There are so many different things and scenarios we find ourselves
prepping for, food caches, bug out plans, what to do if…, etc. It can become
overwhelming and we end up forgetting
about important matters. Like for example the places to avoid when the brown
stuff hits the fan.
This is an important topic that is good to know
regardless of the imminent survival scenario lurking around the corner.
How about facts such as, for example, that roughly two-thirds of the
United States population is located on
the eastern half of our states? Did you ever stop to think what that could really potentially mean?
And if we are being completely honest with ourselves, the greatest threat to you and your family’s safety is, in many cases, other people. No, all humans are not bad, and that is not what is being said. Obviously, we all, together, make the world go round. So, therefore, this is not some “hate all humans and hermit yourself into your bunker until all is safe” kind of article.
The human factor
Under “normal” circumstances, most
(major emphasis) people are naturally good natured and would give you the
shirts of their back. However, once people find themselves in a SHTF scenario, there is no telling how each individual will react.
Regular folk, just like you or I, will be doing what they absolutely need to in order to provide for their families and this can quickly become a threat to you. When you have large numbers of people whom are scared and willing to do anything to get away from immediate danger, you may find yourself grasping the difference between life and death for your family.
There are going to be people breaking into pawn shops and gun stores
for munitions. People will be invading hospitals and E.R. facilities to get treatment and medical
supplies. Imagine an armed gang overtaking a hospital…
So when the proverbial S hits the big Fan, how can you as a prepper
plan to bug out (or in) while being aware of the most dangerous places to
avoid? How are you going to mitigate population density to increase your
chances of keeping your family safe?
The number one problem people run into during an emergency is that they find themselves unprepared and then the terrible tantrum of panic sets in. When sensing danger, humans first instinct (typically) is to flee. This in itself can cause one hell of a mess in an immediate survival scenario.
Recommended reading:How To Travel When SHTF
In this article, we will be
discussing the top places to avoid when SHTF. Surely we have all seen what
happens prior to a major storm or
foreseen emergency; store shelves stripped of their typical products; you’ve
seen impossibly long lines at hardware stores where people are buying plywood,
generators and other emergency necessities.
But what about after SHTF?
Have you ever watched news clips, read stories online, or seen pictures and videos
of what happens after a major
emergency takes place. Looters are
cleaning out shoe departments, clothing outlets, and raiding electronic stores
for “free” stuff.
Look back the situation at
Ferguson a few years ago. Something went awry, and in the panic of the
populous, businesses were looted, homes were caught on fire, and a mob tore apart the
Again, this article will be about obvious places to avoid when things
go awry, such as superstores (Walmart, Target, etc.),
clothing stores, shopping malls, and electronic stores. Also covered in this
article will be places that you may have never thought of, but still the same
can be very dangerous post-emergency.
Places To Avoid
During disorder and disarray, generally people do one of two things:
tuck in and button up in the home (bug in) or seek safety and substance
elsewhere (bug out).
After an emergency event takes place and the rule of law is stretched
so thin as to near nonexistence, people are going to target places such a
dentist, doctor, and urgent care offices for medical supplies.
People are going to go “loot
crazy” and attempt to fill their houses with things they could not afford before the emergency (even if it is in vain…).
People are going to be raiding any store that has food and liquids.
Minus the looting portion, some of you preppers out there may have had
the same idea (I recommend you spend some time studying how to get supplies
when s does htf. As important as it is to
know where to find supplies after SHTF, it is equally important to know what
places to avoid. Violence and disease will become rampant, so history shows us.
Post-collapse, here are some places you should consider avoiding (or
if you do “go in” for emergencies sake, at least have some knowledge of what
could be happening before you go in).
It is likely that looters and the lesser society will be drawn to these sorts of places and it would be best to avoid
them at all costs:
These should be evaded under all circumstances. It is well known that risk of infection (especially in a hospital) is high, even under typical circumstances. However, as people begin dying, these places will become a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.
The chances are that in an emergency situation, hospitals will begin to quickly fill with patients who are extremely bad off. This alone will put you at risk for some serious emotional trauma, which also has an ugly effect on you during times of already existing stress.
Not to mention, they’ll attract crowds of people, and crowds are exactly what you want to avoid.
Malls and Public Squares
As things begin to grow chaotic just before
or right after SHTF, you will not want to find yourself near a large shopping
mall or a public square. These places will soon become a lair for despairing,
angry people. Also, rioting, looting and
violence will be a mock in these areas, therefore deeming them best to avoid.
Choke points are places where people will be forced together by the
routes they have decided to take. It is the same principle with bottleneck
points; these areas are anywhere that a majority of people much travel in order to get out of a neighborhood, city, county,
When the SHTF, a lot of people are going to be bugging out and some of
them will not do in the best way. These will be the ones to be wary of, panicked people who are just trying to
get away from whatever has happened and who
are more than likely short on supplies
and not sure of what to do.
If several hundred or thousands
of people are attempting to flee the same area, and everyone has to cross the
same bridge in order to get out of dodge, that point will quickly become a
bottleneck point. Bridges, tunnels, causeways, and freeway ramps are all
examples of points that can soon after SHTF become choke/bottleneck points.
Yes, obviously modern transport connections make our lives much easier, however, during a SHTF situation they can turn dangerous if not deadly. Imagine for a moment the chaos of a large airport after a major crisis. Major highways are obviously a problem as well. You will want to avoid the risks of collapsing transport systems.
Another reason to avoid transport nodes, especially if there is an EMP or nuclear threat, is that they will become targets. Airports and harbors, as well as highway intersections and bridges, become target points for when they are destroyed the transport network is slowed down and paralyzed. Mark them on your places to avoid list.
If you have properly prepped, stay far away from the grimy scenes of a
FEMA camp. Here you will find a constant and savage competition for the limited
resources found there. The camp itself will be
enveloped by people trying to get in or find food. City parks,
conservation areas, and state parks will soon after SHTF become refugee habitats for the unprepared.
Some people don’t see FEMA camps as places to avoid when it hits the
fan and they consider such places their salvation. These people are the unprepared,
the ones that live in denial. They will turn quickly on others when stuff will
In any serious crisis, large cities will break down extremely fast. Utilities will soon begin to fail, law enforcement and emergency services will be over-stressed, and all hell will soon break loose. Eventually, if the crisis goes on long enough, cities will become infested with disease and violence.
Also, there will not be much to find after SHTF because anything of any value will have been looted much
earlier in the crisis. In most cities, it
will take around three days for essential supplies to begin running out (which
is something that the dwellers of said city are typically not prepared for,
which leads to more trouble; and more reason to steer clear). In the city,
things will only continue to get worse and worse.
Auto Parts, and Convenience Stores
Desperate people will flock to these sort of stores. These are the first places they will think of to locate supplies. For anyone who wasn’t previously prepared, getting gas will be nearly impossible.
Long lines and tempers flaring will be reason enough to sit this one out. Once the pumps run dry and the shelves become barren wastelands, you can only imagine the violence that will break out. Surely you get the picture.
Hardware and Sporting Goods Stores
Guns, ammo, knives, bats, and any other tools that one can be used for protection will be high up on the
checklist of looters. This deems sporting
goods and hardware stores a dangerously busy place just before and after SHTF.
If you don’t already have weapons prior
to SHTF, your best bet is to improvise with something around the house
or in a different place than the looting hotspots that will become off hardware
and sporting goods stores. Gun stores should be avoided for the exact same reasons.
Check-Cashing, & Pawn Shops
Probably the first thing people will want to do when SHTF is accessing their money. They will wish to pull their cash out of their bank accounts. For this reason alone, banks, loan and check cashing offices will become overflowed with people seeking cash.
If services are down either due to computer shutdowns or the fact that
all the cash is already depleted, the
desperate folks who believed that cash would get them the supplies needed to
survive will become even more desperate and therefore dangerous.
For unmistakable reason, military bases are definitely a no-go. They are targets for nuclear/terrorist attacks, not to mention, do you really want to go perusing around because are protected by trained, nervous soldiers who will be just as startled as you?
During the crisis, the security of prisons will be under extreme tension. If the power fails, lighting, alarms and potentially locks could fail. There will be a high risk for escapes, and we can all envision how that may go… These escapees will be much more than desperate.
Gatherings and Public Events
It may be tempting to join a large gathering, for there is some strength in numbers, and it is sometimes nice to feel the reassurance that others are in the same boat as you. However, if you surmise in the least that things around you are getting a bit chaotic, get out of Dodge.
If you discern civil or economic disturbance or any other precursor to unrest, avoid large gatherings at all costs. If trouble is in the air, avoid major public events. These places will be filled with large crowds of people making them targets for terrorist attacks.
What to do Instead:
Now that we have a better grasp on places to avoid let’s discuss a few tips on how to go about avoiding these
places while maintaining your chances of survival.
Above are some key places to avoid when
SHTF. Crowds, in general, are a thing to elude, as there is always a
roaring beast named violence waiting just beneath the surface of the every day, hustling and bustling.
Especially post-SHTF, you will
want to always immediately avoid large crowds or areas with a lot of folks
moseying around. You will need to have a good bit of insight and intuition to
make it through just a few encounters
Taking on a whole crowd, when you are
prepared and they not, of desperate sheeple will not be very easy. Once
they see that you have supplies, you will quickly come into some dangerous
You must be able to take care of you and yours. This is not some hate speech against fellow
humans, nor does it promote that sort of perception. It is simply a truth that
if everyone, while simultaneously keeping
a level head, would simply mind their own and be courteous to others while
doing so, we could co-exist until things cooled off, got better, or…well, who
When things are running smooth, it is easy to get caught up in the everyday comforts. People are living and working closely together to keep the modern society operating smoothly. But let SHTF and “other people” will surely become a danger and threat to your survival.
The article ” Places to Avoid at all Costs” has been written by Jonathan Blaylock for Prepper’s Will.
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This content was originally published here.