We all usually keep forgetting that when SHTF things will be different in many ways.
We talk about lack of food, clean water, coffee, or simply lack of hygiene. And we say that people gonna die because of that and because of lots of violence. Based on my experience, all above is correct, but we also usually forget one simple fact: pressure!
Guy from my street worked before SHTF as a computer technician. Those years here were time when computers were started to be widely used in big companies. He was something like famous in that field, so he had good life, nice home, car, family and everything else.
When SHTF he just like great number of other folks was simply lost. While chaos was spreading through the city he stayed home watching through the window how people sporadically run across the street to avoid sniper fire and shelling.
He monitored how telephone lines went out, electricity and water too. Later he was trying to „catch“ some news over his radio that he used before for football (soccer) games broadcasts. His son later told us that they ate a lot of some old jam because they had eaten everything else.
And then one day he simply was forced to go out, they delayed that moment as much as they could, but when you watch your kid and wife go hungry it is very hard to just do nothing. You see those who are close to you slowly get worse and worse.
They found him some 300 meters from his house, some guys told him that they worked for government, and they are trying to restore peace.
They told him to show them his home and then shot him. When they came into his house first guy knock out the kid with rifle butt. Then they looked for gold. Then they played with wife. Anyway they kill her too, kid survived. I spoke with kid and we did not talk too much about details, it is rare people want to speak about any details from this time. Too much bad memories.
His story was not the only story like that in that time. Now you may think that they died because he was stupid, he was not prepared, he did not have weapon etc. All of that is correct actually.
But I like to think that they died because he made decisions under pressure, huge pressure. And it was wrong decision.
He waited for too long to choose correct moment to go out and find useful stuff like food, weapon or simply to connect with other folks.
And then one day situation caught him, and he was forced to make decision, to act under the pressure. As I said he was not only man who died that way, lots of other folks died in similar way.
Point is that we preppers and survivalist often forget that in survival situation we also have to make decisions under pressure. You might be great shooter, but are you ready to see loved ones suffering and making life or death decisions? It is harder than most people think.
Lesson here is to not be arrogant because you are a survivalist or prepper. Because you are that you escape first and you are not the bravest person who impresses whole neighborhood by getting shot first. You are also not overly careful and hide out until you run out of preps and have no choice but to go out.
We can be prepared.
What gives your mental side advantage is this:
- You understand how the world has changed and that you have to forget about old rules. I speak in detail about this in my course and here on blog.
- You keep don’t let emotions decide what you do. You plan and dont put yourself in situation with only one way out.
- You expect the worst, forget about Hollywood action movie heroes and use all skills you practiced today and know already.
I have seen other folks doing mistakes under pressure. I have seen man who got shot during a trade, because he wanted to get stuff from the other guy so hard, food again. His family at home was waiting for that badly, and he simply forgot common sense. This is what makes desperate people weak (and often dangerous too, because their actions are controlled by their chaotic emotions).
Guys realized he was desperate, get him to follow them, ambush and shoot him, take his stuff. They didnt finish him. He survived, point is that he was under the pressure to get the job done as soon as he can, so he simply forget common sense. Don’t be that guy.
Im faced with critical decisions every day working in emergency services. If you have more questions or want to share how you deal with high pressure situations, write in forum or comments below.
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I know man who is cop and he is not officially prepper, but couple of times I talked with him and „spotted“ his philosophy. Because nature of his job he knows whats going on in town, where he can probably find drugs, weapons, prostitutes, everything.
He mentioned to me couple of times that if something bad happens, something like war, he would get together with some 15 of his buddies and take over pretty big part of the town while everything else is collapsing around us.
Of course he would not do that in order to help people, his plan is to gain power, in order to gain more power, and so on. He did not mention it, but what he wants is be gangleader after collapse and he is simply ordinary cop today.
But he has plans, skills, resources and wrong (or right) mindset for achieving this.
I do not judge him, I just observe. I learned long time ago that it makes sense to know all kinds of people, especially when SHTF. People often say that cops are actually particular type of folks, and that their morale is highly questionable. Some people say cops are people drawn to power.
Just like with everything else I do not like to generalize things. So I like to say that just like all other folks there are good cops and bad cops.
It may be truth that occupation like that may draw (attract) certain types of people but nothing more than that. And of course (especially here) cops are highly subjectible to bribes, because nature of job. Just like medical professionals are as well. If you want to get your urgent operation done you either wait for 4 weeks or pay the right people that it happens in coming days…
I had friend who was cop. Actually he was police inspector (detective) when SHTF in first few weeks he simply used his badge and authority in chaos and „confiscate“ gold from people in the name of „cause“. The cause back then was to support our fight against the enemy troops who have surrounded our city. But the cause can be anything of course.
At first it was story about how it is not secure to have gold inside home because bad security state in town, so it will be kept in safe in town hall. Sounds stupid maybe, but people (especially honest and decent) will believe in lot of things if you back up your words with some authority like badge and uniform and some weapon. He even gave them some kind of written certificate (recipe) for gold that he took.
Few days later when it was obvious that there is no safe in town hall, and no government order, he simply took it with force and using weapons.
Of course he was not the only one who did that in that time, but he used his badge and training to do that, actually normal folks trusted him, because they thought something like „oh, he is policeman, he must be right, and he must be good man, let’s do what he says.“
Of course gold got through black market channels out of the country, he is out of the country too for years already. And yes, he is rich. Some other cops become famous as the worst war criminals, they turned to monsters, and did everything to harm people.
I knew some other folks from the police department, some of them simply used weapons and skills to do bad things, other did good things, they helped folks, organized them and learn them how to defend.
What they all had in common is that they used their training, authority signs and weapons when SHTF.
Some in good ways, some in bad. I do not think that being cop made them good or bad, it only made them skilled in controlling people.
Just like folks in my case 20 years ago before SHTF believed mostly that cops must be good guys because they are cops, I am noticing opinion that today cops must be BAD guys just because they are cops. Again I like to think that they are usually skilled guys, very usable in SHTF events. But I do not (just like everything else) take them like only bad or only good guys just because they are cops. Keep in mind that flexibility of thinking gives you big advantage in every survival scenario.
Simply forget old stereotypes once SHTF. Stress and fight for survival will bring out best and worst in people and make them drop whatever mask they were hiding behind in normal times. I try to separate what people can do and how people are and then can form an opinion. This is very valuable when time goes on and you and your group have contact to others.
How do you decide on qualities of people today and for your survival group once things get rough? Write in comments below or simply discuss with us in forum.
There are great concerns about possible Ebola pandemic spreading outside Africa, media is bombarding us with this information. We also have ongoing discussion with interesting updates on our forum.
You can read all sorts of information online, like possible reasons for fast spreading in Africa including religious beliefs and rituals there where people handled bodies without proper knowledge, contributing to the fast spreading. They also say that lack of general knowledge about diseases, hygiene and eating bush meat along with lack of training of local medical professionals caused the mess. Interesting to read, no doubt.
They also say that there is no way of some doomsday scenario of sick person getting onto regular flight, contaminating everyone, because it spreads through body fluids only etc.
All good info, but somewhere at the end of article there is one sentence that goes like this: „… so there is clearly no reason for panic…“
As I said few times before, whenever someone from government, law enforcement, or similar says „no reason for panic“ I get strong urge to buy more ammo (food, water, gas masks…).
OK, I’m a burned man and had bad experience from listening to similar statements, if you are member of my course you know what kind of messages we heard even in days before we were surrounded in the city with no way out.
Just use common sense here. Would media really ever say it is time to panic? It is time to prepare? No. This would cause chaos and some people would overreact. Not show up to work anymore, this could lead to collapse itself. People do not think for themselves anymore so media to certain degree has to always calm people down. It is how the system works.
Panic is bad in any case. Reading how scared some preppers are, some people seem to be in constant state or emergency. This makes no sense and just life miserable. We prepare for every possibility to not be in panic mode.
First be prepared, then do not panic. Of course stay alert and use common sense.
Ebola is scary, and it can become big problem for sure, but just like sharks kill just about 10 people every year and elephants kill 10 times more, it is often what we perceive as harmless that can cause biggest problems. Survival is a lot about seeing dangers where they are. In this sense you should make sure your bathroom is not slippery because many people die by slipping in shower. Today I write about the regular killers I experienced during my time in war.
It does not have to be big wound to get you into the trouble. When SHTF small cut can kill (literally). In world where there is no proper medical care you need to be ready to deal with problems like this.
During my SHTF time there were lots of troubles with wound infections. Everything from minor cuts to bullet wounds had chance to be infected.
We treated infected wounds with what we had, over time with less and less resources it mostly became simple water cleaning, and local mixtures of things for treating infections. Recipes were different, from pine pieces to onions on wounds and similar, and of course local alcohol beverages.
Sometimes we had antibiotics, mostly we did not. Results were very random. What worked for one guy sometimes did not work for someone else. Some people died, others became crippled.
For future SHTF scenarios I suggest to learn as more as you can about wound treatment.
- How to clean and close wound and how to use antibiotics on proper way.
- Remember that simply procedures like wound closing with steri strips can save you lot of troubles later, of course as more as you know (suturing, staples) it is better, and do not fall under the influence of movies, for example no, tourniquet is NOT always best choice for bleeding (mostly it is last), and simple covering of the wound with sterile 4×4 can do miracles later for preventing infections.
- Store normal saline, iodine, peroxide and similar for wound treatment.
- Learn how to do pain management, I did it many times with simple alcohol drink, it does not work well always. Again forget about movies.
- Good advice to know how to use what you have, having needle and sutures without knowledge does not make too much sense.
- Do not blindly follow advertisements about „miracle first aid kit for all SHTF troubles“ you may end up with useless stuff in nice cammo bag. Like in all areas of life today, people try to also sell snake oil and miracle solutions in survival area. Knowledge is king.
Of course there is good stuff around to buy, but be sure to check what you get, good idea is to ask your friend who is in medical field what you actually gonna get in that kit, or even better to assemble your own. I have listed some suggestions what should be in every basic first aid kit here and Cajun who is medical professional like me lists his first aid kit from his bug out bag in our forum.
Food (and water) poisoning
You can be sure that sooner or later you will have to deal with this. It is not only dangerous to be crippled with diarrhoea and vomiting because at the end it can kill you, but also it can make you so weak that you can not perform your duties.
In SHTF that means that you are too weak to defend yourself, or to go out and gather resources and similar, and that is bad. Again, thats why groups are important and lone wolfs have odds against them.
I think that everyone was poisoned with bad food or water at least once during my SHTF time. We dealt with it with teas and simply trying to give the person more water than he is losing it.
There were casualties of course, mostly very old or very young.
First line of defense would be hygiene. Be very serious with it when SHTF. Have plan how to keep yourself and your home (and food and water) clean when SHTF. It is much better to think more about preventing that stuff to happen by how you store your food and handle it instead of having great first aid kit to treat the problems.
Mistake that people often make in case of diarrhoea and vomiting is that they try to consume too much water too fast and that causes more harm than good. Point is to consume fluids very slowly and in small amounts. For example one sip of fluids every 20 minutes or similar, take rest and be careful with water and food intake in next 24 hours.
Already sick people
I know many people think that when we experience breakdown of system and total collapse everything will be about adrenaline, fighting, chaos and blood.
This is part of it, but mostly, especially in first weeks people who lived with small conditions are going to experience them much worse. Think about what small problems you might have at the moment that can become huge if you have to live survival lifestyle with heavy physical work every day, maybe lack of sleep, extreme stress and less hygiene. Problems will be multiplied many times.
For example your uncle had high blood pressure for years, he is on pills, and his family tries to „force“ him to eat healthy, and it is working more or less, but every now and then he ends up in emergency room because his blood pressure goes dangerously up. When SHTF what is the plan to regulate his high BP, and for how long you have stash of pills for him? Or how he is gonna be able to eat healthy or similar when SHTF? From my experience in survival situations, these people are the first to go.
Solution could be to try to regulate his blood pressure today as good as you can, to have stashed good amount of medication for him, and of course to learn everything about alternative means of treating that condition (with herbs for example). Point is to do all this today, because when SHTF you may not have chance or enough time for that.
As heartless as it sounds but also think about what to do with people who are against prepping today and who you know will run into serious problems once normal system is not there to support them anymore. Who will be angry and cause problems in your group if you simply decide to leave that sick uncle to his fate? At some point you have to know when train is full and you are leaving and it makes sense to think about this before.
How do you prepare for diseases? Besides first aid kit(s), what plans do you have? Share in comments below or on our forum.