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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

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    Zundfolge Member

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    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.

    or

    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    Ohio Gun Guy Member

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    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 Member

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    Let's use real life examples:

    Katrina
    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

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    22-rimfire,
    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 Member

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    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.

    jj
     
  19. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

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    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 Member

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    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.
     
  21. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Ohio, I agree with you as being unemployed for 6 months is not normally a SHTF situation. It may well be a personal depression, but in general the majority of your neighbors are not in the same situation.

    It is possible to just be caught at the worst time with a layoff. Believe it or not, many who make $100K save almost zero for a rainy day. They have their BMW's, leased cars, unpaid for boats, second mortagages on their house, etc.

    There are charities who will help you keep the lights on, but beyond a month or two, you're pretty much on your own. You are expected to make some effort to save yourself.

    I just hope and pray that we are not facing a real national depression as it could easily become a worldwide depression. We live in a very fagile world now and are heavily dependant on others for our survival for the most part. If things got really bad, I could see things erupting in war.
     
  22. scrat

    scrat Member

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    SHTF the 1992 riots in los angeles and living 10 minutes from los angeles. Every gun in the house was loaded and bullets were all ready to go. Smoke and ashes were raining in the sky. 3pm looked like 7pm, cities were under mandatory shut downs. The local strip mall was hit 4 blocks away from home. yep that is a SHTF scenario
     
  23. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Zombies. Lots and lots of zombies.
     
  24. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    SHTF is when Russian paratroopers jump into a sleepy Colorado town, forcing a small group of high school students to hide out in the woods eventually fighting back and teaming up with a downed air force colonel.
    Sorry, I re-watched Red Dawn recently.
    I think it's basically any time you are forced to rely on yourself with little or no chance of emergency services available, along with other people in the same situation who want your stuff because they weren't prepared (or are just plain greedy).
     
  25. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

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    So - prevailing thought seems to be this:

    Situation where there is no reasonable expectation of outside assistance, while simultaneously there is an increased risk of threat of physical violence and/or intimidation against your person and/or property. Correct?

    (i know - that sounds very proper - just trying to completely nail it down)
     
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