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What exactly is a SHTF scenario?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Sinixstar, Dec 22, 2008.

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  1. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

    So - pretty regularly, the "shtf scenario" is discussed. Mostly in the form of "what rifle for...", "what handgun for...", "what battery of guns for..."

    My question is - what constitutes a legit "SHTF" situation?

    Is it, a blizzard that shuts down all roads in and out of your town for a week, causing widespread panic and a run on toilet paper at the local Stop n Shop?

    Complete and utter breakdown of society - lord of the flies style savagery, mad max style survivalist skills required?

    What is it exactly to you, and what is the likelihood of this actually being a reality?

    To the mods: I know this may seem a bit of a stretch - but hear me out. If people are going to talk about the "shtf" times - we should have an idea of what exactly we're talking about here...
  2. longdayjake

    longdayjake Well-Known Member

    I bought my shtf guns before the ____ hit the fan after the election. If you ask me the run on guns was a shtf scenario that most of us on this forum were already prepared for. And some of us were so prepared that we made quite a profit. Any one that says there is no reason to prepare for a shtf moment needs only to look at the world after nov 4th.
  3. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Well-Known Member

    A SHTF scenario to me is anytime that a gun would come in handy...
  4. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Well-Known Member

    SHTF in the context of "what gun for SHTF" means one of two scenarios.

    1) Complete and utter breakdown of society - lord of the flies style savagery, mad max style survivalist skills required.


    2) Government out of control declares something more strict and permanent than martial law and it becomes time to "feed the tree of liberty".

    Now you can see from both those examples that there really isn't any way to discuss them without coming off like a loon which is why such discussion is generally forbidden here.
  5. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Well-Known Member

    SHTF is anytime there is a BREAKDOWN in the normal function of society and / or the availability of common goods and servies.

    For instance any hurricane is a SHTF experience. Some (Katrina) are more so than others. Forest fires that require you to evacuate, chemical spills or fires that require you to "shelter in place". Ice storms that knock out power to 1 or millions.
  6. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    I have modified my perception of such events. I used to anticipate total breakdown, but especially since Katrina, I have planned around short-term events, in which food, water, electricity, access to and from the city, general breakdown of services etc, in any of a number of combinations might occur.

    It didn't take days for New Orleans to go crazy, it took hours. I am much more concerned about short-term crises than long-term.
  7. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    I gotta go with that one.

    It doesn't take a total breakdown in society for me to very much need a gun.

    One nutjob kicking in my front door and the S has most certainly hit the fan for me.
  8. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    It could be described, in broad strokes, as a total breakdown of law, order and social services for a period of time ranging from a day or two to several weeks. There can be many causes for this, including (but not limited to) natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc.; massive rioting (e.g., the 1992 Los Angeles riots); terrorist attacks with WMDs, and so on. It is not quite as bad as a TEOTWAWKI scenario. ;)
  9. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Well-Known Member

    pretty much what i was thinkin, but i prolly couldnt have said it as well.
  10. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Well-Known Member

    I heard a report on NPR the other day (I know, the other station was on commercial). They were talking to an out of work executive. He had previously made 100k+. He was describing how his "Survival" plan. He stated that he would steal food if he had to, but he wouldn’t go hungry. I had to turn it before I smashed my radio.

    Any situation, where a dufus, with the prior means to provide for himself, who blatantly neglects to do so, and feels obligated to mine, is a SHTF scenario. Fortunately, this moron likely didn’t provide himself with a firearm or ammunition.
  11. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Well-Known Member

    Let's use real life examples:

    Rodney King Riots
    Detroit Riots of 1967

    I'm sure if you were in the middle of any of those events, you'd say the SHTF. Firearms were highly useful in all those.
  12. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

    I've found a number of those stories (I listen to NPR a lot - it makes good background noise) have a bit of a dry sort of "can you believe this clown" air about them.
  13. Jefferson Herb

    Jefferson Herb Well-Known Member

    jakemccoy has it right ,I guess you could add other things but you get labeled right wing extreemist.But if you want to live in a f. marcos [ phillipines ] style govt,give me your ammo ;I'll expend it for you.
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    Ohio, I suppose if you did not adequately plan for a bad time, you'd just crawl in a hole and die? Most will fight to survive. That's why you need to be able to protect yourself and have a plan in place.

    I feel that preparing for the absolute disaster is most difficult and there are so many variables. Ultimately you are going to trust to luck and your belief in the almightly that you'll come through it okay. You prepare too, but most can't prepare for a year or two living off the land or have the knowledge or skill to do so.

    So, I think in terms of regional disaster with earthquakes being more than likely having the biggest impact regionally. Hurrricanes can have terrible local impact, but often if you drive or are able to drive 100 miles, things are just fine. So, it is just a matter of having some money for a motel or staying away for a period of time (like 30 days for a big one like Katrina). Katrina in New Orleans was a special case as the place flooded and stayed flooded. That is not normally the case.
  15. Rshooter

    Rshooter Well-Known Member

    For most of us in the USA, society is polite and orderly with police protection, electricity, running water, and the easily availability of food and comfort items. Once access to these things breaks down you might say you have a SHTF situation. This situation may exist for a few hours or a few weeks. Depending on the service or combination thereof missing and the duration it could be an annoyance or life threatening.

    In other places in the world they may live in a constant SHTF situation or nearly so.
  16. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Well-Known Member

    What scares me is that I'm the only one in my family who has mentally prepared for a SHTF situation. Everybody will come to my house or want me to come there. I'll have a bunch of immature or spoiled nieces and nephews who will add danger to any serious situation. I constantly talk to family members about basic survival techniques, nothing major, but to no avail.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  17. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Well-Known Member

    Being out of work for a short period of time is not a SHTF senario. It astounds me, that in such short time, so many people need the level of help that they need. ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE IN A POSITION TO HELP THEMSELVES (MAKING NORTH OF 100,000) Another example would be people who live in Ohio that make no provision for snow / ice storms, even though they happen every year (Or more). 3 - 4 days without power, water, electricity, should not put you on the edge of survival! We all dont / cant afford generators, etc. but there are other things you can do. Just have a reasonable plan, something, anything.

    This does not mean, I dont help people, quite the opposite. It just bothers me that so many people's plan is non existant or they actually PLAN to just mooch off of others (They bring nothing to the situation, and KNOW IT) :fire:
  18. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

    SHTF is the time when government has failed and you are on your own. The list of times that they fail grows every day to the point where their efforts won't mean much.

    You are seeing a SHTF in the economy right now. You are not gonna like what happens next.

  19. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

    I could never understand that either. First big snowstorm - and there's a run on shovels. What - did you throw yours away in the spring thinking "pfft - winter's over, i'll never need this thing again!"

    I've joked around with some of my family members - at least, they think I was joking when I said "yea man, sorry, but you're on your own..."
  20. alaskanativeson

    alaskanativeson Well-Known Member

    SHTF = When my wife figures out how much money I've spent on guns. I'll be the one who becomes a zombie if she totals it up.
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