true. Until the violence comes to your area. Or those in charge decree that you must have a vaccine passport, or some sort of electronic passport, to shop and live.

The Cons to moving to a place that’s free? You have to move. It’s a big commitment that takes time, money, and energy. It’s not something to decide lightly, but it is something that should be seen as a critical decision.

The Pros to moving to a place that’s free? Freedom. Less worry. Less stress. Here’s a link to an article about a family that made the move. It’s a quick read but worth it to see the perspective from someone who moved.

Family, Friends, and Community

Stop looking at when the SHTF as being a solo endeavor. Survival is rarely ever a solo situation. In fact, if you’re alone when the SHTF or TEOTWAWKI happens, then your odds of survival go down. If you don’t have to go it alone, then don’t. Try to keep close family together. Keep the bonds strong. Keep relying on each other. With each family member, you gain various skills and abilities that just one person won’t have. You get a support system. You get more eyes, ears, hands, and brains to work through the tough times.

If you are in a city and have decided to move, where is your family located? Are they in a free area? Can you rekindle any lost connections? Are they worth rekindling? Don’t have family or maybe you’ve been estranged far too long? Do you have close friends in a free area? Do you have friends that would make the move with you? Overall, look for family or friends to create a group that can provide reliability, support, and help. Look out for each other. Help each other out over the days, weeks, and months. Does a neighbor need help planting a garden? Does a family member need help canning a bunch of food? A friend working on their vehicle? Learn to rely on each other. Find the strengths and weaknesses of the group.


The next step is the local community. These are people in the area where you live. Get to know them. Find out what they’re like. Learn whether or not you can count on them. Not count on them in a close, personal manner, but count on them to watch out for your property and alert you if “something doesn’t seem right” kind of way. Start building that kind of relationship. If you can build something stronger, that’s great. Everyone that helps to look out for each other makes a much stronger local community and your chances of surviving go up.

The extended community is the nearest town. Will they hold true to the values of Freedom? Can you get involved and help instill, or bolster those values? What are the Mayor, Chief of Police, and Sheriff like? Once you have chosen to move, these things become important in choosing where to go. Sometimes, families move together as shown in the article that I cited. Sometimes you may decide to move back to where your family lives. Just make sure that where you move is one of the free places and not another strict non-free area. Does it require a bit of research to determine all of these things? Yes. The whole point of this article is what you can do in the here and now, rather than waiting on when the SHTF.

The Cons are that things change, people change, and the situation with friends, family, and community can become strained. But, then again, that can happen anywhere.

The Pros are that if you build a bond with friends, family, and community, you have all kinds of help and support even when nothing happens and the world stays sane.

What Can I Do?

It’s a great question. What can you do? Do you really want to wait for the SHTF to find out? What aptitudes do you have? What interests do you have? What have you dabbled in? No matter how old you are, there is always time to learn something new.

Can you work on automotive engines? Diesel generators? Welding? Living in the arctic wilderness with just a screwdriver and dental floss? Okay, that last part was humor. But, reading some of the SHTF articles makes you feel like you have to know some specific complex skills to survive. If you have those skills already, then that’s great. But for most of us, we don’t have them. One easy way of overcoming deficiencies in what you can do is with friends, family, and community. If you have people in your support group that have a multitude of skills that’s awesome. But, what about just from a personal perspective? Having a new skill, or improving on a skill can be a rewarding accomplishment. Just pick something that interests you so that it never becomes a chore that you’d rather not do.

For example, have you ever tried sewing? It can be a relatively simple skill to pick up. You also don’t need a large expensive sewing machine to start. You can pick up a second-hand one at a garage sale or estate sale or you can buy a new one that’s inexpensive. Get a simple pattern, some material, and have some fun. You don’t have to make something perfect. That’s part of the charm. You get to have fun while learning. If it didn’t turn out well, just undo the seams and start over. Work your way up to more complex designs. Sewing a button back on and making a simple T-shirt are relatively easy. They might not look great on the first few attempts, but practice makes perfect.

How about a solar power system? Think it’s overly complex? Yes, it can be. But, if you break things down and start small, then it can become an achievable object. You don’t have to build a fully functional system that runs a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house. Look for a starter solar kit in stores. Harbor Freight has a few. They’re small and not too complex. Build one to power a small lamp and a battery charger. Keep it simple in the beginning. Build on your knowledge as you get more comfortable in your skills.

The key to all this is to start learning something new by starting small or simple to make sure you get a strong step towards success. Other examples are cooking/canning and home security systems. Trying to do something overly complex in an attempt to learn something new is just a recipe for disaster. You can use the Internet for instructions, community college classes, books, or if you know someone that has the skill, they might be happy to pass on their knowledge.

There are many skills that can be learned in the here and now that will apply to when the SHTF or TEOTWAWKI comes.

The Cons are that some skills can become expensive and build towards complexity. They may take more time, energy, and money than someone would really want to spend.

The Pros are that even if the SHTF doesn’t happen, you will still have an interesting hobby that might give you some extra income, no matter how small.

In conclusion, preparing for when the SHTF doesn’t have to be burdensome or useless. You can accomplish a lot of things in the here and now that will not only make your life better but also add to your chances of making it through disasters.