7 Assumptions About the SHTF

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We make them all the time.  Mostly unconscious, like the grocery store will be open, fully stocked of bread, milk, toilet paper, and our favorite ice cream.  The gas station will be up and running to gas up our vehicles and maybe get a hot cup of coffee or a fat pill (doughnut).

Then there are other conscious assumptions we make about things,  like our retirement accounts doing well, plenty of money available for presents under the Christmas tree, or not having to resort to using a credit card to make the monthly bills.

Some of our assumptions are made based on historical facts.  Others from more recent events or experiences.  Then, we also have unconscious bias assumptions.

When it comes to the SHTF, I think we have some that are quite logical or common sense based.  Others – well, I’ve read a few that are really out there – such as Army-grown lab attack dogs trained to eat our children.

Yeah.  Really.

Based on several of Selco’s articles and some other books on various topics, historical and recent events are some assumptions I have made.  Your mileage may vary.  This is not a complete list, as I am sure I am forgetting more than a few.

One thing I want to mention is that OP commenter Backwoods Squirrel wrote “Just understand that what works in one area won’t necessarily work in another.”

He was referencing the differences between the Balkan War Selco went through to what SHTF could look like here in the US.  There could be similarities, and there could be differences between states, regions, or even towns.

From Taylor to Tina.  Or, From Rule of Law to Thunderdome.

How fast we go from Shake It Off to Thunderdome is an interesting assumption.

I have read some who think it will be nearly instantaneous or overnight.  Others say several days to weeks or somewhere in between.

There are some more recent events we can look to as examples.  Hurricane Katrina.  The lawlessness some major cities are currently experiencing.

Selco noted more than a few times in his writings how by the time they realized that SHTF, it was too late.  Where they were is where they were.  From panic-buying at the grocery store to outright looting.  From civil normalcy to stabbings with no EMS or LEOs responding.

It happened slowly.

Then suddenly.

Rule of Law (ROL) broke down.  As a society, we are only as good as the laws written and those who follow those laws.  Once ROL is gone, chaos and anarchy rule.

It is only with the threat of punishment and to a degree, the social contract that a society functions.  When ROL has broken down, those who would enforce those laws are just as helpless as the rest of us to the chaos and anarchy.  In that case, I cannot blame Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) any more than I could anyone else.  They are just as fearful for their lives and the lives of their families as everyone else.

Another takeaway Selco mentions is the need for family or community.  He notes it takes a group to maintain not only physical security from invaders but also mental security.

Selco also mentions those who have the numbers and the firepower to control territory or parts of the black market.  These could be in the form of gangs, warlords, or tribes.  What we may see as a neighborhood now when things are normal, maybe the next tribe or gang, depending on how you look at it.

Hey!  Who Turned Off The Lights?  Or, When The Grid Is Gone.

This is one assumption most make and agree on.  If our electrical grid were to go down for a prolonged period of time – weeks, months, or even longer – we would have some serious problems. Some think violence would be the biggest cause of death in a SHTF situation.  Historically (and even to this day globally), sanitation issues have been some of the biggest causes of death.  Grid-down, the toilets do not flush, and nothing comes out of the tap.  Selco wrote an article about water during the Balkan War, and I wrote about it with my experiences in Afghanistan and my own water experiment.

Other issues are heating, cooling, and cooking.

Depending on your location and the time of year, all three present their own issues.  Obviously, heating in the far North in the winter can be an issue for those who do not heat with wood.  In the South, cooling is its own issue during the summer.  Most people would be able to cope, although it may not be comfortable.  In both cases it is the very young and the very old would be the most vulnerable.

Cooking over a wood fire is doable.  But first, you need wood for the fire.

Then you need food.

Grid down, unless you have a generator, your perishables in the fridge and freezer are only going to last a few days at most.  Even then, you are dependent on the fuel supply.  For those in the North, in the winter, nature is your freezer.  I have done it before.

What is that smell?  Or Sanitation issues.

Sanitation is the one of the biggest causes of death globally, even to this day.  Selco’s article on the topic highlights exactly the issues that happen when the power goes out and the tap no longer flows, the toilet no longer flushes.  I saw it happen in Afghanistan in the midst of a drought when a large number of people gathered around a single source of water and someone defecated in it.  The result was a cholera outbreak. If it was not for a humanitarian aid effort of hydration solutions/salts, a lot of people would have died.

In the comments section of that article, a number of people noted how the sewage system would back up if the power was out.  Unable to flush, where would people defecate?  As it has been noted, we Americans are something of a lazy bunch.  If you think San Fran is bad now, imagine lots of people just defecating in a bucket and tossing it out of a seven-story (or larger) apartment building.  And no one is going to clean it up.  Not my job, right?  In one of the comments, someone mentioned in the past there would be people who would collect waste buckets and dispose of them pre-modern sanitation methods.  Who is going to volunteer for that job, and what are the rest of us going to pay them?

Hey!  Where Did Everyone Go?  Or, The Mass Die Off.

In the comments section, The Lone Canadian mentioned the EMP Commission, and in the event of an EMP attack, an estimated 80-90% mass die-off could happen within 4 to 6 weeks.  When I first read the estimation of a die-off, it was too surreal.  Think about it: go to a mall, a big box store, the grocery store, and count off 8 or 9 of Americans dead.  The 9th or 10th is a survivor.  Then I got to thinking of how dependent we are on our Just-In-Time/Business As Usual (JIT/BAU) paradigm.

This system allows for maximum efficiency at a modest profit and lowest costs.  Unfortunately, this system is highly dependent on everything working just right and highly dependent on a readily available supply of cheap energy.  Take the COVID shutdowns.  A few meat packing plants closed due to works testing positive for COVID, and suddenly we saw rising prices and empty shelves.  Buying limits.  And it was not just meat.  Pasta.  Flour.  Rice.  Yeast.  Toilet paper.  The supply chain was in terrible condition, and fast. The Lone Canadian also notes that at normal consumption rates, there are only three days of food on the grocery store shelves in any given city. Selco mentions how quickly people went from panic buying to looting.  Once that supply is gone, where is the resupply?

Again, imagine 8 or 9 out of 10 Americans dead.  Some of these would be people who produce the food, people who process the food, people who transport the food, people who stock the shelves, and those who ring you out.  The same people who also pump oil out of the ground, transport it to refineries, refine it into a usable end product, and those who again transport that end product to your local gas station.

Another part that few mention is the supply of Rx drugs.  There are a lot of people who are dependent on those drugs for everyday life with no natural herbal alternative.

Then there are other Rx drugs that people may not be life dependent on but need for just functioning.  Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, etc.  How would they function?

Then there are the illegal drugs.  Do we assume the drug cartels would continue to ship drugs North if SHTF and there is a mass die-off?  Who would their customers be?  We already know to what lengths illegal drug users will go to to get their next fix.  Imagine when there is no next fix.

Times Square vs Mayberry.  Or, Urban vs Rural

This is a debate that continues to rage.  Some are of the opinion that urban areas will command the preponderance of supplies and rural areas will run out of food and other supplies first.  COVID may have shown a degree of insight into supply chain issues.  If we continue with the mass die-off assumption in 4 to 6 weeks there could be some supplies still within the urban areas.  And there could be nothing left.  Based on current trends, most Americans only have a week’s worth of food on hand at any given time.  COVID shutdowns did display the need for having a well-stocked pantry.  Unfortunately, in our current inflationary environment, many Americans have gone through those stockpiles to make ends meet.  As mentioned above, we are highly dependent on our JIT/BAU system in various degrees.  Take out any one part, and the end consumer is at a loss.

However, those who are closest to local production have the least to lose.

Selco notes how fast things went from normal to SHTF.  By the time they realized it, it was too late.  Where they were is where they were.

One commenter mentioned how he lives in a rural area not far from a sizable town.  He also mentioned how he and his neighbors are ready and willing to set up armed roadblocks or even drop a bridge to keep those urbanites from coming into their areas.

Something else that needs to be addressed is how many people could make a major migration from one area to another without some kind of modern logistical supply. How many people have the skills to actually live off the land while they hike it?  How far could they range a day?

In the early days of COVID, we read a number of articles about people from major metropolitan areas, fleeing to their second homes in places like the Hamptons.  The locals who live in the Hamptons year round, generally referred as “townies” by those with their second homes, did not appreciate those fleeing to bring COVID with them or buying up supplies and groceries.  Tensions were high.  How do you think that would go if ROL went out the window?

How much for a carton of eggs!?!  Or Trade and Barter System.

In one of Selco’s articles, he mentions that PMs in the form of jewelry actually went down in value as they did not have an immediate use. However, The OP has noted the value of PMs as a means to secure wealth in the long term and not necessarily for everyday trading. (Go here for more information on gold and silver.) As Selco noted, the market drove the value of everything on any given week: food, anti-biotics, alcohol, cigarettes etc.

During the Balkan War, there were supplies coming in from other countries in the form of UN convoys and US air drops.  Try to imagine a UN convoy getting even a few hundred miles into the interior of the USA or an airdrop to Topeka KS, from the East Coast. Consider the UN’s track record of success in previous endeavors. Not very good.

Selco also mentions skills.  Some skills will have a higher value than others.  One of the most commonly noted ones is medical and natural herbal remedies.  After that, the ability to repair clothing or even make clothing from raw materials.  Shoes.  Weapons repair.  I would assume things like alcohol or tobacco production would also be high on the list of those that have a high value.  People will still have their vices even in SHTF.

With the current situation in the Mid-East, the Israel-Palestinian war, there is a very real possibility of unrest in the region, with some analysts suggesting passive-aggressive support for Palestinians of an oil production cut (more so than we have seen thus far) and even a possible oil embargo of pro-Israel countries.  What does $300 a barrel of oil translate into the cost of gas at the pump?  What would be the second and third-order effects of such a jump in fuel prices?  If you think inflation is bad now, consider that possibility.  Even the availability of fuel at the local gas station has to be considered.  Don’t think it could happen?  Recall the oil embargo in the early 1970s.

The Day After Tomorrow.  Or, Rebuilding Society.

What does rebuilding society even look like in a post-SHTF world in America?

I have no idea.

I can make some assumptions.

Our illustrious elites emerge from their bunkers after years of ruling from afar, while us unwashed masses have moved on and tell them to pound sand if they are lucky.

From what I saw in Afghanistan, some will form up their own tribes around natural resources.

Others will become something like what we now call warlords.

And still others may become nomadic-like tribes, moving to follow game or the seasons like Native Americans did.

Some may form walled towns or small cities with a symbiotic like relationship with nearby farmers to support those within the walls.

What will those society laws look like? Technology?  A mix of old world with a smattering of things like solar panels to watch a movie or listen to Taylor or Tina?

How would the world from the outside look at a fallen US?  Invade?  Stay the hell away?


This past weekend, the wife and I went to a local diner for breakfast.  As I sat drinking my coffee, enjoying the breakfast sandwich, I looked around at the people milling about. I asked my wife if WWIII broke out, would this diner be able to stay open?  Would people be able to come to it and pay for breakfast?  We just might be enjoying a seemingly common outing that, in a few days, weeks, or months be an extreme luxury.

As I write this, we are 90 seconds to midnight on the Doomsday Clock, with midnight representing nuclear annihilation.  The closest it has ever been.  And the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have not even factored in the recent Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel and the events unfolding now.

Now, there is possible WWIII not only in Eastern Europe with the Ukraine-Russian war, but also with war breaking out in the Middle East.  If China were to take advantage of the situation, we would be looking at a possible third front WWIII.

Things look a bit uncertain.  With uncertainty, the unknown becomes fear.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune

We must keep calm and carry on.

What are your thoughts? What assumptions do you have about how life would really be once the SHTF? Are there some assumptions you think are incorrect?

Let’s talk about it in the comments section.

About 1stMarineJarHead

1stMarineJarHead is not only a former Marine but also a former EMT-B, Wilderness EMT (courtesy of NOLS), and volunteer firefighter.

He currently resides in the great white (i.e. snowy) Northeast with his wife and dogs. He raises chickens, rabbits, goats, occasionally hogs, cows and sometimes ducks. He grows various veggies and has a weird fondness for rutabagas. He enjoys reading, writing, cooking from scratch, making charcuterie, target shooting, and is currently expanding his woodworking skills

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  • Excellent article. It slapped me upside the head and made me think. I’ve gotten sloppy w/my preps and have gone through most of them. Time to stock up and consider ordering Berkey water filters. I live by a pot shop and for sure there would be looting in any kind of a SHTF scenario. I can’t move, limited money, bad knee, no car and I take the bus to work. I do have good connections and live in walking distance of a river. I’m not scared; I’m a survivor and mentally tough. I can exist on very little and be content. This article was well written and timely. Even if the Wars don’t directly affect the U.S., the prices of gas and electronics will probably go up. Time to take stock and prepare.

    • great verse from Dune, and of course Queen Elizabeth. good article too. and like you denise, I have bad knee, now will consider the berkey, and some other things. I’ve put some off due to finances (always have food/water/medical/tools etc) but am looking more seriously at times that will be affecting US very soon, sooner than we think. and I do believe it will be here on the homeland this time….so pray, prepare as much as possible, and pray some more. I doubt this time we will be able to stay outa this one….like you I cant move either, so…..God bless all

    • Good luck with ordering the Berkey filters, I placed my order on September 14th and still have not received them, $300.00 is A LOT of money to spend on a product that I don’t even have. Will be reaching out to them AGAIN (for the forth time). Pray, pray, pray! It’s in God’s hands!! Good Luck everyone!!

      • They are in a law suit right now. A government agency put a stop order on all their products classifying them as pesticides. Hence why prepping early is of great value.

      • Try a Zero Water pitcher. The filters are fantastic, and affordable. You will NOT be able to do water production like with a Berkey or an Alexapure but it is something.

        • If SHTF bad enough no water filter is going to save you anyway if you need to keep buying filters that don’t exist anymore. I’m learning how to filter and treat water from the local river myself.

      • The FDA is going after Berkey, that’s why. Look it up. Be glad you’ve already ordered and have a chance of getting it. I’m looking at used.

      • If you are needing to filter your tap water get a filter installed inline, my particulate filter, similar to those sold at home depot, costs $15 per cartridge and is good for months.

  • Generally, rural ppl hide food well away from thier residences and collect it after the grasshoppers move on. A story as old as man. Also, propane is nice and convenient but woodstoves are warm too and in Amish homes often are the main source of heat. Most homes around me in my rural area are farms and most of those have woodstoves and at least a cord of wood or several. Plus, the gardens are large. Ours is 100×100 and has four zones we rotate a seasons crop through. Alot of work at the beginning and end but mostly only maintenance between with a huge bumper crop. Very common here. Just saying.

  • Good piece of summing up.
    For the USA i do not know, but here in Europe it will not matter if there is or is not a nucliar thing or EMP…here we have immigrants who say to believe in allah, of in ghosts and spirits and who have noting to lose and all to gain….this threat is only growing in size, with no way to stop it. Should immigration stop there is still an army of hate here that grows faster than we do….Europe is heading for a very big war inside it’s own borders, with people killing others for so many reasons ….no war between countries but chaos, anarchy. It will be chaos any way you can see….
    This is a slow proces but i can imagine that rising food and fuel prices could make chaos very fast….Europe is a powder kegg with many fuses, and sparks flying…

    In the US the biggest group of immigrants is i believe Catholic…people with partly similar ways of thinking, moral standards and a lot willing to work, seeing the USA as a new future they will have to put an effort in for… In Europe the immigrants are mostly muslim and demand housing, they believe in their hearts that everything is their birthright. The white people are to be their slaves…One piece of S muslim even went as far as to state in some newsbroadcast that raping and killing woman and childeren is the right of the winner of the battle, but only if it is a muslim of course.
    We keep canned pork at hand as the last supper to assist in their travel to paradise…

    Also in the Dutch government Islamic state terrorists are given key positions, acces to information on all subjects, running administration for refugees, so they can see the adress of people who’s childeren theymurdered and women they raped…

    all under guidance of WEF people…guess who is going to be leader of NATO: the same lying WEF piece of shit that made my home country a shithole…maybe a EMP will save us…

    So here we wait, in a standstill, because we cannot build a future when the bricks and mortar are stolen and given away by traitors…and we cannot go anywhere else, Europe is poisend….and no room to move…

    As for survival, i think here it will be up to being more violent than others, and police will form gangs also,….i believe when SHTF nothing will be the same, nothing.

    Being in the USA might just be the difference as some area’s will be able to keep control, if you can drop the bridges, tunnels and make sure no big crowds come asking for food….here in Europe there is a mass of millions that will scavange the lands…all ready to go in moments notice…no bridges will be dropped, no one in control will act in time.
    They never did, and they never will.

  • My partner and I moved from upstate NY to NW Arkansas a year and 7 months ago. We had a homesteading lifestyle. The CV experience and taxes made us very uneasy living in NY and we were missing our Southern roots. We wanted to be closer to family. We’ve picked this spot and planted our flag pole again. We like it here a good deal.

    It took us a year to find and buy land. Now we’re in the process of building a home, then to build out a homestead again. Getting some of our living and security and we’ll-being off the land is hard work, but I miss it and am anxious to get back to it.

    With constant new developments in our society and in the world it only adds to the anxiety. It feels like a constant race against the clock to get and be settled – though that’s a job that is never really finished. I’m always reminding myself to be patient with hopefully trust in the One that holds us while I diligently work.

    This article was centering for me to stay focused on the key concerns in preparing for what is sure to be a different world. And, it was a reflective reminder of the many good decisions that we’ve made in our lives toward resiliency. In the busy festivity of life, sometimes you forget to take stock in what has already been achieved.

    • Build your 3 car garage/ workshop first…gives y’all a large space to store supplies and to bunk in an emergency if the SHTF

  • My guess as the first weeks of the power going out. 10 miles per day by foot; 20 miles per day by bike. The horde will eat everything in its path. The daily mileage average will go down as the hordes caloric intake goes down.

    • That is an interesting assumption. Do you mind sharing with us how you came to that conclusion?
      No snark implied, legit question on my part.

      • Person of moderate physical health should be able to walk 2 miles an hour. If they walk 5 hours with no food or water then the distance is intermentcally decreasing (i.e. 2mi 1.8mi+1.6mi + 1.4mi…). I was in Boy Scouts and the military. Not all Americans are fit.

    • I have for years believed that there will be a circle of death around most cities between 30 and 40 miles out. 10 miles a day seems reasonable, but for how many days is the question. Very few people realize just how far 10 miles is carrying everything that you own on your back. Most people have never honestly walked 10 miles, let alone carrying a heavily laden pack. Lack of water will be the first thing that gets them as they wind up desperate and drinking “bad” water from streams or even ditches. Poor footwear alone will take its tole on a great number. And let’s be completely truthful – we are a FAT country, with obesity running at exorbitant levels. (Or should that be slowly shuffling?). Is it 20 below, or 103 in the shade?

      If you live 100 miles from a city I doubt you will see to much of a horde, but the ones you do see will be the best prepared, the smartest, or the meanest – those are the ones to watch out for.

      • I think of it like this, if you have never done a certain exercise for a prolonged period of time, you will feel it, namely the next day. Until you get conditioned for it and that will take more than a few days.
        As you point out, finding potable water if that person does not have a filtration system could be problematic.
        Depending on where one lives even finding water could be a problem. Heck, we had a drought one year and the shoreline of the one lake changed so much getting access even for just filling a cup of water would of been a challenge.
        I could also see cases of malaria returning.

    • Maybe 10 miles per day with almost no supplies depending on terrain. On a flat surface pulling a wagon loaded with 200# of supplies 10 miles would be for the fit. On a bike on a flat surface towing a small bike trailer with 50# of supplies I believe a fit person could do over 50miles per day. All of this depends on not having to fight off mile by mile others who are unprepared and need your stuff. Not a good situation all around…best wishes

  • One thing we fail to include in SHTF scenarios is Fire. Urban or Rural fire storms are your worst nightmare, are unpreventable and unpredictable.
    The recent Lāhainā fire, the Paradise fire of a few years ago (and several overseas fires that were similar and did not get much US media attention), are all great examples.
    No matter where you are, there is only one thing you can do against fires like that, bug out. And do it quickly if you want to survive.

    Not only do we have Climate Change(not man made, but a natural cyclic Solar occurrence, thus crazy weather) and a whole lot of nut cases running around, today in America. Something that Selco and others, did not have to deal with.
    Arsonists, Cannibals, Sex Predator’s, Serial killers, Mass Murders, Immigrant Invaders, etc. Some of these used to be locked away or were executed, but today they roam our streets or sit in jails that will probably just release most of them, once SHTF hits. They don’t go away when SHTF. They that once that were afraid of being caught before SHTF, will suddenly become active. Increasing the numbers of these types of incidents exponentially. Currently, 19.86% of adults are experiencing a mental illness. Equivalent to nearly 50 million Americans. That is a gigantic number that will be “off their Meds”, come SHTF.

    The harsh reality of most SHTF assumptions, is that they don’t include Today’s Harsh Realities, let alone the ones that will occur when SHTF.

  • Couldn’t have said it better my friend. Most people cannot imagine just how bleak and desperate it will really be.

    To quote someone famous: “Slow, slow, slow…..Holy Shit! What just happened?”

      • i am new to this site and i enjoyed this article. i am older and physically limited so i don’t need a BOB, i need a shelter in place plan. i have been working and reading everything i can on TSHTF. every scenario i hear is a result of governments more so then people. this world with all its’ problems has one very hard to fix problem, over population, and our place on the Totem Pole. i read about an old discussion on “Population Control” it is not new and has been around through history. everyone has heard of the Top One Percent running this planet and they are running out of space. what would be your solution? make TSHTF, or Population Control. wars, disease, pandemics, prevent unifying the common people, just make more room to live not to share.
        Just Food For Thought ! my opinion

        • Overpopulation is a genocidal elites’ lie that they peddle. The state of Alaska can sustain the current global population. We can have 10x the current pop and not destroy the Earth. Killing people is not the answer to our problems.

  • We are well prepared in all ways, but the 12 person pod I created to live on this sizeable property was disbanded several years ago by my DH when he had more normalcy bias. With both of us being over 60, it us ridiculous to assume that just two of us could defend our home, livestock, and our resources. There must be a group in residence that is well organized, where everyone can contribute skills in multiple ways to the group as a whole, whether providing wild game to eat or defending the compound. I still grieve this huge loss.
    Hundreds of people in our area know us and would expect us to take them in. That could be the greatest challenge; sending Dear friends away who did not act on my suggestion to prepare years ago.
    Tough choices will be made during difficult times.

    • One prep you should do now is list those hundreds, and their skills, attitudes. Who would be an asset? Who would you have to chase away at gunpoint? If (probably when) SHTF, you can likely replace those dozen people.

  • The curious case of Urbanites or Country Folks running out of food first was interesting. It is usually thought that Country Folks would be invaded by Urbanites; I like how you presented that it might just be opposite as one has supplies and the other might have food.

    At any rate, in either scenario, I wonder what would really run out first? Food or Fuel? Also fuel is no longer necessary with EVs. The gas pumps might not work, and oil might be $1,000 a gallon, but those EVs might still charge via solar panels (Assuming not an EMP).

    I would love to hear more about how to help your community prepare, Urban and Rural, as more and more people are waking up and prepping is going mainstream. I have heard a lot of folks talk irrationally about things to do when SHTF. A bit concerning. Maybe there is already an article about that here, but frightening the lengths folks who are waking up are willing to go to.

    • I am glad you liked the article, Mark.
      Ted Koppel wrote a book called Lights Out about a grid down scenario. He mainly focused on a cyber attack as our grid is particularly vulnerable from that perspective. He does also touch on both a physical attack on our electrical infrastructure and EMP. EVs might still be possible to charge, but how large of a solar array would be necessary? And would that same solar array need the regular grid to get the power to the end user?

      I will pond on a more lengthy response to your question, but first I have to tend to the livestock.
      Thank you!

    • Beware the “free energy” lure of electric vehicles. A Tesla recharge requires significant power, 40 to 80 amps of 240VAC, or 10-20 kilowatts; enough to run a full size welder or industrial lathe. You’d need a minimum of 30, 300 watt panels running full bore to even approach the power needs of a Tesla. That’s a lot of cash set aside just to charge a rolling firebomb.

  • While the prospect of a long term power outage has been mentioned above a number of times, what has not been discussed is the effect such a power outage would have on the soon-to-be-mandated CBDC digital money. Once people have become largely enslaved to it … the effect of a long term power outage would not only cripple digital money but would also cripple crypto currencies. That leaves barter for which most people are unequipped and uneducated. Such a power outage would also shut down the online economy. Without going into incredible details … just imagine the effects of Amazon.com shutting down.

    The point is that the introduction and mandating of CBDC money is laying the groundwork for an almost total shutdown of the US economy.

    On a less above board topic, there are some interesting notes from 1800s history about how settlers used left-behind buffalo manure. In one midwest county the last buffalo herd to be driven out took a full 54 hours to pass a single point. I mention that to illustrate why early settlers into those lands often used dry buffalo manure as fireplace fuel to heat their homes in cold winters.One county seat had to adopt an ordinance to mandate a safe minimum height for home fireplace chimneys after some homes were burned down when their roofs caught fire.

    In modern times some Asian farmers use manure for fertilizer and composting.

    The cholera threat from mishandling feces is real. A little-known historical note is that the reason Jim Bowie was at the Alamo siege in 1836 was because his wife and children in San Antonio had all died from cholera.


    • Re: cholera and other hygiene/dysentery illnesses. Barberry bark tea has successfully combated the disease in India during the 1960’s. I can personally attest that a person closed to me with discharge from both ends at the same time got immediate relief after slowly drinking a cup of barberry bark tea.

  • Good article. One detail. RoL is where we are headed now! A communist democracy. What you meant to say was Rule of CONSTITUTIONAL Law! The exact opposite of RoL. Example – Afghanistan currently is a U.S., U.N, World bank, certified, RoL country. And we sure as hell don’t want that here!

  • Interesting parallel with your comment “ Our illustrious elites emerge from their bunkers after years of ruling from afar, while us unwashed masses have moved on and tell them to pound sand if they are lucky.”
    The leadership that directed the slaughter of innocents in Israel were old Hamas men/women hiding safely in Europe or other Arab countries. It will be interesting to see (if the dust settles) whether they will resume their seats of power or not. Meanwhile prepare to survive, pray for the best, come Lord Jesus.

  • Hope the peeps are waking up. My parents were teens during the Great Depression. They lived every day preparing for the next one. Now it is my turn.
    I really need to get that shallow well with hand pump working. I have food and shelter and defense and friends covered. Just need water.

  • I’m sharing this article around and printing off a copy for myself. Sometimes I can ponder things better if I have a hard copy to peruse instead of a screen.

  • Here in communist Canada we won’t have to worry as our government is actively euthanizing us so resource shortages won’t be a problem. A lot of Canadians are dying due to the clot shot genocide so all good. I doubt most elitist pig dogs will survive their plushy bunker experiences as psychopaths will turn on each other, it’s their nature.

  • Thanks for mentioning precious metals (PMs). Gold and silver get mentioned often, usually with some misunderstanding. No, you can’t eat it, and it’s not an investment (it doesn’t earn anything). But it does store value. About 75 years ago, gasoline was 20 to 25 cents a gallon. At today’s silver price, gasoline is 20 to 25 cents in silver coin (in most states). And years from now, if (when) gasoline is $20+ fiat dollars per gallon, I’m betting it’ll still be a silver quarter per gallon. That’s just one example.

    A restaurant near me accepts payment in silver at 1/20th the fiat dollar cost. For a $20 dinner, you could pay four silver quarters. My grandfather reported buying the family’s first car in 1924 for $600. That’s about $12,000 in silver today, which might get a used car. Or it’s equal to thirty Double Eagle ($20) gold coins, worth about $58,000 today. Due to central bank demand, I think gold is overpriced and silver is underpriced (my opinion, but many banks have sold millions more ounces of “paper” silver than they could possibly redeem for metal, driving down the price – worse, they charge you to “store” your silver! Take physical possession.).

    Mostly, there’s a huge difference between a government or economic “collapse” and a total SHTF. After most collapses, the same currency remained in circulation, just greatly devalued. In the United States, as long as dollars are still used, it should be possible to exchange PMs for fiat currency. Maybe you won’t get full value, but PMs will hold value better than fiat Federal Reserve Notes. I’m more worried about massive inflation and social breakdown than a full-on “One Second After” scenario, and for that, PMs make sense.

    • “Years from now?” Inflation-driven (expansion of money supply) inflation (prices increases) is accelerating. Please take that into account, fellow survivors.

  • “What assumptions do you have about how life would really be once the SHTF?”

    Energy starved. Low/no amounts of petroleum. Low/no amounts of grid power. Low/no amounts of food (real, actual food). Low/no amounts of hope for most.

    “Are there some assumptions you think are incorrect?”


    The author uses his experience in Afghanistan in an instance of the article. I can’t help but wonder, was that an act of sabotage against the local population by an outsider or was it just ignorance? If it were the latter, that’s sad, but that is also pretty much my opinion of most folks I pass. Unenergetic, unhealthy, and willfully ignorant of life and the lives of others.

    • The wood gasifier can provide fuel for internal combustion engines, as can corn ethanol. If petroleum dried up next week you’d still see cars on the road, puttering along on wood fumes from their bolt on gasifier. Steam power can also make a comeback; a 21st Century Steam Wagon could deliver moonshine as well as run on it.

      • Wood gasifier is an interesting idea.
        But not sure I would want to trade my wood supply for possible source of heat and cooking.
        We just got our first snow last night.

    • I’d like to add this direct link originally sourced from ZH.


      The guy in the picture is selling water (sourced from Lord knows where, don’t know if it’s potable or not) off a cart pulled by ponies.

      I don’t know what a deep SHTF landscape will look like in my area, but, IMO, given time, it could easily look like the picture in the article. Water delivery by pony power so people can live, cook and lightly bathe children. Sobering.

  • Actually, I think the fiction books series “Havoc in Wyoming” by Millie Copper is probably as close to ‘best guess’ aftermath for SHTF in the USA as I’ve read. Your biggest asset in surviving any disaster or SHTF is your knowledge, not necessarily your stuff. No one can predict being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but what you know and your ability to respond quickly in an adverse situation might enable your survival and that of your family.

  • Daisy has written many books on water, sanitation, food, security, and how to prepare. I hope everyone is taking advantage of her extensive knowledge! Survival will depend on where you are, who is in your tribe, and the preparations and resupply that you have secured. Start NOW to get local farmers in your area for your business! Costco/Sam’s/Local Groceries will be closed or limited entry. You need to go to the source! And don’t forget your local vintners! A glass of wine is good for the soul and for you.
    Many folks are on tremendous “legal” drugs that require long chain supplies and local distribution. I went to a new doctor today who was shocked that I was not on any sort of cardiac, blood thinners, psychotic, pain meds. Nope. Get your diet in order and get walking. You may not get rid of all your meds but it will certainly help. Get an electric bike/trike and start riding. You don’t need to use the electric motor all of the time. It will help your health and give you an opportunity to really KNOW your AO. Flying past it in the car at 60mph tells you nothing.

    • Sandra: I went to a new doctor today who was shocked that I was not on any sort of cardiac, blood thinners, psychotic, pain meds.
      Me too, Sandra. I had a heart attack in 2006 which was an eye opener for me. I spent some years trying to get my health in order. Now I take no medications of any sort – not even an aspirin – just a handful of supplements.
      Exercise and eat right. To paraphrase a friend who knows, “Get your body in shape, and it will heal itself.”
      You’re going to need your healthy bod when shtf.

  • If we do have WW3, with an EMP (probably more than one), and a few stray–panic induced–nukes … welcome to 4000BC. I’m not sure that anyone can know what it will really be like. Good times, eh?

  • Warlords and the Mafia will figure in our future lives. I know of a large local property (80 acres of forest) that was sold to a “rich Ukrainian” a couple years back. Now they’re building; stone front gate, several gravel roadways, several building sites, enough land cleared for a parade ground… What are they doing there? Is this a retirement home for Azov Battalion veterans? How do you prepare for a gang of Banderites? “Bugging out” takes on a new resonance with this development. Sounds like Chapter 2 in some pepper fiction novel…

    • Interesting…..some state governments around the USA are now starting to pursue requiring foreign landowners to give up their land – regardless of whether or not they have started developing it.

  • Great article and had a few things I had not thought of, such as toilets not working, now to find a port a potty:) In any event I am ready for judgement day and thats what is coming folks, make no mistake about it.

    I look around at the totality of everything going on and know our God is going to soon act as He will not allow His creation to be destroyed by satan through these injections, which another has just rolled out.

    About 16 years ago I started researching climate change as I know its not humans and to keep this short I will not include the many details which are interesting but long, needless to say I learned that an earth catastrophe is coming and soon in the form of a magnetic pole shift, not a micro nova Ben:)

    The earthquake and volcanic activity is off the charts since 2022 and I mention 2022 because I now know that Edgar Cayce predicted a pole shift to start in 2012. Through the research of the last 3 years I have come across many who say our global calenders are off by a decade which would put Cayces prediction at 2022. The weird events since that time, like Tonga, are something to behold for me as I know its our God setting things in motion.

    7 years into my climate research I told my wife that hunny this is coming in our lifetime and if we can live our life and prepare then we should do that. She asked, what do you mean? I said I want to move up north, we were in Oshawa, Ontario at the time. The next day she said, hunny I love this but you are not going to leave your job of 18 years. I said, we will figure it out. Now fast-forward to the covid fraud and I refused to comply with any of it, well I did wear the facial diaper early but honestly it was hard not to early on and I only did for small moments of time.

    As most know many of us worked for close to a year, like our doctors and nurses with no injectio0n and no testing and a supposed pandemic raging. In Oct/2021 our company released their covid policy moving forward and of course targetted those that did not get the injection. We were to test ourselves 3 times a week to continue going to work. At this point I was well aware of the evil we faced and knew enough to know that one never gives in to tyranny.

    The bills started piling up and at this point as well my wifes faith was not as strong as it is today so she was getting very worried and even suggested to me how it was only testing hunny not the shot. I said look hunny none of it is an option and I know God will look after us but I don’t know when or how.

    There is much more during this time but will cut it short, God sent a record buyer for our townhome that has still not been eclipsed and He then put us right where I wanted to be but 7-8 years earlier:) I clearly took this as a sign that it was coming and He wanted us in a safe place now.

    We are now roughly 90 mins or so north of North Bay, Ontario. I figured with my research that if there was going to be a safe place this would be one of them as we are over 1000 feet above sea level and surrounded by fresh water and food plus the added bonus of having the great Canadian shield of bedrock below us and surrounded by mostly like minded and good people who will absolutely form a community after this happens.

    I have done the best with what God has provided me and have no need for a doctor anymore, even if judgement day was not coming, have a 5-7 year supply of vitamins and nutrients, many alternative medicines like colloidal silver, DMSO, MMS, MSM, nebulizers, Hydrogen Peroxide and the list goes on. Have a good supply of food, not worried about 15 years or more because I genuinely believe a new community will form up where I am. I also bought 2 6×8 greenhouses and turned them into one big one and bought thousands upon thousands of seeds. As well as many many years of Berkey filters and filters for shower and tub just in case the water still flows. Also keep the pool filled in back for berkey just in case as well.

    I have 3 generators, all run on gas, propane or natural gas if in the event the natural gas is still flowing which is possible though unlikely but Canada for the most part is suppose to fair fairly well after the pole shift. I work for a propane company and deliver propane to homes and as such have 2 500 gallon tanks now and in the process of getting the parts needed to convert my hot water heater and furnace to propane from natural gas.

    Delivering propane I talk to 5-10 people a day and tell them whats coming and how important vitamin d is and also show those that need and or supply MMS to help them detox from the injections. I was quite surprised to learn how many have moved up here because they know something is coming and some even know about the pole shift and its precisely why they moved here.

    Anyhow God bless all and keep safe all those good folks that care about society and their neighbors and who practice in service to others as I do.

    P.S- Something interesting to note, Edgar Cayce believe the conscious of the world, together could actually stop a pole shift or lessen its damage. I find this highly interesting as it could very well mean the difference between survival or not.

    • You are correct about the magnetic pole shift. The north magnetic pole has been shifting enough that some airports are changing runway designations (which are based on the runway’s relative position to the Earth’s magnetic north pole), and navigational models used by ships and aircraft are being updated more often.

  • In past years, starting well before gps (a compass works), we sailed the Bahamas. Only water was what we carried in the sailboat. We used 3 gallons/day for 2 adults. The dog got a full bowl or water daily or it would have been less. Toilets flush with salt water.
    When deep winter camping in our 4 season small RV, we use about the same. Out houses for toilets. This does not include laundry sailing or camping. All the houses there had cisterns.
    We lived very well, were clean, and healthy.
    After hurricane Ian, there was no water on the island where we live for a while and then we had 3 hours a day. It was fine. We ran the generator about 10 hours a day. During the time water was on, we moved the generator from the fridge to the washer and did a load. Line dry. We have rain barrels (2) and filled buckets for flushing (septic tank) and jerry jugs. For a prolonged outage, we have the camper that runs on propane and solar. We lived on propane/solar for months at a time on our travels. Boat had propane and a wind generator. It can be done. Big learning curve and expenditures well in advance of need.
    But, we are the exception. Most cannot imagine how to water ration and by the time they figure it out, their water will be gone.
    Our island will be safe enough. During hurricane aftermaths the signs read “looters will be shot. Crabs have to eat, too.”
    I’m not sure where all these bug out people think they are going, but it won’t be here.
    The expression “failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part” has been a well used expression in my life.
    We are in scary times. It won’t go well for most. I miss my USA.

  • Good overview with some practical views. I live in a small community (250) just north of a hellhole of a city of 25,000 with activist government (in the city) and a drug problem. Several of us here have looked at ways to keep the animals at bay and scouted out choke points where a small group could hold off or cut off transit north. We have fuel, game and clean water. We will stand hard against any interloper.
    As a recent event showed what the locals are made of here, when the shooter in Lewiston went missing, many regular customers at the store where my wife works made extra stops daily to make sure there were no problems. Hers wasn’t the only stop they were making. The community showed what it is made of.
    Stay strong and be prepared.

  • One expected event that is probably not accurate is that any electronics that are NOT connected to the grid will probably survive. That includes the electronics in a car. An EMP needs an antenna to amplify its power, and the grid is a humungous antenna, but anything not attached to the grid will probably survive. That is, unless the EMP is very close and/or powerful.

    One thing to consider for cooking is what is known as a twig stove. Around here there are a lot of twigs that are too small for efficient burning in a fireplace or a regular cast iron stove, but can be burned in a twig stove for cooking. Here’s an example from Amazon though I also made one from two tin cans.

    One thing I expect is that it may take two or three days after the power goes out before people realize that the wells are not coming back on. By that time, how many will be too weak from thirst to go out marauding? I know this sounds callous, but if they have not prepared, there’s nothing I can do for them. I have arranged with a friend who has solar and a well that if worst comes to worst, we can move to camp on his property. But we have enough stored to last awhile before we come to that point.

    At one time I hoped to sail the world, so I got some supplies—a cassette toilet, hand powered clothes washer and wringer, heavy duty sewing machine, gas stove, and assorted tools. I got enough solar to keep our chest freezer going. But here I am on dry land.

    One thought that is very much on my mind is that after the SHTF, when the population will presumable be much smaller, is that many items will no longer be available. There will be a need for local manufacturing to pick up the slack. We’ll need to prepare for that as well.

  • Part I
    You have to think through this issue logically. Please bear with me and because I have been called long-winded so I will break this post into several parts.
    The invasion of your community when the SHTF can be stemmed by setting up check points at key points (choke points) into your areas with roving patrols in case the raiders try to infiltrate in soft areas. The check points will have a primary and secondary inspection area for entry. There should be an armed overwatch to protect the inspection teams at the check point. The primary inspection team will have a Sponsor List from community members who wish to vouch and accept friends and family members showing up. This should cut down on freeloaders and bums. If the names are on the list, then they proceed to the secondary inspection area. If they are not on the list, then they are turned away. If they say they are just going to the next community. You will have to decided if you have the resources to escort through the community or not.

  • Part II
    What about unaccompanied minors? If you already set up a training academy of skills (farming, medical, carpentry, engineering, etc.) and you have families willing to sponsor the children then you may decide on allowing them entry on a trial basis. It is without say they must be given rules to follow or face expulsion.
    Entry into the secondary inspection area is more through. The inspection team is looking for weapons, explosives, and contraband (WXC) in their vehicle and personal items carried. There will also be a medical team is giving them the once over to prevent diseases from entering the community. People are killed more by disease than by bullets. During this time the sponsors are alerted to the family and friends requesting entry. The sponsor should escort them to their home or to the medical quarantine area if they test positive for communicable diseases.
    All escorted vehicles should be checked for WXC and trafficked persons. If you find any then decided or have a predetermined course of action what to do with the WCX and trafficked persons. Everyone needs to have wargame this beforehand. Everyone needs to be on the same sheet of music.

  • This was a useful read, but I am going to go a full HARD NO on the comment “In that case, I cannot blame Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) any more than I could anyone else. They are just as fearful for their lives and the lives of their families as everyone else.”

    BS on stilts.

    These LEOs have been strutting around our communities for decades with milspec equipment and sovereign immunity and minimum accountability and excellent terms and conditions for sick leave and retirement pay and pensions.

    If suddenly, when it really goes south, they think they should be not accountable for doing a duty, then to heck with them. Because I don’t care if they are just as fearful for their lives and the lives of families as everyone else, because they have not been acting like that for decades. For decades they have been acting as if they are above the law. And almost always, they have been. Think I am wrong? Well, if you don’t already know about this LEO-victim, you should. Philip Mitchell Brailsford was declared “innocent” of the cold-blooded shooting of a civilian Daniel Shaver, and all of his LEO colleagues backed him up and family lost their father and husband with no financial or other recourse.

    So. no. If it really goes south, then LEOs who forsake their duty of care should be beyond the pale.

    • OTOH you have Derek Chauvin, railroaded thru a political show trial and now recovering from near fatal stabbing in prison for the death of Saint George Floyd. Minneapolis threw him under the bus and the city is now just another failed blue disaster.

  • We can see shortages right now. The only grocery store in this rural and remote area is faced with ever increasing shipping costs and ever increasing product costs. Shipments of food and other supplies are frequently quite short of what was ordered. Items are substituted with inferior, but just as costly alternatives. Some items are no longer available as they have become unaffordable to most. Pallets of supplies are pilfered, or do not arrive at all.
    None of this is the fault of the local owners of the store. They are having a hard time in trying to keep items available and affordable. Cost of everything is rising weekly. Fuel costs about 5.70 USD per gallon. We are at the end of the line, with a small population, hence unimportant and easy targets for all of the middlemen along the way.
    This is not really a huge immediate concern for those who were able to stock up, buy ahead, store. Unfortunately there are a significant number of people here who are of very low income and/or reliant on gov’t checks. Those are generally also in an unreliable housing situation and unable to prep. And we are not yet in an emergency situation…….so they tell us.

  • One thing you can do is start working on a Neighborhood Emergency Plan right now. A neighbor of mine asked me to do this and I put together this file to start us off. I used a lot of Daisy’s articles to write it. It’s a great starting point for anyone who wants to prepare with their neighborhood to be able to defend themselves when SHTF.

    Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness
    -Make a list of names, addresses, phone numbers, emails to create a neighborhood emergency contact list.
    -Make a list of elderly or disabled neighbors who will need someone to check on them
    -Create a list of emergency phone numbers: fire department, police department, clark county office of emergency services, a local chapter of RACES Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services, the local humane society, FEMA citizen’s corps. Ask the leaders of these groups if they have plans for helping leaders like you organize their neighborhoods. Some of them may even be willing to attend or conduct local training meetings. (Script for what to say when contacting these agencies can be found here A to Z Prep Guide: Getting Your Community Prepared – Be Prepared – Emergency Essentials)
    -plan and execute emergency food drives
    -plan and execute group readiness plans
    -make tallies of equipment
    -plan and hold a block party
    -assign roles to & write descriptions for preparedness team: emergency manager oversees the entire group and all roles and responsibilities; communications manager for staying in touch with outside organizations such as red cross local churches etc, and conveying information like evacuation plans to the entire neighborhood; events manager may include neighborhood meetings and fundraisers; evacuation manager ultimately responsible for an evacuation plan and then overseeing the plan’s implementation in the event of a disaster (emergency plan pdf here Emergency_Evacuation_Plan_1.pdf (shopify.com)); food supplies manager oversees any group food storage they might also help families understand food storage basics and learn how to access supplies (food storage planning guide here Food_Storage_Planning_1.pdf (shopify.com)); water supplies manager; medical emergency manager ideally an experienced medic to help treat injuries and to train others; emergency supplies manager for group supplies and equipment lists; treasurer if you’re fundraising; mechanic;
    -hold monthly or quarterly emergency preparedness neighborhood meetings. “Come and join us! We will discuss (enter topic) Date, time, location, contact info.” Make sure someone is taking minutes, and get action plans and commitments written down. Make sure to provide light refreshments to get the neighbors to come out, they are only human after all!
    -find out if clark county offers CERT courses. Community Emergency Response Team volunteers.
    -Share your SHTF supplies list with everyone – list who has a pool and decide how to filter it if they’re willing to share their water supply
    -view and make to do list items with the neighborhood emergency plan packet here Neighborhood_Plan_Packet_1.pdf (shopify.com)
    -create individual stock list and hand out to all members. Information such as 5 gallons of water per person per day. Probably 30 days.
    -what is operational security? (OPSEC)
    -I’ve seen this warning repeatedly on prep sites “Don’t advertise what you have. Some people just will not prep no matter how much you warn them. If and when disaster strikes, you don’t want a line of people at your door because you won’t be able to help them all.” So individual preparedness level is not something which will be discussed. If your plan is to “bug in” then the fewer folks who know how prepared you are, the better your chances of survival. Stay grey and beware of prying eyes and ears.

    -Take baby steps. Do not get overwhelmed. Don’t try to get it all done in just a few days or weeks. Lots of baby steps add up to a very long way. The end of the world could come tomorrow, but it probably won’t. Don’t become so focused on prepping for doomsday that you forget to enjoy what you have today.
    -Get and stay in shape. You’re going to be completely exhausted after just day one of hiking from place to place and carrying supplies back and forth and repairing damaged structures etc. It’s easier to get in shape than you think.
    -Stock enough supplies for your own family: food, water, hygiene and sanitation, first aid, medications, pets, weapons & ammunition
    -Train and learn how to use a gun safely
    -Start growing some of your own food using vertical or container gardens
    -everyone should have a bar or plank or something to reinforce first level windows and doors
    -everyone should have a spotlight to illuminate intruders in the dark
    -everyone should be reading regularly a prepper blog such as Organic Prepper or urbansurvivalsite.com
    -keep up on your house repairs. The last thing you need during a survival situation is to worry about home repairs.
    -back up communication in case cell phones and internet go down (SHTF communications ideas here Communication in a SHTF Situation a List of Options to Consider – The Village Prepper)
    -You will need a way to filter water
    -You will need a lock picking kit and lock picking skills to get preps from the homes of people who bugged out
    -you will need gas siphoning tools
    -Preps for bartering

    -FEMA’s 120 page Facilitator Guide for neighborhood volunteers
    -Preparedness Binder from the Organic Prepper

  • “Do we assume the drug cartels would continue to ship drugs North if SHTF and there is a mass die-off? Who would their customers be? We already know to what lengths illegal drug users will go to to get their next fix. Imagine when there is no next fix.”

    The next question to be asked is how drug users would even pay for the illegal drugs from the cartels. If paper money became worthless, trading two laying hens for the cartel’s drugs would not be an option.

    • I can’t say I am tracking your logic 99. Users are an inventive bunch. If someone would suck a certain something for hit of drugs NOW, what wouldn’t they do for it after an event?

      If you don’t see a real value for laying hens when the world is starving, I’m not sure anyone can help you.

  • Here’s a real life mini SHTF scenario starting to play out in my neighborhood: a large forested property near me has been purchased by a rich Ukrainian who wants to put up an RV park/camp/ home for refugees from the Ukr/Rus war. He’s been pretty slippery about his plans, giving different accounts to the neighbors. The locals are smelling a rat and are 100% against his project, but the guys behind this have money and, after enough election contributions win their way into local politicians’ coffers, may get their way (your tax dollars at work!). What if the Avoz Battalion move in next year? A couple hundred Nazi war criminals down the road makes me nervous. What would you do?

    • The fact that you’ve been posting about the issue online puts you directly in the crosshairs if anyone takes action, regardless of who takes action or when.

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