Preparing For When TSHTF – It’s What Preppers Do

This is for those who just started looking into prepping and for the old timers who have been around awhile and need a refresher… Why Do We Prepare? We assume that at some point in our lifetime some kind of disaster will happen that will cause us to fall back on our preps to survive, or at least weather the storm comfortably – whether that storm be an economic crash, some kind of actual weather event, or a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood.  Having made this assumption we do what we do:  we prepare for these various events as best we can by storing resources for later consumption and future protection.  Storing food, water, sometimes guns and ammunition, and having a place to go or a “bug-out” location is part of how we prepare. We do what we think necessary to take care of our families during these rough times.  Some believe that the disaster is just around the corner and others think that we’ve got anywhere from two to ten years before it comes.  We often disagree about how bad things will get, but the one thing we all have in common is that we continue to prepare. What To Do? There are many things you can do to lower your exposure to various risks and this list is by no means comprehensive:
  • Store food – make sure it’s something you’ll use by rotating your stock
  • Store water (and learn how to purify it)
  • Take first aid classes and store medical supplies
  • If possible live in your bug-out location
  • Read as much as you can about possible threats and learn what you can do to minimize them
  • Learn how to use a gun properly
  • Learn others way to defend yourself in dangerous situations.  This doesn’t mean you have to attend a police or military university, but some form of learning and training is recommended.  Learning basic melee or hand to hand combat techniques could be difference between life and death.
  • Store ammunition for the guns you buy
  • Start a garden
  • Learn how to can vegetables and meat
  • Find a suitable bug-out location and try and figure out when it’s time to leave
  • Make a bug-out plan for your family and don’t forget to plan for young children, the elderly, handicapped, pets and so on
  • Learn wilderness survival skills
  • Get physically fit and eat a proper diet
  • If you don’t have a lot of money learn how to prep on a budget
  • Get out of debt
There are many sites dedicated to prepping.  Depending on the author(s) some are more radical than others.  You have to find a level of prepping that you’re comfortable with and then get started. What Will People Think? Nothing, if you do it right.  One of the tenets of prepping is OPSEC, or Operation Security.  Simply put this means that you don’t go around advertising that you’re storing food and other supplies for several different reasons.  The first reason is that for those people who don’t prep is that if they know you do the first thing that will happen after TSHTF is that they’ll show up on your doorstep with their family looking for you to take care of them.  Unless you’re willing to store extra food for others who aren’t prepared you’ll want to keep your activities quiet. The other reason is that people may regard you as slightly crazy for thinking that anything could ever happen to the edifice we call civilization; however, if they looked a little closer they might see it starting to crumble around the edges like we do. What If Your Spouse Isn’t On Board? Ranger Man wrote a post on that very topic that you can read here. Get Started Whether or not the economy is going to crash taking civilization with it, or an EMP from the sun or a nuclear device will knock out the electric grid, or a tornado or other natural disaster, we – as preppers – can rest easier knowing that we have at least started putting things aside for dark times. The time to start preparing is now.  I don’t have any special foresight into the future, but simply watching the news and keeping track of world events I realize that things are on pretty shaky ground now and I choose to be as prepared as I can in case those dark times do happen. Good luck and start prepping if you haven’t. -Jarhead Survivor
26 comments… add one
  • fatemeh ghanbari July 16, 2012, 7:30 am


  • Spook45 July 16, 2012, 9:26 am

    In all actuality, I prep regardless. The truth is , in such an uncertain world and living in the styx with limited resources to respond to general emergancies, having preps just gives you tools to work with when the cips are down and makes you a whole lot more cofortable when bad things happen. In todays climate, one cannot deny the poltical implications that are blatentley before us, however, I would hv a certain amount of preps even without those issues.

  • Charles,,,, July 16, 2012, 9:38 am

    WHOAAAA, that Sir is an excellent motivational speech, BRAVO… and thank you, it’ll shake one’s root’s if they have gone dead for sure. And to answer question’s the one most asked is why prep, even the none preppers prep, to fail, well even in other term’s, they buy all sorts of insurance against probability’s, we purchase umberella’s, blanket’s etc., and store these item’s for later use, and the sense of it is most prepping is to ward off shortages, water, food, fuel, for whatever term it endures, short, long, that is the question. To me, peppers are deep thinker’s with open hearts and minds, I was on a road trip, lying in a motel bed I thought of what if the lights went out tonight, how would I return home which was a 1000 mile journey, so kaa-ching, a two hundred dollar atm withdrawel was made the very next day in the event that I’ll have to buy a bicycle for the journey, if nothing happens by Christmas then I’ll have a stash toward the festivities…. Prep on my friend’s. “C”

  • BillyB July 16, 2012, 9:38 am

    It seems to me that there are at least five concepts that a prepper must get comfortable with:

    1) When the S hits TF, it won’t look like you think it will;

    2) The S won’t hit TF precisely when you think it will;

    3) There is no such thing as being perfectly prepared for any & every possible kind of S hitting TF (especially on a budget), you must prioritize your most likely scenarios and most broadly useful preps;

    4) Realize that if the S never hits TF, all you’ve done is provide yourself a “free” 6-month supply of supplemental food, and a bunch of other useful stuff that you might not otherwise have; and

    5) In addition to others thinking you’re crazy, you should get used to periods of thinking that you’re crazy YOURSELF. Especially as the S keeps on NOT hitting TF. This is the “normalcy bias” at work in you, and you should look at the world and potential futures as logically as you can, without that “normalcy” filter. If you conclude from a logical assessment of the evidence that everything is dandy, everything will continue to be dandy indefinitely, and “nothing can posibliye go rong”, then good luck to you .

    • Brad July 17, 2012, 4:37 pm

      Good reply…….especially #5. Sometime we think it is for naught.

  • Jason July 16, 2012, 10:34 am

    What will people think? I had a good laugh with that one! (Nothing negative mind you). I subscribe to the old adage – “what others think of me is none of my business”.

    When I drive around & observe people or meet individuals or see those that shop in the various stores I frequent, I don’t worry at all because most are so caught up into their own thoughts & lives, that they are too blind to see.

    I’ve got LOTS of supplies – food, water, ammo etc & accumulated it over a relatively short period of time, just a bit everyday as if it is my normal routine. I do not buy in the obvious bulk quantities & may lose out on a 10-15% discount because that draws attention.

    I have found it is pretty easy to hide in plain sight.

  • irishdutchuncle July 16, 2012, 10:38 am

    bad things happen all the time to bad people…
    and to good people.

    who among us is so special that nothing bad could ever possibly happen to him?

    • Jason July 16, 2012, 10:08 pm


      • irishdutchuncle July 17, 2012, 9:08 am

        i’m not entirely certain, but i think “the book” says differently.

        • Jason July 17, 2012, 3:48 pm

          “who among us is so special that nothing bad could ever possibly happen to him?”

          Satan is only bad so no bad can happen to him :-)

          • Brad July 17, 2012, 4:41 pm

            Unless “The Man” comes back and shows him differently.

  • Leon July 16, 2012, 11:17 am

    “The Unthinkable” by Amanda Ripley, is an excellent book to recommend to people who are wavering in the “To-prep-or-not-to prep” aspect.

  • GA July 16, 2012, 11:23 am

    If only there was a way to get that message out to John Q Public. Well-put. I think some of these recent television shows have portrayed preparedness as something people on the fringe of society do. Any incident can be a SHTF situation for an individual and their loved ones. It doesn’t have to be an EMP or bank runs to destroy your personal world as you know it.

    • irishdutchuncle July 17, 2012, 10:48 pm


  • smokechecktim July 16, 2012, 12:13 pm

    you keep full coverage on your car…because just maybe.
    you get house insurance with the flood option…because just maybe
    you get life insurance…because just maybe
    you change oil to prevent a just maybe
    I have $500. in $5 dollar bills…because just maybe
    I have a store of long shelf life food….because just maybe
    I have a portable water purification system…because just maybe
    I have several guns and a supply of ammo…because just maybe
    most people actually prep every day they just dont realize that they are doing it and havent reached to final conclusion that most of us have reached. We dont know what the “just maybe” will turn out to be but we want to be able to react and respond to whatever it is and keep those who we care about as safe and as comfortably as we can.

  • JL July 16, 2012, 2:25 pm

    I am worried about running out of time. I have only been prepping for about 1 year. I also started slowly, I have been picking up the pace though.

  • child of Odin July 16, 2012, 10:12 pm


    We prep because we are a terrorist threat. Just ask the department of homeland insanity…er security.

    • Brad July 17, 2012, 4:49 pm


  • lee July 17, 2012, 1:24 am

    As a child in the 60’S and 70’s,
    my famley would cut tons of wood and can 1500 jars of food.
    Not as preepers, just for the winter.
    I did not become a prepper, I was unknowingly raised a prepper.

    • countrycousin July 17, 2012, 10:13 am

      That is how I grew up, also! I come a very small town & EVERYONE prepped. It was considered prudent to store alot more than you would need in case next year had a crop/garden failure or someone else had a need for help from others.
      I can’t ‘not prep’! Prepping is part of me.

      • ORRN on LI July 17, 2012, 11:56 am

        How lucky some of you are to have those skills and mind set already. I have been learning to grow/preserve on my own and it’s difficult and time consuming to learn from mistakes as I go. But I figure it is better to learn now then when my 2 little girls are looking up at me and saying they are hungry or cold etc. I appreciate this site and all the info you have to offer.

    • Anonymous July 17, 2012, 11:28 am

      How lucky you are to have those skills and mind set already. I am trying to learn a lot of the growing and preserving on my own and it’s hard and time consuming learning from mistakes along the way. But this is the time to be learning, not when my 2 little girls are looking up at me and saying they’re hungry. I appreciate this site and all the useful information.

  • gat31 July 17, 2012, 3:35 am

    When we enter school, we “prepare” for knowledge and our future.
    When we enter adulthood we “prepare” for life.
    When we get our first car we “prepare” for a possible accident and we get insurance. Everything we do throughout our lives helps us “prepare” for the next step in our lives.
    To me “prepping” is just another part of the life we want to live. In my case l want to keep my family safe, fed, and hopefully afloat in case of a disaster. Be it a hurricane, a fire, a job loss, or whatever else might come down the road. To me it’s just another type of insurance.
    So try not to telegraph it to the world what you are doing. If you can’t get your family on board right away, treat it as insurance, and maybe your new “hobby” whatever you do, don’t let people talk you out of it if it makes you sleep better at night.

  • The Duck July 17, 2012, 10:40 am

    For those looking to save a bit of coin
    Honeyville grain is running a 20% off sale through Friday

    Coupon code: sizzle

    • Walt July 17, 2012, 8:14 pm

      Thanks for the reminder, I saved over $50.

  • smokechecktim July 18, 2012, 10:43 am

    Just gave honeyville another $100. I hate those guys, they make me give them money all the time


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