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How to Start Prepping for SHTF

How to Start Prepping for SHTF
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Interested in how to start prepping for SHTF? This article breaks down various aspects of prepping so someone with an interest in survivalism should not feel overwhelmed.

Prepping for SHTF can be a daunting task. Some people new to prepping / survivalism may become overwhelmed with stockpiling ammunition, selecting a SHTF survival firearm, storing food in mylar bags… etc.

Kevin Felts political commentator

Believe it or not, prepping for SHTF can be an easy process, that is if someone understands what they are prepping for.

Where does someone begin prepping for SHTF? For people new to prepping they should turn to history.

Over the course of a several millennia humanity has faced various events. These events include everything from an Ice Age to outbreak of bubonic plague in the middle ages.

SHTF Historical Examples


Pick up a history book and study what happened during outbreaks of the bubonic plague; what were some of the problems people faced?

For example, during outbreaks of bubonic plague in the middle ages great numbers of people starved to death. Starvation was a constant threat, just as the plague was. Why did so many people starve? Because the merchants and people who shipped the goods died. With nobody to bring food from the farm to the market, people in towns and cities starved to death.

What does this teach us? When we have a modern plague outbreak, people living in the cities will be the most prone to the disease and starvation. With this knowledge, people can develop backyard gardens, have a few laying hens, plant some fruit trees, learn how to preserve food… etc.

Chances are most people would be amazed at how much food can be grown in a backyard garden. There is a gardening concept called square foot gardening. The idea is to build a wooden frame divided into one foot squares. Each plant gets one square foot of space.

Without modern canning facilities, people will need to can and preserve their own food after SHTF.  A pressure canner and several books on canning would be a good investment.  Not just one book on canning, but several books.  Canning books sometimes focus on jellies, soups, meats and other odds and ends.  So get several books on various topics.

Understanding Disease Transmission After SHTF

Going back to examples from the Middle Ages, who were the first people to become infected with the plague?  They were merchants, people transporting goods, and people who worked in docks and markets.

Today, those would be people who work at airports, and near airports.

  • Airline stewardess
  • Cab / bus drivers at the airport
  • Hotel workers
  • Restaurant workers
  • Airport security

For example, how many people will the average airport security person have face-to-face contact with? Take the person who looks at passengers identification at the airport. That person has face-to-face contact with hundreds, if not thousands of people on a daily basis.

A sick person touches their identification, hands it to the security person, the germs are then on the security persons hands, who then touches more identification from other people.

From the restaurants, the disease is spread to travelers and truck drivers.  From the truck drivers to the warehouse, to the stores, and finally to the customer.

What is the driving force for people to leave their home?  Food, water, medicine, baby food, are a few examples.

Stockpiling Food For SHTF

Interested in stockpiling food for SHTF?  The simple answer is to stockpile what the family eats on a regular basis.

Stockpiling Mountain House freeze dried pouches for SHTF

Military surplus Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) have a short lifespan as compared to food stored in mylar bags and freeze dried. Freeze food has a expected shelf life of around 30 years, while MREs are only around 7 years.

A low cost option to storing food for SHTF is beans, rice, and oatmeal stored in mylar bags.  The bags are easy to find, and the process is not overly complicated.

Medical and First Aid Training

Take a class in first aid and CPR.

Know the effects of food poisoning.

Stockpile first aid supplies – such as bandages.

Understand how various diseases are transmitted through the air, water, eggs, and meat.

What conditions need to be present for botulism to develop?

A local community college may have continuing education classes on stuff such as first aid and child care, which could come in handy while prepping for SHTF.

Electricity, Water and Sewage

In a grid down situation basic services such as running water, electricity and sewage may stop working.

Generators are a short term solution to a long term problem.  Stockpiling gasoline can be expensive.  In some cases a generator is justified, such as for people with medical conditions.

The reader should ask themselves, “What purpose will the generator serve?”  For most people it is to keep food in the refrigerator and freezer cold until the food can be eaten.

For other people, maybe the generator is used to run a window air conditioner unit in the blistering hot summer.

Rather than relying on a generator to provide lights, consider a solar panel and rechargeable LED lanterns.  LED lanterns pose a very low fire risk, are safer than kerosene lanterns, and are cost effective.

How does city sewage stop working?  The local municipality has pumps which pump the sewage to the treatment plant. When the pumps stop working, sewage will eventually back up into the homes. there are stories of prolonged power outages and sewage backing up to the point where toilets start overflowing into the home.

Unfortunately there is little we can do to stop sewage from backing up. What we can do however is dig a hole in the backyard, set up a small tent, and let the hole be the toilet.

Firearms For SHTF

Let’s cut to the chase:

  • 22 long rifle – Bolt action, Ruger 10/22, or a Marlin Model 60.
  • 223 Remington / 5.56mm – Colt 6920, S&W MP 15.
  • 308 Winchester – Bolt action, FN/FAL, M1A, PTR-91.
  • 30-30 Winchester – Marlin 336 lever action.
  • Shotgun – Remington 870, Mossberg model 500

308 Winchester rifle for SHTF

Survivalist with a Marlin Model 60, AR-15, bolt action rifle in 308 Winchester and a Remington 870 should be well armed for just about anything.  This would cover everything from small game, to self-defense, to hunting deer sized game.

However, there are some parts of the world where the 308 Winchester is less than adequate, such as were grizzly bears are known to roam.  For people who live near dangerous animals, pick a firearm best suited for your location.

Final Thoughts on Prepping For SHTF

Developing a well rounded SHTF survival plan does not happen overnight. Prepping for SHTF takes time, money, and dedication.

The reader should answer the question if they are willing to dedicate the time and resources to prepping for SHTF.  Then again, is there really an option?

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Kevin Felts was born and raised in southeast Texas, graduated from Bridge City high school Bridge City Texas, and attended Lamar College in Port Arthur Texas. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family. In his free time you may find Kevin working around the farm, building something, or tending to the livestock
Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018