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Prepping For SHTF

Plans For Surviving a Long Term SHTF Survival Situation

For the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of long term SHTF situation has happened.  Whether it was civil unrest, meteor strike, financial collapse, nuclear war, outbreak of new disease,,, lets talk about what you and your family are going to need to survive.

Just about everyone knows about the food, water and shelter of survival.  But how many people put a lot of thought into the details?  In reality, how your food, water and shelter preps look for a long term SHTF survival situation?

If you want to see society break down, disrupt the supply of water, electricity and food.

Water After SHTF

Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.  Contaminated drinking water is one of the fastest way to spread disease.  Once dysentery sets in, without modern day antibiotics, its just a matter of time.

Puppies playing in a creek

To ensure my family has a source of safe drinking water, my wife and I are investing into family sized water filters. Just a few days ago I received a couple of Berkey replacement filters from Safecastle.  Each filter provides an estimated 3,000 gallons of safe drinking water.  Four filters should provide an estimated 12,000 gallons of safe drinking water.  The plans are to buy a couple of ceramic filters to go with the black filters.  I would like to have enough filters to be able to filter an estimated 20,000 gallons of water.

In addition to a Berkey water filter, I also have a SteriPEN Sidewinder.

The Sidewinder uses UV light to kill any pathogens that may slip through the water filter.

Advantages to the SteriPEN Sidewinder

Hand powered – does not use electricity
UV Lamp provides up to 8,000 1 liter treatments
UV light destroys waterborne bacteria, viruses and protozoa

Disadvantages to the SteriPEN Sidewinder

Uses batteries
Limited bulb life – the bulb does not last forever

Water Well

Long term plans for safe drinking water is to have a well drilled at the Bug Out Location.  To make sure we have access to the water in the well, I plan on buying a couple of hand powered pitcher pumps, and not the cheap ones either.

Electricity After SHTF

If one thing has a major impact on modern day life, it has to be electricity.  With electricity we heat and cool our homes, cook our food, freeze our food, cool our food so it last longer.  Electricity powers our phones, TVs and computers that keep us connected.

One of the first problems people will face after losing power is the lose of communications, and then dealing with thawing food in the fridge and freezer.

People will have to relearn how to store their food with limited resources.  Dehydrating and canning will be the “in” thing as people try to preserve their food.

With no electricity, unless you have a generator or solar power and a ham radio, families will find themselves cut off from the rest of the world.

Some survivalist are buying solar panels, some are getting into wind power.

Food After SHTF

Want to see the public go into a panic?  Let the grocery store shelves go empty.  Without a steady supply of trucks to keep the stores full, food supplies will run out in a matter of days.

Bushel of potatoes

When panic buying kicks in, stores can be cleaned out in a matter of hours.

When a hurricane warning goes up for portions of the Gulf Coast or the Atlantic coast, grocery stores can be cleaned out before anyone knows what happened.  Its not just the panic people that are panic buying that causes problems, its the people evacuating affected areas.  When people flee an area, they clean out the stores along their path like swarms of locusts.

As the reality of the situation sets in, the people that can travel, probably will.  People that live in large cities will flee in an attempt to reach a relatives farm where they hope to find food and water.  Along their path, people will try to buy whatever supplies they can get their hands on.

A few days ago a buddy of mine and I had a nice conversation about our food preps.  My food preps are divided into three categories – short term, medium term and long term.  The discussion my buddy and I was about long term food preps.  Just about anyone can stockpile can goods, and buy #10 cans of freeze dried foods.  Its a whole other thing to have food plans for when the rice runs out.

Snap beans for a shtf survival garden

The only long term food solution is to grow your own.  To have a well rounded plan, survivalist should practice their gardening skills by growing a garden from time to time.  Its one thing to talk about having a garden, its a whole other thing to break the ground, plant the seed, tend to the garden and finally reap your harvest.

Garden Seed Stockpile:

  • Bell pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupes
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Greens – Radishes, Turnips, Mustard greens, 7 top turnips and Rutabagas
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Okra
  • Peas – Mississippi purple hull pink eye and BVR. BVR seeds are resistant to a certain virus that can stunt the growth of the plant.
  • Snap beans – Contender bush bean, Roma II and Pinto beans
  • Spinach
  • Squash and Zucchini
  • Watermelons

So what do you do with the crops after they are harvested? Well, you put them in jars and use a pressure cooker to preserve them.

Have you ever heard of “string beans”? Have you ever wondered where the term came from? You can take beans or peas, run a line of string through the end of the pod with a sewing needle, then hang the beans up to dry. When you are ready to eat the beans, go pull them off the string and cook them.


To have a well balanced diet, your family will need a source of Protein. This can include anything from livestock  to wild game.

If you want a good example of what your diet might be like during a long term SHTF survival situation, take the time to read about life in the middle ages. Cows were used for their milk and to make cheese and butter.

The majority of meat will probably come from either fish, ducks, chickens or goats. When a cow is butchered, most people will not have a pressure cooker and enough jars to store the meat. Instead of letting the meat go to waste, use the animal for its milk.

During the middle ages most people ate what would be considered a heart healthy diet. Which was a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low fat meats. Due to the inability to preserve large amounts of meat, larger animals were reserved for feast where lots of people were in attendance, such as Easter or Christmas celebrations.

In order to provide my family with a steady supple of food, my wife and I invested the time, effort and money into building a chicken coop.

As of when this article was posted, the chickens are a little over 2 months old. Hopefully the chickens will start laying eggs within the next two months.

Chicken Flock Includese:

  • Barred Rock
  • Rhode Island Red
  • Australorp
  • Black Jersey Giants
  • Silver Laced Wyandotte
  • Buff Orpington

With a total of 13 chickens, my wife and I are getting 7 – 10 eggs a day.

Bug Out Location Security

You have your homestead up and running.  You have your garden, water, livestock, maybe some land to hunt on, now how to do prevent looters from taking everything you have?

AR-15 SHTF Survival Rifle

One of the things I suggest is to get with a combat veteran and take with that person.  Talk to the veteran about the hardships faced by people in remote villages.  How did people living on the edge of edge protect their lands, crops and livestock?

Take a firearms course, preferably from someone that has seen combat.  There is a big difference in competition training and combat training.

Train with friends and family members.

Make sure everyone in the family knows how to use a firearm.

Get someone to review your security plans, preferably someone with security, police or military experience.


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