People Are Bugging Out But They’re Coming To My Place! What?!

I recently received an email from one of our regular comnentors about “what if” others show up at your door following a true societal collapse. She said this:

“I’m the one with the farm, the river, the perceived endless cornucopia of abundance, and this is where they’ll head.”

“Have I invited anyone, and what are the conditions?”

“What resources do I have, and which am I willing to share?”

“What arrangements am I making/have I made, and for whom?”

(Might be an interesting discussion.)

Another ‘regular’ said this regarding SHTF rules and others showing up at his door:

Like many here I invite my relatives.

1. You get here, I’m not picking you up.
2. Bring your own stuff, I have not prepared for you.
3. DONT knock on the door at night.
4. Be ready to actually work for a living/food.
5. This is my place, my rules.

I’ve touched upon this topic before. It’s time to do it again.

Why? Because if you think about “what if” now, BEFORE anything like this happens, you will already have established a thought-process and hopefully a plan.

How will you handle this situation (others showing up at your door)?

Having posted on this several times over the years, I already know the variety of responses that we’ll have. However there are always newcomers and new opinions. It is a good topic to consider and discuss again.

One predictable response (which I really do not like at all) will be this one:

“I will $hoot them before they even get close!”

If that’s you, please hold your fire (literally and figuratively).

Unless you are in battle and are certain that it’s the enemy, are you really going to do that to anyone? (It might simply be NRP walking down the road with a bottle of Gin in one hand and a roll of TP trailing behind his left shoe, for example.)

Okay, let’s get to it.

First, I realize that everyone’s situation is mostly unique. We each have our own pros ≈ cons of where we live, what we have, our natural resources, what we can do, etc.. which may influence the decisions that we would make.

That said, lets try to be logical with our generalizations or specifics.


The Rules

I am looking at two sets of established rules.

1. The initial “go, no-go” rule (guideline) of allowing in to your ‘tribe’.

2. The general set of rules for everyone in your ‘tribe’.

From there you can drill down further with more specifics.


Go, No-Go

Okay, some of you will never let anyone else in. I get that. Your choice. You may have very good reasons (would love to hear them).

My current thinking and mindset is that it would take significant attributes – benefits – (pros) to let someone in.

Societal collapse will result in a number of dangers put upon you and I. The primary one being the 2-legged predator.

Some will be obvious while others will be wolf in sheep’s clothing. Some are very good at disguising their true colors.

Unless you have an exceptional ability to ‘read’ others, it is difficult for me to imagine a scenario of letting in someone who is not known.

The thing is, depending on where you live, the dangers around you may be great (requiring exceptional security) or they may be small. Good security requires a number of things including bodies. Problem is, bodies need to be fed and need to get along with others.

This gets into ‘how many’ people will it take to reasonably maintain safety and security at your given location (or bug-out location). That’s your decision.

Some believe that by remaining totally ‘gray’ you will not have any issue and will not need additional numbers to be ‘safe’. Remaining ‘gray’ is important for sure in my estimation – even if you do have a group! Again, lots depend on where you are and what’s around you.

As most of you know, it takes a significant amount of food (don’t forget water!) per person.

I haven’t defined the hypothetical societal collapse. Will it mean that there will be no food to be had (extreme SHTF?) or something in-between? I would plan on the extreme and hope for something in-between.

Have you estimated how much food you have in your long term storage? How long will it last? What if you take in another person? Do you have enough extra? Might you consider picking up enough extra bulk storage to accommodate extra mouths to feed, just in case?

Go, No-Go. Food. It’s important!

Unless you already know the person, you don’t know their “true” personality and character traits. Even those who you do know, if they are suddenly living in your environment (even if in the barn) it WILL create issues. If people cannot get along, they will not get along.

When there are a lot of “A-type” personalities in a group, there WILL be even more issues. While it may present some good for security considerations (though not always), the rest of the time will prove ‘interesting’…

Unless you are doing it out of total charity, a new member will need to adequately contribute.

What does ‘adequately’ mean in this case? Someone who just consumes your food and resources without providing an adequate benefit or return on those resources will be nothing but a sludge, a drain.

A time of societal breakdown will bring everyone down to fairly primitive basics of life. Survival. That means the procurement, production, maintenance of water, food, shelter, security.

How will the person contribute towards those basics?


General Rules For Everyone

For those who are in your group, there absolutely will be rules needed to maintain cohesion and to see to it that needs are met.

Some people do better than others abiding by rules. Some have a natural instinct to break the rules. Some will want to be the one making the rules. There will be some who don’t agree with a rule or two or three…

A simple set of common sense rules should be enough. No one wants to live under a tyrant or tyranny, so keep it simple, clear, and understandable.

Your primary concerns will be water, food, shelter, & security. Everyone needs to agree on the priorities (you need consensus – not just 3 out of 4 people agreeing). If your priorities are different than the basics that I’ve mentioned, just be sure that they are understood by everyone.

Operational Security will be VERY important during a time of survival after societal collapse. You and your group do not want to stick out like a sore thumb. Loose lips sink ships. Be quiet about it. Be ‘gray’. Blend in. Be sure that everyone understands this. Some people love to talk (you know who they are), so be careful.

It’s going to be a lot of work. Period. Everyone will have to work. It will be physical. You will need to work out schedules and make routines that work for everyone. Focus on each person’s attributes and assign ‘jobs’ and schedules that fit towards water, food, shelter, and security.

For certain, there will be some turmoil at times. That’s life. But how will it be handled? Who’s in charge? Some are better than others at handling these types of situations. I’ve seen some really good mediator personalities (and those horrible at it). Not all disputes may benefit from mediation, but many or most will. Blatant abuse of the rules or goals may require more serious measures to consider.

Wow, I’ve gone on for 1300 words already.
Time to catch a breath and let you voice your thoughts and opinions!

More: Its Time To BUG OUT But Where Will You Go?

More: The Best Route To Bug Out Or Get Back Home

More: The Perfect Bugout Location?


  1. Okay, I’ll say it – who has the resources to take in a group on a long term basis? That mortality rate of 90% in a total collapse will mean surviving based on luck, shear determination, selfishness, or one heck of an organized gulch. I have enough trouble when an animal passes, never mind watching family or friends die of starvation or decease. So If others are not equipped to make it, do not come to my place.

    1. @hermit us, I’m not suggesting that anyone take in a “group” (although we haven’t defined “group” and if that’s 2, 3, or 10, etc..).

      I am however posing the issue of taking in ‘anyone’ at all. And if so, what would be the parameters.

      It sounds like you would not consider (or need) anyone. That’s a perfectly legit response. I’m curious how it will average out throughout the comments of this article.

      1. Ken
        My qualifier is that they must be fully equipped to survive – food, arms, skills, …. and no chain migration – friends and family can extend to hundreds as the word gets out. If they meet these requirements and are willing to work, they can stay.

    2. hermit us please rethink your plans.

      Today I have many unnoticed “little Helpers” to ease my life like the Well PUMP, Hot Water Heater, Washing Machine and currently my wood stove is a nice back up but when SHTF and I lose power a LOT of physical labor to replace those “Little Helpers”.

      That and 24 hour security is a lot of man power.

      I would welcome you and yours into my Viking camp.

        1. hermit us unless your one *ell of a drive from civilization and need sunshine piped in :-) there WILL be visitors.

          Not all of them initially hostile but can become a threat if mishandled. Like a mom with two small kids NOT Likely to have much and sending them onward may leave a trail of tears pointing your place out for others less friendly.

          Some hostile, the WORST of these are Sneaky and act like the sheeple until they see their options.

          So think it out, make plans with various options like my Crowd Control Bear Spray backed up by guns.

          Personally once I have isolation filled up the rest are out of luck as I WILL NOT allow a Collection of Refugees that may MOB up and take my tribe out. I think hard work should motivate the shiftless to move onward and they will KNOW of the Burial Pit.

          Pray for the Republic, every month we get to prepare should be a useful blessing. I used to say years but…..

  2. Ken,
    Even though you have brought this topic up before, it is good to keep bringing it up IMHO. I think this one issue is the one that most everyone (except the most hardened warrior types) is most wishy-washy on. ( myself included here) Yeah, some say they will shoot uninvited guests. Talk is cheap, doing is another thing. ( I hear the ranchers saying they will shoot the neighbor dogs running loose and harassing livestock, but when it comes right down to it they can’t drop the hammer on a dog. Hence a number of rubber buckshot rounds being used as a deterrent). We need to keep thinking and talking about this issue. I myself keep going back and forth on what I would do. And truthfully, if I come to some consensus at some point before SHTF, I know that the situation after SHTF will change things. Maybe I am a hopeless case on this. Still, hearing other people’s thoughts on it is helping me sort things out. At this point it is hopeless to explain what I think I would do, as it is something like only allowing only immediate family here and handing a small food bundle to others and tell them to ‘move on’, and then running the place myself with a ‘Benevolent Dictator’ authority.

    1. Minerjim, It is a difficult issue at best.

      Also, just throwing it out there, what about this… Just because someone is family (distant relative? nearby? other?) doesn’t necessarily mean they would be an asset. How’s that for throwing a wrench into the decision process…

      1. Ken,
        Yeah I have that issue. Some close family are ‘Uber-Libs’, my concern is if they come here they would be okay for little while, but then try and turn the place into a socialist commune. Would be near impossible to turn them away, but how would you find a way too make sure they behave??? In chaos, I would be the leader in this family, I think everyone else would be totally freaked out, they do not share my views on prepping.
        Now I am really perplexed!

  3. First consideration: if the SHTF event is a pandemic then no one (NO ONE) will be allowed to come into contact with my group. No exception rule will be enforced.

    Second consideration: for all other SHTF events, whether new commer or established person, their benefit to the group must significantly exceed their cost to the group. No exception rule will be enforced.

    Final consideration: any individual that is or becomes detrimental to the cohesion of the group will be expelled by any means necessary.

    In a true long term SHTF event survival is only filled with individuals that can made good decisions based on the facts at hand. No one is entitled to survive so get used to it liberal – this has now become my party!

    1. Texas Boy PLEASE rethink your Pandemic plans BECAUSE the Powers That Be may fail to announce the Pandemic as not to “Alarm the Civilians” until it’s too obvious that it’s out there.

      So you may not know a Pandemic is afoot. ALSO even a spreading case of the Flu in a SHTF situation is a Disaster. So please ISOLATE all uninvited guests AND Establish a Medical Tent for anyone in the group feeling poorly. Tea and sleep AND Isolation can often tame the Flu bug before too many in your group have it.

      Remember your last really BAD FLU and now think of a crowded house fill of it. A disaster Post SHTF.

  4. In my opinion, no matter what…if the worst happens, and it is so bad the entire social framework completely falls apart, I cannot hope to survive for very long. Therefore, I have no problem sheltering my family and relatives, as most of them are basically warrior/hunters. I would have no problem letting any of their friends shelter, also…as they too, are all incredible people of great physical and intellectual prowess, capable of just about anything. Imagine having a bunch of SEALS come to shelter with you… I am too old to be an effective survivor, once I am forced into the field.

    For me and my wife, there is no long term to consider.

  5. Great article Ken!

    Yes, it’s been “talked about” before, but it is worth revisiting from time to time.

    My usual response to hearing someone remark that they intend to come to our home if SHTF is “No, you’re not.”

    I’m sure each of us have our reasons, and they will be as unique as we are and our situations.

    Three years ago when we were still trapped in suburbia, I heard this from too many people. Some were in worse neighborhoods, some chose to spend their $ on toys and good times instead of preparing, some were just lazy, etc. When we would inquire more about their statement, we would usually learn that their intention was to simply grab their family and pets, jump in the car, and haul butt to our house where they fully expected to be taken in and made part of the family!!!

    Those folks aren’t welcome.


    My wife and I are not the Prepping Welfare Office. We, just like many others here at MSB, have had to make sacrifices in our lives to prep. Heck, we’ve had to make sacrifices just to keep the lights on! Eating out, vacations, toys, etc. We don’t resent those folks living it up, however, we are responsible for our own safety, and they are responsible for theirs. Their displayed attitudes already indicate that they would not be safe to take in.

    If they were trying to prepare it might be different. Preparing indicates a different mindset.

    Now that we live out in the country, have land, have a big pond full of fish, plenty of deer, turkey, etc. running around, we RARELY hear that phrase anymore… because they don’t know where we live! We grew rather uneasy with the way so many people stated their intention to show up at our place (which in the ‘burbs was tiny) and their entitled attitude regarding it. That along with too many people knowing or suspecting that we had freedom tools, some training, various supplies, etc., helped formed our decision to simply NOT tell most folks where our house is.

    A great “reason” we use for not having people over is that we have 5 dogs, German Shepherd, German Shepherd-Mastiff, and three of their puppies, and they don’t like people on the property or in the house.

    We had 6, but we had to release Hannah, our 14 year old Labrador-Shepherd, from her earthly bonds yesterday. We interred her remains on a ridge top over looking our pond, next to Gandolf and Ozzy, two of the cats she grew up with.

    There are a few people who are welcome. Some I would even mount a retrieval effort for. No particular skills, just good people.

    My brothers know and firmly believe that if they need to bug out from where they are to our home, they will grab everything that they can bring, and that list is prioritized. They know how to get here, know to watch for anyone following them, etc. Even if they were to show up without a single item, they are welcome. They’re family.

    On the other hand, there are relatives who know do not know where our house is. They are serious security risks, think they know everything, live for drama and strife, think they are in charge, and have demonstrated that they will turn on us without regret of any degree. They know we moved, but they just don’t know where to.

    The ones who are welcome already know the things that Ken lists out above. My dear Wife is in CHARGE – LOL! They understand OPSEC, personal and complex security, very basic tactics, the rules, priorities etc.

    I would suggest to everyone that you give serious thought to whom you would allow to live in your home with your family, particularly under the extreme stress of SHTF. Talk to them about it if possible. Discuss these good points that Ken has provided. Get it cleared up and ironed out ahead of time. Your home is NOT a democracy. It is a benevolent dictatorship, and you along with your spouse are the benevolent dictators.

  6. We have planned for our family to come here but there really hasn’t been family ‘discussion’ about this place being ground-central. We don’t feel the threats that we did during the Obama dictatorship so we never had the conversation.

    If things go south and people need to leave their homes (and it was bad, as in EMP), logic will tell them to come here. At that point, we will go from just the 2 of us to any or all of the following:
    Add in 2 elderly (mother & stepfather)
    Add in 4 (son, granddaughter, his significant other and her child)
    Add in 4 (son, daughter-in-law, 2 children)

    Our goal was set for 10 people and we have enough stored food for 6 months w/ full calorie requirements and decent selection of foods. We have now increased our group to 12 because of a future daughter-in-law and her child of 7. We don’t have 12 ‘beds’ but can accommodate all adults.

    No one has shooting skills and all but my mother are anti-gun. Our house, our rules.

    We do not have enough TP to last for 6 months ( we have a few packs over 600 rolls).
    We do not have the kind of food for the 7 year old who is EXTREMELY picky. Starvation solves the picky-problem, so I’m not worrying over it.

    Our family has too many dietary desires (not medical diets!). One adult vegetarian, one adult vegan, one elderly picky meat/cheese/egg-eater, and 3 picky children of 4. I have only prepped for the serious adult vegetarian because this diet has been going on for more than 30 years.

    I have pretty much given up trying to go long-term for 12 people because it’s an overwhelming feat. There is too much of a storage issue for long-term foods. We do have garden zones and ample seeds. No one in our family, aside from my 83-year old stepfather, is afraid of work. He is very healthy except for his pacemaker, but he could do menial work. If he is here, he will be a MAJOR problem in many ways, but no work means no food.

    As far as neighbors, passer-by types, or ‘friends’ — my response will be simple. No one gains entry — to those who are patient enough to listen, they’ll hear me say that everyone PAID to have some provisions so they can stay here. If a situation is explosive, they won’t get an explanation.

    1. ModernThrowback
      Overwhelming feat?
      I would say so.
      You’re a kind hearted person and I’m sure you want to accommodate all and are thinking ahead of the game.
      But how far do you have to go?
      Certain foods for picky eaters. MHO
      NO. Staples only. No CrackerJacks, or gummy worms, Vegan? Learn to love MEAT, etc
      Anti-g u n? Either you live with it or welcome the hoards to take all, that YOU prepaired for.
      Prepair as you would and Mr. with additional same preps for those additional 10/12.
      Wow….I can only imagine.
      “I am only one person. I cannot save the world”

      1. Joe C, You nailed it. The reason I will accommodate my daughter-in-law and her vegetarian diet is because she stopped eating meat as a little girl because she learned what meat was and where it came from. It was an ethical/moral decision for her. Now, after more than 30 years, going to meat would be difficult for her system, I’m sure. And we have an enormous assortment of beans & a ton of rice. (Do you know how many 5 gal buckets make 1 ton of rice???)

        Everyone else is just picky with food (makes holiday meals too much work!). Starvation will change an attitude, so I’m not fretting over personal likes or dislikes of food….oh, I am so mean…lol

        1. To answer the question on the ton of rice about 67 buckets and that would be about 3.3 million calories or enough for about 137 days for 12 people. If my math is correct

          1. Poorman;
            One might also add it would take approximately 335 Gallons of water to cook said Rice, and several 100 pound bottles of Propane or a LOT of firewood.

          2. NRP,
            Maybe a good idea to think about storing a ton or two of coal?? Denser, easier way to store energy, and at this point in time not that expensive.

          3. Minerjim;

            Coal? that stuff STINKS!!!!! when ya burn it, could not imagine cook food over an open fire of Coal. NASTY!!!!

            I have tried supplementing my Wood Stove with a few hunks of Coal, not real happy with the results. I have 3 55-gallon Barrels left if you want it. :-) You pick it up hehehe

          4. NRP,
            I have found that the ‘stink’ of burning coal is inversely proportional to the amount of hooch you have taken in. That said, in SHTF, you might not be bothered by the smell that much, especially if you are cooking outside or in a summer kitchen. $/BTU coal is way cheaper. As for getting rid of your 3-55 gallon barrels, I’ll take you up on that next time I come south ‘over the hill’. Trade ya for a blue bottle of your favorite.

          5. Ken,
            thermal cooker a great idea. I have often wondered how much cooking time and energy you could save by pre-soaking rice or beans. Any thoughts on that??

          6. Minerjim;
            Regardless of what the books say, you can NOT soak the farts out of beans…..
            PS; have read some on the Thermal cooking, most say a 70-80% savings on BTU’s

          7. NRP,
            Can’t get the farts out??? Not even if soaked in “organic parts cleaner”? LOL. I have tried it with water, and it did seem to work to a degree, but you will not get all of them out. That’s what beano is for.

        2. Just a comment to those mentioning the fuel to cook rice.
          We have a wood cook stove, a volcano/rocket stove, and a large thermos. We’ve also got lots of wooded acreage so I’m not worried about running out of fuel.

          Water — we have 1,350 gallons of rooftop runoff we capture. Also have a stream and we have the head of the stream at our place. We could dam it, but it’d piss off neighbors, I’m sure. LOL If daily demands exceeded our stream’s output, we would need to tap into the spring about 200 yds in a pasture at the side.

          We also have made a few molds for making those circular pellet-bricks out of leaves. Anyone else experimented w/ those?

          1. I was thinking the same on the rocket stove. I have a zoom versa and several thermoses I could use. As for wood,well I live in the Sierra Nevada mountains so don’t think that will become a problem anytime soon LOL. water could be a different story but have streams,lakes and ponds close plus a water catchment system also.

          2. Many people use the rocket stove technique in 3rd world countries. There are organizations going in to those areas bringing water purification systems and rocket stove plans, along w/ the means to make pellets from debris found in the area where they’re setting up more reliable means to cook foods. One negative w/ some of these fuels is the fumes and particulates, especially when setting them up inside a closed area like a kitchen. But in SHTF, that won’t be a huge concern, I’m sure.

          3. Modern Throwback those 3rd world users of Rocket Stoves have upgraded from a few rocks on the dirt floor fireplaces.

            No window glass BUT you will find Bars to keep thieves out.

            PLEASE do not use rocket stoves indoors.

  7. Ok folks a few thoughts in no special order. well yes in some order :-)

    First off NH Michael IS NOT a Bed and Breakfast :-) A working relationship is going to happen OR you must move onward with DIRE punishment if you return unannounced. My place my rules and they are written out with the final one of Be Good to the Group OR Be GONE.

    I will give “Lawyers” a copy of the Bible and 1 hour to find support for their arguments. If I am not impressed those “Lawyers” will NOT like my response. That should resolve most liberal arguments AND allow someone with a good reasoning a chance to speak.

    A Viking Camp is being established to be IMPROVED as time and effort allows.

    Disease, Disease, did I mention Disease? ALL Uninvited “Guests” MUST be Isolated from the group for at least a week and observed for signs of disease. Even a spreading Flu is a disaster!

    Isolation means you give them plastic, cordage and sticks and they build their temporary homes over there away from ALL structures of the homestead and safely away from water supplies.

    A Composting Toilet AND Washing/Cooking set up must be established along with instructions, and duties ASSIGNED. Again beware of contaminating your water supply accidentally or INTENTIONALLY. Not everybody is as reliable or sane as you think.

    If there is any doubt of their Loyalty AND THERE BETTER BE DOUBT friends… A fenced in compound to “Protect” them from night critters and you from sharp Knives in the Dark.

    Nobody who has not been cleared by medical isolation and EARNED trusted status gets into my house. I will treat medical issues in the Medical Tent.

    Constant evaluation of each persons temperament and performance for at least a month to reduce chances of Betrayal or Sharp Knife in the Dark Syndrome.

    Even your old buddy from high school needs to be evaluated as UNDER STRESS folks can act out suddenly and that would be bad. Stress WILL be high for quite a while until TRUST is established and teams form to get needed things done.

    All will eat the same foods, if I have to feed you dent corn mush then I will eat dent corn mush.

    However IF you Don’t Work You Don’t Eat. Only exceptions by the advise of the Medical Staff and BTW I am part of the Medical Staff so no slacking buddy.


    1. NHM,
      Good strategies for dealing with the ones you let in. I can see getting firmly behind the one week isolation from the group for overall health issues. thanks. You brought up another thing that makes sense, and that is the printed ‘list of house rules’, handed to all who you let in and for them to sign off on. Establishment of the ‘ground rules’, as my Dad used to say, is always key to any operation. it allows everyone involved to know from the start what is expected and enforced. these can be amended as time goes on and conditions change, but are a starting point for everyone. Thanks for you comments, I see you as a ‘warrior type’, and you have seen a lot of things most of have not, so your view is important on these matters.

  8. Ok, My turn at 1300 words, because I have thought long and hard about this very subject.

    First lets presume the world has totally collapsed, and we are now in the 16 century. That should help define my thinking. Basically little brother can’t go whining to the local LEO that he did not get his bowl of swill night and so on.

    The Rules;
    “go. No-go” aka Welcome or Not;
    Tough one, someone please tell me that you would not take in your Mother and Father, Really?
    How about your ex-wife? After all she knows all the “TP” you have stored up and she show up with her new Hubby and 5 kids, right?
    I personally don’t think it’s going to be Black or White as most may believe. How about that poop-head down the road that borrowed your BBQ and never returned it, but again, does he know how to Garden? Can he haul water uphill for the ‘Group’; can he stay awake for the Graveyard Guard duty? Does he have any supplies to bring?
    Are you going to except that Mucho Ex-military Commando dude that boost he knows everything about “Surviving” in the woods for 6 months without outside help? Talk about a tough decision, for he probably knows you have stuff AND he could ‘take it’ if/when….

    Personally I would have a hard time with someone joining the ‘group’ that I did not know in the before. People will do and say anything when they are hungry, worse if their kids and family are starving. On the same note, can you look a starving kid in the eyes and say “sorry you’re not welcome to have a bowl of swill and must go away to likely die”.
    Are you going to have enough people to “guard” your ever growing ‘group’ and make sure you don’t get yourself shot when 100 Gang-Bangers head your way?
    Just how many will it take to be “secure”?
    FYI, Gray might work for a while, till you have that extra 10 pounds and everyone looks like skeletons.

    Good luck with that one, 600 rolls of TP will last me about 10 years, add to that 20 people now 6 months. How long is your SHTF going to last? How long before that Garden fails and your ‘group’ is fighting over that last 10# of rice? And pleaseeeeee don’t say “we’ll just go hunting and fishing for food” AIN’T going to happen. Sure some people will bring along “some” stuff, but really? I hope you’re not going to count on that.
    That trip to the store buying 800 pounds of Rice and Beans may not sound so crazy now huh?
    PS; forget about Wally World, it’s been burned down months ago.

    Personality and Character;
    Ken forgot to add my #7 rule, “Lastly, remember I’m a grumpy old bastard, live with it.” Ok maybe not the best description of my personality, but there IS going to be a HUGE problem when ya bring in people. As Ken said, living under a dictator may not be good, but those that “show up” better understand my other 5 rules that Ken did mention.
    And again how is that ex-wife going to react when you don’t have enough food for her 5 kids? Who do you think she’s going to blame? Not herself that’s for sure.

    Contributing to the Group;
    I like this quote, “A time of societal breakdown will bring everyone down to fairly primitive basics of life. Survival”, you had better remember that very well, for I guarantee you that Father with starving kids and Family will literally do ANYTHING to take your resources, PERIOD!

    General Rules for Everyone;
    No such thing, sorry Ken. If you’re the one taking in others there had better be very specific rules and consequences for breaking those rules. Anarchy will NOT work in times of ciaos or SHTF, Yes there will be those that disagree, and yes there should be discussions, but there has to be set hard-core rules. YOU, everyone had better think long and hard on what they are going to do if Mr. XYZ steals food and gives it away, or they are caught sleeping on Guard Duty.
    Sorry guys, post SHTF is not going to be easy as it is now.

    Keep it Simple, Consensus on Priorities, OPSEC, Schedules, and Disputes. ALL had better be though out well before TSHTF. These are not simple as the one or two lines of discussions here. Although Ken has presented them well.
    I wonder if anyone will really be able to make a lasting community post SHTF?
    I believe so, after all we’re here now discussing these very things after how many hundreds of SHTF have happened before? Anyone remember the Great Depression, WWII, Katrina, Sandy-Hook, Obama and so many more catastrophes.

    I love the image;
    “It might simply be NRP walking down the road with a bottle of Gin in one hand and a roll of TP trailing behind his left shoe”
    HAHAHAH, Thanks Ken

    Ok OK, 846 words. HAHAHAHA

    1. NRP, Regarding your disagreement of my use of “general set of rules”,

      “2. The general set of rules for everyone in your ‘tribe’.”

      The next sentence did read, “From there you can drill down further with more specifics.”

      For example, NH Michael has a general rule, “Be GOOD to the group or be GONE.” I really like that one. It’s general, but puts out an important message. Specifics are down at the next level. But I get your point (and agree) that you need specifics!

  9. DH and I have prepared for ALL our children, their spouses and their children (our grandchildren.) We have spoken with each family member, and have their “buy in” on chores, talents and work ethics. We have their buy in on the politics and philosophy of the project. I have provided them with “letters of transit” from our local Sheriff that lets folks know they have a destination (not exposed) , a job, and sufficient means of self sustainability to not be forced to a fema camp.

    I have requested they each keep sufficient gasoline on hand for the journey, and that they pack only themselves, pets and clothing (and safety gear if needed to get here).

    We have discussed, as a group, the idea of accepting others. There would be specific requirements placed on them to join the efforts, and this would result in a signed contract on their part. This would NOT be a democracy. AND we have established an area for detention if needed.

    We are prepared for the idea that not ALL of our family members would make it to the ranch….though we have done our best to see that it COULD happen. As a family we have even prepared for the continuing education of the youngers, and those that would be able to teach and educate. We have set aside musical instruments for entertainment and education as well. We have a specific area for quarantine and medical needs, a solid library, and both indoor and outdoor kitchens and wash areas. Lots of WORK to do, and can use plenty of people….so ALL family members are welcome. It appears at this time that about a dozen “non-family” are counting on coming here as well, and THEY have all been informed of the contract and requirements.

    Fortunately, the ranch is large and resourceful….Who is John Galt?

  10. I’m already finding how a small invitation can be a Nuisance. A few weeks ago I invited a long time friend to spend the night while she was in town. I had asked her before but she always said she was allergic to my pets. But finally she accepted. Since that time (about a month and a half ago) she has invited herself to stay 4 times – once for 4 days, another time for 2 nights. I no sooner get her sheets washed then she is here again. She is retired and has 7 children and many grandchildren — and she has no home of her own; she just visits relatives and friends or stays in motels.

    Last night she called just as I was ready for bed and I didn’t answer. She said she was about 50 miles away on her way to visit her children about 5 hours away. She left a message that she was going to stay in a motel for the night.

    I really don’t want company all the time. I am a very private person. She talks all the time.

    Nevertheless, if she showed up after the SHTF. I would welcome her. She would be a big help for security, for helping in the garden, for getting water, etc.

    I have a couple of other friends I would feel the same about. Ladies I completely trust and who would be a big help to me. Alone I wouldn’t have much of a chance. All 3 are brave, hard-working, gun owners, and wouldn’t have any problem helping me defend my house with lethal force. I could only accept one of them though. Not enough room or resources for all and since two of them are preppers, they probably wouldn’t come. So the only one I would likely have is the homeless one.

    Anyone besides one of those three would not get in if I could stop them. I wouldn’t trust anyone else and would be afraid to fall asleep.

  11. Ken,

    In a perfect world, I would have every position for Food gathering, production, and preparation, as well as water, security, medical, etc. prefilled with healthy, happy candidates that all get along famously with one another and have their own preps. In the real world I keep my eyes and ears open, my mouth shut, and plan exactly what would have to be done for long term survival. Keeping in mind how this family member or neighbor may be useful, and how that person seems to have this skill or supply. Bringing people together in a time of stress may be a very useful skill in addition to everything that we have learned, stored, and prepared for. Just my 2¢.


    I think that RIGHT NOW THE THING I REGRET THE MOST ALMOST EVERY SINGLE DAY IS.. we did not put a lock in the frigde the freezer and the cabinet in the kitchen.

    Now i live with my aunt. She is medicated in order to be functional. And.. SHE WAKES UP OR SNEAKS OUT and SHE WILL EAT EVERYTHING OR DRINK THE JUICES AND ADD WATER SO THAT NOBODY NOTICES THAT SHE DRANK IT and even TASTE EVERYTHING AND THEN PUT IT BACK and when we look for it IT IS SPOILED. SO.. BEFORE EVEN DECIDING WHETHER OR NOT YOU WILL HANDLE PEOPLE.. BUY LOCKS FOR EVERYTHING AND MAKE SURE THAT NOBODY EVER OPENS YOUR FRIDGE.. THEY WILL KNOW BY DOING THAT WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE AND HOW MUCH MONEY YOU MAKE AND.. THEY MAY EVEN POISON YOU FOR TAKING YOUR STUFF.. THAT WAS REAL CASE MENTIONED NOT SO LONG AGO.. IT IS REAL. THIS IS QUITE CHEAP AND YOU CAN DO IT NOW. Besides.. if you have more than one guest.. it will be horrible. MAKE PEOPLE BRING THEIR OWN SMALL FRIGDE FOR SHTF OR MAKE THEM BUILT ONE WITH JARS AND SAND AND PUT IT IN A PRIVATE SPACE. I SWEAR TO GOD THIS IS HUGE.. REALLY HUGE ISSUE.. my mom bought a chocolate put in the frigde and then blame ME because my aunt cries and swears that she will not do that again.. yet we found chocolate in her bed and we know it is her.. my mom went ballistic and now we are trying to get the locks and we cannot.

    Second thing FOR REAL. My aunt will leave my house and go outside. She has lost her keys.. we have had to change the locks inmediately at least 25 times in the last 10 years. So.. you better have PLENTY OF KEYLOCKS OF SPARE AND ROTATE THEM IF YOU HAVE TO. now.. we cannot change those.. they are ALMOST impossible to buy (too expensive) and by the way.. you better have someone in the house that knows how to change the locks in a heartbeat. It is your safety and seconds count.. people that lost their keys and did not bother to change the locks INMIDIATELY over half of them were robbed and injured and even killed HERE. i can testify for that. My neighbour 4 blocks from here was one of them. By the way.. MOST PEOPLE DO NOT EVEN KNOW THEY HAVE LOST THEIR KEYS BECAUSE WHEN IN A GROUP ONE PERSON OPENS AND IF YOU LOST IT BEFORE GETTINV HOME ONCE YOU ARE ALREADY INSIDE YOU DO NOT THINK ABOUT IT. This happened to my cousin and he was lucky so he changed everything the very next day. He remember where he left the keys went to get them but since it was kind of a long time (one afternoon) you cannot be certain that someone made a copy and are waiting for you to come get them follow you and then use the keys they got. SOOOO.. FIRST RULE.. WHO THE HELL IS IN CHARGE OF KEYS AND REPLACEMENT OF LOCKS AND WHAT IS THE POLICY OF SOMEONE LIES ABOUT LOOSING THEM.

    Also.. 3rd thing I HONEST TO GOD REGRET is Not building toilets and a medical area OUTSIDE MY HOUSE. this is huge. I have had at least 300 things stolen from my bathroom and most people like me complain of the same thing.. guest will take the toilet paper, the soap, the things that are inside the shower.. the make up and medicine that are in the cabinet that is a mirrow.. IT IS INSANE.. AND QUITE EXPENSIVE.. SO.. BUILT ONE NOW IF POSSIBLE.

    By the way if you live in a building.. people may do their business in the hall right in front of anyone if they have no water in their apartament and.. you will be surprised about how the very small stuff is the stuff that matters.. so.. TRY THAT before even considering having a friend for a couple of hours when things are bad.. like here.

    1. mariel, Thanks for your insight from Venezuela. Very good points… lock things up. In my opinion if someone in my group steals from the group, they are G O N E. Gone.

    2. mariel;
      Thanks for the post from a place here in the US. I know we are praying you survive the massive problems you are having. I for one have a hard time even imagining your world now.
      Please feel welcome to post your thoughts and wisdom, I know I will read and appreciate your thoughts and contributions.

    3. Thank you Mariel! Your story is something I saw in Bosnia during the Ethnic Cleansing.

      And thus I repeat DO NOT allow folks you cannot trust in the House. Mariel lives in a city I suspect so her options are limited.

      Locks help keep honest people honest.

      Praying for you Mariel, I suspect We will be seeing the same things shortly.

    4. mariel, you are welcome here and thank you so much for posting
      You are giving us real insight that what really happens
      By your sharing you are hopefully going to make it possible to prevent a lot of distress for others
      I am going to have my husband read you post tonight…
      Please visit and post again soon
      God bless you and Good Providence be with you in the midst
      of distressing times
      sending Peace and Blessings to you Mariel…

    5. Mariel, thank you for taking the time to give us real time insight into your beautiful country. So sorry for the hardships of your people.

  13. Perceived abundance – that’s it. If one could live on invasive blackberries (oh, the fiber in those) alone this place would be perfect. I bought it several years ago after it had sat in foreclosure for a couple of years. The house is about 80% rehabbed, and the workshop/carport about 20%. They are becoming outdoor and overflow living spaces JIC. Neighbors and most friends and family think I’m slowly developing a fish camp.

    Retired and moved here full time a few months ago. Dangerous trees are mostly down, some stumps are out, initial orchard in, some gates and fences fixed, drainage improved, meandering path down to the river is in, gardens are underway now.

    Some neighbors have been over well, because, neighbors. In six years I’ve invited only four friends to come by. Only four family members and a couple of their + 1s have been here. Rest of the family live too far away (>1,000 miles).

    All of the ones who have been here are invited. Conditions are like those above – bring your own stuff, plan to work hard, and contribute in every way you can. Each has been invited to place a camper or a shipping container on the property. A couple have; the rest have helped out now and then. Among what they would all bring are their hunting equipment, fishing tackle, and the ability to work hard. One raises horses and would bring those. Another one is a minister, a trained EMT, and a white water river guide. One is a massage therapist. Half of them are accomplished musicians. Nearly everyone is a pretty good shot. Nearly everyone is fearless. We love each other fiercely and laugh more than cry.

    My personal goal is four years of food, water, fuel, miscellaneous supplies, and seed storage for 1 and dogs. Plus garden, orchard, river fish, tank fish, and chickens. Although the local elk herd tends to sleep in my back pasture, they will probably all be gone soon should a long term SHTF event happen. I’ve got gardening tools, canning supplies, an outdoor kitchen with a dual fuel (wood and propane) cast iron stove, and plenty of shelving. Building a smoker is on the list. Finishing a sleeping loft in the old workshop, where there are a wood stove and a pool table. A couple of high up look-outs are also on the drawing board.

    I have become quite close to a younger family up the road. He works for me when he has time, and can do anything, but defers on electrical work. She pastures her horses at my place about half the year. We are part of each other’s long-term survival strategy. About half the folks on this dead end road keep to themselves. A couple neighbors are seriously problematic, but most of the tweakers are gone. The rest of us are friendly and helpful. Nearly everyone hunts, fishes, and gardens. Some have livestock.

    Our little road is surrounded by private and public forestry land. There is a fish hatchery and public river access a few miles up the road. Every year trespassing hunters and fishers have to be run off private property. Last year someone went down the road the night before elk hunting season started and removed all the no trespassing, no hunting, and private property signs from everyone’s fences.

    These folks thinking there might be sustenance here for the taking are sure to be a problem. Depending on the nature of a crisis, outlaw biker gangs might also be an issue. They tend to be around the area and on the beach roads in the summer and fall when the weather is nice. I’m sure we can hide their vehicles at the incredibly overgrown abandoned farm across the way.

    1. Further thinking on the subject.
      For sheer self-preservation, I’d never have anyone come by for a visit today who I wouldn’t be glad to see should TEOTWAWKI happens. Sure as anything, if they’ve been here, they’d head here if they could.

  14. I live in rural America. I expect very few “strangers.” My main concern is neighbors. Not next door like one would think off in the city, but rural neighbors. I know most and undoubtedly there could be issues. One family in particular, are very liberal. I doubt if they have more than a week’s worth of food in their home. They are older and have grown children and numerous grandchildren. Their kids are all worthless. No job, in and out of jail, many kids of their own with several different “mates.” These folks are not bullies, they simply live off the system and always have. I’m sure if the neighbor’s children can somehow find their way home, there will be issues. They truly have nothing to offer at all. Not terribly bright, little to no work ethic at all.

    What to do with that problem? I can’t possibly feed them and/or their children. I won’t try. It is easy to predict a scenerio where the 12 year old comes bringing a few toddlers over to “borrow some food.” I forsee this happening within a week of shtf. I will not provide any food at all to these folks. It will break my heart, but there would be no end to it, if I allowed it to start.

    Desperate people do desperate things. It can only end badly. I cannot provide for everyone. My family must come first-last and everywhere in between. I will suggest they try fishing, but I doubt they have the knowledge or gumption to try it. I doubt they know how to clean a fish. Fish are available in near by ponds and a lake within walking distance. Of course they will only go if their golf cart is working.

    I’m sure it would come to a head within the first couple of weeks. I can only remain vigilant and protect me and mine. After such time, I’m of the belief, things will settle out. I have many good neighbors I will gladly help. I have in the past and they have helped me when needed. It will be necessary to come to some sort of mutual aid agreement with worthy neighbors.

    No one can stay awake 24/7. Most rural folks have skills and knowledge to apply to various issues often discussed on this site. Hunting and fishing are a regular part of life for many in the country. It is all the other things that will become problematic. I don’t have the TP supply of NRP or others. Hopefully enough to last a while, though. I have made many provisions for “just in case.” All these provisions are for family. I did not spend money on fancy vacations or the latest video game. Therefore, I will not share my few provisions with those who chose to spend their money as they saw fit.

    Family will be headed this way. It will be a tough time until they arrive. Oh it will still be rough after they arrive, but I’ll then have the important things with me. Family will be a huge asset at my home.

    Security will be important. I’m in a unique area and it can be secured with fewer people than most spots. I have not had specific conversations with my “good” neighbors nor do I think it necessary to do so, at this time. I have loaned out my copy of one second after, to several neighbors. It makes a person think. It’s only a book ya know.

    1. Understand your situation with the lazy lib neighbors. Desperation is sometimes a kick in the pants. As they realize you’re not the nanny state replacement department, would other suggestions/arrangements work? Do they have cleared, open land to start growing their own food? Could you lend/barter tools and seeds to get them started? Would they barter labor in your gardens or other chores to earn food you give them? Useless eaters sometimes come to their senses when they realize it’s do or die; they’re only useless eaters because our “advanced” society enables them to be so; taking the easy road. If they truly are just takers to the core, and refuse to rise to the occasion, they most likely won’t last long – problem solved. They’ll just need to understand they won’t be taking from you.

      1. One of the things I’m planning on (depending on the situation, of course) is to get all the neighbors together for a grass removal party, hand out seeds (which I’m stockpiling) and help them get gardens started. If they don’t bother, that’s their problem. I’ve done what I can.

    2. Plainsmedic can I suggest given your good relationship with the working rural neighbors that you get a couple of them together when things go crazy to meet up with your Liberal neighbors for a self help meeting?

      Takers and Gimmie Dat’s do not like face to face group meetings as they cannot deny how the others will handle THEM if they act poorly. Tends to keep them honest. I did this two years ago when a crack house seemed to be getting established in my area. 6 of us visited and had a polite chat with them. They moved onward later that month.

      Hope this helps

  15. Don’t know about others, but this is one subject I’ve not dwelt on, for several reasons. I’m getting along in years. I’ve buried many friends who died much younger than I. Some met violent deaths when fairly young. One partner who never smoke, drank, or cussed, died at age 41 of leukemia. I’ve come to recognize the fact that there are not guarantees in life. There are no guarantees that if you do xyz everything is going to be alright. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times that I’ve been violently attacked and the only logical outcome would be that I was a dead man. Yet, I survived them all. I’ve made enough bad decisions, I should be dead many times over. Yet, I’m still around. For me, the only logical reason for this is that a power much greater than I decides when it’s time. Ridicule me if you must.

    My immediate family knows that my door is always open in good times or bad. They know this, but they now have their own families to take care of and it’s highly doubtful that bugging out to Dad’s place even crosses their minds. I’ve spoke to them on the subject and they’ve told me as much.

    There is a book that tells me who I should trust in. It also tells me how I should respond to other people. It makes no mention of that response depending on my resources or whether I’ll have enough left over for myself. It tells me He changed water into wine when there was a need, He put meal into a widow’s barrel after she gave all she had in resources to Him. He tells me he knows when a bird falls from a tree, and I’m not less in importance than a sparrow. It also tells me to store up provisions in times of plenty because there will be times of famine.

    I won’t belabor the point other than to say, if I trust that my life has always been in His hands, why would I turn my back on His teachings when things get a little rough?

    Having said all that, I believe He expects me to defend my family from thieves and thugs. This I will do. I hope these thoughts don’t offend anyone.

    1. Dennis;
      Words well spoken, why would words from the Soul offend?
      Like yourself I know many of us here in the crazy BLOG often wonder why are we still here?
      I have only one answer. And I believe you know that answer.

  16. Everybody thinks they have a plan,
    Until it really happens and everything goes out the window,,,,,,,

    1. Yup, but you still need to have a plan ;) At least it will provide a foundation for what you might decide to do for Plan B.

      1. I plan on dealing as best i can under the circumstances,,,
        Hows that one,

        Believe me, ive thought and planned and thought some more, now im just going to chill and go on about the dayly business that needs going on,

        You know full well theres no end to this stuff, and beyond interesting conversation, most of us have no clue what will really be the situation, but yea, plans plans we all got plans,

        Ya ever have God or mother nature take a swat at ya to test out your plans? Stuff changes……

        1. Tommyboy, yes, I have most definitely had God or mother nature take a swat, more than once. Though I get back up and move forward as best I can. Never give up.

          1. Ken, “move forward as best I can. Never give up”…—This belief/attitude makes you a lot like Albert Einstein. Years back read some of his “stuff”. He said that many folks believed he was a genius, but he did not think so. He said (more or less–it is a long while), that he just had more stick to it ness, and would not give up….Golly, you are in good company.

    2. Ken you beat me to it. :-)

      A plan and the materials to DO it beats Winging it under chaos and stress.

      For example sheet plastic, cordage and some 5 foot Wire Fencing and T-Poles. Even if I don’t use them for the Visitor Compound I can Fix that leaky roof from say that TROPICAL Storm rolling in on you Tommyboy. Maybe use the fencing and plastic sheeting to funnel extra rainwater AWAY from something like Hay OR into storage for later use. Indeed a Tube of Fence Wire with a liner of plastic sheeting can be a supersized kiddie pool for water gathering OR with Black Plastic a Privacy Screen for bathing-toilet.

      Plans are not a bad idea buddy!

      The Plan may not be what happens but good planning plus supplies AND a good Attitude can do a lot of useful things.

      1. Or you can just make a batch of popcorn and let the chips fall where they may! Then deal when ya know whats shakin

      2. NH Michael
        I read most of your posts and respect your views. Do you really believe you can establish a “visitor’s compound” and make that work? I’m sure you have thought it through, but human nature will rear it’s ugly head.

        People will not go from air conditioned homes with privacy, tv, fridge full of food, etc, etc, to living in a tent or under a tarp in your visitor’s compound. They may do so for a short stretch of time because they’re hungry. Stay frosty my friend. As they say, “some pigs are more equal than others.” People will see you living in relative comfort and eventually despise you for doing so.

        I have no clue as to your plans. Maybe you have planned or gameplanned it out. I truly wish you the best, if it comes to pass. People do not function normally in stressful situations. Some people excel while others crumble or become a person you wouldn’t have recognized. We may not recognize ourselves if shtf ever happens. We will all face daily challenges we haven’t faced before.

        My point being; the skills and knowledge you have are your most valuable resources. Having materials and provisions will make things much easier. I think each situation will be, or at least could be something far different from what we’ve planned for. I’m sure there are folks out there who truly wish it would happen. They picture themselves as the “head” of some mythical mini-kingdom. I don’t think it will work out as any of us plan. I hope it never happens!!!

        Maybe I’ll have chickens soon. I’m trying.

        1. And Matthew 24:20 “Pray that your flight will not take place in winter”

          Yep, the “contingency” modifies “plan”. Thanks NH Micheal for your thoughts.

        2. Old Homesteader and NH Michael

          Both of you seem to have planned for a large group:
          special ops/military people with toys
          jet airstrip
          large landmass to utilize

          I’m in a different situation. I’m somewhat envious, but then who knows what will or will not work. I fully realize a single man or couple is very unlikely to survive unless they are extremely remote. I see no way for me to recruit or fully vet enough people to use the viking system or whatever plan old homesteader is using.

          I have tried to remain “grey” except for family. I have no formal plan or contingency with neighbors or other friends. I have strong suspicions that several of my neighbors have made some efforts to be prepared. I have never broached the subject directly with them, or them me. I prefer to not expose my family by releasing info that may put us at additional risk.

          Do you guys have any sense of the opsec utilized by the many folks within your plans. Not a criticism, an honest question. People talk, some ya can’t get to shut up. It’s just human nature. It is a trade off, I suppose. A large group can definitely defend better than a smaller group.

          We all have opinions and I’m hopeful all our “plans” work out. Or better yet, never be used. I’d love to be able to look down at my property when someone in the future finds/opens something and asks “what is this for and why would anyone have one of these.”

  17. When the conversation comes and I am asked, I tell then if they have a camping trailer “Shelter” and food to last about a year they are welcome. Most people understand this.

  18. I had written (snail mail) a letter to my cousin that lived in a big city and told her, when things get bad, come here. At the time she had a little one, and I requested she bring any and all necessities that she could bring, including additional food, water, baby needs, arms, and her mom.
    Same talk I had with my son.
    They are old school, so the work load upon their arrival would pan out.
    Rules would be set, but decisions afterwords as a group.and settled as a group.
    Neighbors would definitely be a problem, most if not all would be a turn away.
    Get to know thy neighbor (s)
    Fit in, you are as hungry and desperate as they are. You take in one, two, then you’ll have all of them in your yard.

  19. This is one of the things that scares me. I have 10 siblings. Most of them have no property, live in condos or on small lots, and like homing pigeons this is where they would come because it’s always been the safe center of the world. They’d show up with all their spouses and children, and no matter how much I prepare I couldn’t provide for them. That’s 50+ people, without the in-laws and all the trailing baggage, eight of the eleven within 100 miles. None of them are prepared. Several are borderline socialists. Some are A personalities that do not get along.

    Who do I turn away? The socialist sister and her husband, who will immediately want to take control for our own good? The security specialist brother and his family? The sister and BIL who have learned to work hard (the previously mentioned BIL will insist they not be allowed to stay)? The autistic niece?

    If SHTF I’d be sorely tempted to crawl into a hole and pull it in after me because my home would be a war zone.

    1. I hear ya,
      Stuff like that is one reason why i have a list of stuff to take, and a list of stuff to burn,,,
      Ill just leave it there, but bugging out to my favorite camping spot with me, myself, and I and my 350 full of as much as it can cary! might just be the better plan

        1. Definitely, if you can get here,,,,
          2 ponds
          Overwatch location
          Buts up to forest
          Deer, sheep, goats, birds,
          never freezes
          In 30 years the only people who have camped there is me

    2. Sometimes I have to wonder if not having family isn’t such a bad thing.
      I would be looking at neighbors. One I think would be ok – then ya have the crazy uber liberal next to me, the one that wants to look, touch and go through everything in your house (I’ve mentioned her) and although we finally came to a standoff where she no longer even acknowledges me I know that she would be first at the door looking for handouts, screaming to the world that she just knows I have stuff.

    3. Lauren, On the bright side, with 10 siblings and accompaniment, you could have a good chance at restarting civilization anew 😯

      1. We’d need a larger population base. Another family, maybe, that also has ten kids. We have one of those right up the street (they actually had twelve, all of whom have their own broods now). ROFL

  20. Those that have stayed married to the same person and have children in common have a leg up on those of us who have not. My problem is hard, I do not trust Mr.’s daughter or anyone associated with her. My boys would be good help and want to do right by their families. I have a hard time wrapping my head around my family dealing with his family. Now she was raised right but has not turned out so. So while this might sound illogical and un loving I sometimes think mine might be better off not here with us. At times I consider just taking off and being with mine if there was to be an end.

    1. MrsUS
      That is a tuff one.
      I have wondered that myself. I only have the one boy and soon to be DIL What if boy thinks his mom should be included or DIL’s dad. Has he said anything to either one? I doubt it. Knowing that the ex and I are like oil and water. But is the least of my worries, but still in the background. And truthfully I would have to say no to both. Cold but true.

  21. That picture is all of us on our way to Ken’s house 🏡🗻🚓🚙🚚⛟🚜🚲🛴⛵🛶🛥🚁✈🍿

  22. CR
    That’s funny!
    And all the critters, too
    2020 or sooner

  23. Old man says anyone not invited, even if they are pulling a handcart full of supplies can go on. Neighbors, most prepared and will work or barter for supplies. Some neighbors that have laughed at us and are desperate can have 1 packet of top ramen and go on. The key phrase is what can you bring to the table if you need food or water.
    We invited our daughter who is about 600 miles away in a huge city, my sister about 400 miles away in a huge city, and one of his brothers and wife on the east coast (we are on the west side) in a large city. We don’t expect to see any of them as they will never get out and are not prepared with the extras it would take to leave. I invited my doctor, (70 miles) her husband and child who are very interested and both are young, can work, and a doctor is invaluable. Both their families are far away. And one couple from CA that are the ultimate preppers. They could make it and are planning on coming this way.
    We are not rural, but are downgraded to frontier, and frontier it would become.

  24. This is a good question and one I have wrestled with for years. As it sits now there are 2 people outside my immediate family that have been invited to come in if there is a SHTF event. I have stored everything they would need if they accepted and I’m sure they would if things were bad enough. One is a doctor, the other a dentist. There are a few like minded neighbors and we have discussed security and communications if things really get bad. These neighbors all have their own supplies and would remain on their property, we would just ban together for mutual assistance and security. Outsiders could be considered if they bring a needed skill but would NOT be welcome inside my residence. They could maybe take up in abandoned houses and work with us but not be trusted until they prove themselves. They would not be able to bring their friends/relatives with them without approval of the group.

  25. We really have no idea what will happen if the lights go out and the trucks stop running.

    I will estimate the mortality rate
    10% in the first week – the sick, the elderly, the victims of the gangs or looters
    50% in the first month – mainly in high population areas – no water or food
    90% in the first year – as resources run out for most, even for some short term preppers.

    Bodies everywhere, much contamination of food water, weather related deaths, neighborhood violence and even in groups as resources run out. …..

    That nice big ranch will become a target very quickly – how many people do you need to protect a section of land?

    So I say, keep it small, private, very secure OR try to turn the entire town/area into a governance of it’s own. – until a larger force arrives.

    I applaud the generosity of many of you, but it may get you shot in the back, poisoned, or simply kicked out of your own well prepared sanctuary.

    1. hermit us I feel your mortality rate is on the low side. Why?

      62.7% of the population of the USA lives in Cities per Google

      Every major emergency WITH the power still On and Police Systems intact what successful evacuation can you name?

      Most ran out of gasoline in traffic jams. and with Power out and police systems non-functional those roads will be WORSE as nobody could get gasoline at all. You hit the road with what was in your tank.

      3 days with out water and your TOAST. Talking with sewage workers about how the storm sewers and the regular sewers are interlinked AND the Power Driven Systems that dump needed levels of chlorine etc. as well as run the sewage pumps city water will be worse than useless in a couple of days. Down stream rivers will be cess pools for a month. Bad water will kill you as fast as NO water.

      So almost 62 percent (giving credit for fast evacuees getting out) of the population of the USA will be dying from lack of safe water in a week. Desert Cities are even in worse shape as there is little drinkable natural water sources outside the powered water system.

      All this assumes no extra Problems like a Deep Freeze-Massive Snowstorms and or violence between people stealing anything they can to survive today.

      Thus my tribes plans to avoid contact as best as possible by going DARK for 4 to 6 weeks listening to police scanners to see if anything “Normal” is happening. We cannot avoid our neighbors but we have knowledge of their “Normal” time Behaviors and have made plans on how to deal with that. Happily most are allied possible.

      To do the allied thing needs security from betrayal and human craziness until we figure out who can be trusted. Thus the Viking Plan I have mentioned.

      If anyone could chime in to support or disprove my death by bad water thesis PLEASE COMMENT. I am open to ideas.

      Pray for the Republic.

      1. NH
        Yes my guess might be low, but don’t discount the 12-15% that can live like rats in urban areas. Rain water and body parts.

    2. There are a few of us that could be trusted to watch each other’s backs – you have seen the tests of character in battle so I think you will choose wisely.

  26. From a total collapse position, I feel pretty good. (Probably Delusion lol)

    I live in a very remote place. I am about 500 miles (Direct Line Distance) from an Urban Population of over 1 million. I also live in the heart of farm land. I would imagine that after the collapse, if you put in the work you will do well here.

    I am more than happy to help my friends and family who come to my residence. My friends have good work ethics and I have already severed contact with “bad” family members (Great Decision BTW). Whether they come with supplies or not, we will come together and make it work. I believe having a group is essential if you want good quality of life.

    Now on the off chance a stranger walks hundreds of miles into my dead-end region, passing thousands of farms along the way and finds my farm. I will work with them. If they are that determined to survive I am sure with a bit of guidance they will make a good farmer.

    To be honest I not only prepare for this world, but for the next as well. I have no desire to hide in a bunker with 20 years of freeze dried food. If that is what it will take I will not be alive in the end. My prepping is meant to enable me to survive until the crops come in, nothing more.

    1. Keeper
      No fuel deliveries, no farming. A few months of degradation of animals, crops, water, …. even the neighboring farm families will be on the hunt.
      No one wants to live in a dark bunker – but isolation for about three months would reduce the risks of violence and improve chances for survival. Get the worst over – or eat your barrel. There may be no good choices.

      1. You can operate a farm without machines. But you are right, these massive farms out here will cease to operate how they have been. There will be a lot of empty space between farms that is for sure. This County’s population used to be 4 times what it is today, which make sense because the farms used to be about 4 times smaller.

        I have been surprised to find so many farmers have heirloom gardens for their own consumption. Imagine that….

        I have good geographic isolation. If you do not have that then a short term bunker may be in order. I only meant that I have no desire to stay under ground for years.

  27. I have learned how to say “NO”.
    Neighbors come over and want to borrow my potato fork which I have in my hand and I say “NO”’, right after they gave us a bag of tomatoes. Giving and borrowing are not the same thing.

    1. Saying NO is important, it doesn’t go over well with the person asking, but it needs to be done none the less.

  28. For the most part I don’t look to have enough resources, money or anything of value to be a person others will look to in bad times.

    OPSEC has been and continues to be something I take very seriously. Not only do I outright hide things from others I also live a life that from the outside looks like I have nothing beyond just surviving.

    I went through some very bad ecnomic times in the past that forced me to live on almost nothing. I have since then do very well at making money as a self-employed home repair person. But I still live a frugal life, or at least it looks that way from those around me.

    And after the bad times I found I didn’t need a new BMW, a big house with a deck and poo, I didn’t need a zero-turn mowerl. I actually live a more enjoyable life now then back then as I don’t have to work as hard to service all that debt and the expensive items. I still buy some expensive things (like Ham radios) but it’s all done with cash and none of it is high profile stuff that lets others know I have something to plunder. I work less then before but have more money (cash & silver not in a bank or safety deposit box) because I have zero debt.

    So I don’t look like a vending machine or the local Wal-Mart that people will run to.

    I keep very quiet about my personal info. I have Ham radio guys that talk about prepping, guns and all kinds of things that are better left unsaid. But they blab like crazy on the air about these things.

    I’m a gun owner that goes out shooting a few times a month, mostly alone. I have a few good friends that are Ham’s that also go shooting almost every week. But I NEVER go with them and in fact they have no idea I even own a single gun (I have maybe 3 doz guns, so many I lost count) because they get on a repeater and talk about going shooting and the guns they own.

    There is also a local prepping net every Friday and they talk about all kinds of prepping subjects on it. This is very foolish as every Ham MUST ID every 10-min and a net search will give his name, street address and even a map to his home. It’s not hard to imagine a bad person with a smart phone or any net connection looking up his house and then making a visit to steal his things.

    I also never talk about going out of town as it’s a bit OPSEC risk.

    PS: Look up AMRON to find a local prepping net to listen to, but don’t get on the net and talk.

  29. I am working in a job in which it is MY job to tell people “NO” and to force medications upon them by injection when they refuse to take pills. I have been the final word of enforcement and expressing the will of the “people” for most of my adult life.

    Many people talk the talk including my fellow RN’s at my place of work. In the end, I have been the one that walks the walk when confronted with a violent psych patient or simply an angry person with prison mentality. My job is to put people down. ( literally or figuratively.) for over 30 years now.

    I found out I was wired this way after my first gunfight at age 23. The scary thing is, there was always somebody willing to pay for your services even after termination from my last Law Enforcement job. If SHTF, again, ( I have relocated and started over several times in my adult life.) I would go to work for somebody else until I am in a situation where I have enough supplies, money whatever to survive my remaining days.

    The scary thing for me is the fact I am approaching retirement age myself and I will no longer be calling the shots on the take-down of a violent offender. I had to do exactly that this past weekend on my unit. I am trying to train a replacement butt it is difficult finding a fellow RN with a spine to do the job right.

    If a major pandemic comes, I will be toast/among the first casualties because I work with patients on the floor. I do not hide in an office. ( first to go/last to know.). If the checks stop coming in, I will leave. ( as I did in 2009 when I left California when faced with being paid in IOU’s.).

    If SHTF? it has already happened for me several times. I will do my best to land on my feet and survive. Much of one’s success is based upon Luck as mentioned by others on this site. I am old and slow butt I have a history of making up for it with treachery and guile.

    In the past, I traded in my gun and badge for keys to the Medication Locker. I enjoy my job much more these days. ( one for you…one for me…etc ad nauseam.).

    Is my employer OK with this arrangement? I told them on the interview for the job that I am a mercenary. I will show up to do the job/including the difficult jobs as long as the checks continue to roll in. They hired me in less than 8 hrs in the fall of 2009.

    This is why I do not have a huge garden, can my own produce, raise chickens or livestock, I tend to talk about guns a lot and joke about spinning my fat cats on this site. My true expertise is dealing with mentally ill, angry or jacked up human beings. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years and I am still doing it today. ( just got off duty/drinking a beer and typing this screed.).

    Sorry for the long post Ken. Time for me to go to bed now.

    1. Calirefugee,
      You are doing a very difficult job, a job that needs to be done, but that few will tackle. LEOs, too. Thankless jobs, going on day after day, the public basically clueless that they are being done. I for one recognize you and thank you for doing this, I do not think I could do what you and so many others do each day. I have been no stranger to high stress jobs in the past (nuclear work), but not the type of ‘in your face’ work that you do. Hats off to you for that. Make sure that you take time for yourself, to decompress, and unload the mental load that you build at work each day. Know that God sees and understands what you are subject too each day, and stands with you as you do these jobs that few would dare tackle. God be with you.

  30. Everyone wants to be charitable, kind, empathetic, … until the SHTF. Then many go looking for that person that were thought to be to harsh, violent, arbitrary, … to defend them. Already, some posters on this site are thinking of who would be best to team up with for survival. Perhaps staunch defenders like Tommyboy/Rambo will be very popular. :)

    1. hermit us,

      There is no reason people can’t be both. Being charitable, kind, and empathetic, and being a trained, experienced warrior are not, and don’t have to be, mutually exclusive.

      I’ve trained with and worked with some of the fiercest, most competent individuals that you would dread to face in a fight, yet, the best of these were the kindest, most even tempered folks you would love to be your next door neighbor. You would never suspect their capabilities until the moment they are forced to display them.

    2. hermit us let’s chat a moment :-) Rambo is a myth. Soldiers that have been in combat unless Sociopaths are very peaceful and reasonable until that is not an option. We can drop the hammer on you but would choose the most reasonable options first. We know no matter how Tacti-Cool our gear is BOTH Sides will have casualties and I for one am very casualty adverse.

      I am reasonably charitable but partly it is PROTECTIVE of me and mine to be Charitable as long as a Working Relationship is the result. I don’t feed Feral Cats OR Feral Humans.

      Sending people away with threats and Guns WILL Generate Hatred and they Will figure out some way to screw you bad. There will be enough hostiles AND Troubles out there after SHTF that I do not need to add to that pile. Pretending your poor and starving WILL NOT WORK, Grey reduces the interest but LOOK at how Homeless People PREY on Each other for that little bit of….

      Feral Humans like the druggies and Sociopaths are never going to be trusted and useful friendlies not matter what you give them. 115 grams of Pb is my best idea but I am open to suggestions. Just remember the old rule of the Wild West. “Bastards have Brothers”.

      Look to the past to deal with the human condition of the present.

      1. When it hits, that smiling couple coming up the drive are honest, patriotic citizens that just want to help you and yours survive the troubles – so you extend your hand as any good person would do.
        I’ve done that and gotten bitten for my generosity, helpfulness, friendliness, … over a lot less than a major calamity.
        Are the wishes for human dignity and compassion turning many of us into the unsuspecting sheeple we criticize.
        I’m with Tom on this discussion.

        1. hermit us just back from taking the 92 year old Goldens out for A/C and Ice Cream. Simple pleasures for folks who lived through the Great Depression and WW2.

          Maybe my written English is not performing well?

          I hear getting bitten, that is life. Once bitten twice shy? Me too.

          However when you tell that nice smiling couple to take a hike do you expect a shrug, a grin and a “Have a Nice Day” out of your rejection?

          What do you expect from that situation hermit us? As I’ve said before unless your living on an island or inside a pristine Walking Dead Prison you will have to deal with some pretty scared, hungry, desperate people, mom’s with kids and such.

          I kind of doubt a lot of people would call my handing you plastic sheeting and a bowl of dent corn much FOR a days work much in the Liberal idea of compassion. I call it the start of a working relationship.

          Please expand on how your going to deal with that couple and maybe a single mom with small kids.

          BTW Who is Tom? Never saw a poster named Tom here yet.

          1. good luck sir, your faith in human nature is far more positive than mine. Life is cheap in most other countries and I fear this is where we are headed – no morals in much of the population. Many of you know the treatment subservient populations due to wars, gangs, or dictators – I hope your generosity does not let in Trojan Horse type tactic with a larger force to follow.
            Just go to wally world on their big sale day or on an occasion when the EBT cards don’t work – you will recognize the ugly side of human nature.

          2. Hermit US, an applicable quote from a short story.

            “By tomorrow morning these people would be desperate and hungry, most for the first time in their lives. She had no illusions about what would happen then. She’d seen first hand what could happen when people were hungry, and those had been people with a strong social foundation. These were children of the cell-phone generation, with no more idea of loyalty and trust than they’d gotten from social media.”

  31. – Calirefugee –
    I have done the same sort of job for the State of Texas for over 19 years. Prior to that, I have worked ER’s, ICU/CCU’s, and Dispensaries/Troop Medical Clinics, and other medical offices/clinics at various times. Currently, I am working at an Urgent Care just because I got tired of the politics. I could retire, but have little interest in that. Yes, it is hard to find people who are willing to get up in an inmate’s face and tell them, “Not only no, but H*ll no!”

    It also doesn’t help when the local Chief of Police, who had been a guard at one point, tells DW that ‘your husband is crazy, I’ve seen him get up in an inmate’s face and tell him NO! when I wouldn’t have gotten within arm’s length of him.’ The difference, of course, was that the other inmates knew that I was one of the ones who was fair, (Not, if he’s wearing white, he’s already wrong/lying/whatever) and would argue their side in a dispute if I felt they were in the right. The inmate in question knew that as well, and that ‘bad things’ might happen to him should anything bad happen to me. The point is, in that environment and any other, you have to know who you are and who you are talking to.

    As far as being decent, kind, or fair, *No One* issued me a red suit or a pitchfork when I took that job; I told both the inmates and the guards that, and treated people as well as I could within the parameters of my job. And yes, I took care of minor stuff for the guards as well, with my supervisor’s and the Warden’s blessings.

    – Papa S.

  32. Timely article and discussion. As we get more and more settled into our homestead in central upstate NY (CNY), I’ve been thinking of this topic frequently. All of our family is in the Deep South and one in CA. Any sudden Shtf, our families are not coming to us. They’ll be stuck where they are, and not in self reliant conditions. Some are now too old to travel or to engage in subsistence survival. Your articles for consideration is very helpful as I work through concerns and plans.

    Increasingly, I worry less about a Hollywood Mad Max, or Mayan 2012 new world, but a Nazi, Zimbabwe, Venezuela crises: a zombie, Mad Max world suspended by a cruel, self serving central government where one is trapped between a desperate population and a desperate government still in control with an iron fist. A situation where looters and takers are everywhere. Where a desperate government taxes and loots all to maintain control; but – worse – mobilizes the masses against those to loot. I think this is very possible. We see such beta testing with ANTIFA, etc. And, eLected officials inciting violence against their chosen scapegoats. We’re not even in open crisis yet. I guess many of the controls discussed here still work in many situations, but what if the desperate aren’t just unprepared, but weaponized tools of a desperate government.

    1. Tom;
      First of all welcome to the BLOG, have not seen the name here before, so “Hi-Ya”

      I read your post a couple of times, your thoughts on the .gov and the looters are right on.
      I personally feel like we are already there, think about all that’s going on with the Rioting and Disruption Nov. 2016, look at all the violence and “Protest” now, paid for by whom????
      Is the .gov already not building their masses via Give-Me-Dats and paid for protesters? ANTIFA ring a bell? Where do they get the money to bus thousands of “Leaders” to riots?
      How is it there are letters of Pardon written before even the Interviews with the FEDs?
      How about Maxine Walters inciting violence? Why is that not a crime? And don’t even mention ‘Other’ names on open crimes and corruption.
      When did it become a custom for so many to be above the law?
      And you ain’t seen nada yet, wait till NOV. You think it’s bad now? Nov. WILL be a SHTF.
      Hate to say it, but when TSHTF, your neighbors will be the least of everyone’s worries.

    2. Good to hear from you Tom

      It is the Mad Max types I am concerned about. Here is why,

      Being away from urban centers reduces the threats from city type gangs, BLM, and antifa types. The Berkeley kids are not of too much concern. These groups are not too mobile or knowledgeable about wilderness, and agricultural areas.

      The potential threat I see here is from the hard drinking, dope using, good old boys to loosely use that phrase. We see them in the bars all the time, we see them getting drunk and hunting in irresponsible ways, we see them drunk on high powered snow mobiles, we see them in high powered boats on lakes and rivers, …. they have big trucks and high powered rifles.

      So you say what is basically wrong with that – just working guys spending money and enjoying life – BUT There are a few of them that have no respect for anyone and will be the ones that will not sit still and starve. They can travel in all seasons, are mechanically knowledgeable, have hunting and fishing knowledge, …. so when the booze and drugs run out, the trouble starts. That steer on your property will quickly become a steak dinner for the mad max crowd.

      Many of these are the pretend to be straight good guys but are the real psychopaths that will stop at nothing to get that food or that high.

      1. hermit us would you be interested in how I would handle your Mad Max situation?

        I mean it’s your situation but I do have a few predator types here I plan for in SHTF.

        Don’t want to push my thoughts on you about this.

        1. Become a non target or invite them in for tea and chocolate. No one wins in a straight up confrontation with these types – it just displays your assets to more and more animals. But give it a month and most will have been killed by defenders or by each other. Bad water may also take a toll.

          1. hermit us primarily a correct response.

            Predators will die off from lack of sanitation and injuries. Outlast them sounds a lot like my defensive stance. Non target sounds like Go Dark.

            Details to be thought about range of engagement. You mentioned high powered rifles.

            Hoping they will die off by attacking others is not a plan.

          2. Attrition in the time of strife IS a plan – many an army has been weakened by the elements, lack of food, lack of safe water, ….. What was the greatest advantage for the Russians against the Germans – WINTER. and lack of resources like winter clothing.

          3. If your strategy does not include using the forces of nature as a tactic, you are missing a great resource for the attrition of your enemy.

          4. hermit us do you want me to drop this subject friend?

            It is an uncomfortable subject to broach.

            There is a cartoon of a older sheep dog and his son watching the sheep. The son asks Dad “Why do the Sheep not like us?” Dad says “Because we remind them that WOLVES do exist.”

            Peace to you and yours.

  33. This is quite the topic. DH and I periodically discuss who we would allow to come to our place and it is not very many. Our location is isolated but near many other farms with families that have been farming for generations. Most of these farms have a combination of animals and crops and these are resilient people who will survive without needing us to support them.

    Within our own extended family, there are many who feel they should be able to come to us without bringing anything to the table, probably without even helping work the farmstead, but those socialist sluggardly won’t make it out of their own neighborhood. They will wait too long, they won’t protect themselves, and they don’t know how to find our farm. Those who are welcome, have been invited.

    I just cannot picture someone showing up early on because we are difficult to get to, but should an unknown come knocking, We would have to assess the person and situation at that time. They would not make it to our abode without us knowing they are there well in advance. I believe God has given us much and we have an obligation to help others (who are willing to help themselves), but not at our own expense. And it may not be ongoing help with permanent shelter; it could be temporary aid to assist in their journey.

    I believe we will all be tested and must not lose our souls in the process of surviving. Community will be important, but that does not mean they have to reside within our home.

  34. In a true societal collapse, realistically, how many of your family/friends/coworkers would actually survive getting from where they are to where you are? It’s not like it’s wide open road and they won’t have to get through other desperate people. Chances are this is a total non-issue.

Leave a Reply

>>USE OPEN FORUM for Off-Topic conversation

Name* use an alias