Some musings on SHTF, etc


September 20, 2003, 11:59 AM
Thursday night when the wind was blowing a steady 75 mph, the rain was horizontal and the power was off, I was thinking...
here it is, a true SHTF situation where anythig could happen and not a lot of it good. Sure, I had flashlights, candles, matches, weapons, ammo, bottled water, etc., but there was so much I had forgotten, ignored or overlooked. I had a strong sense that looters, vandals or other vermin might use the storm or it's aftermath to prey on others, incluing my family. Fortunately this didn't/hasn't happened and the only intruder was unwanted water in the lower level of the house.

Can anyone recommend any books or manuals that illustrate the steps necessary for effective preparedness
in the event of situations such as this?
I hope all THR members caught in the face of this hurricaine are safe, healthy and secure.

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Mark Tyson
September 20, 2003, 12:07 PM
The army's survival manual FM 21-76 is a good all round survival guide. However, you sound as if you weren't in quite so desperate straits as the techniques in there call for. The army's manual on field hygiene and sanitation is also useful. There's an old paperback booklet called Great Livin' in Grubby Times by Don Paul that covers things like surviving without power or clean water. It may be out of print now. An EMT manual used by your local college will do a good job of covering first aid.

There's also all kinds of info on the web from organizations like FEMA that you can find.

September 20, 2003, 04:05 PM

Some of the guys there are a bit :uhoh:, but there's a lot of good info on shtf survival.

Travis McGee
September 20, 2003, 04:30 PM
I second the motion that you check out FrugalSquirrels. They have tons of posted articles on every survival and SHTF topic you can imagine, and some that you can't imagine! It's a good site, despite having a rather high average paranoia quotient.

Matt Bracken

Standing Wolf
September 20, 2003, 06:16 PM
I had a strong sense that looters, vandals or other vermin might use the storm or it's aftermath to prey on others, incluing my family.

There are probably a few of those trying to cash in during and/or after every emergency. If I were a member of the looter class, I'd ignore homes, (too many potential victims would be home to suit me,) and concentrate on businesses, (whose alarms probably wouldn't work without power.)

September 20, 2003, 06:23 PM
A bit OT, but watch for other types of looters. I will be there will be people pretending to be contractors showing up to "help you". Check license numbers, call home offices, etc. Also, if you have mature trees watch companies that offer to clean them up. You may be left with the stumps.


September 20, 2003, 07:02 PM
Patriots by James Wesely Rawles is to me preety good theres a free version on the internet just go to google and put this guys name in with the name of the book its alright.


Navy joe
September 20, 2003, 11:23 PM
Live in the country for a while, you won't need any manuals. My power just came back on about 1 hour ago, so obviously I had to fire up the computer.

Personally I had most everything, just needed to organize it and throw it on the truck. A few things I purchased though:
-Coleman Lantern, a luxury item. Sure is nice to sit and reload when there is nothing else to do but watch the hurricane.
-A chainsaw, been needing one for years, this was a great excuse to buy one. Didn't really need it for yard clean-up, but trimmed my hedges with it for the heck of it.
-A PFD, ski vest type in all tactical black. To this I attached a big Pelican light, Chem light marker for safety's sake and my S&W EMT tool. The intent here is that my humanity interferes when I see some Darwin canidate trying to drown themselves by driving their car through 4' of water. Coupled with my extensive selection of ropes and such I aim to not become a statistic while keeping them off the scoreboard. Really liking this purchase, by next time I'll have it fully tricked out as a LBE/PFD.
-Gas, I bought all mine three days before it hit in the gas cans I already owned so now I am sitting here rather than in a half mile long line at one of the few gas stations that has both power and gas.
-Pork ribs and six pack of Guinness, man cannot live on cold food alone. I par-boiled these tonight on my previously owned Coleman 442 stove, then tossed em on the grill. Fantastic.

Things I didn't buy:
-A generator, don't need one. If I had people that depended on power for medical needs then I'd have one, otherwise live without.
-Water. I don't understand this one. I buy bottled water for convienence when travelling. Not survival. I filled up a 5 gallon water bottle, every canteen, a bathtub, and froze a bunch of re-filled store water bottles. People need to plan ahead. Folks are out there now that waterworks says don't drink the water trying to buy water. They have no means to purify the tap water. Sad.
-A gun, duh! already had plenty. Bought extra reloading supplies instead to keep myself entertained.

Things about this SHTF that annoy me:
-Stressed people. Out of their normal routines and under stress most folks are operating like they're looking through a soda straw. Driving like it too.
-News reporters. Chirping incessantly about a minor hurricane to make it sound like the end of the world. The cricket in my house while I'm trying to sleep is less annoying. Thankfully I can turn the radio off.
-Emergency powers. Same reporters and city officials prattled on about "mandatory evacuations" of low lying areas. There is no such thing as a mandatory evacuation, your life, your property, your choice. I hate hollow threats. Which brings me to curfews. I understand the police are trying to keep the looters, drinkers, and such under wraps, but it is still a free country and I don't like being asked for my papers or told when to be home. If I need to go somewhere I obviously just came from checking on my elderly grandmother, got off duty at work or at the local rescue squad, or just finished up patching the roof on my church at the other end of town. I'll think of something.

Overall, this wasn't much of a SHTF. It was however good training. Experience is much better than any guide, review how things went for you and make changes BEFORE next time around. Try to already own your gear so all you have to do is stock up on perishables like batteries, gas, and such. You should already have enough food in the house. Lights that use 123, AA, or AAA batteries are a good thing to have, people went after D then C batteries like a horde of locusts. Strangly enough I already had plenty.

September 21, 2003, 12:42 AM
If you're worried about a Hurricane, then you might not want to look into the potential disaster that could arise from the 'super-volcano' under Yellowstone erupting.

4v50 Gary
September 21, 2003, 09:20 PM
Disaster training is offered by fire departments (Neighborhood emergency response teams or NERT), some offices of the American Red Cross and other local non-profits. Try attending one before fecal matters fly.

September 21, 2003, 09:50 PM
One of the things we learned from living in Shakey City during riots and earthquakes, and many years ago in Tulsa during a flood, is that the usual emergency services and centers are the first things to fail, and the last things to get their heads on right.

If you can't adjust to living without them during an emergency, you have a problem without a solution.

Your best assets are your neighbors. If you haven't tried to build a community in your immediate community, you better start thinking about doing it forthwith. If your neighbors are under 60 or so, have never been in the military, or never lived in the country, they will need leadership and direction. Most folks are willing enough, they just don't know what to do. Build your relationships around bar-b-ques, block parties and such, and when the SHTF, you will already have established the sense of community necessary to act together for the common good.

God bless and y'all be careful out there.:cool:

Chris Rhines
September 21, 2003, 10:27 PM

Check it out.

- Chris

September 21, 2003, 11:49 PM
If that 'super-volcano' did pop, none of us would have to worry about stocking up. Think Mount Saint Helens X 1000. It would cause a "volcano winter" predicted to be on the same scale of the forecasted "nuclear winter" of old, but with out the radiation. That thing is prediced to go off in about a 1100 years, by some researchers.

Something to think about in whatever after life you are in.

September 22, 2003, 11:00 AM
'I dunno where I'm a gonna go when the volcano blows.' Jimmy Buffet

Well, several days down the road here and no gremlins to speak of, just the goughing bastards selling generators,
bottled water, fresh coffee and other foodstuffs at highly inflated prices.

Thirty miles south, my brother reported incidents of folks going through neighborhoods stealing generators and gasoline for same. He stood watch with the shotty to ensure the integrity of his property.

A friend of mine with nice place on the river lost everything he had in the tidal surge, includig several firearms.
There but for the grace of a generous Diety go us all.:eek:

September 22, 2003, 12:07 PM
(navy joe) Folks are out there now that waterworks says don't drink the water trying to buy water. They have no means to purify the tap water. Sad.
Geez. I wouldn't want to try to purify dirty city water. I suspect any attempts would either fail or make the water a foul-tasting, semi-toxic soup.

When you purify water in the wilderness by boiling or iodine or one of those filtration systems, the assumption is that nature does a pretty good job of keeping it clean to begin with. No such guarantee near a city.

Maybe if I had a still...

September 22, 2003, 12:24 PM
Great post Navy Joe...

I'm just outside of Richmond (NE side) and we didn't get hit too bad here...wind was somewhere 50-60 mph max. We did lose power for several days but after we figured out how to boil the coffee with a spaghetti pot on a turkey fryer then strain it with collanders we were in great shape :D

We were also well prepared here and happy to report no problems.

Thing that amazes me are the reports of people in No. Va that were hospitalized for carbon monoxide...running their gas generators INDOORS :scrutiny: I see Mr. Darwin is alive & well.

Hope everybody in VA made it ok...anybody w/o water is welcome to stop by and use my garden hose :eek:

Stay safe y'all...

Navy joe
September 22, 2003, 02:40 PM
Personally if I needed water I'd purify pond water or rain water, boil, filter, chemically purify or whatever. Our city uses ozone and reverse osmosis filtration so the water is actually quite nice. Living 5 blocks away from a water tower that has 100' of elevation on me I am also assured of being the last sucker with water. The city's advice to the masses was to use 8 drops of bleach to the gallon or boil for 5 minutes which is pretty sound. You then only have to reflect how many retards have no means to boil water or only have oxi-clean in the house. Speaking of boiling water, I've always loved my Coleman dual fuel stoves, but I was impressed while parboiling my rack o ribs. 3 qts of water and partially frozen ribs were boiling fast. Amazing stove, get one. Dual fuel capability very nice.

More gear. To the guns section I re-assembled the AR, broke down for cleaning, and tossed it behind the door in the name of low light looter control. I stuck some slugs in the sidesaddle and buttcuff of the truck gun for extended range and put high tech mag retention devices(rubber bands) on my spare pistol mags so they wouldn't get knocked loose doing whatever I needed to do. No guns needed, that's good.

Eye protection. Remember you are on your own if you hurt yourself so I had several pairs for chainsawing and what-not. I also took a pair of USGI sun, wind, dust goggles and rain-xed the out side, fog-freed the inside in case I needed to be out in the storm.

Truck tools. 50' chain, 100' heavy nylon rope, nylon tow straps, large nylon binder straps, paracord, various small tie-downs, 12v spotlight, chainsaw, flashlights to the alot power, lotsa gas, sledgehammer, crowbar, shovel, toolbox, bolt cutters, fire extinguisher, spare raingear, towels, rags, junkfood, and driver with bad attitude. I don't know what I'm going to get into, but I'm gonna get out of it...

Future needs. A LBE would be nice, thinking of doing a Royal Robbins vest up so it doesn't look too high speed and menacing.
-A CB. I have no clue other than cheapness why I don't have one.
-More spare parts for my truck. Being a dually I can loose three tires and get down the road with only one spare, but I'd like another spare anyway. Have three sets of belts. I need a spare alternator, ignition, and fuel pump. Not much else going to stop such an ugly truck.
-A jet-ski. If the going gets too tough I'll just launch it right out of the bed of the truck. Think redneck MK5 SEAL boat. :D

September 22, 2003, 06:28 PM
Navy Joe, you are correct that this was good practice for SHTF situations.

Having gleaned info from this forum and others like it, I was well prepared. It turned into a minor inconvenience instead of a major problem. My cars were gassed up ahead of time so I didn't have to wait for four hours for gas. Had plenty of batteries for all the flashlights and lamp oil in case it went on for an extended period of time. With three camp stoves I had no problem cooking and heating water and actually ate very well while power was out. I stored twelve gallons of drinking water before the storm hit and filled the bathtubs up for extra water to flush toilets with (thankfully didn't need it). By turning the water heater up to a high setting before the storm hit, I was able to shower for three days on residual heat. I stuffed the freezer full of ice bags and everything except some icecream and chicken made it through. The chainsaw was ready but not needed. A rather complete first aid kit was already set to go.

Fortunately this has been a rather minor SHTF scenario so the 'personal protection equipment' wasn't needed. It was however loaded and ready if called for.

Now I notice that all the unprepared individuals are screaming that no one has rescued them yet! Lack of water, electricity, gasoline, coffee, a.c., phone, cable, etc. has them all calling for blood. Sheeple all!!!!

I agree about the generator. For a short outage it is not needed and for extended SHTF situations, it might not be reliable due to fuel requirements. If I had a business like a resturant I would like the idea though in the short term.

I do have to say I saw more helpful neighbors than there were people trying to take advantage of the situation. There were also a lot of people with chainsaws that had no idea what they were doing and were more of a hazard than the hurricane.

The Boy Scouts are right:D

September 22, 2003, 08:09 PM
Now I notice that all the unprepared individuals are screaming that no one has rescued them yet! Lack of water, electricity, gasoline, coffee, a.c., phone, cable, etc. has them all calling for blood. Sheeple all!!!!

You really hit the nail on the head, my friend. I was coming home this evening listening to WMAL here in the DC area and the whiners from Montgomery County were calling in crying the blues about the power and how it was the county's fault, the power company's fault and on and on. Not one of them had anything to say about what their personal responsibility was to be prepared.

My wife and I have spent a considerable amount of time and money over the last few months preparing our home for emergencies. Granted, we were only without power for around 48 hours but we could have gone quite a while longer. The only thing that really stank was the lack of runing water because we are on a well. I'll be adding the generator in quick fashion.

September 23, 2003, 10:14 PM
gburner, you have my sympathies. Having been through 2 major storms and a half dozen minor ones and having had a girl friend lost during Camille you don't know how I sympathise with you. :)

So I say this with all sincerity. Get a few weeks worth of MREs, some spare water, t.p., radio batteries, aspirin, Rolaids, et cetera then put them in a closet and forget them. IMHO the most important emergency preparedness you will ever have is to have plenty of charcoal for the grill, alcoholic beverages, assorted mixers and as much ice as your freezer will hold. (I prefer those gallon milk jugs, at least twenty to start with.)

Why? The power is out, nobody is going to work and the only productive thing you can do is barbecue and party down! :neener:

Navy Joe, interesting perspective you have about curfews. IMHO the people who should be in charge are the local citizens and nobody else, no NG, no special powers, no nuthin. The only outsiders I ever saw who did anything important in my 30+ years of hurricane observations have been the out of state power company guys and the busloads of Mennonite farmer-volunteers with chain saws and axes.

The only person I ever saw shot after a hurricane was a medical student who got off work late and a National Guard guy on duty shot her as a suspected looter. Riiiiigghhttt. I suspect the rest of the story was he wanted some poon tang and she didn't want to give him any.

Oh, I nearly forgot the Red Cross and emergency Food Stamp setups. Both appear to me to be totally in the way and just tend to attract professional victims. There is something funny about seeing a beamer convertable pull up into the yacht club parking lot with a Red Cross emergency kit in the backseat. :scrutiny:

September 24, 2003, 09:56 AM

Was listening to talk radio on the way home. Some nitwit had just got their power back, but was now enraged because they wouldn't tell him when the cable would be back.

Those of y'all not from around here can't imagine the atmosphere here right now. If they took a poll about whether the CEO of Baltimore Gas & Electric should be strung up from the nearest lamp post, lets just say that somebody would be a-swingin'

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