I have never been a prepper. My modest amount of guns and gear have mostly centered around my passion for suppressors, personal defense weapons, concealed carry pistols and useful accessories. Like many of you I have bins full of gun related items that looked great on paper, but in practice fell short of actually being useful. To top it off, I’ve chuckled at the Boogaloo memes that have worked their way through social media, believing that it was mostly fantasy, stemming from basement dwellers reading books like and . But here we are, the entire world changing before us, with a great deal of uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead, and I thought that it might be important to lay out some SHTF guns and gear. Not to fan the flames of panic, but in a calming, therapeutic, prepping sort of way.

Note: Sh*t Hit The fan (SHTF) is a reference to your whole world being upended in a short period of time.

SHTF Guns: KAC/Colt AR-15 – Short Barrel – 5.56mm – Suppressed

TFB Podcast – Behind The Gun

I guess this is as good of a place as any to announce that we are launching a new podcast in a few weeks. TFB’s Behind The Gun podcast will be published once or twice a week here on the blog and on all the major platforms. Like the blog and TFBTV, the podcast will be a fact-based format featuring conversations with industry leaders about their successes and failures over the years. We recorded about 20 VIP interviews and interviews with most of the TFB/TFBTV staff at SHOT Show 2020. I think it went well and it should be informative and fun, but ultimately you guys will be the judge.

I bring up the podcast now because, almost like a premonition, I started off each episode by asking each guest a warmup question:

“The world is ending tomorrow and you can only take one gun with you. Which one and why?”

Irony, foreshadowing, dumb luck – whatever it was, we now have some insight into what the leaders of our industry would carry into the apocalypse. Stay tuned for their responses.

But, as Snoop would say, “back to the lecture at hand” ( 1992)

SHTF Guns: KAC/Colt AR-15 – Short Barrel – 5.56mm – Suppressed

SHTF Guns: KAC/Colt AR-15 – Short Barrel – 5.56mm – Suppressed

I. Introduction

My choice for an end-of-the-world firearm is an AR-15 carbine chambered in 5.56 mm with an 11.5” barrel. I chose the AR-15 platform because of my familiarity with the operation, cleaning and maintenance, the ability to source parts and the ease of making repairs, modularity and accessory options as well as general ergonomics. AR-15 Magazines are disposable, plentiful and inexpensive.

The 11.5” barrel length is important because I feel that it is the best balance between bullet velocity and overall compactness. There will be those who swear by 10.3/10.5” barrels and those who swear by 12.5” barrels. The truth is, everyone is right. If you are comfortable shaving off an inch or two in the name of portability and usefulness, a MK18 is a solid choice. Keep in mind, that velocity is extremely important, especially for smaller diameter bullets.

If bullet velocity is more important to you than length and weight, go with a longer barrel. As a quick reminder, anything with a barrel shorter than 16” and a shoulder stock requires an approved ATF NFA application and tax stamp. I know we are discussing end of the world scenarios, but even in the apocalypse you still need to fill out government forms and pay your taxes (snort). If you believe that we’ll all be alive in 30ish days, and would like to make a proper (and legal) short barreled rifle (SBR), use our step by step ATF EForm guide here. Otherwise, a solid pistol stabilizing brace might be an alternative.

It should come as no surprise to you guys that my SHTF gun includes a suppressor. Suppressing a 5.56mm SBR will never result in a hearing safe gun. However if you’ve had the chance to compare the blast from a flash hider only AR-15 versus a suppressed AR-15, you’ll know that a few shots with unprotected ears will be disabling. And the shorter the barrel, the worse the blast will be – people don’t think that unburned powder be like it is, but it do. Shooting suppressed will also help conceal your location from your adversaries – the USMC knows.

II. Your Landscape/AOR Overview

SHTF Guns: KAC/Colt AR-15 – Short Barrel – 5.56mm – Suppressed

Your environment can and should have an impact on your SHTF firearm choices. A Brooklyn hipster will have different requirements than a Idaho outdoorsman. Concealment, threat ranges, cartridge loadings and more will vary wildly based on your Area Of Responsibility (AOR). My AOR is fairly rural, with major population centers being about an hour and a half away by vehicle.

You should do an honest personal risk assessment for yourself and your family to figure out strengths and weaknesses and base your SHTF gun choices on those needs – maybe the Barrett .50 isn’t the best load out after all. Or maybe it is.

You should also consider whether you will ever need to “bug out” (leave your castle for safer ground). Lugging around heavy guns and ammo gets tiresome, even if you are just unloading it from a minivan.

After my risk assessment, I settled on two main guns as go-tos in a time of crisis:

III. Specifications – Base Firearm

This build is an “everything you need, nothing you don’t” premise that focuses on utility and durability. To me, having a pinned front sight base/gas block was more important than a free-floated MLOK rail. Since low light needs are a very important consideration in adverse situations, a quality weapon light is a must in my opinion.

IR/ Night Vision is important if you have the resources. Be sure to check out TFB’s Friday Night Lights series’s hosted by Nick Chen for all your illumination needs.

Note: Everything listed here in this article was purchased by me at retail prices at the vendors noted below. I waited for sales/deals and pieced everything together over about year and a half period.

SHTF Guns: KAC/Colt AR-15 – Short Barrel – 5.56mm – Suppressed

Since the sunset of the Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, the options for both factory built and piecemeal AR-15 builds has increased in both quantity and quality. I could list out a host of reputable manufacturers, but it will be hard togo wrong with any. Here’s my build:

SHTF Guns: KAC/Colt AR-15 – Short Barrel – 5.56mm – Suppressed

As alternative, complete lower and groups can be purchased if you’d rather buy complete:

IV. Specifications – Modifications and Accessories

Once again, keeping with the usability mantra with this carbine, I only added accessories that have a specific purpose, with additional criteria of durability, reliability and weight savings.

SHTF Guns: KAC/Colt AR-15 – Short Barrel – 5.56mm – Suppressed

V. SHTF Guns – Ammo and Magazine Choices

Ammunition choices are seemingly personal choices, but really are heavily dependent on science and testing. For me, a proven barrier blind round is a bit more important than MOA accuracy. Barrier blind is a term that refers to a bullet that can maintain much of its shape, velocity and expansion abilities even after passing through a barrier like glass or wood. The soft point of the Fusion round isn’t a sub-MOA dream, but at realistic defensive distances it is plenty accurate to get the job done.

I also stock both M193 and M855 ammunition – for SHTF loads, stick with factory firsts and not the factory second versions of these loads, often labeled as XM193 and XM855

Magazines:

For a Compact carbine, I prefer 20 round magazines. I own over 100 Surefeed Magazines and have yet to have a malfunction. They are light, inexpensive and well made.

Note: I have a new rule: black magazines for .223/5.56, FDE magazines for 300BLK and grey magazines for special loads (MK12 77gr Berger, etc).

VI. Fielding/Range Time

Fully outfitted and loaded with a 20 round magazine, this SHTF gun weighs in at about six pounds. Which for a suppressed, light/laser/optic equipped carbine is pretty svelte. Carrying, shouldering, shooting and manipulating a light carbine is a dream compared to some of the behemoths floating around out there.

I chose a standard 50 yard zero for my SHTF setup. As a basic reminder, point of aim and point of impact will change on either side of your zero; distances under the 50 yard zero will have a slight hold-over under offset – meaning you hold the dot over your intended target. The amount will vary up until point blank range where the offset equals your optic height above the bore. Doing drills on the range is actually easier than writing that process down, so I hope I got that right.

I only mention these basics because the overwhelming majority of defensive shots will be taken at distances less than 50 yards. And, of course, different ammunition loadings will have different zeros.

The short barrel and ultra light weight of the Delta P Brevis II Ultra make this carbine easy to maneuver and fast swinging. Suppression levels are modest – if you are forced to take a shot without hearing protection you probably won’t have severe hearing damage. This is on par with most 5.56mm suppressors, especially on short barrel hosts. Besides being air-weight, the Brevis is a direct thread silencer, meaning there are no tolerance stacking concerns or mounts to come loose. For a full-size suppressor, there are downsides to a direct thread setup – mainly length. Micro or “K” cans will benefit from a direct mount. For SHTF guns, that would be my preferred method of attachment.

Cycling is smooth and recoil is slight with this 11.5″ AR-15. It is important that you run all your intended ammunition through your rifle/carbine to ensure proper cycling. Weak ammunition may cause failures. Over gassed systems may cause failures. My preference has always been to use adjustable gas blocks over changing buffers or spring weights. But in keeping with simplicity with this build and preserving a solid pinned FSB, I opted for the SureFire OBC. Luckily it runs 100% with ejected cases landing between the two and three o’clock position (muzzle is 12 o’clock obviously).

VII. SHTF Guns – Conclusions

This is my carbine. There are many like it, but this one is mine. A lightweight 11.5″ AR-15, suppressed with white and IR weapon light capability is nearly perfect for my needs. The nine inch SIG MCX you’ll see next week would probably surpass this build if it were lighter and 300BLK ammo was a little easier to find.

Make an honest assessment of your skills, requirement and surroundings and decide which SHTF firearm works best for you. Thanks for reading TFB.

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
You never know when a large-scale disaster might happen. In case one does occur in your area, you should have an emergency plan in mind to get you and your loved ones out of danger. As with any good survival strategy, your escape plan will require sound leadership skills, disciplined direction and some practice to work as you intend it. Follow this simple guide and learn how to create your own escape plan in case SHTF. (h/t to Survivopedia.com)

Assess your current situation

Depending on where you live, your area may be more prone to certain disasters than others. Before anything else, you need to assess your current situation and consider what possible threats you are likely to face. There are many factors you will have to consider. Is it more practical for you to bug out or in? If you need to bug out, where will you go? Are there other people living with you? Where will you go when you need to evacuate, and how will you get there? You should take into consideration all the possible obstacles you might encounter and list down the different ways you can get around them.

Prepare your bug-out bag

A bug-out bag, or BOB, should contain all the essentials you need to survive for at least 72 hours after SHTF. Before anything else, you should have your BOB prepped and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Your BOB should be sturdy but lightweight so that you can easily carry it around, even while traveling on foot. Some of the items you should have in your BOB include food and water supplies, a first aid kit, personal hygiene items, appropriate clothing, maps of your local area, a flashlight, a lighter and some cash. For communication purposes, you should also have a walkie-talkie and a card wallet with addresses, phone numbers, radio frequencies and any other relevant information. Store your BOB somewhere easily accessible.

Set up a bug-out location

A bug-out location or BOL is the end goal of your escape plan. This secure destination is where you and your loved ones can stay temporarily until it is safe to return home. Ideally, your BOL should be located somewhere within 20 to 100 miles from your home, but this will greatly depend on your specific situation. You will need a bug-out vehicle if your BOL is further away. However, this may be a problem if you don’t get out before everyone else does, and you end up stuck in heavily congested roadways. The closer your BOL is, the easier it will be for you to get there on foot. (Related: The best bug-out locations for preppers in the Eastern U.S.)

Make sure your loved ones are involved

Unless you are living alone, no escape plan is a one-person job. If you want your family members to stay safe, they should also be involved. That way, even if you are not around, your loved ones will know exactly what to do when SHTF. Delegate different responsibilities to your family members, including children. They should know where to go and what to take with them. If any of your family members are unable to reach home, make sure to establish at least two safe zones within your area where you can meet up. Some ideal safe zones include an easily accessible restaurant, your local library, a church, or the home of a trusted friend or relative.

As with all survival plans, no single escape plan is completely foolproof. Make sure to keep your plans flexible enough to accommodate any unexpected challenges you may face. As long as you can adapt to your situation, you can survive almost anything.

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I have strongly argued the point that the concealed handgun has two primary attributes: First, it gives you a weapon that extends in function beyond contact distance which can be carried on the person.  Second, it gives you the ability to keep said weapon concealed on your person.  If you open carry you throw away the second attribute, which is a significant tactical shortcoming.  While I concede that there are some occasions or environments in which open carry is acceptable (like field work in rural areas) the utility of the practice is otherwise reserved for idiots.  This is even more the case during times of heightened civil anxiety and potential unrest, such as that which we are now facing.

We are already at the point where sheltered urbanites are fighting with each other over the last roll of toilet paper on the shelf.  I attribute this mentality to that which fosters road rage and other such foolishness.  This emotionally reactive stupidity has arisen from a generation of people who were raised to believe every sort of aggression is bad and only authority, be it the school teacher or the state, should resolve conflicts.  Such people, who have never punched someone or been punched in the mouth themselves, seem to be the first to fly off the handle over stolen parking spaces or the last roll of toilet paper.  Ask yourself, is carrying an exposed gun in the presence of such fools, even under the best of conditions, a good idea?

As tensions rise and society gets unstable the necessity to keep your weaponry discreet escalates.  Handguns should be well concealed, and long guns are reserved for home defense, or, if you face the need to bug out, may be best transported hidden in the vehicle.  Unless you need to bug out of your home during a violent riot in which a rifle or shotgun rides next to you in the car, the long gun remains a home defense option or supplementary firepower hidden in luggage.  Overall, however, the concealed carry handgun remains the primary.  I would suggest carrying a serious fighting pistol rather than the 380 pocket pistol or 38 snub as things deteriorate.  If you don’t do so already, carrying a double-stack 9mm in this new reality makes good sense.  But, keep it concealed, and be an asset rather than a liability.

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This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
Preparing for a SHTF scenario can be a daunting task, but the first question you must ask before you start prepping is whether you’re going to bug in or bug out. If a disaster is impending and you don’t have a lot of time to gather your belongings and get out of dodge, you may not even be able to answer that question — which is why it may be a good idea to be prepared to bug in anyway. Here are seven key things to consider when bugging in during a SHTF scenario. (h/t to PlanAndPrepared.com)

Get home and stay home

If you’re at work, or running some errands when disaster strikes, go home immediately. Don’t try to gather supplies at the last minute, because that’s probably what everybody else is doing. Use this time to get home.

If you have the time to prep, figure out the route you’re going to take if disaster strikes while you’re away from home. Plan out alternate routes as well, along with contingency plans should you need to abandon your vehicle and set out on foot. (Related: How to prep your vehicle for emergency situations.)

Communicate with your team

There’s a chance that the other members of your team — be it your family, people who live with you or even your trusted neighbors — won’t be at your bug-in shelter when SHTF. You must learn to communicate when this happens.

Cell reception will probably be either poor or down completely, so you must learn how to properly communicate without it — whether that means picking up a landline, using walkie-talkies or even using a ham radio.

Be very detailed about what you want, and keep communication clear and concise. Keep in mind that your communications may not be private, especially if you’re using radios. Learn code words for specific locations instead of giving out full addresses. Also consider using prearranged signals — for example, a yellow ribbon tied to a tree in front of your home means everything’s safe, while a red ribbon means your team should stay away.

Secure your bug-in location

Once you’re home, you must secure it for the long term. This means strengthening your home from possible attackers. Reinforce windows and doors with wood planks and deadbolts. Use defensive landscaping techniques to learn which trees and shrubs to plant in your front yard. If you have a firearm, train with it regularly (as long as you have the ammunition for it). If you don’t have one, consider getting one or getting a member of your team one. Install tall, chain link fences that can slow down would-be intruders.

Assess the situation

You may not have the full picture of what’s happening when SHTF. Try and remedy this immediately. If you still have an internet connection, check your trusted news sources for information. If not, gather information on what’s happening around you and speculate. If there are cracks on the pavement, it’s probably an earthquake. If you hear gunfire in the distance, it may be an invasion. Ask your team or trusted neighbors and other individuals what they know.

Get some proper hardware to help you learn about what is going on. Get some emergency radios or a police scanner and tune in to what’s happening. Learn how to use a ham radio and connect with other preppers on the network. If you have the resources, invest in a drone that you can use to observe your surroundings, and get a bigger picture of the entire situation.

Establish a proper network

To maintain your knowledge of the post-SHTF world, you must learn how to continue gathering intelligence from other people. This means you must form friendships with people around you. Learn about the needs of your neighbors and establish a network of mutual aid and solidarity with them. In return, they can tell you everything they know about what’s currently happening in your wider world. If you still have an internet connection, you can even do this through social media.

Lie low

If everyone around you knows that you’re the most prepared person in the block, you’ll be seen as the biggest threat. You must learn how to keep a low profile. Don’t brag about your big stockpile of food and supplies. Blend in with your neighbors and don’t act like you have everything planned out. Learn some basic acting so you can look and act just as scared and bewildered as them. Lying low will keep you away from danger.

You should be able to figure out how bad your overall situation is within the first few days after the initial disaster. Hopefully, these tips about bugging in, gathering intel and forming strong, mutual aid bonds with your team and your neighbors can help you get through more than just a few days.

Sources include:

This content was originally published here.

In a true longterm grid-down scenario, those who are prepared with the right tools might have the opportunity to provide their family or group with much-needed fuel for survival.  This article will cover the basics of how a system of pipelines in the US can be identified and accessed with little information and the right tools.

First, I must say that under normal circumstances we should never, ever tamper with any type of oil and gas equipment, pipeline or facilities. There is a high risk that one could inadvertently cause a system shutdown, an explosion, or a multi-million dollar product release that could endanger lives and property. This includes pipelines, pump or compressor stations, valve settings, etc. Everything that flows through wellheads, pipelines, or refineries, will in some way kill you!

AN SHTF FUEL OPTION

But in the event that there has been a longterm SHTF or TEOTWAWKI event, and the refineries are no longer manned by their operations staff, or the field equipment is no longer being maintained and controlled, things will begin to fail on our oil and gas systems. And most products will eventually stop flowing.

If no fuel is being refined, then eventually there will be nothing to be trucked to gas stations. That is if gas stations are even still operational. I am in no way suggesting that anyone (especially someone who has no knowledge of what they are messing with) tamper with or attempt to remove anything from oil and gas locations or out of pipelines, even if they are out of operation. But it will inevitably begin to happen if things ever fall apart and remain in shambles for very long. So this article is intended to bring to light a few things that should be considered for safety.

REFINERIES

Our major refineries are a very valuable resource, not only to the companies that own and operate them, but important to our nation on many different levels. There is a good reason that refineries all over the world become military targets during wartime.  The reason is the loss of oil and gas production and/or refining capabilities is one of the fastest ways to cripple an enemy nation. Therefore, regardless of the level of the disaster facing our country, at least some of these facilities will no doubt be guarded by the military, private security, or someone. So looting of any type, in or around both coastal and inland refineries could prove to be fatal. Also, the more these facilities are impacted by looting and damage during a shutdown of the type I’m talking about, the more difficult it will be and longer it will take to bring the facility back online when life begins to return to normal.

PIPELINES IN THE US

Crude oil, natural gas, refined gasoline, refined diesel, propane, and water are just a few of the products that flow through pipelines all over the world. But the few listed here, in my opinion, will be the most sought after during a long term disaster event. And even after refineries, cryogenic plants, liquid pump stations, and compressor stations have stopped operating to move these products, the products will remain in the pipelines. Most pipelines do have several points along its route where a valve setting or other type of riser comes up above ground, that someone could open up to collect some of the product inside. But anyone who attempts this should know that there is a very high probability that the pipeline still contains very high pressures, even though the pumps might not be operational. Anything like propane or natural gas in its gaseous state would require specialized fittings and equipment in order to capture the product into propane tanks or any similar container. These fittings could possibly be purchased from a propane distributor or online. Liquid pipelines such as crude oil, gasoline, diesel or natural gas liquids could be removed from above-ground valves with the proper pipe fittings and a fuel hose.

IDENTIFYING PIPELINES

OSHA and several state agencies mandate the proper marking and signage of pipelines and their products in the United States. The pipeline is required to have a “pipeline marker” that includes the name and contact information of the company who owns or operates the line and/or it’s contents. The markers must be placed at a specific distance from each other for the entire length of the pipeline. The pipeline markers are then required to be color-coded to signify the product inside. For example, a yellow marker indicates a natural gas line, purple is usually marking produced water that comes from oil wells (which is absolutely not drinkable.) Blue markers indicate freshwater, red markers could either indicate a fire suppressing liquid (like what’s inside a fire hydrant) or it could be marking electricity. Colors may vary a bit from place to place but the color-coding system is supposed to be international. To find out more about the color-coding system in your area, there are several online resources. One being your state’s one call system.

WELL PADS/WELL HEADS

Pipelines in the USThis is where all things oil and gas begin. At a well that has been drilled hundreds or thousands of feet into the ground. Pipe has then been inserted into the hole and so on. Again, everything on a well pad or production location will almost always have pressure behind it, everything will hurt or kill you. Most of these locations only have either crude oil or raw natural gas. Most production locations also have automated metering equipment that is powered by a 12v car battery connected to a solar panel. ( …..just saying……do what you will with that info 🙂

This automation usually only serves the purpose of sending information to a main network somewhere else about how much the well produced that day. Usually this isn’t necessary to the well or entire system coming back online after it has been down. Occasionally, the automation can control an electronic valve that can be operated remotely and will affect the operation of the entire system if removed or damaged.

On an oil production location, there are normally large tanks that store crude oil and in another tank, the produced water. All tanks are supposed to be properly labeled. These tanks also contain flammable vapor and have the possibility to contain poisonous gasses like hydrogen sulfide that will kill you.

MAKING PLANS NOW

If the removal of products from any of the places I’ve named becomes necessary, and if you’re reading this, then you must believe that day could come. Then you should consider making a plan now as to where you will remove product from and make sure you have the proper fittings and hoses to do so. The proper fittings will make it much safer than something thrown together out of junk laying around.

You should also consider wearing goggles, chemical gloves, and Tyvek suits if possible, or some type of chemical apron. Anything that will keep oil and other liquids out of your eyes, mouth and off of your skin and clothing. Never, under any circumstances should you try to knock a hole in any type of pipe or oil and gas equipment to collect what is inside. This could result in you taking several hundred pounds of liquid or gas pressure to the face and/or starting a fire with more pressure behind it than you can get away from.

Again, I’m not writing this to explain how to remove products that could be used in a disaster situation, ( even though this would be a great source for obtaining lots of fuel after gas stations are empty) nor do I condone doing so. But if things get bad enough for long enough, it is inevitable that people will begin to do this very thing. Hopefully, if that person ends up being you who read this article, you gained a bit of knowledge about how to do it safely.

This is a guest post by Derek Hayes.

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The post Pipelines in the US When SHTF – Could They Be An Option? appeared first on Ed That Matters.

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
Being unprepared can get you in big trouble (or worse) when SHTF. Preppers know this, which is why they set up their preps ahead of time, not after receiving warnings about a disaster that’s about to hit their area. (h/t to TheModernSurvivalist.com)

Don’t get used to waiting for an official announcement that a disaster will strike because you can’t always predict it. While some natural disasters can be predicted, being prepared before things get out of hand is better than scrambling like a chicken with its head cut off when SHTF.

Act now, not later

Unfortunately, even those who’ve already gone through a disaster remain complacent when they should have already learned their lesson.

Even if you’re living in one of the safest cities in the world, there’s a chance that someone with bad intentions will try to hurt you or loot your home. It pays to learn self-defense and how to use a weapon now, so you can protect yourself and your family.

While things seem quiet, you can start signing up for lessons for self-defense and fortifying your home.

Physical and mental fitness are two crucial aspects of prepping. Exercising regularly and following a balanced diet can ensure that you will be fit enough to lift your gear and heavy supplies when SHTF and you must evacuate and bug out to a safer location.

Prepping before SHTF

Unexpected financial hardship

Set aside an emergency fund. This ensures that you have funds for financial emergencies, like injuries or unemployment.

Long-term grid-down scenario

Before your neighborhood loses electricity for days and even weeks, set up a stockpile of food, water and gear for the whole family.

Make plans for backup power. Set up emergency comms and try to find like-minded individuals in your neighborhood that you can trust when SHTF.

Small-scale natural disasters

If you’re living in an area that’s frequently flooded or often experiences hurricanes, that is a very good reason to make the necessary preps long before these scenarios occur. Prepare bug-out bags (BOBs) for yourself and the whole family, and find a safe bug-out location for when you need to evacuate.

If you plan on bugging in, prepare a survival stockpile in your house and secure it. Rotate your supplies regularly, particularly food and water, to avoid ending up with expired products.

Crime or civil unrest 

Civil unrest is more likely to occur in highly populated urban areas. Still, no matter where you’re living, it’s best to stock up on supplies for situations like this, so you don’t have to leave your house unless it’s necessary.

Set up an alarm system and become proficient with your weapon of choice, so you can defend yourself and your loved ones in case a looter targets your home.

Be friendly with your neighbors and let them know they can trust you, so they may return the favor. When SHTF, you will need all the help you can get.

A superbug or a biological weapon

To prep for these scenarios, set up a clean water supply to prevent the spread of diseases. Stock up on water and have a quality water filtration system. Plan for proper sanitation and stock up on the necessary supplies for maintaining proper hygiene. (Related: Prepping for a pandemic: What you should do before, during and after it strikes.)

Now is a good time to learn how to use your gear. Don’t just let your tools collect dust in the garage or storage room. Make sure the food that you stockpile includes items that your family will be willing to eat during a long-term survival scenario, so your prepping doesn’t go to waste.

The whole point of prepping is to do it SHTF. Make the necessary preparations now, before it’s too late.

This content was originally published here.

A third of Americans own at least one pet. This is a testament to how popular domesticated animals are in this country. Pets play an important role in the home–they relieve stress, entertain and give joy to their owners. But sadly, when it comes to emergency preparedness, pets are often left behind. Many people’s SHTF plan does not include a bug out strategy for their pets.

Our pets are loyal and give us unconditional love. It’s only right that we return the favor. Prepping with pets is not impossible, and the fact is they can be good to have around when SHTF.

Read on to learn how to develop a SHTF plan that will keep your whole family–including your furry friends–safe.

A SHTF Plan For Your Pets

If you’re a prepper, the thing at the forefront of your mind is keeping yourself and your family safe. You’ve crafted a foolproof SHTF plan, you know where you’ll go and what you’ll take with you.

But does that plan include your pets?

You can be a prepper and a pet lover. There ware ways to help your pet stay alive in emergency situations (and worse), and pets can be as useful in a crisis as they are at home. Dogs especially can make great SHTF companions. They can warn and protect you and your family from attackers, whether it is a human or a dangerous animal. Some dogs can also hunt and track. And of course, dogs and other pets provide great emotional support.

Take a look at the original article here and get started on your pet’s SHTF plan.

A SHTF Plan For Bugging Out With Your Pets

August 29th 2005, one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of North America struck. Hurricane Katrina made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane and pack winds of 125 mph. When it was through, over 1,800 people were dead. How many of these lives could have been saved if they were allowed to evacuate with their pets?

Many people refused to leave New Orleans because they were not allowed to bring their pets. To many people, pets are like their children. According to a survey that took place after Hurricane Katrina, 44% of the people that decided to stay in the city and not evacuate did so because they were told that they could not take their animals with them.

However, as the storm got closer and intensity increased the evacuation changed to mandatory. It is hard to know for sure how many pets were left as a result of the forced evacuation. According to The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, “Estimates that 70,000 pets remained in the city during the storm; of those about 15,000 were rescued.”

Sadly, only 20% of the animals that were rescued got reconnected with their owners. This is why it is important; don’t forget Fluffy and Fido in your preparedness plans.

How To Prepare a Pet Emergency Kit

You probably all ready have a family emergency kit put together with all of the essentials that you and your family would need in case of a emergency. But did you include your pets? Animals have become such a important part of our lives.

While your spouse can help you add things to the kit that you may have forgotten your pet can not help you build their kit. They depend on us to care for them.

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Just like any other member of the family, pets would also need supplies like food and medicine, first aid kit and items for cleaning up.

If possible, it’s best to build a separate bug out bag for your furry friend. This would also help lighten up your own bug out bag.

Remember, it’s important to make sure your pet is trained in basic obedience. It’s also a good idea to train them to take certain actions in emergency situations, if possible.

Now come the hard part. When SHTF, you might have to choose between your family and your pet. You may do your best to avoid the compromising situation, but sometimes reality has to be faced. If the situation calls for it, you will have to make the decision.

Talk about the scenario with the family and come up with a SHTF plan together. Family should come first before anything else, but if you plan ahead, you should be able to come up with a plan to save yourself, your family, and your pets.

Do you have a SHTF plan for your pets? Let us know in the comments.

Meanwhile you can read related articles available on our site:

Survival Skills For Kids | Family Survival Guide

Customizing Your Ultimate Bug Out Bag

What To Do When Animals Attack

This content was originally published here.

As preppers, we all make plans and preparations for a certain type of disaster scenario.

While there are certain similarities between our prepping plans, there are, for certain, some common threats that will follow any type of disaster.

In general, the aftermath of a disaster is very specific to the location, type of event, and level of preparedness of individuals, but even so, there are a few general situations we must consider…

A smart prepper must acknowledge that no matter how
well-prepared he or she may be, the chances are that you will encounter one of
the situations described in this article. How these situations will affect them
depends solely on the precautions they took, their survival knowledge and
skills, but also past experiences.

Before we go further, I must clarify that when I’m saying
past experiences, I’m not talking about having to survive through various
disasters and becoming better prepared (although such experiences will become
an “added bonus,” if you will, to your survival knowledge).

I’m talking here about real-life practices you’ve
experienced in various situations. Maybe you have some survival training, and
maybe you like to go camping, maybe you have first-aid training, etc.
Situations where the stress factor may or may not have been present, and
overall, you manage to get something out of such experiences.

Regardless of what you are prepping for, the general
repercussions we will cover in this article will be present once the event is
over. I have to stress this once more; the level of impact of any disaster is
directly dependent on factors such as:

I also believe that it’s a good exercise to compare and analyze the impact of these threats by looking at past disasters in your area, but also by looking at current situations developing around the world (like the coronavirus pandemic in China).

Here are the most common threats you will encounter after an SHTF event

Economic instability

The severity of the disaster will certainly create economic
problems for the affected area, may it be regional or national. You can take a
major economic hit if the situation escalates, and there’s no telling how it
will affect your budget.

In certain cases, you will not be able to access your bank
account or use your credit cards. You may lose your income due to illness or
your workplace might be closed for a long time due to the event.

Even more, the supply and demand will dictate how the
economy will evolve in certain areas, and it may take a long time for local
businesses to recover. You can expect certain survival products and even
products we take for granted to be in low supply or not available at all. How
you deal with this situation depends on how well you prepared for the economic
aftermath of the disaster.

Having enough cash and supplies on hand will help you
survive longer than others, but you also have to figure out ways to supplement
your budget if the event extends longer than expected.

Do you have a backup plan if you were suddenly laid off?

Do you have enough to last you in case you are not able to
buy more?

And last, but definitely not least, consider your barter
options and the items you have that could be useful for bartering.

What’s going on in China?

If we look at the current situation in China, we can see
that not only the Hubei province has taken a major economic hit, but the entire
country. A lot of people will end up bankrupt after all this blows off and the
major problem is that China is the biggest supplier of materials and finite
products for most businesses around the world.

This means that if you depend on them to provide the
required resources to operate your business, you will have to find other
suppliers, increase prices and cost operations, and so on. And let’s face it. Nowadays,
everything is “Made in China.”

Essential services shutdown

Any type of local or regional disaster will cause
disruptions in essential services. For example, let’s look at how hurricanes
affect certain areas and how procuring clean water becomes a problem in the
aftermath of such a natural disaster. Services shutdown is one of the most
common threats you will have to face and you need to be prepared to deal with
the disruptions in essential services.

A serious prepper should acknowledge that a grid shutdown, water shortages, and shutdowns, and problems in telecommunication occur even during a small-scale disaster. During a prolonged event, you will have problems with heating or cooling your home, providing light for your family or keeping food fresh without refrigeration and freezing.

A few suggestions to prepare for such aftermath would be to:

What’s going on in China?

After doing a little research online, I found out there are
only a few areas that have a problem with water distribution and there’s
nothing major about it. However, power outages and gas shutdowns are known to
take place (some buildings are being cut off from gas lines since locked up
residents threatened to blow up their apartments).

Cash seems to be disappearing since they are destroying the
bills that they don’t manage to disinfect, and it’s becoming more and more
difficult to pay for supplies.

Sanitation may become a problem as many pets are locked in
homes without food and water, and the outcome may lead to health risks. Also,
cleaning services are not working full service since there’s a fear of
contamination.

Breakdown of the food distribution and delivery chain

This is perhaps the hardest situation the “unprepared” will
encounter after a disaster hits their area. If you lack the essential supplies
your family needs for survival, it will become impossible to obtain such
supplies following a disaster. If a disaster causes road closures and
breakdowns in fuel distribution, people will be forced to rely on the supplies
they stored.

This is one of the most common threats of any disaster, and
people seem to ignore it completely. They don’t realize how real this is and
how fast it can affect them until it’s too late and the shelves are empty.

Panic buying is the result of people being unprepared and
uninformed, and we’ve seen it in the United States on various occasions. If you
think you are covered and you have everything you need to survive it’s still
better to cover the following:

The breakdown of the distribution chain may have a different
impact on people, and while some will need fuel, others will need medicine.

What’s going on in China?

You’ve probably seen online how panic buying is affecting
all China, and how they are fighting over toilet paper and other items that, as
said before, we take for granted. While the Hubei province is the most affected
region and fresh produce is a rarity, the panic buying situation has spread
over the border, including in the United States. I think there’s no point in
mentioning anymore how face masks and sanitizers are hard to find these days.

While city entrances and exits are being blocked is
interesting to follow how the Chinese army will manage to supply the residents
of Wuhan with even the basic supplies. Not only will we learn how the
government can take care of the people, but also how the people will start
acting when they no longer get what they need.

A downfall in the social order

If a disaster hits an area, certain elements of our society
will see it as a good opportunity to renew their stuff (electronics, clothes,
etc.) or to restock their liquor cabinets. Any aftermath of a major natural
disaster will bring violence, looting and increased criminality in the affected
area. Some people will become desperate to obtain food and water, while others
will figure out ways to increase their wealth.

Since most Americans don’t have a mindset for long-term
survival, and they are expecting the government to take care of their needs,
you can imagine what will happen if the government doesn’t deliver.

Unfortunately, until things go back to normal, there will
always be people who love to take advantage of these sorts of situations for
their own personal gain. If it comes to that, you should be prepared to defend
yourself and what’s yours. This is one of the common threats we need to pay
attention to because looters can shoot back and a proper force response is
required.

What’s going on in China?

Except for Hong Kong, where people are still protesting even
tough restrictions have been imposed. The situation In the Hubei is calm and
desperate at the same time. In large cities, people can’t protest because those
that do not follow the party’s “recommendations” are locked inside their homes.
This may very well lead to them dying locked in like animals in cages because
there will be no one to check on them.

On the other hand, in smaller towns, people are fighting with their neighbors for resources and there’s a lockdown imposed where outsiders are removed by force and those willing to visit relatives or friends are being denied entrance.

Sanitation and Health Issues

The lack of adequate sanitation and proper medical care are common threats you will encounter after an SHTF event. This becomes a problem for regions that lack the supplies and medical personnel that can provide proper assistance. Not to mention that children and the elderly may be the first affected if health issues occur.

Think about the sewage system not working and the garbage
trucks stopping, and you will understand while sanitation could become a
life-threatening problem.

Also, in case fuel is in short supplies or roads are damaged,
you may not reach a hospital in time. What would you do in such a case? How
well-prepared are you to deal with such a scenario? Do you have any medical
training?

Even basic first-aid training may save your life or the
lives of your loved ones, and having a medical kit or a medical training
survival book is priceless when a medical problem arises.

What’s going on in China?

As the pandemic is causing health problem due to is nature,
one of the main thing people fail to realize is that people that might suffer
from other illnesses or are suspected of coronavirus infection will eventually
get in contact with already infected patients. This is due to the fact that
hospitals are full, medical personnel is not enough to handle a large number of
patients (they are literally dying of exhaustion), and overall, there’s a
general panic and people don’t follow protocols.

You may have a medical issue that is not life-threatening,
and by searching for medical aid, you will end up with something worse. Also,
the lack of proper quarantine measures will just lead to the virus spreading
more and more. The Diamond Princess cruise ship is a perfect example of that.

A Last Word

Before you start criticizing my decision to bring the
coronavirus situation into this article and play the old record of the “The flu
has killed more people,” stop, take a break, and think why I did so. My
intention was not to scare anyone, but instead, to show readers that these
common threats are real and are happening right now as you finish riding this
article.

Rather than concentrating your time and effort on arguing with people on the internet, concentrate your energy on figuring out how well-prepared you are for such threats and what you can do to improve your situation—just my two cents.

This content was originally published here.

I have a question. Would you please take a moment to explain your own prediction of how SHTF will occur in USA? How do you think it will be different than in your own country? How do you predict it will start, and how will it spread? Finally what is your prediction of how will SHTF end? Of course it is only your personal prediction but I highly value your words. If you would respond to this question I would be most grateful. Thank you.

It is hard to give any prediction for anything, but my opinion, and i say again it is only my opinion. It is gonna be very bad. Worst. Why? Several reasons, and to say at beggining most important reason is not about it is USA, most important reason is because it is highly industialized and modern society.

And great majority of people is forget, or even never heard about lot of things, like how to grow food, or how to be without eletricity, internet,clean water. How to fight for that almost every day.
How to wash their clothes, with hands, how to roast coffe beans on fire, how to transfer big tree into the small firewood. How many households in modern society have wood stoves in their houses, apartments?

There s gonna be lot of desperate people.There is gonna be a lot of angry people.

It is not about USA, it is actually how modern society is, funny but for poorly organized countries it is gonna be like “oh my God, not again” but for modern societies it is gonna be like “oh my God it is the end of everything”. Big difference.

Now please do not understand me wrong, at the end all comes to the single man,and groups of people,how good they organized. Societies will fail. Prepared man can survive lot of things.
Everything comes to the end, i am beliveing that we are not first here, and not gonna be last on this place, important thing is what kind of people we gonna be?

We as humans have become arrogant and forgot where we come from.

This content was originally published here.

Image from Häggström, Mikael (2014). “Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.008. ISSN 2002-4436. Public Domain.

It is one of those things that lot of people do not see, that when SHTF they will have big problems with and due to sleep deprivation.

Reasons are many, maybe it is going to be too dangerous so you’ll be forced to stay awake for prolonged time, or simply your sleep cycle will be messed up because you’ll be depressed when SHTF, or you will not have enough time for quality sleep…

It is important to understand what you can expect when sleep deprivation gets you…

 Your Performance

I use to call that feeling –„being in a bubble“.

It is like being on drugs that makes you feel like you do not care about things around you.

For example you find yourself in situation when you do not care are you going to be shot, you clearly see that you have high chances to be shot from sniper on very dangerous intersection, you see that odds are high for that, but you taking that small chance (of not being shot) and go over that intersection, partly because you do not care and partly because you are feeling invincible.

You are in the „bubble“, in a strange state of feelings and processing information around you and that „bubble“ came, largely, from sleep deprivation.

Your perception of danger situation gets twisted in weird ways, and you react different, sometimes you want to be hero without reasons, or sometimes you become coward – again without reason.

Let’s at least say it moves you out of your „normal“.

Once, I was hiding for 3 days in ruined house with my friend, while unit of soldiers were out on the street.

Maybe 50 people with one tank, they were drinking and occasionally entering houses around our house to check for stuff, their tank was broken, something with engine and they kept the engine roaring almost all the time, fixing something with fuel or oil.

We did not sleep for those 3 days, we were ready to jump in a split second if they entered our house. On the third day my friend announced to me that he is writing poem about this situation, and I myself was very close to going out to the guys and tell them that I do not believe in war or something like that, in the belief they’d respond with ‘Okay, well then go from here(!?!)’.

Luckily that day they moved away after they fixed the engine.

Weird Things

It is subjective, but based on my personal experience you can expect after 3-4 days of no sleeping during SHTF  to see things that are not there, or on the other hand not to see things that there. (Toby comment: Be aware this can happen MUCH sooner in some people, even in less than 24hrs depending on the stressors around, age of the individual and overall fatigue level, among other influences)

This fact was reason for many deaths, and also it was reason for many scary legends in that time.

Personally I saw couple of times people that are not falling down after clearly being shot several times, dead people walking,  strange lights, sounds, or simply let’s say ‘ghosts’.

I learned over the time to notice and observe things like that, but not to react, otherwise I would probably have gone crazy.

When you hear baby crying 10 meters from you in abandoned and ruined house in the middle of night and you follow the sound and go there, and there is nothing there, but now same sound coming from other room that can give you some weird feelings in your guts.

You observe, but not react-otherwise you go crazy.

Fear and lack of sleep will play with your mind.

What Can You Do?

Just like with lot of other things connected with SHTF very often you can not do s..t with sleep deprivation because it simply will be there, but there are things that you can consider because they help:

-Stay Healthy

Sleep deprivation when SHTF is always accompanied with other things, so it is good to at least take away that other things. If you are having diarrhea, or you are malnourished, or simply you are out of shape AND you are in the middle of sleep deprivation that makes things a lot worse.

If you are in good shape and having lack of sleep, it is something that you can work with, you can survive.

– Do Not Be Alone

It is good old SHTF advice- do not be alone. Being with someone means that you can have support, someone who can recheck your decisions (or vice versa), someone who can take lead when you are „down“ or simply someone who can be awake while you are taking short sleep.

Be Careful With Stimulants (drugs, alcohol. etc…)

It is maybe not „politically correct“ to say, but again based on personal experience drugs and alcohol are helping in sleep deprivation BUT only in short terms, on longer terms actually they will f..k you up even more, so be VERY careful with that, nothing can beat a short normal nap.

Have Short Naps!

I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I had a full night sleep during my SHTF period. But I did have short naps. 20-30 minutes. And they help.

Even in the middle of shelling or fight, somewhere hidden (more or less) I would put sunglasses on and cotton in ears and had short nap. It was very „shallow“ sleep.

At night sunglasses can minimize the effects of flashes around you, and cotton can take away a bit of detonations sound. (yes, good thing to store today is „eye covers” for sleeping and ear plugs)

Sleep Deprivation and You

I have to point out that my SHTF experience was bit „drastic“, so you may not be found in middle of shelling, but still I can assure you that you will have problems with sleep deprivation when SHTF because of the amount of new situations that SHTF brings, so be prepared for that.

This content was originally published here.