Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Preppers stockpile supplies in order to be prepared for the eventuality of a disaster; that’s what makes them preppers. Depending on the individual prepper or prepper family, they could have anywhere from a month’s worth of food in their home, to several years’ worth. We all saw the empty grocery store shelves in 2020, which just proved what preppers had been saying all along.

But just what is going to happen, when the shelves are empty the next time around, especially if there’s no hope for resupply. It was bad enough when they couldn’t get the food and other supplies to the stores; what happens if there isn’t product in the warehouses to get to the stores?

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What happens when the entire distribution system shuts down, because they can’t place computerized orders and the trucks can’t get fuel to run? We’ve all heard how bad it will be after an EMP; but as we’ve seen, that’s not the only thing that can cause shortages.

FEMA is supposed to be the federal government’s answer to taking care of the population in the event of a crisis. Sadly, their track record hasn’t been all that good, but there are a lot of people who are hoping it gets better.

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Regardless of that, FEMA has been given an incredible amount of authority, to be used in the aftermath of a disaster. As part of that, they have blanket authorization to confiscate goods for the purpose of redistribution, meeting people’s needs.

In all honesty, I don’t think that whoever gave them that authority was thinking about going into people’s homes to raid their pantries or taking the produce from their vegetable gardens. But that doesn’t mean they won’t.

Once they’ve cleaned out the warehouse from whatever supermarket chains and food wholesalers services that area, they’ll be looking for more food to confiscate. They’ll be highly motivated in that process, as they’ll want the food for themselves too. With that being the case, nobody’s food stockpile is truly safe.

What Will FEMA Take?

Should FEMA start knocking on people’s doors, it will likely be in search of food. That doesn’t mean that everything else you have is safe. On the contrary, while they will use food as their pretext for searching your home, they will be sure to take anything else they find which can be of use.

Remember, while they’re searching for things to “redistribute” the first people who they will redistribute to is themselves. With that in mind, nothing you have will be safe.

At a minimum, we can count on them taking:

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What Can You Do?

Should FEMA come knocking on your door, the last thing you want to do is to try and fight them. Even if you were to win, the victory would only be temporary. They’d be back and they’d come back with enough force to ensure that they got what they want, even if it meant killing you. They could easily justify your death, in their minds and to their superiors, as a necessity for “the greater good.”

You’ll have to let them in, so the thing to do is to be ready for them. More than anything, that means making sure that they don’t find everything you have.

Start with Bait

If they come into your house, you can be sure that they aren’t going to leave until they find something. With that being the case, you want to make sure there’s something for them to find. You want to let them think that they succeeded and found your stash, while at the same time, not losing everything.

The best way to do that is to keep most of it well hidden, while having some that’s not really hidden at all. Give them something to find and they’ll think they’ve done their job.

If your kitchen has a pantry in it, start by having it well-stocked. That might end the casual search, especially if you don’t do anything to make them think you have more food elsewhere.

But that’s not enough, as some will continue looking. A small stockpile, in the basement, is a good way of making them think they’ve got your stash, without losing it all.

Some good acting will help here. When they empty, barely controlled anger is appropriate. Anyone would be angry to have their food taken like that. But when it comes to your bait stash in the basement, your visible emotions should change to total despair. You want to make them think that they’ve gotten everything, so that emotional response makes sense.

You’re going to have to make sure that your children aren’t aware of any other stockpile; i.e. your hidden stockpile. Kids can’t lie worth anything and they can’t keep a secret. If they know that you have a larger stockpile of supplies hidden somewhere, they’ll end up spilling the beans.

Hide Everything Else

Everything else you have, should be well-hidden; not in the likely places, but in places they’d either never take the time to look or wouldn’t expect to find anything. There are lots of places you can hide things in a home or that you can make into hiding places. You’ve just got to decide how much work you’re willing to put into it.

Inside the Walls

There’s 3-1/2 inches of space inside our walls, with only studs, electrical wires and a few plumbing pipes taking up the space. If you remove the drywall from one side of a wall, you can build shelves in there, fill them with canned goods and then cover the wall with fresh drywall, finishing it to match the home. Granted, that’s a lot of work; but it’s unlikely they’ll be breaking down walls to find food.

Another way to use the space inside your walls is to open up the walls inside your closet, on the door side, beside and above the door. No matter how thorough a search someone makes of a closet, they’re unlikely to look at the wall that the door is in. As long as the things stored there don’t stick out, they won’t see them.

HVAC Ducts

Your home probably has ductwork for the HVAC system in either the basement or the attic. The thing is, few people really understand that ductwork. There’s nothing to stop you from adding some additional ductwork, making it out of the same material and taping it onto what’s already there. That can then serve as a place to stash food, although you’re probably going to need to stick to lighter-weight items, rather than canned goods.

Just as with your ductwork, few people understand the plumbing in your home. There’s usually one four-inch vertical pipe in the basement, which is the main drain-line for the home. There’s nothing to stop you from adding a fake one, on the other side of the basement, making it look like the first. That’s a great place to fill up with canned goods.

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Inside Furniture and Appliances

Pretty much all furniture and major appliances have spaces inside, which are unused. These can easily be transformed into hidden storage, giving you places for food and other items. You’ll probably have to take the back off of appliances and add panels inside furniture to keep the food in place, but it’s worth the effort.

Bury It

One of the most effective ways of hiding anything, is to bury it in the ground. Nobody is going to want to go digging up your basement, looking for food. So, fill five-gallon plastic buckets with food and bury them, being sure to keep track of where they are. Pretty much anything can be hidden in buckets like this, as the buckets provide excellent protection against insects and rodents.

Hide it in Plain Sight

We’ve all got boxes in our basements and attics, filled with miscellaneous stuff; baby clothes the kids outgrew, toys they’re no longer playing with, grandma’s linens, camping gear that only gets used once a year and whatnot. Most of that is in boxes, packed to the brim.

Get more boxes and split the stuff that you have packed away into twice as many boxes. Before packing them though, fill the bottom half of the box with food. Then cover it with the other things, hiding the food. Anyone opening the box will see baby clothes or whatever and decide that’s what the box is full of.

Don’t Forget Supply Caches

You should never have your entire stockpile hidden in your home. There are things which can happen, which will make your home untenable, forcing you to bug out. If that happens, you want to have some supplies cached off-site, which you and your family can use to survive. That doesn’t just mean food, but other supplies, ammunition and even survival gear.

It wouldn’t hurt to have more than one survival supply cache, if you can. Make sure that at least one of them is close enough to your home, so as to be accessible, while being far enough from your home, that it is unlikely to be damaged by whatever might damage your home. If your home is susceptible to flooding, then make sure you have a supply cache on high ground, which won’t flood.

Pretty much anything can serve as a supply cache, as long as you have control over it and it is hidden from others. One of the easiest things to do is to rent a small storage unit and use it.

For $30 to $50 per month, you can have someplace to keep your supplies, which isn’t likely to be damaged if something happens to your home and isn’t likely to be raided by FEMA. So, even if they get what’s in your home, you’ll still have food and other supplies for your family.

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Written by Martin A. Banks

Tiny houses are minimalist homes that many survivalists and homesteaders prefer over traditional options. At first glance, it seems they would be vulnerable targets for looters in a SHTF scenario, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice they have some impressive advantages.

Here are the pros and cons of tiny houses.

What Qualifies as a Tiny House?

There is no standard size range for tiny houses, but the general rule is that any home under 600 square feet qualifies. The average tiny house in the United States is 225 square feet, and the smallest can be 60 square feet. There are also two main categories:

Mobile: RVs, vans, trailers, gypsy wagons and other homes on wheels are considered tiny houses if they are the owner’s primary residence.

Sedentary: Small cabins, sheds, granny pods and other structures meant to stay in one place are sedentary tiny houses. However, if you have a vehicle that meets the towing requirements and a wide enough trailer, you can also relocate them if they don’t have foundations.

Although these categories have one major difference, their functionality is still largely the same when it comes to survival prep. Here are the most relevant advantages and disadvantages of tiny houses in a SHTF scenario.

Pro: Low Profile

Secrecy is the greatest benefit of owning a tiny house in any survival situation. They don’t attract nearly as much attention as big cabins on multiple-acre homesteads. These homes allow you to keep a low profile and fly under the radar while everyone else struggles to keep looters and beggars off their property.

There’s a good chance nobody will find you if you find a secluded location for your tiny home. Most don’t have to follow local building codes, so you can easily customize the house to make it blend in with the environment.

Emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be complicated. If you have a reliable shelter and don’t draw attention to yourself, your chances of survival are better than most people’s. Tiny houses check both boxes, keeping you out of trouble while everyone else dukes it out. It’s best to avoid the action in a SHTF scenario.

Con: Weak Defenses

However, you might be a sitting duck if unsavory characters happen to discover your tiny home’s location. They have weak defenses compared to bigger homesteads. You can buy weapons, set up fences and choose a location with natural obstacles in the surrounding terrain, but the structure itself doesn’t offer much protection.

In the worst-case scenario, outsiders will trap you inside the house and leave you with nowhere to run or hide. You’re powerless against their demands at that point. That’s why choosing an out-of-the-way location is so important when building a tiny home. If your residence can’t stop an attack, you’d better hope the environment keeps trespassers away.

Pro: Resource Efficiency

One of the hardest parts of survival is conserving your resources, especially energy. Tiny houses make this task much easier because they require minimal heat, electricity and other utilities to remain functional. The small structure also forces you to practice conservative consumption habits, helping you become a more disciplined prepper.

Tiny homes are also financially efficient. Your utility expenses will be low, and you might not even need a loan or mortgage. Maintenance costs are microscopic compared to most other houses. All in all, they are ideal for conserving precious resources and ensuring you live within your means.

Con: Lack of Privacy

If you share a tiny home with your family, you won’t have much privacy. Most only have one room, with perhaps a loft or small secluded bathroom. The kitchen, living room and bedrooms are all within sight of each other. Introverted people who need their personal space would quickly grow tired of this living arrangement.

If you’ve ever shared a bedroom with a sibling or roommate, you know how frustrating the lack of privacy can be. Tensions rise and arguments break out, which would not be ideal in a survival situation. Tiny homes make it difficult for groups to remain united, which is ironic considering the close-quarters environment.

Pro: Mobility

Although there isn’t much privacy, you can always relocate and find a change of scenery. This advantage makes mobile tiny homes slightly better than sedentary ones for survival purposes. The ability to pick up everything and get out of dodge cannot be overstated. You might need to relocate due to bad weather, resource depletion or dangerous human activity.

Many mobile tiny home owners make like birds and retreat farther south when winter arrives, which leads to the development of tiny house villages for the season. These communities allow you to create connections with other preppers, pool your resources and build a resilient nomadic lifestyle.

Sometimes Less Is More

You don’t need an expansive homestead and survival bunker to make it out of a SHTF scenario. Sometimes less is more, and tiny homes demonstrate this point. Although they’re more difficult to defend and don’t offer much privacy, their mobility, efficiency and secrecy outweigh the disadvantages. Survivalists on a budget should strongly consider building or buying a tiny home.

About the author

Martin Banks is the managing editor at Modded. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates on his work.

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Greetings from Michigan, where the summers are glorious, and the winters long and cold. My wife and I have lived here all our lives, and have endured the seasonal cold by hunkering down at home with books and television. During our work lives, I often told her that when we retired, we would travel to warmer places when the snow flies.

We retired last year, so this was the first winter to put my idea into effect. I rented a house in Florida for the entire month of February. As we made plans for what to do and what to bring, a worry slowly crept into my brain—what to do if the Schumer Hit The Fan (SHTF) when we were far from home?

The Incomplete Prepper

I am the prepper in our family, and though my wife supports my efforts, she leaves most of it to me. I admit that I am an incomplete prepper. We’ve store food, cash, and ammo, but compared to some of the preppers I have read on this site, I am an amateur. Still, I think that any preps are better than no preps.

So I started thinking about various scenarios that could happen when we would be 1200 miles from home, in a large city with only the supplies we brought with us.

No matter the SHTF scenario, my primary concern was getting us home as quickly as possible. We planned to drive to Florida in my vehicle, a Ford Escape, which is a mid-size SUV. Here are my (admittedly incomplete) preparations for the journey.

Emergency Kit One

I have a small toolbox (about 8x8x16 inches) that’s in my vehicle for emergencies. It has basic tools and supplies for repairs. I’m not a master mechanic, but even minor fixes require tools, and it’s better to have them than not have them.

Before we left, I inspected the contents, added a few items, and this is what it contains:
–Socket wrench set, in both English and metric
–Socket extension
–Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers
–Set of open end wrenches
–Gorilla gloves
–Set of hex wrenches
–Small and large visegrip pliers
–Two large screw clamps
–Needlenose pliers and channellock pliers
–Large clamping hemostat
–Zip ties
–Small bag of various sizes of nuts, bolts, screws
–Couple of small pieces of rubber hoses, to repair brake lines, fuel lines, etc.
–Small length of exhause pipe, for repairs.
In addition to the above, I was able to stash in the spare time compartment these items:
–Jumper cables
–Can of fix-a-flat
–Two bungee cords
–20-foot length of nylon rope
–8×10 folded up tarp
–4-way universal lug wrench

Why an additional lug wrench, in addition to the one that comes with the spare tire? Because the factory-installed wrench is usually lightweight, and will bend or break if you apply too much force. You don’t want to rely on it in an emergency.

And a note on jumper cables. I’ve jumped many vehicles many times, but designers of modern cars seem to be making it more difficult to do so. The battery in my SUV is in the back of the engine compartment, next to the firewall. It has a plastic cover over it (easily removable), but clamping the cables to the battery terminals would not be easy. [begin curmudgeon voice] I believe car designers are deliberately making it harder for do-it-yourselfers to work on their vehicles. My wife’s former car had the battery hidden in the trunk! [end curmudgeon voice]

Even a simple thing like jumping your car, or jumping another car, could become an ordeal if you don’t know where the battery is or can’t get the cables on the terminals. Know where the battery is on your vehicle, and do a run-through on attaching the cables.

Emergency Kit Two

Several years ago, I filled a small canvas bag with additional emergency items. I haven’t used it for a while, so I dug it out of the garage to have a look.

Most of the items were still relevant; a few were not. I discarded the latter, added some more, and this is what it now contains:
–Emergency radio, battery-powered with solar charger
–Small first aid kit
–A tow strap
–Several rain ponchos
–A multitool
–Gorilla gloves
–Roll of duct tape (of course!)
–Four personal water filters
–H95 face masks
–Roll of toilet paper
–Emergency tire inflator

The tire inflater had been given to me by a friend more than ten years ago, so I did a trial run. I deflated a tire, then plugged the inflator into the cigarette lighter. After screwing the inflator hose onto the valve stem, I turned it on. Within a couple of minutes, it had completely reinflated the tire. So I packed it up, confident it would work if needed. Another lesson learned–if you’re unsure of your equipment, test it first. Replace it if necessary.
These two emergency kits went into the back of my SUV, in addition to a couple of blankets. I’m sure the readers of this fine blog can think of a hundred other items that would be valuable in an emergency, but space was at a premium. Still, I felt better and a little more confident as we set off.


Thus prepared, if only imperfectly, we departed for the sunny south. According to Google maps, the drive is about 1,200 miles, and takes about 18 hours. With breaks and traffic, the actual drive would be three to four hours longer than that. We took a leisurely five days to get there, stopping to see some sights along the way, which meant driving only about four or five hours each day.

We checked into our rental on Feb. 1, unpacked, got some groceries, and settled in. Compared to Michigan in February, the weather was terrific. Temps in the 70s and low 80s every day, with little rain. But that’s when things started to get interesting, prepper-wise.

The infamous Chinese balloon story broke in the media. The balloon first entered Alaskan airspace on Jan. 28, then crossed over to Canada on January 30th. It re-entered our airspace Jan. 31 over Idaho, and continued its slow drift across the country. The balloon was first spotted by the public on Feb. 1, which triggered a debate about what to do about it. People asked why the Biden administration was doing nothing about intercepting or shooting down a foreign balloon that could be gathering intelligence. On Feb. 3, the Chinese government admitted the balloon was theirs, but claimed it was a civilian weather balloon. Should we believe the Chinese government was telling the truth? Yeah, right.

The Biden administration dithered while the balloon traversed the entire continental U.S., when it left our airspace off the coast of North Carolina on Feb. 4. Only then, did our Comatose-in-Chief give the order to shoot it down. The Chinese called that act a violation of international law and threatened some kind of response.

The situation never reached the level of tension as, say, the Cuban missile crisis, but it did raise the question in my mind, what if some sort of hostilities break out? Should we bug out of Florida, and head home? How much domestic chaos would result if World War III erupts?

At the same time, we learned that on Feb. 2, a solar vortex broke free from the sun and started circling the polar region of the sun. Astronomers said it was the first time such a vortex had been observed. When we preppers hear about something like this, we immediately think of a Carrington event, when a solar flare hits the earth and fries most of the electronic infrastructure. Such an event would obviously throw a huge monkey wrench into our vacation.

How about a third potential disruption? On Jan. 27, the Memphis police department released body cam footage of the beating of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old black man who was stopped on Jan. 7 by five members of the Memphis police department, all of whom were also black. Nichols tried to run away; the five cops caught him and proceeded to severely beat him. Nichols died three days later, and the body cam footage showed he was unarmed and posed little threat to the officers. Despite all the participants being black, the lamestream media turned it into a racial confrontation. The video and the media reporting incited demonstrations in many cities.

How great would the unrest grow? Would it reach the level of rioting that happened in 2020 after George Floyd’s death? These were not pleasant thoughts as we slept in a rented home in a large city, 1200 miles from home.

There were a couple more disasters that happened about the same time. On Feb. 3, a freight train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. The train was carrying hazardous chemicals, which started leaking. The authorities on site came up with the brilliant idea of burning off the chemicals, which caused a toxic mushroom cloud to spread over the area. On Feb. 6, a huge earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, causing massive damage and many deaths. We were certainly living through interesting times.

Strategies for getting back home

The preparations I made before the trip, and the supplies I brought with us, were only the first half of a successful return home during a SHTF scenario. There was also the task of figuring out the best way to get home.

The tactics depended, naturally, on the situation. In case of riots and civil upheaval, we would not want to drive I-75, the fastest north/south route, which goes through several major cities. We would want to take a more rural route on state highways to avoid urban areas. This would make navigation more complicated, which is why I always travel with a road atlas. I find it is easier to chart a route by looking at a printed map, instead of scrolling and scrolling through a map on a smartphone app. Everyone should travel with printed maps. Who knows if your devices and navigation apps will work?

My main concern was a grid-down disaster, caused by a Carrington event, an EMP, Russian or Chinese hackers, or whatever. Depending on the severity of the disruption and the geographic area, such an event could make it very difficult to get home.

With no electricity, could we gas up the car? Would some gas stations have generators or other means to pump gas? Would our phones work, or would we be unable to communicate? Without electricity, civil order would probably be maintained for a few days, but when food shelves were empty and gasoline gone, how long before rioting and violence breaks out?

I always kept the car filled up, never letting it fall below half a tank. But even with a full tank, we would only be able to drive a little more than 300 miles. Would there be operational gas stations along the way? Did we want to set out, unsure whether we could fill up?

I would rather be safe than sorry, so I started to do some math. The car gets about 25 miles a gallon on the highway, which means for a 1200 mile trip home, we would need about 48 gallons. Round up to 50 to make sure. With 15 gallons in the tank, we would need an additional 35 gallons to get home.

My plan was to buy seven 5-gallon gas cans, and try to find an operating gas station to fill them up. Packing them in the back of the car, we should be able to get home. If we found an operating gas station along the way to top off the tank, so much the better.

In a grid-down event, everything depends on speed. I would have to get the gas cans fast. I would have to fill them up fast, while gas was still available, and before any sort of rationing was imposed. We would have to get on the road quickly, while civil order was still being maintained.

Would we take the interstate, or the back roads? I’d have to play that by ear. Would we try to make the drive home in one long drive? A 20-hour drive would necessitate my wife and I driving in shifts, and driving part of the time at night. It’s hard to perceive threats or trouble in the dark, so I figured it would be best to do the trip in two days, during the daylight.

It goes without saying that we would not be stopping for leisurely meals along the way, which meant we would have to pack some food and water in the cooler. With the gas cans in the back, we would most likely have to jettison some stuff we brought with us. So long, golf clubs. But the two emergency bags I packed were coming along.

A Happy Ending

In the end, no crisis emerged to cause us to leave early. We had a great month in Florida, enjoying the warm weather, and visiting various attractions. At the end of the month, we packed up and headed north, planning to take three days, or about 6-7 hours of driving each day.

And that’s when the unexpected emergency happened. Not a big one, but enough to change my get-home strategy.

We learned that a large storm, packing snow and freezing rain, was headed for the midwest and Michigan, scheduled to arrive on the afternoon of our third day on the road. I didn’t relish the idea of driving through a snowstorm our third day, so the second day we drove ten hours, to get within a four-hour drive of our home. On the third day we got up early, gulped down some breakfast, and headed off. We stayed ahead of the storm, arriving home before noon.

Our country and our times seem to be getting more and more chaotic. But we still intend to travel a lot in our retirement, and there will always be the possibility of some sort of disruption to upend our carefully made plans. Now that I have more time to think, I’m sure I’ll change some of the items in the two emergency kits, and consider various strategies and tactics for coping with various events that may take place while we’re away from home. I don’t have all the answers, and I welcome the thoughts and ideas of the smart and capable people who read SurvivalBlog.

This content was originally published here.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

When the grid goes down, the power shuts off, and it becomes clear that things aren’t going back to normal, you better rush to the stores and buy everything you can as quick as you can (if you’re not already prepared). Because when the grid goes down, many people take what they can. 

The protests we saw from the heightened political situation in 2020 will happen across every major city in America (assuming the grid-down disaster is nationwide). Law and order will cease to exist, at least until martial law is enacted (if it even is), and resupplying yourself from stores and shops will be a luxury of the past.

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It’s not just the people who are already criminals who will loot and turn to violence. Many ordinary people who are ill-prepared will freak out and become desperate too, and they’ll do anything to keep themselves and their families alive. That’s why once ‘normal’ people could turn into criminals determined to steal everything they can. 

But what places will looters and marauders be targeting in the early hours and days of an SHTF situation? That’s what we’re going to talk about today. 

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Here are the top places looters will attack after the SHTF, in alphabetical order:

Convenience Stores 

Convenience stores, like the small stores that sit outside of gas stations, typically come stocked with snacks, beverages, and other miscellaneous items. What will make them even more of a target is that they’re next to gas stations, which will become major hotspots when the grid goes down. 

Gas Stations 

Speaking of gas stations, fuel like gasoline and diesel will be among the most scarce and most valuable commodities. Long lines to individual gas stations will form as people seek to fill up their vehicles and any gas canisters they have with them, but it won’t take long for order to dissolve and chaos to ensure.

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People will start physically attacking one another to get ahead in line while others will be forced to siphon gas from their own cars at gunpoint. 

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores and supermarkets are perhaps the most obvious place that looters will target when the grid goes down. The reason is because most grocery stores contain almost all the everyday essentials we need: food, water, personal hygiene items, electronics, medications, and other everyday items. 

This includes stores like Albertsons, Circle Ks, Costco, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Super One, Trader Joes, Walmart, and Whole Foods Markets. Each will become heavily targeted following a grid-down disaster, and within a very short period of time, the shelves will all be completely stripped.

When the disaster happens, get to a grocery store as soon as possible to buy as much as you can, because within a few hours there will be literally nothing left. However, if you already have plenty of food at home, don’t do this as you’ll be putting yourself in danger.

Most hospitals come equipped with backup generators so they can remain in operation even after a town’s power grid has gone down. In the event of a true grid-down disaster, hospitals will likely be one of the few places with power and thus will be targeted by people seeking warmth and comfort.

Furthermore, the number of people sustaining illnesses and physical injuries in the early days of an SHTF situation will skyrocket. Where will all of these people be going? That’s right, the hospitals. And when the hospital staff gets overwhelmed, people will start trying to enact their will upon them at gunpoint. In other words, hospitals will hardly be a safe place when the grid goes down.

Pharmacies are where most medications are held. When a true long-term grid-down disaster strikes, there will be no resupply of essential medications and prescriptions for quite some time.

That’s why looters will target pharmacies to strip them of as much medications as they can. This includes both the pharmacies inside grocery stores and independent chains like CVS Health or Walgreens. 

Private Homes 

Yes, even private homes will become targeted following a grid-down disaster. The reason why is simple: Once all the stores and shops in town have become looted, there won’t be anywhere left for the looters to target—except people’s houses.

And while you may think that most people may not have the courage to literally sneak into or attack other people’s homes, desperate times will create desperate people.

It will start with an increase in the number of nighttime burglaries, followed by daytime burglaries, followed by direct, coordinated attacks on individual homes by gangs of raiders and marauders. This is exactly what happened following the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. 

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Avoid telling other people about the stockpile you have in your home, keep your supplies hidden if possible, and be ready to defend your home with force if necessary. 

Most restaurants carry a substantial amount of food in their backrooms. That’s why even though restaurants will shut down shortly after disaster has struck, looters will break in and take all the food they can find. 

Sporting Goods Stores

You can bet sporting goods stores will be targeted by looters after the SHTF as well. There’s one very big reason for this: people know sporting goods stores are where all the firearms and ammunition in town are stored. The ammunition shelves, and fishing and camping supplies, will be highly prized as well. 

Warehouses and distribution centers are epicenters of where food and supplies are stored. While you can expect looters and mobs to go after grocery stores and supermarkets first, once those have been stripped barren the warehouses and distribution center will be attacked next. 

In a true grid down disaster, there will be no morals, no law and order, and no safety. The vast majority of people are drastically unprepared for any kind of a disaster with very few provisions stored at home. And once it becomes clear that things won’t be returning to normal for quite some time, people who were once normal and peaceful will turn to desperation.

What’s the solution for you? In theory, it’s simple: Stockpile as much as you can, get to the stores to buy as many supplies as you can before the looters get there, don’t tell anybody about the stockpile of preparations you have at home, and get ready to defend your home and what you have for when the looters start to target private homes. 

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In a SHTF situation, you may need to defend your home and your preps from looters and other criminals seeking to capitalize off the chaos. You can begin fortifying your home before a crisis hits to turn it into a difficult target for would-be intruders who want a piece of your stockpile.

There are varying degrees of home fortification. Some of the more extreme measures – like laying booby traps – you wouldn’t want to implement until all hell breaks loose, but you can start preparing with some of these home defense strategies today. That way, your home will be a ready fortress for you and your family when SHTF, and in the meantime, you’ll be less likely to suffer a break in or home invasion.

While you may not have a castle and a moat, by following the advice below, you can make your home more secure and deter potential criminals.

First Things First: See Them Coming

If potential intruders are stalking your home, you’re going to want to see them coming. Security cameras on your property will let you know if any unfriendly faces are creeping around your home so intruders can’t sneak up on you. Motion-detecting lights also make it difficult for burglars to take you by surprise. Even a simple peephole at the front door will let you know if it’s a neighbor who’s knocking or a door-to-door solicitor you’d rather ignore.

Secure the Perimeter

The hope is would-be criminals never get the chance to reach or enter your home, and that starts by securing the perimeter. Any physical barrier is one more obstacle a criminal needs to overcome in order to gain entry. Installing a fence around your property is a good first line of defense to keep people out. Plus, it allows you do further fortifications privately. In a SHTF event, you can add barbed wire to your fence to make it even more difficult to climb over.

Threatening signage is another simple way to discourage people from stepping foot on your property. Common but effective signs include “Beware of Dog” and “No Trespassing: Violators Will Be Prosecuted.”

Even better than a decoy dog sign is actually having a guard dog on the premises. Statistically, neighborhoods with more dogs have less crime, and dog ownership is associated with reduced property crime rates. 

Allow Plants to Do Some Dirty Work

Plants are a great natural barrier that make it more difficult for trespassers to access your home. For defensive landscaping, choose thick vegetation – especially if it has thorns or spikes. A blackberry patch or cacti hedge is a painful hurdle for a potential thief to overcome. It’s also smart to place thorny or prickly plants beneath first floor windows or along the fence line.

Set Booby Traps

You’d want to reserve this measure for a true “end of the world as we know it” scenario, otherwise, you could accidentally injure friends, neighbors, or visiting loved ones. If you do have a plan in place to set up booby traps if SHTF, make sure your friends and loved ones know the drill so it’s only unwanted visitors who are in for a nasty surprise. Booby traps to consider include trip wires, pit traps, and snares if the criminals are on foot. If you want to roll out an unwelcome mat in the driveway for unwanted traffic, you could use tire spikes.

Reinforce Doors and Windows

Hopefully, your outdoor measures are enough to keep criminals at bay. In the unfortunate event that they’re able to make it to the house, you’re going to want to make it as difficult as possible for them to gain entry. That starts by reinforcing your doors and windows. Choose solid wood or metal doors, and don’t underestimate the power of a good lock. Have multiple locks on doors, including deadbolts. Adding a door stopper or door brace is another layer of door defense. You can also reinforce the hinges and strike plate with longer screws.

When it comes to windows, if you really want to beef up security, you can install bullet proof glass. Secondary options are tempered glass and window film, both of which make it harder to break. If you have a sliding glass door or sliding windows, put a wooden dowel in the track as an added security measure.

If you choose to install burglar bars, make sure they have built-in safety mechanisms that allow you to open them from the inside in case you need to make an emergency escape. 

Home Defense Lessons from The Three Little Pigs – Don’t Forget Other Entry Points

While it’s important not to overlook the obvious like your front door and first floor windows, don’t forget to block off other potential entry points as well. A determined criminal may turn to your doggie door, or, like the Big Bad Wolf in the Three Little Pigs – your chimney. Make sure you’re able to block off any potential entry point looters could use to access your home.

The other home defense lesson to be learned from The Three Little Pigs is that brick worked best to keep out the dangerous unwanted guest. A home made of brick, stone, or concrete will be more secure than homes of other materials. If SHTF, you can stack sandbags or cinder blocks in front of vulnerable walls.

Last Line of Defense

Hopefully the safety measures above make your home secure enough that thieves are stopped in their tracks before they’re able to set foot inside, but you should also prepare for the worst-case scenario. Equipping your home with a safe room serves as a last line of defense if all else fails. Additionally, you also need to train for self-defense and have an escape plan in place in case things go south.

Final Thoughts on Home Fortifications for SHTF

Disasters make people desperate. There may come a time when the rule of law fails, and you need to protect your family and what’s yours. Boost your home’s defenses now by installing security cameras, securing your perimeter, protecting your property with prickly vegetation, adding a four-legged guard dog family member, fortifying doors, windows, and vulnerable walls, setting up booby traps against intruders, and building a safe room as a last line of defense. These fortifications should be enough to secure your home’s status as a safe haven if SHTF, but it’s also wise to prepare for every contingency and have an escape plan in place.

This content was originally published here.

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We have lived in our home for more than a decade and I love it. I truly love my yard, but the feeling is not mutual. My yard is trying to kill me. After a lifetime of thinking of myself as allergy free, I’ve been proven wrong. As it turns out, oak trees, along with other things, cause me to have an extreme allergic reaction. Care to guess where I live? Yes, in the middle of 150 acres of forest.

I had no idea that this could be a life-ending allergy for me. Huge portions of this country have primarily hickory and oak forests. I would need to drive at least twelve hours to be somewhere that doesn’t have oak trees. If you or someone in your family struggles with seasonal allergies, first, go to an allergist to find out what they are. In a truly catastrophic event, it is critical that you know the type of environment you can live in.

But here’s the million-dollar question: In a SHTF scenario, with medical care limited or non-existent, can allergies kill you or someone you care about? They could, so you need to know not only what you and your loved ones are allergic to but also know how to treat them.

How I Discovered My Allergies Can Kill Me

I’ve had chronic bronchitis and other coughing-related problems since Junior High. At one point, a doctor prescribed an inhaler, and another doctor mentioned I might have asthma. When I lived on the West Coast, my coughing problems subsided and I thought I had outgrown my allergies.

After I moved back east, the coughing problems returned. After a few years, seasonal allergy flare-ups became a problem, so I started taking over-the-counter antihistamines. Things got worse and I was now using a nasal spray and prescription medication. I remembered my inhaler and tried it. It helped, a lot.

It was when I developed an allergy to onions that I realized that I needed to see an allergist. I recognized my allergy issues went beyond just occasional seasonal misery. When I told her I had used more than 3/4 of a rescue inhaler in three weeks’ time, she was shocked. Clearly, it was the wrong treatment and I should have been in to see her sooner.

Testing For My Allergies

As per normal procedure, I had to stop taking antihistamines for a week before the testing, to ensure they were all out of my system. Thankfully I could still use an inhaler.

The allergist tested nearly 30 different things on me using prick and intra-dermal methods. I came back as allergic to all of them. I reacted as a 4++, with 4 being the highest, on oak trees. My body was also very reactive to many other common substances, such as ragweed and dust mites.

I had no idea how severe my allergies were. There were times I had difficulty breathing and that should have caused me to seek immediate treatment. But it crept up so slowly over a long period of time, I didn’t think about it.

Does this sound familiar to you, too?

Whether you have the allergy symptoms or someone in your family does, please get checked out by an allergist. Some allergies are very difficult to get under control. It may be worse than you realize, even potentially life-threatening – like mine.

Options for Managing Life threatening Allergies

There are many ways to help reduce your allergies. Often a layered approach to preventative measures is more effective. Here are some things you can do:

Immunotherapy Shots

Allergy Immunotherapy is a preventative treatment. It gives a person gradually increasing doses of allergens to build the immune system’s tolerance to the substance. With the severity of my own allergies, I will be getting immunotherapy shots.

Immunotherapy is a weekly commitment for about five years. It isn’t something that everyone can do, even if they are a candidate for it. I know that I cannot avoid oak trees and I am going to keep my pets. For me, the sacrifice and time of immunotherapy are worth it in order to live a life free of miserable allergy symptoms.

Obviously, the option isn’t for post-SHTF, but it is a step that might lower your risk in that worst-case scenario.

The week leading up to my allergy test, I was wearing a face mask any time I went outside and most of the time I was inside. There were moments when it was difficult for me to breathe, and it wasn’t even peak pollen season.

My doctor prescribed Singulair, antihistamines, a nasal spray, and an asthma inhaler for daily use. I also rely on a rescue inhaler in case of an allergy-induced asthma attack. Many allergy medications are available over the counter. It is important to know what medicine is best for you and to keep a good supply on hand. Over-the-counter meds are readily available, have fairly long shelf lives, and often, you can find coupons that provide discounts.

If a severe allergy sufferer is without their medications for more than a day or two, their condition could degenerate from healthy to life-threatening before help arrives. For example, antihistamines only stay in your system for 2-7 days. Consider keeping extra medication at work, in the car, in emergency kits, or in other places where you might need it. Even a dose or two encased in a vacuum-packed bag can be kept in a wallet or money pouch.

This is another option requiring intact supply chains, along with a host of other stars being aligned. Stocking what makes sense and maintaining that supply means that if SHTF, at least you’re not in immediate danger.

Rehome Pets

If you know you have a pet allergy, accept it, and do not get another pet that will trigger your allergies. You may even consider rehoming the pets you have for quality-of-life reasons. When you see an allergy and asthma specialist, they’ll give you a specific plan with remediation steps to take.

Face Masks and Neti Pots

Use a face mask. I strongly prefer the machine washable, reusable “Breathe Healthy” face masks because I can wear them for hours without the discomfort that cheap disposable masks cause. There are a variety of fun patterns to choose from. It takes a while to get used to the sensation of breathing through a face mask. Cleaning the inside of your home can stir up dust, pet dander, and other allergens. Cleaning outside can stir up pollen. Wearing a face mask and possibly even goggles reduces how much of the allergen enters your system.

Neti pots can also be a great help, but be careful with the water you use. Buying distilled water is a great choice, although boiling and then cooling water before using it is also popular. Many people swear by Neti pots and the relief they bring. If you aren’t familiar with them, here is an example.

Both the Neti pot and a good face mask are options for dealing with allergies in a post-SHTF scenario. Without the ability to get allergy medications, shots, or hospital care in the case of an extreme reaction, these two stop-gap measures are both inexpensive and fairly effective.

Local Honey

Local honey can help with allergies for weeds, grasses, and anything else bees pollinate, but bees aren’t big pollinators of trees, so it can’t be a solution for everyone. It didn’t even occur to me that the reason the honey was improving, but not eliminating, my allergy problems was that I had multiple allergies to some things that bees don’t pollinate.

Local honey operates on the same principle as allergy shots. When ingested, your body is exposed to small amounts of an allergen to help it develop a tolerance. Honey has the potential to reduce the user’s overall “allergen load.”  An allergen load is the total amount of allergens your body is dealing with at any point in time.

One way to keep honey handy is to pour it into half-sections of drinking straws and seal the ends with a hot iron. There are individual honey packets you can purchase, but I’m not convinced the honey is pure honey (often it’s combined with high fructose corn syrup or some other ingredient). Take a look at these fire straw instructions and then use the same concept with honey.

Read about herbal remedies for seasonal allergies here.

Reduce Exposure

Once you know what you are allergic to, it is important to take steps to reduce your allergen load. You may be able to reduce your total exposure below the allergic threshold, which is where symptoms start. Since it is the total exposure to all allergens that leads to being symptomatic, it makes sense to reduce anything possible.

Think of it this way, if you have a cup, and you pour some milk in it, some soda, some coffee, and a little bit of tea, it will eventually overflow. It doesn’t matter that there are lots of different types of drinks in it. The cup will overflow the same if you held it under the sink and filled it with just water. The same is true of allergens. If sufferers can remove or reduce even one or two triggers, it can make a difference.

Certain foods, such as onions, garlic, corn, and wheat, are common and seemingly impossible to avoid entirely. Others, such as passion fruit and quinoa, are fairly simple to avoid. The same is true of non-food allergens. Mites are almost impossible to avoid entirely and oak trees are incredibly common wherever there are deciduous forests.  While most of us won’t part with a family pet easily, horses and orchids are pretty simple for most of us to avoid.

Bugging In vs Bugging Out

As a prepper, keep at least one extra month or two supply of your allergy medications, including local honey if you use it. Asthma inhalers are prescription only, making it hard to have extras on hand. Keep a supply of over-the-counter medicine, including simple anti-histamines, even if they aren’t part of your daily regimen.

Remember that having your gear and supplies to keep allergens off you is also a must. A scrub cap (they make scrub caps specifically for long hair), no-rinse shampoo, and the  “Breathe Healthy” face masks can help keep pollen away from your eyes and nose.

Pollen is designed to stick to things, so it will be carried in on the surface of anything that goes outside. Being able to clean your clothes without electricity will let you have pollen-free clothing when you or anyone in the family has to venture out into nature. Pollen will also attach to your pets (waterless pet shampoo is a good idea), so be prepared to clean a lot during pollen season and in an emergency.

I know my allergies have forced us to change some of our preparedness plans. I am a big proponent of bugging in versus bugging out. In the event of a disaster, my family will have only a month or two of bugging in at our home. We will need to move away from any oak trees before I run out of medications. I will also need to be careful around fires because the smoke triggers my asthma.

Allergies Can Kill, But…

Yes, allergies can kill, and coping with life-threatening allergies in a post-SHTF world can be a daunting task. With the right preparation and planning, it is possible to manage these conditions and reduce the risk of a life-threatening allergic reaction. It is crucial to have an understanding of your specific allergies and to have a plan in place for emergencies.

Remember, preparation is key, and it is never too early to start planning for the unexpected. As difficult as it is to have allergies, knowing what they are, how to treat them, and what to do in an emergency, has given me more control over my health and preparedness plans.

This is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any disease. Consult your personal medical professional.

Originally published April 20, 2017; updated and revised by Team Survival Mom.

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Bethanne Kim

Bethanne is an eclectic writer who lives in the exurbs (that’s what comes after the suburbs) with her husband, sons, and cats. She has been writing for The Survival Mom since 2010. You can learn more about her books, including the “Survival Skills for All Ages” series, at

Latest posts by Bethanne Kim (see all)

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This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
The lunatics in Washington DC, on both sides of the political aisle seem to be doing all in their power to bring us into a nuclear world war. One step closer now that Beijing has decided to cement ties with Russia.

(Article by Susan Duclos republished from

Our power grids are old and vulnerable, and were never built to support more than 330 million people. On top of that major issue we now have constant attacks on substations and the grid itself, physical and cyber.

According to the most recent numbers, in 2022 we saw physical attacks on power grid rise by 71%.

As evidenced by the recent train derailment that basically “nuked an entire town,” and another in a different town just weeks later, our nation’s infrastructure is a danger to society at this point, once again due to aging and in some cases incompetency.

Seeing debates online we note some highlighting the fact that the railways are owned by private companies, used as an excuse to protect the Biden regime from any responsibility for train tracks like the ones seen above.

The question is, shouldn’t the government being the ones inspecting the tracks for safety? Build a business building from scratch and government inspectors are all over any little problem. Restaurants are privately owned yet inspectors come periodically to make sure the safety laws are being followed. The examples go on and on, but I digress.

That is a story for another day though.

For a recent list of examples of what some would dub “gray terror,” Stefan Stanford” put together a list in a previous piece here, so I won’t reinvent the wheel by listing the newer examples again.

One of the points I am trying to make here before moving along, is America’s infrastructure is quite literally falling apart in some places, unreliable in others, and vulnerable to physical and cyber attacks, and the Biden regime has brought us to the very edge of World War, which is likely to become a nuclear war.

The state of the nation is dire.


East Palestine, Ohio, is a perfect example of the above category header. The train derailed, spread toxic chemicals throughout the town and the Ohio River, and Joe Biden never showed up. His Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg showed up three weeks after the devastating event, and only then after facing severe backlash for not appearing.

Joe Biden did take a trip….to Ukraine, and promised them another $500 million, on top of the $112 billion already handed over to Ukraine to help them fight against Russia.

That money could have done so much for East Palestine, Ohio. Food, water, medical care for those suffering effects from the toxic chemical spills.

No example can show Americans what is more important to the Biden regime, better, than East Palestine.

America last, Ukraine first.

The message is loud and clear. When SHTF, the government is not going to help you, you will have to help yourself.

This content was originally published here.