Your SHTF Plan

What SHTF means:

SHTF literally means “Shit Hits the Fan” or “stuff hits the fan” if you prefer it more politically correct.

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Exlamples of SHTF Scenarios:

Major Natural Disaster

A serious natural disaster is a local or regional event that can severely disrupt the lives of a large number of people. Such a thing no doubt qualifies as a SHTF event. For people who live in an area that can be struck by a severe hurricane, earthquake, blizzard, volcano or other weather event, the risk to life and limb is enormous, and if they survive their lives could be upset for weeks or months. Hurricane Katrina anyone?


The possibility of a viral outbreak is always hanging over humanity like a dark specter; after all, it has happened so, so many times in the past. Virologists agree that a pandemic is not only possible, but pretty much guaranteed. It’s only a matter of when the next bug mutates or jumps the gap from animal life to human. When a viral outbreak occurs and spreads to a global scale, when cases of to the virus rise and the illness reaches your city or town, then you need to consider the fact that this is a SHTF event. This is particularly true because there is no way to predict when and where a pandemic will start.

World War

There have always been struggles between groups of humans and as our population grows and grows unceasingly and the planet becomes ever more crowded something will have to give. There is already more friction than ever before. Consider the trouble with ISIS, North Korea, and Russia and another World War doesn’t seem fictional or so far away. A World War can bring devastation directly to American soil and entail any number of ways to die, including conventional, nuclear, biological, chemical, and cyber attacks.

Nuclear Attack

This is a natural fit for our World War III scenario above, but thanks to nuclear proliferation an isolated detonation is far from out of the question. If a World War is not the reason for the nuclear attack, the lone attack itself is bound to initiate said World War. Some preppers aim for being prepared for a full out nuclear exchange, believing that if they are prepared to withstand a proper nuclear war, they are prepared to ride out any literally any other SHTF event that could come their way.

EMP or Massive Grid-Down Event

If the grid went down, it would end modern life as we know it, just like that. Everything in our modern society relies on electricity: electricity keeps our food fresh and allows us to pump gas, get money out of our ATMs, heat and cool our homes and access this wonderful system of tubes we call the internet..

Have you ever gone into a store in which the computer wasn’t working? No service. There is no system in place to make do without electricity. Traffic lights, business, government offices, everything would shut down without electricity. We are so hopelessly inured to it in the West it has made us highly vulnerable to its absence. The power grid can go down due to a strong solar storm or via the high-altitude detonation of a nuclear bomb resulting in an EMP that fries circuits and other sensitive electronics. The power grid is also vulnerable to a direct cyber-attack from a major power.

Nuclear Meltdown

Another calamity caused by the power of the atom, the meltdown of a nuclear reactor is considered a legit SHTF event, one that would produce serious hazards from radioactive contamination and potentially fallout, just like a proper nuke. Anyone who lives in the vicinity of a nuclear reactor should include as part of their preparations a way to deal with a meltdown

Financial Collapse

This is perhaps the most plausibly likely SHTF event for which to prepare. Many people believe a financial collapse is already underway, that we never really recovered from the Great Recession of 2008.

A financial collapse can bring down an economy quickly and result in a major drop in the stock markets and a bank holiday, during which no one will have access to their money. The resulting panic, anger and desperation could see enormous hikes in the prices of everything from gas and electricity to bread and milk. Need is the ultimate monkey, and as soon as otherwise decent people have missed a few meals, things will start getting dicey.

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Specific Problems in a SHTF Situation:


During a SHTF event communication is vitally important, and very likely more difficult than it has ever been in your life. Your ability to survive and stay safe will rely on the information you are able to gather about what is happening around you. Make sure you have a means to communicate when cell phones no longer work. An emergency weather radio is ideal, but any alternate methods of communication you can manage between you and others are necessary. Consider dedicated landlines, Morse code, prearranged signals, etc.


You might have plenty of provision stocked, but what goes in must come out, and sanitation quickly becomes a problem in a SHTF situation. Garbage and waste piles up quickly, and once the water stops flowing or the sewage service is compromised there are no more flush toilets. It is garbage and sewage both that will quickly cause illness and disease to spread; either can become major threats to health and life in the wake of a major disaster.

Safety and Security

Speaking of danger, SHTF there will be people out there who don’t have what you have and they will want it. It might take a week or two for things to start getting desperate for the majority of people but at some point the masses are going to realize they’re on their own. If and when they find out you have food, water, and supplies, they will want it for themselves and their families. Desperate people will take desperate action, even otherwise good, kind people.

As for the not–so-kind ones and the criminals, they will quickly take to pillaging and looting with no provocation. You’ll need to be able to take care of yourself, and that means weapons, training and the will to engage in potentially lethal combat.

Law Enforcement

If law enforcement is still operating, you might be safe from the bad guys, but are you safe from law enforcement? Depending on the scenario, law enforcement may be on edge, or operating on orders of questionable morality. If things get bad enough, which would happen in a true SHTF scenario, law enforcement will get to a point where they will bail on their duties so they can take care of their own families. That is understandable at least.

Whether or not there is law enforcement on duty, don’t be fooled by criminals and desperate people who pose as law enforcement just to get what you have. If you can’t identify the real McCoy, then you need to stay hidden from view.


In the end, you want to maintain your health and well-being, which can be difficult in a SHTF situation. You should strive to have good physical health prior to an event. This will help you deal with stress, strain and injury when times get tough. The body is the first tool, don’t neglect it!

When the SHTF you will be under a great deal of stress, have a lot of physical demands on your body, and probably be skimping on sleep. This will not only drain your body physically, but also mentally. A healthy body will help you maintain a healthy mindset, and mindset is critical for surviving a disaster.


SHTF need not be shorthand for “certain death.” Understanding how a true Shit Hit the Fan event differs from a simple everyday emergency is the key to preparing for and surviving them. They may seem enormous, even insurmountable at first, but every event can be broken down into discrete phases and threats that, apart, are simple enough to plan against and prepare for.

Take what you have learned in this article and use it as the basis for your prepping procedures. Remember that omission of action is almost always worse than making the wrong choice, so get started today before disaster strikes.

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Your personal SHTF plan is crucial:

Items That Will Disappear First When The SHTF and you should have at home for several weeks:

Food & Supplies

  1. Bottled Water
  2. Canned Foods
  3. Rice, Beans, Wheat, Flour and Yeast
  4. Other grains for human or animal consumption
  5. Water Filters/Purifiers
  6. Charcoal
  7. Deer and wild game
  8. Chickens, goats, cows, pigs and all other livestock
  9. Cooking Oils
  10. Milk powdered and condensed
  11. Salt
  12. Cast iron pots and dutch ovens
  13. Gardening Supplies (Seeds, tools etc.)
  14. Canning supplies
  15. Jerky and other long lasting meats
  16. Tea, Coffee etc.

Medicine & Health

  1. Hygiene supplies
  2. First aid kits
  3. OTC meds
  4. Toilet Paper, Kleenexm Paper Towels
  5. Vitamins and Herbal Supplements
  6. Wine/Liquors
  7. Gas masks
  8. Baby/Toddler Supplies
  9. Advanced Surgical and Medicinal Items

Camping & Outdoor

  1. Guns, cleaning kits, ammo, misc hunting and camping supplies
  2. Flashlights, lanterns, and glowsticks
  3. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, wedges, machetes, hunting knives, sharpening stones
  4. Fishing supplies/tools
  5. Camo and hunting clothes
  6. Bug traps and sprays
  7. Tarps, plastic rolls, stakes, duct tape, twine, nails, rope, hammers and spikes
  8. Survival and medical related magazines, books and guides
  9. Wagons, wheelbarrows and carts
  10. Gasoline Containers
  11. Lumber and building supplies.
  12. Clothes pins/line/hangers
  13. Insulated ice chests
  14. Gloves
  15. Work boots, belts, blue jeans, thick socks
  16. Cold weather clothing


  1. Candles
  2. Bleach
  3. Knives & Sharpening tools
  4. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
  5. Large garbage cans and garbage bags
  6. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies
  7. Paper, pads, pencils, sharpeners, pens, and solar calculators
  8. Sleeping Bags, Blankets, Pillows, Mats and Inflatable Mattresses
  9. Buckets (all sizes and shapes)
  10. Plastic Wrap and Insulation
  11. Glue, duct tape, nails, nuts, bolts, screws
  12. Portable Toilets
  13. Weapons
  14. Washboards, plungers, mop buckets with a wringer for laundry
  15. Aluminum foil
  16. Brooms, shovels, rakes, pitchforks, pick axes, hoes, general gardening tools
  17. Animal Control Products

Other Items You Will Benefit From

  1. Bibles (many people will find their religion when the SHTF)
  2. Prescription medications
  3. Duct Tape and Electrical Tape once again
  4. Bicycles with tires, tubes, repair kits
  5. Hand pumps & siphons for gas, water, oil
  6. Cigarettes and salt as bartering items
  7. Generators
  8. Seasoned Firewood (6 – 12 months)
  9. Lighters, matches, flint and steel fire starters
  10. Batteries (all sizes)
  11. Solar Power
  12. Smoke house and a root cellar
  13. Gold and Silver
  14. Motorcycles

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