Here’s How You’ll Die When the SHTF (and How to Prevent Your Untimely Demise)

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When it hits the fan…I mean REALLY hits the fan in a permanent kind of way, the most likely outcome is death.

That’s not pretty, and I’m well aware of it. I always try to be positive and optimistic, because, for me, preparedness is the ultimate act of optimism, but sometimes we have to look at the numbers and face some things that are pretty terrifying. The first reality check is that some research says that only 3 million Americans are preppers.  That means that 315 million Americans are not preppers. Some experts predict that within 30 days of the power going out, 50% of Americans will be dead. Within a year, an astounding 90% of the population will be dead.

Do you want to survive such a scenario? Do you want your children to survive? When you read this information, you have to realize that it’s very unlikely that you and your family would live through a grid failure of a year or more unless you are proactive and develop a preparedness plan that takes all of these causes of death into consideration.

The Top 10 Ways to Die in a Long-term Disaster

So here are the cold hard facts. One of these is the way that you are most likely to die when the SHTF, particularly in the event of a long-term grid failure. The good news is, now that you know this, you can take steps to prevent your untimely demise.

  1. You die of thirst or waterborne illness.  Most people have a case of water bottles kicking around, and perhaps a 5-gallon jug for the water cooler. What they don’t have is a gallon a day per person for a long-term emergency. Most people also don’t own a gravity fed, no-power necessary water filtration device with spare parts and extra filters. Most people do not have the skills and knowledge necessary to purify their water without these devices either.  Waterborne illness is the number one cause of death after a natural disaster.If just one person handles water and waste incorrectly, this can cause an epidemic of such deadly illnesses as Hepatitis A, viral gastroenteritis, cholera, Shigellosis, typhoid, Diphtheria and polio.  The other worry is dehydration. It only takes 3 days for a person to die of thirst.  Learn more about the importance of water preparedness HERE. If you’d like information on water preparedness in a print version, check out my book on the subject.
  2. You die from fantasy-world planning. So many preppers have poorly thought out plans for survival. They think they’ll “live off the land” and hunt, forage, and farm their way through the apocalypse, but they’ve never milked a goat or planted the contents of their seed banks. They don’t understand that gardens and crops can fail for innumerable reasons. They think they’re still in the same physical condition that they were 25 years ago and overestimate their ability to perform physical labor, like chopping wood for the fire.There are hundreds of bad strategies that will get preppers killed (in fact, here are 12 of them), and mostly it boils down to one crucial fact: it’s all a fantasy. They’ve never done ANY of the things that they think they will do for survival, or if they have done them, it was decades ago, when they were younger, fitter, and more resilient. I can tell you right now, if we had to live off of the contents of this year’s drought-stricken, deer-and-gopher-raided garden, we’d last about a week, enjoying salsa by the jarful, but little else.
  3. You freeze to death. Depending on where you live, you may freeze to death when the power goes out.  When temperatures plummet, people will become desperate to get warm, and this will lead to other modes of death such as carbon monoxide poison from improperly vented heat sources and house fires when people use fireplaces or wood stoves that have not been maintained for years. Learn about staying warm during a winter power outage HERE and begin to develop a plan that will keep your family cozy during a long-term scenario.
  4. You starve to death. Most people only have enough food to see them through until the next grocery trip.  Most people go to the grocery store more than once per week. In urban centers, it’s customary to buy your food fresh from the market each day.  If disaster strikes and you only have a few days’ worth of food, you are going to be one of those people standing in line for hours, begging FEMA for a bottle of water and an MRE to split amongst your family.  Even worse, in an extremely widespread disaster, FEMA won’t be coming at all, and you’ll be on your own, left with only what you have in your home…before it spoils and if you can figure out a way to cook it with no power.  Food poisoning, starvation, and malnutrition will be common causes of death. Learn about building a pantry on a budget HERE. To start yourself out with a speedy supply, go HERE for a variety of high quality, non-GMO kits.
  5. You have an accident involving major trauma. This is something that is difficult to prevent – that’s why they call it an accident. To up your chances of survival, always wear the proper protective gear, such as safety goggles and gloves. Secondly, spend some time learning to deal with medical situations. Many communities offer free First Aid courses to get you started. Stock up on books that provide information for times when medical care is not available (this one is the very best in my opinion), and have advanced supplies on hand to deal with injuries.
  6. You get murdered when raiders or looters come to steal your stuff.  Remember the 315 million unprepared Americans? They’re going to be hungry. And the hungrier and more desperate people become, the more dangerous the world is going to be. It’s imperative that you be prepared to defend your home and family from them. If you’re one of those people who says, “I don’t want to live in a world where I have to shoot someone because they’re hungry” you just might get your wish. Because they won’t have a problem shooting you. This is one of the major reasons that preppers must be armed. The danger isn’t just from mobs of strangers.  If you tend to talk too much, your friends, extended family, and neighbors just might be the ones to kill you for your supplies.
  7. You get sick. Without our normal standards of cleanliness and the access to medical care, the likelihood of getting sick increases. Without the access to medical care, the likelihood of that sickness spiraling out of control is exponentially greater. Learn how to treat and manage sickness naturally so that you can get a handle on an illness before it kills you. This book is a fantastic reference, written with the prepper in mind.
  8. You get an infection. A silly little cut or splinter that we take for granted now could be a death sentence after the SHTF. With the possibility that your hygiene standards may drop and that you’ll be getting a lot dirtier doing physical labor, infection is fairly likely. It’s vital to immediately treat even the most trivial-seeming wound. For treating a wound, I can’t recommend this spray enough. I have used it on all sorts of animal infections that I thought would prove fatal, with 100% positive results. Because of this, we use it on our own wounds as soon as possible, too. That may not always be enough to prevent an infection, however, so having the right antibiotics on hand could mean the difference between life and death. (Check out this online antibiotic primer.) Many veterinary antibiotics are identical to those made for humans. You can find them on Amazon and add them to your stockpile.
  9. You die because you are fat and/or out of shape. If the Zombies approached and you found yourself outnumbered, are you fit enough to run away?  What if you had to bug out across the mountains? Would your heart hold up to the steep climb? Would your knees hold up to the descent? What if you add a 50-pound backpack? Now is the time to get yourself in shape. Most Americans lead fairly sedentary lives, sitting down to a desk all day for work. It’s not something you can fix overnight, so now is the time to increase your fitness. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the family members who will have to wait for you while you huff and puff. They’ll be killed when you slow them down. The road to fitness can start easily. If you can walk, you can improve your fitness level dramatically. This article discusses how to start out slowly and then build up your endurance. This PDF book written by a fitness and nutrition expert just for preppers is a complete overview that will take you from fat to fit.
  10. You die when you daily medication runs out. This one is tougher to prevent. You can extend life expectancy by stockpiling medication but if the crisis outlasts your supply, there is a limit to what you can do. Who can forget the heartbreaking story of the diabetic girl in the book One Second After?  As well, don’t underestimate the difficulty for some of going without psychiatric drugs. Depending on the drug, withdrawal can be horrific, particularly if they have not been able to slowly wean themselves off. Some conditions, when untreated, can cause the sufferer to lose touch with reality and suffer a psychotic break, making them dangerous to themselves and others.Depending on the medication you require, there are sometimes natural alternatives and dietary tweaks that can help. Some existing conditions can be managed better now through lifestyle changes, which will increase your chances for survival later. For example, if you suffer from Type 2 Diabetes and are significantly overweight, improving your diet and losing weight now can reduce your dependence on daily medication in many cases. Keep in mind that some medications are okay after the expiration dates, while others can be deadly. (Learn more about pharmaceutical expiration dates HERE.) Learn everything you can about your medical condition and figure out a plan ahead of time.

Good news: many of these deaths will be preventable

Now that you know how you’ll die, you can take the necessary steps to prevent it. Almost every cause of death mentioned here is entirely preventable.

What will save you when an epic disaster strikes is what you do now to prepare for it. Make education and good health your mission now and you’ll not only survive the SHTF, you’ll thrive against the odds.

What do you think are the most likely ways people will die? What are the best preventative steps we can take ahead of time?

Note: Before you start yelling at me in the comments, please understand that this article was written with the unprepared or the beginner in mind.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • You might die also because you forgot to prep and you are the one trying to steal someone elses preps………………
    You do good work Miss Daisy………..

  • Excellent article. Many things I need to work on and great info to start working on it. Thanks for sharing.

    • YES ants and also BEARS. Remember they eat up in the spring, summer and fall so they can sleep all winter…That is called preparation !!!

  • This is good advice.
    Basic needs food, water, security and shelter. I invested in LifeStraw’s as they have no moving parts and you supposedly can drink straight out of a puddle.
    I need to work on my protection piece…

  • Excellent work Daisy! Many thanks for all you do. One quick thought after four decades (plus!) of observing and studying both the earth and humanity’s developments. Sigh… maybe devolution in humanity’s case!

    I think the PRIMARY Kill Mechanism for the entire SHTF scenario is air quality. Everybody, but everybody overlooks that. LoL – especially the Prepper sites! When the lights go out and the cities and forests are burning, the earth is being bombarded with meteors, earthquakes & volcanoes are erupting all over the planet, hundreds of Fukishima events are spewing radiological waste (etc etc etc), the atmosphere will be absolutely saturated with toxic chemicals, radiological fallout, and volcanic ash. Not to mention wind and temperature measurements might be up in the hundreds of mph/degrees.

    Historical records and forensics of the past five cataclysmic cycles from 2348 BC through the Chinese Guest Star flyby in 1054 AD confirm Air Quality is probably the biggest kill mechanism during the cycle. Ok, maybe not for the (Biblical) Flood! Yes if you take a direct “hit” from something then your number is up. But for the majority of survivors, their biggest challenge will be the weather – and specifically air quality. Downstream of that comes health & sanitation, water, food, security, and so on.

    Everybody from Bunker & Basement dwellers to Cave Hiders in the Ozarks needs to develop a robust system for air filtration & purification. I don’t think anyone living on the surface will survive. Likewise, gas masks and monkey suits won’t get it when a filter only lasts for about 8 hours and costs upwards of $60 each. For a multi-year scenario, it needs to be an Indoor Air Quality solution.

    How about if you wrote some articles on how to filter and purify the air? Perhaps you have some experts in your subscriber list who have or can contribute to the conversation? I think the topic should be a continuing conversation, and hopefully lead to a variety of projects ranging from DIY construction to higher end filter systems available on Amazon.

    • Daisy, a great hello from France and many many thanks for your articles. Alice, yes it makes a lot of sense. In this regard masks may not be optional because sooner or later one needs to move. I can recommend a 3M 4279 mask because it’s compact and I use it for my bicycle commuting trips (polluted urban area) and it’s protection is excellent ; for a small sporting activity the mask is comfortable for 1/2 hour max, after it starts to be to hot and wet and painfull, but staying calm you can wear it a far longer time (it’s made for workers after all). You can find this for 15 / 20 $ on sale. Pay attention to the expiration date.
      It’s just a start to thik about.
      In a prep strategy, one would probably prefer a bigger mask with removable filters. Of course, they are far cheaper on the long run.
      And you can go for full face masks which are far better in case of intense pollution scenarios, but I have no advice here.
      The best option is the PAPR, it’s very expensive but it’s the safest ; I’m pretty sure it’s easy to build one DIY with very cheap parts and cheap carbon filters (cheap but effective) ; but this is beyond my skills. Like for those home air filters like the AUSTIN (I found one in France working on 220 volts but I suspect it’s the only one ever made, lol) AUSTIN filters contain so much carbon they can work for many many months and they are powerfull (and noisy). Again, such a big filter is easy and cheap to make DIY.
      These would be a master piece in prep equipment.

    • I worked in respiratory protection for quite a few years but I’m not an expert. I can tell you though that there is no filter that filters out everything. The concentration of the hazard in the air and the efficiency of the filter are used to calculate a stay time in the airborne hazardous area. You cannot live in such an area. You must leave. Having a filtration system on your home will give you some protection but you have to understand that the typical home has an air replacement time of about 20 minutes. That’s why you have dust in your house. The only thing that works is to have a fan pulling outside air through a high efficiency filter and then blowing it into your living space. This causes a slightly higher pressure inside the room so that any leakage is to the outside or when you open a door some air goes out. Even with this some contamination will enter the room if a door is opened. It also requires power so you would need a backup power supply. It would be quite expensive. The filter with a fan that you put inside the room accomplishes very little. The only long term solution is to leave the area. If the whole earth becomes deadly with pollution then prepare to die.

  • Disease is more likely thing to kill people in my area near the gulf Mex. No mosquito control will be out working the streets , garbage pile up (rats, stray dogs, insects) lots of ponds, swamps, etc. for them to breed. Yellow fever cases have been reported stateside in the past (1800’s). No medical care will also be the big thing. People I know with type 1 and 2 (insulin) and heart meds for a-fib and CHF are definitely not going to make it. Husband takes Synthroid as others I know incl sister. Don’t know how serious that is, so best to get some kelp I was told. Most retirees are not physically able to do heavy outside work (arthritis, ht disease). We just gotta have air cond. here, it would be hell on earth without it. People I know have about 2-3 mo. worth of canned beans, veg. meats, rice, and other foods as space is the problem for most. Declutter items not being used and downsize stuff, make more room for supplies, and only keep things useful or bartering items. Security is the big issue, don’t tell others (church, co workers, nabors, relatives, etc) about what you do to prep.

  • I have to question one inference under # 9, where you accurately state that few are fit enough to “bug out across the mountains” while carrying a 50 pound back pack.

    Bugging out across the mountains on foot is a strategy that should be a last ditch option. Even for the few that are young and physically fit enough to do it, this is a high risk, inefficient plan. Reminds me of item # 2….”fantasy world planning.”

    We absolutely owe it to ourselves and families to be as physically fit as possible.

    We also owe it to us and them to execute a strategic location, to some place where we hopefully won’t be forced to bug out over the mountains.

    For those who refuse to even consider a strategic relocation……..well, welcome to the 90%!

  • i would NEVER yell at you — you are appreciated very much by me … i always copy and print (for my notebook) everything you write and/or share — very timely notes = even for us older/wiser-preppers = such information ALWAYS needes repeated

  • Just thought I’d mention here that hydrogen peroxide appears a likely ally in the prepper’s arsenal, especially against (7), (8), (10) and possibly to a certain extent (9) as well. Not only is it acknowledged to be a powerful disinfectant, it has surprisingly been found as well to be an amazing virtual cure-all when taken internally (okay, this second one is not so widely acknowledged by the establishment). Many have sworn by its curative properties. If the accounts given by them are true, that means it can cure — at far lower cost — all sorts of medical conditions against which conventional medicine is useless, including terminal cancer. It may well be one of the greatest secrets of medicine regarding which we have been kept ignorant. Check out the two following links (I’m not trying to sell anything):

    http://educate-yourself.org/cn/The-Truth-about-Food-Grade-Hydrogen-Peroxide-2009-James-Paul-Roguski.pdf

    https://www.amazon.com/One-Minute-Cure-Healing-Virtually-Diseases/dp/0977075141/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535248348&sr=1-1&keywords=one+minute+cure

    • Since Hydrogen Peroxide breaks down over time, it may be wise to stock some Sodium PerCarbonate, it’s dry powder form (Amazon, etc.) which you mix with water to make a fresh supply. Not sure how you would calculate the strength, but the information may be out there.

  • Hadn’t thought about air before, although we are dealing with lots of fires here andextremely unhealthy air quality. Anyone can get a free n-95 mask at health dept, library or even the grocery store – depending on which little town you visit. But I wouldn’t want to use one continually.
    One of the fire watchers posted a you tube link on a do it yourself hepa filter (requires electricity) from Michigan medical of Michigan State University.
    It’s the first one to show up if you search hepa filter on you tube. Guy is wearing a white lab coat.

    • Gale,
      I have not seen an N-95 mask in quite some time. Even on Amazon, which I just did a search prior to replying to your comment, I found only one producer of N95 masks and was shocked to find that. All the rest are KN-95 masks. Walmart, some doctor’s offices, and other places you mention give out masks throughout my state, but they are not N-95.

  • really excellent article…liked the part about alternative antibiotics and the wound spray. that is info is golden as I have used vet products on myself and the kids before. thank you very much…..Mercks book on medical supplies is a good source book too.

  • How will a person handle human waste when the toilet will no longer flush, or the municipal sanitary sewer system fails. This situation can quickly lead to a disaster.

    • My place is on septic. That was planned. My requirements weren’t based on HOA Jones’s. Storm shelter, fireplace, septic. I didn’t get a well but I’ve sure got more than a gallon per person per day because that’s way short.

      • We are on septic too.
        Used the so-called “stimulus” check to have it emptied. Dont think it needed it, but figured with all the crazy going on, be a good investment.

        But Large Carl has a point: Imagine a large metro area, and the toilet does not flush.
        I know what that looks and smells like.

        One upside to living in the higher latitudes/elevations: Snow.

    • Community organisation will have to save the day especially when people realise the government people are here to help. In my own lifetime a major western city had ‘dunny men’ who collected dunny cans from outhouses as they went door to door and then replaced it with a clean can. As repugnant as it may seem and considering the risk of hepatitis etc, the Chinese peasant farmers collected human waste for fertiliser for their market gardens. Human history has shown that beyond he violence of revolution we, as a species, learn that cooperating and tolerating is the best way to thrive…. until a politician eventually emerges from the fertiliser and convinces people that he is important and should be listened too.

      • Interesting idea.
        Who is going to be the ‘dunny men?’
        Where do we put the outhouses in a major metro area?
        Where do we dump the waste in a SHTF or post SHTF world with no way of processing that waste?
        Where do we get the water to wash out the dirty can into a clean one?
        Where do we get the water to clean those veggies if they were gown in human waste?

        • Good questions all. Dealing with waste IS the big issue.

          You’ll notice that there is no raw food in Asian cuisine? There is a reason for that!

    • Carl, Its as easy as getting a couple 5 gal buckets with good liners. you can sit on the rim or get or make a seat. Every time you use the loo. put some dirt, sand, sawdust, leaves or other organic material to cover it for #2. Use another cat hole, Look it up, or bucket for #1. Combining # 1 and #2 is a big no no because it is hard to deal with. Pour your pee around your plants, and bury the plastic bags away from water sources and your house etc. There is more to know so do some research, but this is the basics I have learned. Hoo Yah and God Bless

  • Yep.
    I can see any one of those leading to the demise of people.

    Imagine I would survive a grid down SHTF, fighting off hordes of MZBs, make it through the bottle neck to the other side, only to die from a infected ingrown toe nail.
    HA!

    Grid down, no power for a prolonged period of time, #1 will be a major issue for the majority of the population. Think of the Texas arctic freeze earlier this year. More than a few people from down that way commented on the lack of water.

  • Most of your information here sounds very good except I would add a caveat about dying from not having access to hospitals. In a day and time when hospitals are committed to murdering the population with the COVID-19 fake vaccine, I think it will actually save many more lives than it costs to avoid hospitals. Hospitals are shedding all of their best doctors and nurses because they refuse to take the death vaccines. So unless you are all torn up and bleeding to death, your likelihood of surviving a hospital visit after they force inject you as a pre condition of treatment and probably even then is miserable at best.

  • Daisy – Thanks for giving everyone a cold hard look at the reality of the situation. No matter how well you have prepared, and no matter how much “stuff” you bought, the reality is that death is the only sure outcome. Modern Americans are used to an unprecedented level of comfort and many will simply be unable to survive suddenly being thrust into a 19th century environment. Prepare to live, but expect to die. Best wishes to all if the situation goes sideways soon.

  • I am in my Seventies. I have already faced the fact that I will not survive SHTF. Even in the best of times I do not have a long life expectancy.

    Trying to be prepared at my age leads to a different set of priorities and plans. It is just the way nature works.

    • Dennis,

      I pretty much feel the same way you do (though I’m in my mid sixties). That’s why I will most likely be bugging out to the Dominican Republic with my Caracas born Girlfriend. We’ve been checking out the country for a couple of years and it’s pretty cool all the way around.

      We plan on scoring about 4 acres along the Septemtrional mountain foothills (paralleling the entire north DR coast) and planting a virtual cornucopia of edible vegetation. (Please note ,I’ve walked over several potential “raw land” sites shown by locals and was astounded by the variety of “crops” already on site)!

      We plan on starting small, with dehydrating and “canning” lots of fruits and vegetables which literally bombard you from the trees in season e.g. 3 max ripe pineapples $1.00 US, 10 pounds of mangos $2.00 US!!

      In short, there were many locations where you could “unplug from the matrix” and forget about the present nonsense. If things stay on course with our next “recon” starting next week we will be applying for retiree visas when we return In November.

      The place has very cool geography, friendly people and “A well guarded border with it’s Hispaniola neighbor” 😉

  • I’ll most likely die of stupidity. It’ll be something I most likely did that was dumb that I did in a hurry or from improper thinking from stress etc.
    Watch the show “Alone” and see how fast cognitive thinking fails from diet and stress.

    • Bingo. Stupidity and an inability to think clearly enough to make the right decision vs. the easiest one will kill a lot of folks.

      Every time I get out of the Bush I always get a rundown from the pilots of the galacticaly stupid moves people make and need to be rescued from.

      Nothing has convinced me that when the world goes sideways the stupidity will be on display for all to see. And it will be breathtaking.

    • -Matt in OK and Jim,

      Display of stupidity.
      That sums it up quite well.
      Granted from what I know/read of the two of you, you are both head and shoulders above the average WalMart denizen, we are equally fallible.
      And I think pride just could be our demise not to recognize a bad choice as a bullet to the head.

    • Reminds me of a t shirt I saw recently…
      “I’m pretty sure my last words will be “”Well, s#!+! THAT didn’t work…”

  • Hello, folks. A hundred years ago we had The Great Depression (1930). My folks and relatives come through that one. If you want to know what it LOOKED like, see the old 1940 movie “The Grapes of Wrath.” Those with money always aim to keep it, even when everyone else around them is starving. If (and I mean IF!) things turn to complete crap in the good old USA, most will die or kill themselves to end the suffering. The standards of the last depression were a whole lot lower than what folks would call “Basic Necessities” of today. Toilet paper. Canned goods. Cell Phone. These are basics of today’s populace. I appreciate that there are Preppers who are making good, honest and wise plans. But all it takes is a couple of those who don’t understand Live and Let Live to come in, steal your hard-saved items and run off with them. And all the tough ones who say “Well just let them try! By gosh I got a 12 gauge and they’ll find out!” Don’t appreciate what they are saying. Depression, hard times, good times: Murder is murder and they still haul you off and lock you up for it. USA has a higher set of standards than last depression. Best we can hope for is it will NEVER hit bottom, because if it does, we’re dead.

    • “Depression, hard times, good times: Murder is murder and they still haul you off and lock you up for it. USA has a higher set of standards than last depression. Best we can hope for is it will NEVER hit bottom, because if it does, we’re dead.”

      Good sir, there is so much in this one sentence, an entire article could be written on it.

      First off: as uncomfortable as it may be for some murder is a matter of perspective. One need only look at recent developments in Afghanistan to see that as undeniable fact. A nation’s government kills a family of ten aid workers and it’s a mistake. I submit to you that the family surviving sees things differently.

      Second thing: chaotic times are an opportunity to settle old scores. Ever notice how crime stops being investigated during catastrophes? No, sorry, no matter how strong the laws of a country are the only ones prosecuted are conveniently prosecutable, normally by political avenues. Seen this over and again.

      Thirdly: it’s not entirely a bad thing that you have a rather negative Nelly attitude that we are all dead. In fact, IMO, the sooner one comes to grips with one’s fragile mortality the easier is is to function clearly and decisively. So, KUDO’s to you for that! Frankly, I don’t trust anyone that thinks they are going to live through everything. Never let that guy behind you.

      • -Jim,
        Well said.

        We get to the point where people are desperate enough to break into my home to try and steal my stuff, by way of violence and I respond in kind, I am thinking we just might be close to, or past a WROL situation.
        Also, at that point I am thinking LEOs might have more important things to deal with than a obvious self-defense shooting.

    • Worst Hard Times is another depression era book about those who stayed on their land during the Dust Bowl. Pretty profound read….

  • If the grid goes down long term, the nuclear power plants will be a huge problem. What are the odds they will all be able to power down properly? Some will certainly go out of control and the resulting meltdowns will lead to contaminated air and ground waters. If you’re looking for a bug out location, take proximity to a nuke plant into consideration.

    • We have a good friend who used to live in the shadow of the cooling towers of a nuclear power plant.
      Many of her neighbors worked at the plant.
      They have a vested interest in making sure that does not happen.

      Based off a On Point episode I listened to, a plant can be put into maintenance mode, allow the rods to cool down, then placed into something called dry casks.

      Or, the engineers might be smart enough to keep the plant up and running on its own power and keep the local area powered i.e. their own homes.

      • If a natural disaster such as a major earthquake, tsunami etc. occurs near a nuke site, all bets may be off, however. Here in Japan, we are still trying to deal with the situation of the Fukushima power plant. Officially, the unexpectedly powerful tsunami did it in, but internal reports are that the plant was already failing from the huge quake. There is still no clear plan for extracting the melted core, and although dry casks are undoubtedly the way to store used fuel, they are expensive, so mostly storage in water tanks is used (cost-cutting rich plant owners…). Chernobyl is another example of a meltdown that remains in tenuous condition. The only nuclear power plant I trust is the sun.

  • I know exactly how I’ll die when SHTF.
    I’ve a mechanical heart valve. Wonderful devices, they outlast biological replacement valves 5:1 in studies. The only problem with them is they require suppressing the bodies ability to clot, so you’re forced to a lifetime of an anticoagulant regimen. Once the collapse occurs, the clock starts ticking. Once the coumadin/wayfaring I’ve stockpiled is gone and no more can be scrounged, it’s just a matter of time until I throw a clot and it’s all over.

    This is why my preps are focused on setting up a system by which my children and grandchildren survive and thrive. I know I’ll have a limited period of time in which to accomplish that goal.

    In a way Daisy, it’s actually simplified the process knowing and accepting that I won’t survive the collapse. I’m able to take “me” out of the equation.

    • Grow yourself some Saigon Cinnamon (not “true cinnamon” or Ceylon cinnamon). Practice peeling the bark without killing the plant. Saigon cinnamon is fairly high in coumadin naturally. There are other plants you can grow also to obtain a renewable and sustainable supply of anticoagulant.

  • The absolute best thing I’ve found for wounds on man or beast is homemade comfrey oil with tea tree oil mixed in. It’s cheap, and everyone whom I’ve given it to says it’s a a miracle in a bottle. Comfrey is an amazing plant, and I highly recommend getting some seeds or a plant asap, and leaning about it while you can.

  • The 90% die off theory is ancient news and out of Date.

    “Two-thirds of Americans (65.5 percent) have stockpiled materials to survive a natural or political disaster. That’s among the findings of a survey released last week by Finder.com, which tracks spending habits.”
    Unfortunately things change, but seldom do Preppers and Survivalists keep up with current events and info.

    I see this a lot in regards to “nuclear meltdown posts” (citing Pre- fukushima daiichi nuclear disaster info). Major changes to nuclear plants and regulations were instituted after that, but the same “old info”, keeps being used to suggest nuclear doom scenarios, in a grid down situation.

    So the Old and dated info is still in circulation and is really Dis-info, at this point.
    Not that anyone specifically spreads this stuff on purpose, but a lack of research and keeping up to date, is a problem for us all. I have also fallen into this trap.

    Considering that 65% of Americans have some preps, this changes the potential die off timelime and the Die off totals. It is a game changer.

    Which should be making us rethink and adjust our Survival plans to reflect these new numbers. Chances are, it will drag out the danger period of looting and raiders for a lot longer time period.
    More Supplies will sustain them longer before they become desperate enough to take on the more prepared individuals and groups.
    So stay awate of how things change over time, What was good info a year ago, might not be relevant any longer.

    • Sure.
      There might be more people whom have bought things.
      Does not mean they know how to use them.
      Or if they have any experience in using those items in a practical application setting.
      I know of lots of guys who have AR15s. They are great shots . . . from a concrete bench, off a Lead Sled, shooting at 100 yards. From the off hand they might be able to hit the broad side of a barn. Just like they have all kinds of tacticool gear. But have never had to hump 12 miles with all that crap on.
      Medical? Great. They have a well stocked medical supplies. Does not mean they know how to use them. That is where training comes in.
      Food? The majority of Americans do not have the skills to make a meal from scratch. Just because they bought MREs or camp food does not mean they have the means to do so in a post SHTF situation.
      Go to a WalMart. Look around. Those are the average Americans whom we will be in competition for resources with. Most of them get winded walking from the parking lot to the front doors. Really think they are going to be able to walk 5 or 10 miles a day, let alone stage a frontal assault on a harden position?
      And as others have noted, shut down the public works water supply, a whole lot of people are going to die of sanitation, or water born illness.
      So, sure. More people have bought things. As Daisy has said in the past, you cannot buy your way into preparedness.

  • I too have a septic system on our property and am NOT planning on using it in a grid down situation , as it will use too much precious water . A 5 gallon bucket, seat with lid and lined with all those plastic bags from the stores I have been saving for eons will suffice . They will be buried in a very deep hole and covered with lime weekly . I know it’s not great for the planet , but will that really matter when and if the world goes mad max ?

  • Lac of sanitation will kill the majority I believe. Get yourself a 5 gallon with a seat, plastic bag and some organic material in the form of sand, dirt, leaves, sawdust etc. dig a hole far from water wells and bury it as deep as possible.
    Hoo Yah.

    • -Jonathan,
      I agree about the sanitation issue and killing the majority.
      Disagree with the plastic bag idea.
      Plastic bags are a finite product. What do you do when you run out of plastic bags?

      Compost your waste. Use the heat pile system to break waste down with organic material.
      I have been doing that with cow, goat, rabbit waste for years. I have had compost piles generating enough heat in the dead of winter to melt all the snow on top of the pile and steam.
      Two years aged waste/compost makes great compost to gardens.

      • Off topic, all my barns are deep straw bedding. The bacteria on the lowest level heats and composts.

        The girls are warm to -20 sustained with no issues. As long as I keep adding to the pack the first foot of the pack is totally dry and the hoof health is never compromised. If the pack gets musty or wet I dust it hard with hydrated lyme.

        I use this system for all my stock. Cows, sheep, and hogs.

        Sorry to deflect from the original intent of the thread.

  • I have late stage Lyme. I have a wide variety of neurological issues, different types of seizures, movement disorders, can’t walk most days, CKD 3b… we have prayerfully prepared to the best of our ability, but I am a realist when it comes to the eventual outcome of this disease. I will probably be one of the ones who won’t make it. Once they deny the unjabbed access to medical care, well… we all know where that road leads. 

    I will fight as long as the Lord sees fit to keep me alive and on this earth, but I know that when, not if, my body gives out, I’ll be with Him and none of this will matter anymore because He’s going to make all things new!

  • Great article!

    I think disease and injury is likely to kill the most people. Whether the cause is poor diet, some “normal” illness like a cold or the flu, or infection from an injury it will be the number one killer.

    Poor water quality is likely to be next.

    I’m not sure if cold or lack of food will be third.

    Most of my life has been spent living in the northern states or Canada. I know cold, I know how fast it can kill you and how diffult it can make things.

    That is one of the reasons my kits all have multiple ways to start a fire. A good fire will keep you alive, will cook your food and sterilize your water. It will also melt snow and ice to get you water. Water is as important when its very cold as it is when its very hot.

    With winter being a fact of life for about half the year here and -40 not being rare I put a premium on extreme cold weather gear that works.

    Over the years I’ve owned a lot of cold weather gear. I’ve used every type of insulation there is. I’ve used arctic gear that the US and Canadian militaries use, and quite a few commercial brands.

    Now I only use one brand of gear for my sleeping bags and winter clothing – Wiggy’s made right here in the US. With sleeping bags under rated at -80 and arctic parkas and bibs with a similar rating I have the clothing and sleeping bags to survive the cold no matter what. Wiggy’s is also standard equipmemt in all airforce survival kits included in US airforce ejection seats. The best part is the insulation maintains its insulative properties when wet and you body heat will dry it out while you remain warm.

    Wet down is useless and takes a long time to dry while you freeze. The chopped insulation used in most winter clothing and sleeping bags doesn’t work well and breaks down too quick for my liking.

    I’ve tested my Wiggy’s parka against a high end down parka and a Canadian military arctic parka and it won hands down. Being warm with a temp around -30F and a 20 mph wind while standing still impressed me. I made 15 minutes in the down and arctic parkas before I was cold and was still toasty warm after 30 minutes in the Wiggy’s.

    I’ve used a Wiggy’s sleeping bag rated at 50F in temps as low as a damp 36F and gotten a good nights sleep even if it was a bit cooler than perfect.

    I don’t often mention brand names, but this is one instance I will.

  • There is also, some kind of combination of all of the above. Like, you die of an illness that normally is not fatal, but you are in such poor shape already that it kills you.

    A few more ways that I’d add to the list:
    – With most places becoming hotter, you may die of some variant of heat exhaustion.
    – There’s a power cut and some vital piece of equipment stops working.
    – You end up alone somewhere, injured and with no way of getting in touch with friends and/or family that could help you.
    – You are no longer able to repair something you need.
    – You are in an unsafe place and unable to travel to a safer place.

  • Another way is by giving up. Either by suicide, substance abuse ect. Count your blessings cause that may save your sanity and your life. And add that last ride through hell to your resiliency armor. Have tools to sooth your mind and your soul. Songs, art, books, even scents.

  • I enjoyed this article. Sounds weird I know, but it’s very realistic. Gives one food for thought. Isn’t it crazy we are having to have all these kinds of conversations? Stuff we never really talked about and now it’s everyday conversation. Times are a changing. I’m learning a lot from you and taking steps to get ready. Thanks Daisy

  • Ah Death. The idea nobody likes to talk about and most people fear. I’m not a fan of death. I’ve seen it, it’s not pretty, and it’s painful for those left behind.
    It’s one of my reasons I’m a Prepper. At age 55, I know I’m not as fit as I was in my late 20’s and early 30’s. I do exercise and do physical labor to keep in shape. Of course I pay for it in the morning.
    Because I’m a Common-Sense Prepper. I do what makes sense. I know my limitations, I don’t think I can stop a mad horde of 100 Marxist Zombies so I don’t fantasy plan. I have a garden, my chickens, rivers, lakes the and nearby ocean for fish. My water is the Florida Aquafer and a solar powered well pump. I’m still healthy enough not to need any medications, so I’m good on the last one.
    Recently people have asked if I’m afraid of dying because I won’t take the “vaccine”. Nope, I’m not afraid at all. Everyone dies. In fact….you’re dying right now. Everyday is one less day alive. If I died right here at my keyboard……I’m good. That’s were religion comes in to play. Ever notice atheists are the ones who are most afraid of dying.

    BTW: Great Article.

    Y’all keep prepping, keep living, keep fighting the Good Fight.

  • Probably #10 for me. I’m a heart patient. While I can squirrel away some extra beta blockers and anti-fibrillation meds, I don’t have more than three months worth at any time (I get it by mail). When SHTF, my pills won’t be coming from China any more. There aren’t a lot of homeopathic equivalents to some of my meds and I can’t wean myself off anything. If I don’t starve first, I’d probably have another major cardiac incident within a year. It has been 22 years since my MI.

  • Coming under the influence of Mind control and psysops will kill you. This has already killed well over 6000 people in the last two years in the United States alone. According to the VAERS report this is the number who died shortly after taking the genocidal jab to protect them from a (pretend) virus (that only exists in the scripted news brought to you by the globalist psychopath cult). This is only 1 % of actual deaths according to a Harvard study of the VAERS report. How many people have you known that have died or became seriously ill after taking the jab? A woman I met from LA two weeks ago told me she personally knew of 7 people who died after taking the jab but she knew of no one who died of covid (influenza). If you have come under the influence of this latest global psyop in their quest to totally, enslave, steralize and cull the human herd, a way to start to free yourself from the mind control would be to watch videos on youtube by the late Kary Mullis who talks about the PCI procedure he invented and how it can not be used to detect a virus or any pathogen. David Ike, James Corbett (Corbett Report), Max Egan (the Crowhouse), G. Edward Griffin, Dell Bigtree, Jeff Berwick of Dollar Vigilante are just a few people to check out if you are interested in what is actually going on. They have all been censored or banned from the major social media platforms. You can still find them on the major search engines though.

  • “What do you think are the most likely ways people will die?”

    gunfire. supplies run low, people fight over the remainder. friendly fire repelling raiders. small insider groups where individuals decide to make the insider group just a little bit smaller. getting even, revenge, finally setting the world straight by killing all The Evil. yeah, gunfire.

    or the big one. the reason many people around the world die all the time – arguing over who’s the head honcho in charge deciding who gets what and who does what. individual preppers like to think THEY will be the new sheriff in amishville, but most simply won’t survive the sniping and backshooting.

    • Strategy: cultivate knowledge and skills for which others would rather keep you alive rather than kill you for your supplies. If you know how to do or make something which can help keep others alive, you will find you have defenders and a support system. If all you have to offer is the stock of supplies you’ve managed to accumulate, well, your prognostication is probably correct. Its not too late to learn post-SHTF skills.

  • Drinking water is realy most important. You can lose 15kg without much problem, but can not be without water. I learned it in Bosnian war.

    Second very important point are the cigarettes. Even if you do not smoke – it is excellent barter.

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