7 Things to Expect After the SHTF

7 things to expect after the SHTF. This is just 7 and there are many more. Most of these would hold true if the SHTF-event was local or national/world. The point of this post is to get people thinking of their own life and lifestyle and go through some mental exercises as to how life would be without this or that – or having to deal with changed circumstances. Visualization will not only assist in preparing but prepare you mentally for what might be coming.

1. No Heat and No Air Conditioning – When the grid goes down millions will find themselves cold in the wintertime and hot in the summer with power to operate central heating and air condition. This is not just a problem regarding temperature but will generate tremendous stress and frustrations.

2. Lack of Sleep – If people have difficulties sleeping worried about paying an upcoming bill, family problems, and issues at work imagine the effect of a SHTF event. Stress, worry, frustration, anger, concern, sadness – all these emotions will be felt and can will take its toll on getting quality sleep.

3. Body Odor – The level of sanitation is surely to be diminished by a substantial amount post-SHTF. No running water and stored water being rationed will result in wearing clothes longer between washings and “showers” being rare. Washing with a hand towel and heated water will be much more commonplace versus jumping in the shower.

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4. Weight Loss – Absence or rationing of food will create a massive weight loss that Weight Watchers could only dream of. Not only the absence of food but increased physical activity will contribute to finding clothes not fitting quite the same anymore.

5. Withdrawal From a Lack of Technology – People today are addicted to technology especially their cell phones. Watch people as they stand in line at the grocery store and you will see many checking emails, texts, and Facebook. When it suddenly comes to end people will be shocked into a reality that they will have difficulty handling. Tempers will be short and the lack of instant information will create tremendous problems as people adjust to a very difficult situation.

6. People Will Go Nuts – There are millions of people who are on medication to assist in dealing with stress and depression. When those medications are no longer available on top of having to deal with a very different lifestyle many people will be unable to control whatever condition they have been medicated for. People taking their own lives will dramatically increase in numbers as well as assaults and cases of domestic abuse.

7. Toilet Paper Will Run Out – The good old TP won’t just magically show up in the bathroom. With the average household only having 2-3 days worth of toilet paper it will not take long before people find themselves figuring out what to do.

These are just a few of the many things that should be expected after the SHTF. Have more suggestions?

Please share.


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16 thoughts on “7 Things to Expect After the SHTF”

  1. Good points to think about.

    Three weeks ago we had a mini SHTF.

    Our main breaker blew out and took a week to find, since our house was built in 1963.

    We used the situation to activate what I call “EAP” (Emergency Action Plan)

    No power, temps in mid-high 90’s, HUMID!, get by on lanterns, butane stove, fans (my office was the only room with power and the frig) why? because one leg of the electrical panel was working.

    One observation wify an 84 year old mother in law were getting crankier everyday after the first two days.

  2. Good list Rourke-
    WHEN THE GRID goes down over a large area -for ex: an EMP -our nuclear plants will not be able to cool the
    rods and thus MELTDOWN -much like Fukoshima (sp?).
    Every other situation will be less formidable compared to that one.
    Weather related SHTF – many will be constipated from a radical change in eating habits. Keep Prunelax or dried prunes etc. on hand. Germs will spread rapidly due to
    lack of sanitary conditions. Keep bleach, hand sanitizer
    and immodium on hand .
    In the past 18 months have you all noticed that the weather people are repeatedly saying that these are Biblical proportion storms and once in 100 year storms etc. and yet they are becoming more frequent.

  3. Wood for fuel will become far more valuable. So many people will need it for daily needs, landscaping will be used up very quickly. Which then leads to structural materials (i.e. abandoned buildings) being stripped for materials to burn. So having wrecking bars and other tools, as well as a wheelbarrows to haul materials will become very valuable. I think the wheelbarrow or other cart will be invaluable in many things – moving bulky heavy items from here to there is done much easier with this item. I’d make sure to have a durable one in my stash.

  4. All you have to do is go camping for 3 days and you’ll begin to get a glimpse of what things will look like.

    Hopefully it never happens, but you should always be prepared.

  5. We are moving toward living Like It Already Happened. I and my family were once caught up in an ice storm that literally threw us back into the last century for well over a week. Painful lesson learned.

    When I finally managed to get back to work, one of my co-workers was, as usual, calm and happy (and clean). When I asked how she weathered the storm, she said “what storm?” Apparently she had everything she needed to survive almost any situation already in place, and was living that way anyway, so she was not in the least affected.

    I was impressed, especially since I was the person in the office with a degree in Emergency Administration and Management!

    The takeaway from this? Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk!

  6. This year has been the worst year for wildfires in our State’s history and we were literally in the middle of it for over a month. We were lucky but some of my neighbors were not. For about a month our valley was under a mandatory evacuation orders so the SHTF for a lot of folks.

    I’d agree with many of the points. Our area is remote so living without power is something most are accustomed to dealing with. Evacuees with camping experience and equipment did better.

    Sleep was an issue for many. I had my BOB and a sleeping bag so I was able to camp just about anywhere that wasn’t on fire and away from the “symphony of snoring” at the shelters. I set up on a few porches, a shop, a truck bed, along side the road. Since the weather was warm and dry there was very little inconvenience. The lack of sleep did compound folks’ stress which amplifies EVERYthing, good and bad.

    Body odor is something I didn’t notice. We were living in heavy smoke though and it was two weeks before the Southern Baptists rolled in with a mobile shower and laundry unit. I was able to get back to my place every few days and shower with some solar heated water. I was on the volunteer fire fighting force so I was pretty grimy all the time. Clean socks were a big treat.

    The food I evacuated with lasted about a week. At the Grange folks brought a lot of food that would otherwise spoil if left at home so we ate well. Plenty of fresh produce from everyone’s garden too being right about peak harvest time during the fire. Local donations started flowing in sometime during the second week or so. The red cross showed up about three weeks into it and provided some food too. Stores were open in town (25 miles) still so we could drive 25 miles and restock easy enough. Even so I think we all lost a little weight.

    Some handled the lack of cell service, internet better than others. We actually got a satellite web setup before the power made it up to the Grange. It really messed with comms though. Radios work well if you know how to use them. We had them but many were unfamiliar with them or would use them improperly. Comms was a glaring weakness in our preps and fire response effectiveness.

    Very True about the meds. All kinds. Folks that depend on them for whatever were really in the hurt locker when they couldn’t get them (for a variety of reasons).

    TP we were well stocked though some had difficulty with the fact that the toilets don’t flush… Those of us who backpack/hunt/etc have used alternative techniques. It’s a good idea to at least be familiar with those. A method to rinse yourself is an especially good way to avoid “monkey butt.”

    There were and continue to be a lot of surprises in this experience. It really sorts folks out, good and bad. I will say that people skills are right at the top of the list. Folks without them are a big negative. I’d rather deal with an unprepared but otherwise cheerful can-do person than a well prepared arse. You need to be able to function as an individual and as part of a group.

    Enough for now.

  7. I’m as cynical as the the next person but, I think when people talk about SHTF scenarios that they probably should discuss them in a three or four part stages (I’ll skip the electric out for a day or two part):
    Stage 1) Electric out for a week or two:
    Probably few on this site would panic but, there would be a noticeable amount of those in your community that would. Those without full gas tanks in their cars would struggle. If it was in winter time, a lot of peoples pipes would freeze. Without some back up food quite a few folks would get irritable and that’s about as far as it would go.
    Stage 2) Electric and/or telecommunications out four to six weeks:
    This is what I believe most people that call themselves “Peppers” refer to as SHTF. Now you will get into noticeable social unrest especially city dwellers that think that tomatoes grow in a grocery store. This is where people will think about leaving or bunkering down. “Trust” will be a rare commodity and there will be roving gangs etc.
    Stage 3)No utilities or communication beyond six weeks:
    This is where the discussion must be more global. Who does have utilities (i.e. China, Russia, whoever…..) and why. This is where a lot of your perpetration goes out the window. All that 308 ammunition you stock piled will be useless against a foreign governments tank. Pu-238 has a half life of ~90 years. Are you prepared for that?
    Any way you can modify (Or disregard) the above. You can include other stages that you deem are important but, I think it is prudent to have a realistic conversation of just how far you are willing to go.
    There’s my 2 cents

    • I agree Rob that there is some element of truth but I believe this would be minor with “patriot” or militia groups compared to gangs.

  8. One issue almost all people, preppers included, overlook is the lack of feminine hygiene products after a very short period of time. People need to learn what a “moon cup” is and have a couple on hand for any females in their care.

  9. I think John hit on a good point. With the proliferation of gangs in our country, there is the problem. Just about every decent size city in this country most likely has a gang in it, and some are affiliated with national gangs. With a SHTF scenario where civilian law breaks down, they will crawl out of the wood work and will become a major menace. Until now, I hadn’t really considered them.

  10. @oren
    Don’t forget the biker groups (Hells Angels, Banditos, Outlaws, El Foresteros, et al). These guys are in most major cities, are highly mobile and are frequently laced with highly trained, disenfranchised, ex military. I have some friends that have specifically attended their “Open Houses” just to make their faces well known in the event of a SHTF Scenario.


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