Preparing for a small-scale disaster is straightforward, it mainly requires having supplies. When it comes to a larger scale event, it becomes a little more complicated, because there are things that could derail your SHTF plans.
Preparing for a large-scale event requires more than just food storage and bug out bags. Surviving for a long period of time when things go really bad requires planning, critical thinking, and understanding what to avoid, and how to avoid it.
As preppers we try to think about what could go wrong, and how we are going to handle each situation. Sometimes it’s the small things that can lead to big problems, and some situations are just unavoidable.
SPP209 11 Things That Will Derail Your SHTF Plans
This week in the show Lisa and I went over some of the things that could put us at risk during an SHTF scenario. All the items on this list can (and should be) worked on now, in order to avoid them in the future.
Operational security is crucial to everything we do now as well as in a SHTF scenario. Everything we do today, and everyone we tell, could have consequences down the line. People love to gossip, so be careful about who you tell about your preparedness plans. The odds are, some people know more about you than you think.
After the S has hit the fan, operational security will play an even bigger role. The consequences in this situation could literally become life or death. People will become desperate, and desperate people will make different choices than they do today.
Like it or not, your neighbors will be there in an SHTF event. How long they are is another story. Your neighbors probably know more about you than you think. Or they have preconceived notions, which can be even more dangerous.
Our neighbors are literally right next door, or right down the street. We should expect a visit from them, and we should think about how we are going to handle that. This is why getting to know your neighbors is so important. We need to figure out who might be helpful, and who might be a problem.
Dog are great for giving you a little early warning, and deterring intruders. A loud dog can also bring unwanted attention. If you are trying to remain quiet and maintain a low profile, dogs that bark at everything are going to ruin that.
I think the benefits of having a dog outweigh the risks, especially if they are trained. We have a large dog that tends to bark at everything, but is a very good deterrent.
Kids Being Kids
Children don’t intentionally set out to ruin our day (most of the time), it’s just what they do. We can talk to them until we are blue in the face, and they still don’t understand the consequences of their actions.
Children live in a different world than us. Their job is to learn and play, our job is to teach and protect. When children are out with their friend, they could talk about things you don’t want them to talk about.
In a SHTF situation where everyone is hungry and thirsty, we need to blend in. If everyone else is losing weight, and we look nice and healthy, we become a target.
This doesn’t mean we need to starve ourselves, but having some clothes that are a size too big might be a good idea. Being the grey man is a huge part of survival. The more we fit in , the less we stand out.
Sight, Sound and Smell
These days when your neighbor smells you barbecuing steaks it just makes them hungry, could you imagine how it would be if they were starving? You could leave your porch light on all night, and they wouldn’t give it a second thought…unless they didn’t have power.
In any sort of disaster scenario, when people don’t have something, and you do, you become a target. Generators give of a lot of noise and cooking can give off smells. Candle light coming from your window will travel a long way when no one has power.
Relying On Plan A
We all try to have the best plans we can. These could be for bugging out, bugging in or how to handle different people. when something goes exactly according to plan, it’s more the exception than the rule.
We can’t be so married to our plans that we can’t pivot and change. Even the smallest things can derail our preparedness planning. That’s why they say always have a plan B…and C.
Lack Of Critical Thinking
As they say “hindsight is 20/20”. Regardless of how prepared we are, we are bound to make some questionable decisions along the way. There are also some decisions that just don’t have a “right” answer.
Our job is to have the skills and knowledge to make the best possible decision when these times arise. This is why situational awareness and operational security are so important. The greatest battle won, is the battle never fought.
How we store our supplies, and where we store them is very important. Moisture and temperature can wreak havoc on your supplies.The last thing you want is to think you have something, only to find out it’s spoiled or rusted.
Pests and animals can also wreak havoc on your supplies. If there is a way for them to get into your food supply, you can bet they will find it.
These days we protect our valuables from thieves, and these thieves just want our TV or our car. In any sort of SHTF event food and water will be more valuable than a useless TV. These thieves will walk right past the TV and head for the pantry.
Today we have a fairly good idea about who might be a thief and who might not. In a SHTF or disaster scenario, people become desperate, and at that point everyone could become a thief. People will do whatever it takes to survive.
Mismanagement Of Supplies
Most of us have food and water stored for a certain amount of time, a week, a month, a year and so on. There are quite a few things that could change this time frame quite a bit. Eating it too quickly, spoilage and unexpected house guests to name a few.
It’s important that we stay on top of our inventory and rotation, as well as our rationing. You never know when something small could turn into something larger, and you don’t want to run our of food or batteries before you expected to.