What if TSHTF was about to happen?

What if you just found out “it” was about to happen? Lets say – you have 24 hours notice. I know this is solely a fantasy here – but work with me.

Maybe it will be a sudden discovery of an asteroid to impact the Earth tomorrow. Possibly – a terrorist organization announces that 12 cities throughout this country will have nuclear bombs detonate at noon tomorrow. Maybe there is a pandemic that has started in one area and you know it is spreading to yours.

What would you do?

I have been thinking about this lately and thought it was a good thought provoking “Question” that can be asked to promote action. My first thought when considering that TSHF will happen tomorrow – is to improve on some of my preps.

  1. First off – if communication was still an option – I would contact family and friends and assist in providing them some direction.
  2. Depending upon the general public’s panicked reaction – I would probably concentrate on topping off all my vehicles’ gas tanks.
  3. Any obvious flaws in my supplies would be targeted to sure up.
  4. Next – I would buy whatever food and water I could get a hold of.
  5. Next – if I had any prescriptions that were due and the situation would allow – I would get them filled.
  6. Have a couple of empty propane tanks – I would make sure they get filled up.
  7. Batteries are another supply that you just cannot have too much of.
  8. Bath tubs and all available containers would be filled with water for future use.

The order in which these are done really would be dependent on what the nature of the “SHTF” event is.

Thinking about this kind of topic can be thought provoking…..meaning, you may realize that there is something that you need to get now – rather then when it is too later. My thought process playing this scenario game revealed to me I need more water preps. I need more containers which to store and transport water in. So – I will be working on that.

Now – how about thinking about the first 24 hours after a grid down SHTF scenario.

Well – that will be another post.


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  1. I am having the thought about the water situation too. I need to get a couple of 55 gallon drums for water as wellas one for rain water too. Its a great list and gives me something to think about. I can only wish that we all had 24 hours head start. lol I guess in some instances we just might have that long though.

  2. Your 24hr “make ready” list is a good one, however, I doubt you could complete even a few of these items with only 24hrs notice. The stores would be mobbed. Gas would be gone in a mater of hours, IF you could get even CLOSE to a station within eight hours. Stores would be empty in the same amount of time. I have seen it time and time again. I live in hurricane country. I have seen this play out many times.

    Fate favors those who PREpare.


  3. Great topic. Please continue to do more along these lines. I think it will help many to move quickly and in an organized manner when the time comes. Thanks

  4. Rourke,

    What an interesting topic. Being a water freak, I especially embraced the idea of filling all available bathtubs with water for emergency use. Now why hadn’t I thought of that?

    Depending on the nature of the pending disaster, I would gather supplies from my deep storage area under the house in the crawl space and make them readily accessible. I would also gather up the shelter in place supplies from the garage and make them more accessible than they are now.

    One thing you did not mention is checking out the working order of your self defense gear, including firearms. This is a new area for me but it would seem logical to insure that shotguns, pepper sprays, and even baseball bats are set up and ready to go. Not to be an alarmist but one of my fears is that the have nots will come after the supplies we have so diligently stashed away for such an emergency. I am all for sharing what I can but will not stand for raiding or stealing or other acts of aggression surrounding my little homestead.

    Thanks for such a great post. I am looking forward to your comments on the “next 24 hours” after a SHTF scenario.

    — Gaye

  5. Rourke I see a flaw in your system. As in “obvious flaws in my supplies would be targeted to shore up.” During my recent SHTF event, the April 27th Super Swarm, power was out to my area two hours BEFORE the tornado torn through the community because of massive damage inflicted elsewhere. As we all have noted and observed, no power = no real retail infrastructure. People were left with what they had in the pantry and sadly for many that wasn’t much. In fact in the areas that get power *last* during the “trees down in a storm” scenario, no one needed a handout. They were donating food.

    The purchasing of supplies or exchange of gas cylinders is a well and good maneuver, however you aren’t the only one going to be thinking of it. The shops will be clogged, think of the days leading up to a hurricane. You can barely keep things on the shelves with over five days notice, much less a 12 hour notice.

    I’d call relatives (or text depending on the volume the communications systems were handling) and tell either to head for here, or than we will be off-grid a while (depending on situation, we told everyone were were ok and off-grid after the tornados). I’d open the armory and everyone goes to open carry on the property. I’d get the local/long range comms setup for off-grid ops.

    Then I’d wait to respond to disaster/threat/pandemic/zombie horde, cause it’s gonna be a dynamic, changing environment. Remember that the Chinese symbol for crisis, has both the marks for danger and opportunity.

  6. Excellent post Rourke. I get what you mean. No matter how “prepared” you are, if TSHTF, you will try to do whatever you can to add to your level of preparedness. Sure, the grocery stores might be swamped, but you have to try to get that last gallon of milk or loaf of bread if it is available. Same with the gas and prescriptions. Anything to give you another week or two before running out.

  7. Hey Rourke,
    Good thoughts and points. I agree with your priorities. Last summer, early August there were announcements about a solar flare that would hit us. Initially it was reported that it would be significant so I called and texted all family members. I briefly explained what emp effect was and how it could affect us. I said they should get as much water as they could in every container they could find. I told them about food and then gas/propane and batteries. I was concerned but not running scared because I knew I had pretty good preps. My brother Mark came on board wwith preppingand we began to plan together.

    This all jump-started a familty meeting where we voiced our concerns and explained about prepping. Most of the family have been prepping although not as swiftly as I would like. I have two other brothers that scoff a bit at my third brother and I. My two sisters and a nephew have made some preps.

    Anyway, I like this kind of discussion. It does make you think.


  8. Pandemic: We’d ride it out at home as much as possible, and he’d wear gloves and a mask when going to work. I’d put out ziplocks with wet paper towels in them, half of them with lots of soap, in the vehicle, as well as at the front door, and clean the frequently touched household things twice a day. We have enough food to ride out a pandemic.

    Terrorist-nuke: No way would I go outside during that big panic. I’d start storing water ASAP, knowing it’s just a matter of an hour or two before water pressure became a trickle.

    Meteor: DH would probably be in the backyard setting up the telescope.

    Thanks for the discussion, it reminds me I need to arrange DH’s prescriptions to be bulk ordered (I’ve never done that, so not sure how to do it with our insurance).

  9. I had a mini shtf event in our town this weekend. We were hit with a ef2 tornado in lacrosse. WI. Now no one was hurt and my home was spared any damage. Hoverever over 200 homes damaged and numerous large trees uprooted just 3 miles from my house. You are correct about any effeected retail shutting their doors and going home. Also something to keep in mind, law enfforcement mandated emergency evacuations in a 15BLOCK radius do to no power n lines being down. How mad would you be if you had to forced to leave your preps until deemed safe by the man? I was very pleased with my wife n our response. We had about 20 MIN notice n got everything done quickly. Thank you channel 19 news team. Lol. We got yard squared away closed things up n had the flashlights n candles out n ready in about 5. Unplugged the big screen shuffled the kids downstairs in basement were we keep the food n preps. Grabbed extra blankets for protection n braced for the worst. Rained harder than I had ever seen plus hail. One thing I did think of while watching all this latest coverage n during our ordeal was about what I was wearing for clothes. I actually changed from my shorts n flip flops I had been grilling prior that day outside. I thought to myself if my house does get ripped apart I want boots jeans and work gloves on me to get through the rubble. Most people don’t ever discuss this issue about severe storms. My wife gave me a funny look but never asked why I changed my clothes. I think she just knew how close we might come to being in it. Within 35 min it was all done and over with. We were saved but my wife made me call for qoutes to get two trees cut down that are just aliitle to close for comfort to the house. We got to see what just a small tornado can do to trees to close to homes. Something to think about. Anyway may not be quit ready for a true shtf event just yet but we are getting there n I at least know the family can hussle n bussle with the right mind set when we need to. 🙂

  10. Sorry if my posts seem like one long sentence sometimes with horrible grammer. I do all my browsing by my mobile droid after pc went down awhile ago. Big fingers little keypad and really no chance to go back n edit. Plus I am horrible when it comes to that subject anyway. Just please don’t think im uneducated in other areas.

    Im not sure what police may have done if somone had protested but my experience is citezens get short end of stick usually. Oh I was a cop for 5 yrs I would know.fyi
    Just somthing to ponder 😉

  11. The bad part would be if you weren’t home during the evacuation…then you have no choice in the matter.
    Where I work if we give a mandatory evacuation you don’t have to leave, however if you have children and you don’t evacuate them you may get cited for child endangerment. If you are prepared and choose to stay you need to make sure that you stay indoors with curtains drawn and no light leaking through. Once you leave you can’t return until they say so, unless you sneak back in. One exception I had with your list – Why would you ever have empty propane tanks?

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