This article is meant to be read in the future by those visiting this blog on the day after TSHTF. This is for the person who only has access to the basic supplies anyone might have laying around the house. Regular visitors to this blog will ask why I did not recommend using a Berkey water filter (www.berkeyfilters.com) to purify water. It is too late now to get one.
In your exploration of this site you will find years’ worth of information from people explaining the many scenarios that could happen and how you could prepare for them. You will find information on what necessities will be in short supply and which will be extremely valuable. You will find information on how to protect yourself and your family. Some of this information may still be helpful, especially today, so I encourage you to explore the many topics. You may still be able to gain an advantage over the millions of people sitting in their homes waiting for someone to come fix what is wrong.
All of the information on this site would have been much more useful a month ago. You could have done something… if only you had known. There is no time to spend worrying about that now. You have much more pressing matters to attend to.
All of the things below need to be considered. Depending on the crisis you are facing, some things may be more important than others. For example, if the electrical grid where you live is down, getting batteries and fuel may have a very high priority. Make a list of the most critical things you need, based on the situation.
- Food and water. What?!? You don’t have more than three more days of food? For goodness sake, get off your computer and find a way to get as much food and water as you can. Wait… finish reading, and then go. If the water in your home is still running, fill every pot, cooler, and bathtub. If it is not running, you have got to find a clean source of water. Go outside and rig a way to collect rainwater coming from your roof. Is the bottled water gone from Wal-Mart? Check to see if they have any pure bleach left you can use to disinfect water from ponds and streams. If there is any food left to buy at the grocery store, farmer’s market, or a vending machine, you need to get it. Start to conserve and ration your food and water. It is better to stink and live than to use your precious water supplies taking a bath. You and your family cannot survive without food and water, and help, if it ever arrives, could be months away.
- Money/Valuables. It is possible this option may not be available to you. Your bank may have shut its doors and you are stuck with just the bills in your wallet. Your credit and debit cards may not be honored any more. Paper money is quickly becoming less valuable, but you have got to get your hands on whatever money you can while it still has some value. That box of Ritz crackers you are shocked at paying $10 for today, will be $100 next week, if it is still available at all. In most SHTF scenarios money will increasingly become useless, so spend the money you are able to get your hands on to buy things that will be valuable in the future. Food and water are obvious, but people will be coveting many important items which will soon be unobtainable at any price… aspirin, medical supplies, vitamins, toilet paper, lighters, tools, auto repair supplies, shoes, warm clothes, camping equipment, hunting/fishing equipment, playing cards, cigarettes, diapers, and liquor to name a few. Gasoline is probably unavailable, but you may still be able to find propane tanks which will be extremely valuable for your own cooking and for trade. You will want a small battery-powered radio. Notice I did not mention precious metals, batteries, guns, or bullets. Regulars to this site cleaned the stores out of those yesterday.
- Security/Protection. You are kidding me? You seriously were anti-gun? You have nothing in your house to help protect your family except your son’s T-ball bat (*rolling eyes*). Do you know in two days your neighbors are going to start running out of food and water and will do whatever is necessary to feed their children? That guy you drank beer and laughed with on the Fourth of July will be breaking through your window at night with his 9MM looking for a bottle of water. You have three objectives. First, you need to find a weapon. Nobody is going to sell you a gun today. Be creative. Pull out the axe in your garage. Collect some large pebbles and build a slingshot using a branch from a tree and rubber bands. Check out your kitchen knives. Toy plastic guns look real in the dark. Be prepared to bluff, if needed. Have a flashlight ready to blind your intruder. What about Fireworks! Second, you have got to secure your home. Cover your windows with black garbage bags and secure them from the inside with discarded wooden pallets you find behind a carpet store. Secure your windows from being raised with screws. Secure your doors to their frames using extra lumber. Cut and stack thorny plants and thick bushes high in front of your easily accessible lower windows. Third, and most important, there is safety in numbers. Bring other trusted family members or friends into your home. Potentially move to your church with other brothers and sisters in Christ you can rely on to pool supplies and provide protection.
- Prepare to leave. There may be many reasons you leave your home. You may get a knock on your door from a government representative saying, “Your family must relocate. Come with us now.” You may feel your home will soon be overrun by “bad guys” and decide it is best to leave and survive. You want to be ready to go when the time comes. A basic school backpack filled with essential supplies should be available at the exit door to be picked up by each family member at any time. What is in your bag will vary depending on the situation, but there are some absolute essentials, including a couple changes of clothing, easily consumable non-perishable food (granola bars), water (two bottles at least), medicines essential to your condition (if you have one), a lighter or matches, basic first aid supplies, inclement weather gear (a plastic bag is better than nothing), a list with important personal information such as phone numbers, identification (passport), a roll of toilet paper, and a flashlight with extra batteries. Put it all in Ziplock bags. Some other lightweight items you might include if you have them are a map, sewing kit, pocket knife, razor blades, twine, a few yards of duct tape wrapped around a credit card, whistle, paper and pencil, small mirror, safety pins, fork, toothbrush, floss, tweezers, aspirin, bar of soap, wash cloth, and a comb. Some very useful heavier/bulkier items you will really have to decide if you can carry would be a battery powered radio, rope, bug spray, sunscreen, an axe, binoculars, and extra water. You may not be in great shape, so just carry the lightweight essentials you need. As you get more tired on your journey, even a lightweight bag will become heavy. The amount of water you can carry severely limits the length of time you can live using just the items in this bag. You have got to have a way to disinfect water. Someone in your group should carry a metal pot that water can be boiled in or pure liquid bleach can be used to disinfect water. (Generally, use 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented or “ultra” bleach. It should only contain calcium hypochlorite.)
You are not going to be able to survive long term on your own. In the unlikely event you are able to go to the store today and load every inch of your vehicle with food and bottled water, it will run out at some point. You are not alone. Very few people live where they are able to sustain themselves indefinitely these days. 99% of us are dependent on “the system”.
If there is no food in the stores and no water available at your sink, you are going to need to find someone to support you. You will have very little of value to trade for this support. If there is no gas, who will want your Maxima? If there is no electricity, who will want your big screen television? The recommendations above are meant to get you through the first few tumultuous weeks of the disaster. After this amount of time, it is possible millions will have died from violence and disease. You are going to have to venture out into this ugly world and find someone who is willing to provide for you. For the average business professional (like me) who did not prepare, this probably means you will need to find someone willing to feed you in exchange for your manual labor, unless blacksmithing was a hobby of yours. Yes, many people will essentially be slaves to someone else who can use them. The easy life is over. Your plan cannot be to wait around for the government to come by your house and give you food. That is the mindset that ravaged our country, and if you choose it, you will not survive. If you want to live, you have to get out there and find a way.
Good luck. If you are stuck in a major city, I encourage you to get out as quickly as you can. I cannot fathom how anyone will survive in an urban environment over the next three months. I encourage you to pray and remain civilized.
Anyone left a month from now is still here because they prepared or took what they needed. They bought or stole protection and know how to use it. A month from now, they probably will have had experience using it. Respectfully show them how you can be helpful in exchange for the help you need. For now, these people are in charge.