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Friday, June 29, 2012

Evaluating a Reader's SHTF Preps

I recently received this via e-mail: "Urbanman, please give me some feedback on my preps: For firearms I have: a Colt 5 shot 38 special snubnose and 400 rounds of ammunition; a Woodsman 22 LR with 4 magazines and two bricks of ammunition which is 1,000 rounds; a 12 gauge ITHACA riot slide action shotgun with 150 rounds of mixed buckshot and slug; a 1903 Springfield rifle and 120 rounds of .30-06 ammunition; a Mini-14 rifle with four magazines and over 400 rounds of ammunition. I have a extra custom gastank in my truck bed so I can carry an extra 40 gallons. I have enough canned goods to easily last 30 days plus I have enough survival food in dehyrdated packs to last six months. I have a good tent and some sleeping bags but my main plan is to head to my wife's uncle's farm is about 340 miles away if the chaos is bad enough. What do you think?"

UrbanMan's comments: HTM, I am posting your e-mail and using it to push the agenda that equipment and material does not readiness to survive SHTF make. It takes more than equipment, guns and food. It takes long range planning, and contingencies in case those plans are not executable. While you have a good start on a Survival battery of firearms, taken the initiative to make your vehicle capable of longer road time, are on the way to a decent amount of stored food, and have a Bug Out location (Uncle's farm) which is probably a rural area reducing threats from a population gone mad, I don't have enough information to render a good opinion. Not do I want to know more and you should protect information (practice OPSEC) about your capabilities, preps and planning.

However, I would ask these questions to provoke thought on your end:

How many routes do you have to the farm? Have you thought about mechanical or other failures on your truck which would force you on foot? If so, could you get to the farm via other means? Have you thought about caching some supplies along the route and at the farm? Can you get everything you need into/onto your truck (in a hurry) to take with you?

Who else would show up at the farm? Is the Uncle and wife's family also prepping? Are they as prepared as you?

Is there a full year water source at the farm? Can you grow crops there? If so, do you have a stockpile of non-hybrid seeds? Can you build a greenhouse and grow some crops during cold weather months? Have you considered how you would store your harvest, such as canning?

What about your stocks of first aids items,..bandages, disinfectants, anti-infection creams, medical tape or cobain wrap, etc.

Is there sufficient hand tools at the farm? What about common tool sets and a decent supply of nails, screws and bolts?

Do you have a power supply at the farm? Such as solar or wind generated power for small power needs like re-charging batteries, running low wattage lights?

Do you keep any cash on hand for immediate purchases before the U.S. dollar is no longer acceptable? Do you have any precious metals such as silver or gold?

Concerning the firearms,....I would get a few more Mini-14 mags,...I would have much more ammunition on hand, especially for the Mini-14. Neither handgun you have are really suitable as a defensive handgun, but the first rule of a gunfight is to have a gun.

Don't take offense to my questions as they are given to create thought,.....we can all get better and to continue getting more prepared is the name of the game. Good luck.


  1. Good call on the magazines. Many survivalist/preppers stockpile ammunition for whatever reason-shortages, government taxation, ban, etc- and forget to complement their weapon systems with extra magazines. Im guilty of his myself. However I am working on it. For my AR15 I have 700 rds + 7 GI magazines. For my 1911 I only have 300 rounds + 4magazines, XDM only 500 rounds +5 magazines. Also I do need to acquire an ability to cook when power is down. As well as solar power capability. Even if its a limited solar capability. Something small to start with. In order to charge batteries, power a small radio and or low wattage lights. Like always-excellent food for thought on this post. Gave me a chance to evaluate my own system.

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