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If you’ve ever told anybody about the things you’re doing to survive after the SHTF, you’ve probably been asked why. “Why would you want to survive the end of the world?” There are plenty of reasons. The human instinct to survive, for one. The folks who say they’d rather die than live through the end of the world have no idea how strong that instinct can be. Even if life after the SHTF is miserable, it’s worth going on if there’s any hope that the world can become a better place again.
There’s no doubt there would be some serious downsides to surviving a catastrophe that leaves most of the population dead. But this is the part where you have to look at the silver lining. Yes, it would be brutal, but living on and helping rebuild society is a very good thing. You have to look for the good in the bad.
The reason I say all this is so no one reads this article and decides they’d be better off dead if the SHTF. That’s not the point I’m trying to make. The point is that living through a horrific disaster will be much worse if you’re not prepared. If you are prepared, however, you’ll be much more comfortable and could even be a part of the first post-SHTF communities.
But if you’re not prepared, you’ll have to deal with…
1. No Running Water – That means you won’t be able to jump in the shower or turn on the faucet every time you feel dirty or want a drink. Water is critical to life. If you want to live more than a couple of days after the end of the world, you need to have a large supply of water stashed away or a way to purify the water you collect.
2. No Air Conditioning – AC will be a distant memory. You are going to have to deal with the heat like your grandparents did. They survived and so can you. Plan ahead and make sure you have the supplies needed to stay cool in the summer.
3. Garbage Everywhere – Without garbage men or waste disposal sites, the city will be a huge, stinky mess. You can do your part to keep your little corner of the world clean by storing plenty of trash bags and other supplies. Keep yourself clean if you don’t want to catch a disease.
4. No Law Enforcement – The police won’t be available to help you when the bad guys are at your door. Just imagine: No one to save you from criminals or even lock them up. Instead, you’ll need to have plenty of home security measures in place and know how to defend yourself.
5. No Grocery Stores – When you’re hungry, you won’t be able to run to the store and stock up on your favorite foods because there won’t be any stores, or food. That’s why you’ll need a large stockpile to rely on. Learning how to forage and farm will also be a necessity in a post-apocalyptic world.
6. No Gas Stations – You won’t be able to put fuel in your car. Which means if you need to get somewhere, you’ll have to do it some other way. You can store gasoline, but it isn’t feasible to store a year’s worth of gasoline. Instead you’ll want to either learn how to make biofuel or have a bike or other means of getting around that doesn’t include walking. (Check out these fuel storage safety tips.)
7. No Banks – You won’t be able to get money out of the bank, not that it would do you any good. Instead you’ll have to rely on barter items and get good at haggling. Paper money will likely be a thing of the past, so store necessities that can be bartered with, like chocolate, alcohol and cigarettes.
8. No Heaters – Winter time without a functioning furnace is going to be brutal. You can’t flip a switch and wait for the house to warm up. However, you can stockpile wood and have a woodstove installed. Wood heat doesn’t require electricity and there will be plenty of fuel to burn with the destroyed houses and downed trees that are likely to be around after a calamity. Also stock plenty of winter survival items and learn how to stay warm without power.
9. No Clinics or Emergency Rooms – You may be able to find a doctor willing to give you advice, but you won’t have the luxury of checking into a clean hospital loaded with supplies and medicine. You’ll need to stock up on medical supplies and learn how to take care of your own injuries.
10. Not Enough Medicine – You won’t be able to go to a pharmacy to get cold meds or get a shot of penicillin when you have a wound that is infected. You’ll need to stock up on OTC meds and antibiotics. You’ll also need to learn the ins and outs of herbal medicines that can be found growing in the wild.
11. No Electricity – You won’t have lights, television, or even the ability to charge your devices. Unless, of course, you have solar panels or another alternative way to generate power. Here are some questions to ask before that happens.
12. No Internet – You won’t be able to check your email or find out what’s going on in the world. This will be a very difficult for those who are used to being connected to the world every second of the day. There isn’t a solution to this. It’s just the way life will be. These 10 SHTF communications will be your only alternatives to the Internet.
13. Phones Won’t Work – You won’t be able to pick up your phone and check on your family or friends in another city. Instead you’ll just have to hope they’re okay. If communicating with people in other cities is important to you, check out these 3 ways to communicate after the SHTF. You may also want to learn how to use a Ham radio.
14. No Buses or Airplanes – At least not ones you can use. You won’t be able to catch a flight out of town or get on the next bus or train. Best case scenario is you have a bug out vehicle and plenty of stored gasoline. But eventually you’re going to be on foot. If you do need to bug out, make sure you have a bug out bag ready and appropriate footwear.
15. No Coffee Shops – Seriously, life without coffee or caffeine is going to be hell. At a time when you could really use the extra boost, you won’t be able to run to the coffee shop and grab a cup of Joe and a danish. Stockpile coffee if that is your thing, along with a way to make it. Here are some non-electric kitchen gadgets that will make your life easier.
16. No Junk Food – It will be a thing of the past. We know it isn’t healthy but sometimes a soda and a bag of greasy potato chips is just what you need to lift your spirits. It would be wise to stock up on bags of hard candy and drink mixes. These little luxuries will help satisfy your craving for something totally bad for you. Here are some comfort foods and ingredients you’ll want to have.
17. No Malls – You may or may not like the mall, but everyone needs clothes that fit and are in tact. You won’t be able to buy new jeans when your current pair wears out, or new shoes when your old ones start falling apart. Stock up on clothes in a variety of sizes and hold on to those old boots. You’ll be doing a lot more manual labor which is hard on clothes. Have plenty of backups.
18. No Working Toilets – They will be in short supply. With no city sewage systems, there will be nowhere for the toilet water to go when you flush. The water system will be shut down and flushing will not be a possibility. Get used to going outside or learn how to build a composting toilet. Digging a hole for an outhouse is also a possibility. Here are some other options.
19. No Instant Entertainment – At times, you’ll be bored out of your skull without TV or technology to entertain you. If you happen to be a lone survivor or in a small group, you’ll need something to pass the time. Dwelling on the negative is going to bring you down, so find a way to entertain yourself. Books, puzzles and hobbies will be very important for keeping your mind off of the chaos around you. Don’t get bored.
20. Lots of Dangerous People – During a long-term disaster, people can get crazy. Those who survived by pure chance and didn’t prepare for the long haul are going to be desperate. Ordinarily good people will thieve and even kill to get what they need. This goes back to self-defense. Be prepared to deal with an influx of dangerous people. Setting up a community of like-minded people before the end of the world will give you a leg up because you’ll have people to watch your back. A large group won’t be easy to take down.
There is a term the military uses: “embrace the suck.” This is a good mantra to follow after the world ends. Embrace the suck and figure out a way to get around it. Don’t get caught up in the doom and gloom. It will bring you down. Instead, follow the recommendations here to help you prepare yourself to live, even when it sucks.