The world we live in today is filled with conveniences. Conveniences we often take for granted. We are so busy consumed with what we must do every single day, we forget to think about what life would be like without them. Life after SHTF means learning to live without these modern conveniences.
What would happen if you woke up tomorrow and all the modern conveniences were gone? What would you do? Would you be able to not only survive, but thrive in the event of a world changing all modern conveniences gone type of scenario?
First World Problems
This is just my opinion, but I think that prepping is more common in the United States because we have more to lose than people in most countries. What we call a “SHTF” event, other people call “daily life”.
This is both good and bad. It’s good because we are lucky enough to live in a country where even the poorest of us live a better life than people in some other countries. It’s bad because people in the U.S. have come to expect this, and feel entitled.
This is why a SHTF or disaster scenario is much more concerning to us than say somewhere in Africa or some areas of the Middle East. As the saying goes “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”.
SPP206 Life After SHTF: Learning to Live Without
This week in the Survivalist Prepper Podcast we talked about how life might be after a small or large-scale disaster scenario. Just about everything we talked about in the show can be applied to a short term power outage, or a large scale financial crisis.
How Important is Electricity?
What would you do if you didn’t have electricity? If the power went off and never came back on, a lot of people would die…literally! This is sad, but true. We have come to expect that when we flip the light switch on, it will always work. But what happens one day when it doesn’t?
Everything we do these days revolves around electricity. Not having electricity would mean much more than having to use a flashlight. It would affect how we fill up our gas tanks, how we get our food, how we access our money in the bank…and much more.
refrigeration is something many of us have come to feel will just always be there. But what would you do if you didn’t have standard refrigeration? This is when it comes time to think outside of the box. You could make your own ice box, and for those of us that are lucky enough to live in a colder environment, this would be easier to do, especially when the weather is cold. But what do you do when the weather is bloody hot?
The answer is simple, we need to figure out an alternative. People have been doing that for longer than all of us have been around, and some cultures do it to this day. It’s hard for some Americans to grasp, but some countries don’t have Walmart’s and frozen food sections…yet somehow they survive.
When Darkness Falls
Most people these days don’t have a clue about how important having light is. A power outage would not only make it impossible to do anything after dark, it would affect hospitals, stores and our jobs. The ability to actually see what we are doing is kind of important.
As preppers we probably have plenty of alternatives for light when the power goes out. If you don’t, you might want to start working on that. You have glow sticks, candles, flashlights, generators and more that can be used in a grid down event.
Life Without Internet…GASP!
Even though the internet has only been around for a short time, so many of us have come to expect it will always be here for us. I will be the first to admit the internet has made life a lot easier. If you don’t know how to do something, where is the first place you look? And what if you want a new recipe for dinner, you get the idea right? We use the internet for everything.
Not only will our ability to learn new skills be hampered, our other online activities will be affected as well. Most people do their shopping online these days, and very few people carry physical cash with them.
Most of our jobs would be affected as well, even if we don’t directly work with the internet. Most companies depend on the the internet for inventory, bookkeeping and getting your check direct deposited.
As they say “idle hands are the devils workshop” and in a grid down event we could see a lot of down time. Having supplies to keep you entertained will not only keep everyone busy, it will help you maintain your sanity as well.
Board games, physical books, musical instruments and art supplies are just a few ideas. Keep in mind, these items will need to be usable without power. My personal favorite board game is the WW2 game Axis & Allies. It literally takes days to finish.
Heat – A/C
This will depend on where you live, so I can only speak on this from our perspective. It doesn’t get too hot where we live during the summer. Yes, it gets really warm, but not like Arizona or Nevada. However, in the winter it gets cold, and I mean really cold. So our priority is staying warm. Having a heating source other than the furnace is very important. And there are options, like a fireplace, or my favorite, a wood burning stove.
You will have to think about how you will stay warm or cold, and deal with it, so start thinking about that now. You might think that air conditioning is a luxury, but for some people (such as elderly) it is completely necessary.
If we are talking about a grid down event, eventually the water will stop running into your home. What are your options? Do you have a well? Without electricity, your well pump won’t work. You need to have a water source, this is imperative for survival. Have at least 2 viable options of how you will get water.
Water is not just important for drinking, we also use it for hygiene and cleaning. How would you take a shower? How would you flush the toilet? How would you do laundry? All of these are things we have probably thought about, but the average person hasn’t.
Loss of Income
Having an income is important, especially since many of us are living the “American Dream”, meaning we are in debt, and our current jobs barely cover the bills. So many of us are living paycheck to paycheck. But what happens if that paycheck suddenly stops? What will you do?
Not only could we be out of work for a while, but the money we already have could be inaccessible. We have all heard horror stories about bank holidays, and if there was a run on the banks, you can bet they would close their doors.
Fuel the Fire
It is a repeating theme in this article, look for alternatives. Don’t take for granted that you will always have gas in your tank, or the stove will work. Because life happens, and things change. Look for alternatives, because eventually the fuel you have stored will run out.
When I talk about fuel, I’m not just talking about gasoline for your car. Fuel could be wood, propane, solar power and even food to keep our gas tanks full.
In the show, we talked a little bit about the Sun Oven. The Sun Oven is a great cooking option because all it requires is a little cooking knowledge, and the power of the sun. Use the link in the sidebar (on the top right) to get $70 off if you are interested.
In the event of a grid down event, the way we consume food will change. The size and duration of this event will determine how much. Buying a juicy steak or a quick and easy frozen dinner won’t be an option if the grocery store can’t keep them cold.
Keeping our food cold and fresh won’t be an issue if we don’t have it in the first place. Most people don’t give a second thought to where their food comes from. Without power the availability, supply lines, quality would all be affected. People wouldn’t be able to grow or process the food, and even if they could, they wouldn’t be able to get it to our local store.
The Easy Fix
These days when the roof or plumbing springs a leak, we can call the repair man. This might not be the case in a grid down event. without power, these people might not be able to properly do their job. Even if they could, you might be on a waiting list for some time.
On a side note, people with these trade skills like electricians, welders and auto mechanics will be extremely important in an SHTF scenario. These people would be the ones helping to rebuild.
Another aspect of life that we take for granted is our public servants. The police department, the fire department, the emergency room and even trash removal are all there at our beck and call. We need to understand that these are people too. When push comes to shove, their family’s are their first priority…just like us.
Even if they are able to provide help, their ability to do so would be severely hampered without electricity. Without power, how would you let them know you need help? They wouldn’t be able to communicate with each other, and may not be able to get fuel in their vehicles.
In some disaster scenarios the most important issue could be the lack of medical help available. A grid down event could severely affect how they got to you, how you got to them, or how much they could help when you got there. Without power, a hospital would be extremely limited with the help they could provide.
On top of that, they could become overwhelmed very quickly. There are a number of factors that couple play into this…
- Type of disaster scenario
- Medical staff available
- Services available (no electricity)
- Supplies available
- Number of casualties
Many people have to have medication in order to live. But what happens when there is no more medication? Sadly, many people will die. If you are healthy or borderline healthy now, your best bet is to stay that way. Get in shape now. Eat better, and get farmer fit, work on building muscle and strength.
As far as medication as concerned, learn alternatives. Many medications that have been created use plants and herbs. Learn about medicinal plants and essential oils. Nature has an incredible way of providing what we need, if we just take the time to learn.
I know this was quite a long post, but it just shows how much our lives will change in any disaster scenario, big or small. Life after SHTF not only means learning to live without, but also learning to live differently…adjusting to the new normal.
If you have any thoughts on this subject, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.