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Sunday, December 15, 2013

What's Your SHTF Plan?

This article came from Bob Rinear from the International Forecaster. Bob is common sense and represents a large segment of people who understand we are in bad place and bad things can happen. He understands that some sort of minimal preparation is necessary to weather some problems. He is certainly not a "hard core" prepper, but I think there are many more like him in this country that those of us who are perhaps more prepared. Anyway a good read and I have commented where I thought it appropriate. Cheers, UrbanMan.

Bob's article: 

(At a weekend getaway)....we figured we needed a cocktail or two at the outside lounge before calling it a day, and soon we found ourselves in a pretty deep discussion with a couple that was visiting from Ohio. One thing led to another and somehow we got into chatting about the reality of our economy. Well, “Ron” was pretty versed in what was happening in the economy, with Obama and his administration, and how ugly things really looked. I thought I met my long lost brother.

But he hit me with a question that so many people ask me when we talk about what’s really going on. Basically he asked “What are you going to do when the SHTF?” (for those not so vulgar that’s short for when the crap hits the fan) So I thought that I’d offer up some points of view about what you all have to decide. What are YOU going to do? If we experience a currency collapse, and it spins out of control, what are your plans? Do you have any at all?

First off we have to measure the level of ugly you think we might experience. Right there you’ve got a major problem because we really don’t know. Are we going to have a “mad Max” type of a situation with roving bands of animalistic gangs killing, raping and stealing? Is Obama’s homegrown Homeland defense army going to take over the streets? Martial law? Or, are we just going to have a period of real poor economic activity but “life goes on, relatively normal, just harder?”

I don’t know that answer folks. Maybe it is some brain defect I have, but I really don’t want to envision a total societal collapse. Everyone is so completely dependent on the connected society that’s been built; things get ugly quickly when just a few things don’t work. Remember I lived through sandy and saw what no power, no water, no cell phone towers, no gas stations did to some people. Most adopted a spirit of community, and tried to help their neighbor. Some “lost it” and acted completely out of character. Fist fights over a tank of gas was common. Thieves hit affected areas just hours after the storm.

That was a storm that only affected a few states and really…only the coast lines of those states. What if we’re talking no ATM’s, No power, no pumping stations…across MOST of the nation? Can you imagine the stealing, the fights over food and water? A man who was once the nicest guy in the neighborhood could turn into a pretty desperate bad guy when he can’t find any food to feed his kids. Is that possible? It isn’t impossible; we simply pray that isn’t the situation.

So, again…I think you have to plan for the level of “ugly” that you think an economic collapse will bring. Frankly I tend to think that deep down inside, people know that they’ve given up their ability to survive if something horrid were to happen. By that I mean that over the past 50 -60 years we’ve jammed folks into suburbs, but we made them sterile. We outlawed the family garden. We outlawed having a chicken coop. We’ve bought into gated communities where you can’t plant a lousy tomato plant, hang your laundry on a clothes line, or park your pickup in the driveway.

UrbanMan Comment: If you don't plan for worst case you run a much higher chance of being consumed by it.

People know they’re screwed if things don’t keep working the way they’ve had it. So, for the “most” part I tend to think that people will quietly go along with what ever the “authorities” tell them to do. I think riots could and will happen, but mostly in cities. But, we have to figure that at some point, some form of normalcy evolves. Again, unless we go into “mad Max” and it’s every man for himself, Killing and shooting for a can of corn, we’ll come out the other side of the economic collapse. It might not resemble what we have now, but some form of stability “should” ensue.

It is the period between when an economic collapse hits, and some form of solutions to it are presented that you have to plan for. I don’t know how long that period would be, and again you all have to judge that for yourself. Some will decide nothing will ever happen, and others will decide that we’re going into every man for himself, never to see society recover. I’m in the middle, whether that’s right or wrong. I think that when they yank the dollar, and we see a coordinated global depression, things could get ugly for a while. If banks were to be closed for a couple weeks, and social security was now impossible to use, and the welfare, food stamps etc didn’t work, yeah.. things could get ooogly quickly. I don’t want to be there.

I live in a town, in a development. Lets face it, it is indefensible. A band of thugs looking for stuff to steal ( or kill, or rape etc) could come from the front, back or sides. Think about your particular house for a moment. Even if you’re armed, can you really defend your property 24/7 front, back and sides? Not a chance. You might not have power. You have to sleep.

UrbanMan Comment: Absolutely right. That's why you have to have a survival team. Food prep and procurement, water collection and filtration, providing security, sleeping, etc., are all essential tasks can be done better and safer with a decent sized team. Three people will survival better than one. Six better than three. You are limited by your resources on the size of your team. But I have always said a survival team will grow unexpectedly with strap hangers as people you know will make their way to you after the crisis is apparent or the situation appears to be dire. Be prepared for that.

So what did I tell “Ron” at the Westin during a great conversation over cocktails? I told him that we’ve got some acreage out in the middle of nowhere. We put in a manual water well that you pump with the old lever style. We have an RV that’s tuned and gassed. At the first signs of REAL trouble, where it looks like things are going to get really ugly we’re “outta here”. We’ll be armed, have food stores for approximately 3-4 weeks, got water, and have enough gold and silver coins to feel good and a wad of cash.

UrbanMan comments: Roger the location and water. Precious metals and cash are a good idea too. Food? Three weeks really? How about 6 months at a minimum, and a way to procure, grow food after that.

Our immediate neighbors are hunters, and good old fashioned down to earth types that will indeed “protect” their property. It’s a good crowd to be around if things get really silly.

Perfect? Hardly, But it does get us out of a crowded town, for enough time to see what is really going to transpire. I don’t WANT to plan for anything deeper than that. A get away until things settle down. If I’m wrong and we really go Mad Max and civil society is not going to happen again, well… I’d have to figure things out on the fly at that point. But as I wrote last year after living through Sandy, just having some “basic” survival items on hand can really make a big difference in your lifestyle during a “disaster”.

UrbanMan comments: "I don’t WANT to plan for anything deeper than that." That's right, you and many others I suspect. I don't want to plan for anything bad to happen either, but I do.

Each of you will have to ponder the future and decide if “nothing” will happen, “something” will happen, or something “terrible” will happen. Then you’ll plan accordingly. As I said, I don’t want to plan for total apocalypse, I wish not to “go there”. But a place to bug out to for a bit if things got whacky is what I decided on. It is a very personal decision for everyone, and my guess is that 90% will do nothing… and could end up right. I actually hope and pray they are.

UrbanMan comments: I agree with you that each of us will have to decide and take appropriate actions based on that decision and within our means. And I agree that 90% will do nothing,..or not be prepared for the worst cases scenario.


  1. My 'prepping' is very basic. I have a homestead where I've lived for 35 years. I'm constantly upgrading and maintaining infrastructure, well, water system, electrical system and generator, chicken facilities and goat pens, etc. I'm about to retire and feel like I need to plan for 5 years out. Will I need a new water heater in that time frame? Probably, so I have an extra on hand. I have an extra pump on hand. Our food stores are now in the 3-4 year range and counting. I am buying Silver Eagles regularly. Next on the list is getting more 'liquid' with our investments. If nothing happens, I'll use this stuff anyway, but probably save money in the long run when inflation kicks in.

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