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Just What is a SHTF Scenario?

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posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 02:58 PM
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We have many different ideas of what that means, therefore our solutions and reactions vary widely depending on our assumptions. We have a thread going on now where the OP wants to build hardened vehicles for wealthy ATS clients. I didn’t want to hijack his thread by diverting his topic, but it got me to thinking that the whole idea begs the question of what actually happens. As one poster pointed out, “You’re going to run out of gas, so get a horse.” That comment really illustrates the variance in SHTF scenarios. I propose a categorization scheme for SHTF Scenarios along the lines of the Close Encounters of the Third Kind scheme used for aliens and UFOs, and I’d like to be collaborative and solicit your help. I’m not sure what it would look like, but the following are some elements that might be included:

Breadth: Katrina was a SHTF scenario for New Orleans just as the bombing of Baghdad was for residents of that city. Both these were fairly local events where the destruction was confined to a limited area yet they were vastly different. A hardened vehicle will not help you when the streets are flooded. A larger SHTF was the Japanese Tsunami which affected the whole country, but not much beyond. The proverbial comet would suggest yet a larger level that could range from flooding the coastal cities to an extinction level event (ELE) like the comet that got the dinosaurs (if that happened.)

Survivability: We have to assume that all SHTF Scenarios are survivable, otherwise there’s not much use talking about them. But it does bring up the issue of population density. A situation where most people survive must be handled much differently than one where most people do not. Potential competition and potential cooperation would be far different. This also brings up the question of what causes a change in population. Nukes take out everything, including people. Plagues, on the other hand, take out only people and leave the infrastructure intact.

Resources: Potentially you could go from nearly none to abundant. A situation where supply lines are disrupted and people raid the grocery stores and pharmacies is one scenario. No more people leaving full stores behind is another. People here are fond of saying, “Get a horse,” but in some scenarios a gas guzzling 4x4 makes more sense. In “When Earth Abides,” for example, the population was decimated, but there was plenty of gas. All you had to do was siphon it out of any gas station you came across.

Transport: Many of the SHTF Scenarios played out on ATS assume the necessity to move, what ought to be in your bug out bag, etc. I’m not a fan of the “Head for the Hills” mentality. I think you would do better to stand your ground locally. Nevertheless, you’re going to have to have some sort of transportation to bring in supplies. Even if you horde, you’ll eventually run out and be required to steal, borrow, or barter to get more in. So if you’re going to go the horse route, you’d better get a wagon, too.

Duration: Not all SHTF Scenarios will last a lifetime. What is reasonable in the way of preparations? I have a certain amount of food. It’s probably not very good, but it has calories and protein. I also have several hundred gallons of water and several hundred gallons of diesel. All things being equal I could last from six months to a year without undue strain, depending on how I stretched it. After that I’d have to find alternatives. An Arctic Express-style storm where the power went out for three weeks (It’s happened to me twice now) would be a piece of cake and I would sneer in its general direction, but klarger disruptions wouldn’t be nearly so easy.

Militancy: In some scenarios there would be a degree of lawlessness that would require you to defend yourself. In others, cooperation might be more likely. We saw how well the Japanese helped each other, but when the lights go out in New York City, you call it The Night of the Animals. You have to choose how to prepare for this, whether to include your neighbors for mutual support, and to what extent you would be willing to use your firearms. I live on an island, so the likelihood that the Bad Guys from the Big City would try to get me is remote. It would be much more effective for them to invade the more accessible suburbs. On the other hand, if I lived in the Big City I’d have a completely different set of problems.

Government: Some people imagine a scenario where predator drones would be hunting you in the woods. I don’t see that myself, but “government” might be a help or a hindrance, depending. Attempts to impose martial law could cause you to get unwanted attention. Whatever “government” at any level decided to do will have to be factored in to any scenario, including the possibility that it no longer existed. Of course, hearing, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” might be even worse.

Speed: Most people assume a SHTF would be quite fast. Boom. Guess what? But it needn’t be. Look at Detroit. The place looks like a bomb hit it, but all it took was a combination of government corruption and changing economics and it took thirty or forty years to come to pass. In some sense this is the “frog” in boiling water” scenario where if the water is gradually heated, the frog won’t jump out and gets cooked. Complacency is your worst enemy here.

Those are some of the factors to consider. By all means expand. Now we have to take those factors into the rating system. I’ll attempt one below, but I’m not wedded to it. It’s just to get started.

SHTF-1, of the first kind: This is a local scenario of limited duration. Survivability is high. You ought to be able to prepare for a SHTF-1 by yourself by stockpiling food, water, and transport capability. Supply lines would be disrupted, but damage would be relatively low. You probably will not need firearms and government might actually be able to assist. People, by and large, won’t panic. Examples: earthquakes, storms, other natural disasters. Measured in weeks.

SHTF-2, of the second kind: A regional event of undetermined duration with significant casualties, disruption of supply lines and transportation, and possible civil unrest and panic in some places, particularly urban areas. Examples: Large natural disasters, warfare with WMD, sudden devastating plague. Measured in months to years. Survivability is medium. Government is severely hampered and may not function at the local level. You may need to resort to self-defense. You must think beyond your personal stores.

SHTF-3, of the third kind: This is major, though it does not mean the death of civilization. National or continental in scope, this would over-tax any individual’s resources. You would have to be ready to move to an agrarian existence involving barter, a break-down of government control, and a rise in the community unit to take care of business. If you’re lucky you might be able to return to an 18th century style of existence with little technology.

SHTF-4, of the fourth kind: Worldwide devastation. A pole shift, a major asteroid hit, a reduction in flora and fauna of 90% or more. Some people would survive, but it would take several thousand years to get back to any semblance of civilization. Good luck with that.

Most people could survive a SHTF-1 event, albeit with some bitching. Many of us already have and we still talk about it. Only a few of us would be able to comfortably survive a SHTF-2 event. These are the people who have stored some supplies and thought about this. Most Mormons, for example, are prepared for this sort of scenario. Only dyed-in-the-wool survivalists who are already self-sufficient could possibly survive a SHTF-3 event. These people don’t live in cities. They have a few acres and know how to bring in a crop. SHTF-4 is probably not worth talking about. What I do wonder, though, is how we can help each other move up a notch, because I think that’s about all we can do.




posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 03:17 PM
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great read and it seems like youve put alot of thought into this post

SnF

i think if any of these happend with the exeption on SHTF4, humans can adapt to chage pretty quick and your natural and survival instinks will kick right in and will help loads, but it will be a case of only the stong survive



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 03:46 PM
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I guess you could add world war 3 with the use of WMD's to SHTF 4.. not really survivable tho for the masses..



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 04:50 PM
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Great post and thanks for clarifying the different scenarios.

I have been through SHTF-1 and SHTF-2.
Hurricanes and tornadoes.
I'm prepared short term and can make it through SHTF-3.
But SHTF-4,would be,if we survive,I think survivable with my knowledge.
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 05:56 PM
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Great,great post.You are really thinking this out.Thats what everyone should be doing.But not to the point that it ruins living now.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 06:43 PM
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Excellent thread!

I really enjoyed reading your analysis and ideas on aspects of such situations. I have thought about something like this before, but never knew what goals my thoughts were working towards. Seeing you post, I think I can add to yours once I finish fully mentally digesting what you have served.

Well done!



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 06:51 PM
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infectious agent leads to a zombie apocalypse blamed on al quaeda.... diminishing world population to 2% it's current level.

no i'm actually not kidding.. the only disease scenario that even makes a dent in world population... is one where the infected actually persue the non-infected.... other scenarios are ineffectual as the rate of spread and communication/information are incomparable... leading to people removing themselves from danger.

it's not a joke.. it's planned.. and is all part of 'going by the book' ... scientifically implemented events of the book of revelation.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 07:04 PM
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excellent OP
sandf
IMHO
Any scenario where support systems break down
and a person has to do for themselves and their loved ones with what is avaliable at the time.
and where a mistake you make might kill, or maim horribly, you, or some one you care about.

ie.) the malls close down and there will be no latest nike footwear...
or god forbid an absence of spell check
and text messaging

Don't plan for what will go right
Plan for what will go wrong
edit on 1-7-2011 by Danbones because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 02:46 AM
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S&F Very well written made me look at what I have and where its lacking.
A SHTF senerio 4 ..dont think I can survive (would we really want to) also started me thinking
Looking at a world map .Texas Florida Cuba area looks like a major impact point..could it be that mankind has come out of a SHTF 4 far in the past ?? If worse comes to worse please alow an old man a cup of water and sit by your fire..We can talk about the good old times when we could just turn on the tap
Peace



posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 04:32 PM
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No, I don't think prevenge IS actually kidding. Rabies is spread as he suggests. It infects an animal that subsequently goes crazy and attacks other animals, thus spreading the virus. And, of course, we;ve seen how AIDS spreads through a population. I'm not sure that translates to zombie hordes attacking en masse, but it wprks as metaphor.

Rainbow 6, by Tom Clancy, sets out another way a plague could spread. He postulates placing a virus in water cooling machines at a summer olympics, thus spreading the virus worldwide. In his scenarion one company, run by the Bad Guys, then sells a cure that is actuallly a transmitter of the virus. The reason for this is buried in a hazy kazinsky-type philosophgy, but then, Clancy's books are more about action than philosophy anyway. Interestingly, prevenge's estimate of leaving 2% of the population still puts it near estimates from 0 AD to 1,000 AD, when most estimates are in the 200 million range. 120 milion (2% of 6 billion) was about in the time of Alexander the Great. So, in eitehr case, plenty of people left over and a relatively quick bounce back tine of a couple thousand years.

Good points about WWIII as a cause, thanks.

The Gulf of Mexico does look like an ancient impact crater and such has been suggested. Likewise for Hudsons Bay.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 01:09 AM
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Coming from the EU area, the two types of situations I'm always missing in these discussions are these:

1) National/Union wide draft and dodging it by bugging out. I'm not keen on dying for someone else's idea of a state/union. I am patriotic to a degree, but feel disillusioned with the rise of the EU on what that means anymore.

2) Occupation by a foreign power. Dodging it and maybe even applying guerrilla tactics as applicable against the foe are in spotlight. Light-weight logistics, supply and evasion become points of interest.

Duration of these scenarios could be from months to years.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 07:57 AM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


I think you have valid points and have used your head for this tread..good job, prepping is a way of life not a fad, it has been done for hundreds of years here in America. It does require thought of the future and some planning, but while your doing it, don't forget to live your life.
We could very easily see all of what you said in our lifetime, we can only do what we can do, and if you have enough supplies to get by for about a year or more, along with enough knowledge and ability to resupply your preps over the year of preps you have...then you might be alright. I personally want about 18 months of supplies...reason being, if a SHTF (level2 and up) as you put it. you need a garden, and livestock. Depending on the time of year it happens, you might need 3 months or you might need 15 months of supplies...
example...If SHTF in AUG, and you have a small garden, it will not hold you over till next harvest season...this could be 12-15 months needed of preps.
If TSHTF in march, you have time to get a garden in for the coming harvest..this is a 4-7 months of preps needed.

It isn't easy to think of everything, so your ability to have excess and barter will be a huge asset to you and to those that overlooked items...good post, keep prepping.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 11:26 AM
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reply to post by schuyler
 
I am new to the thinking of "how to survive" way of life. I can say I am/was in the typical mind set of most of Americas and think the way of life as I know it will continue. I failed to learn from my Grandmother who lived through the Depression and saved aluminum foil till the day she died. Now I look at how I live and ask, could I even make it through your stage one. I am all over the board on where to start. Do I concentrate on food, medical, obtaining a firearm? Do I find a generator and radio first? I know if SHTF my family and I are in trouble because of the way we live. This may not be the correct thread to post my questions on but the posters here seem to have a grasp at what to do. I am starting to collect candles, matches, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, band aids, tuna. I read the books- One Second After, Patriots, and Lights Out, I came away with the thought if tomorrow SHTF- I am s%#(^$!



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by AuntB
 


Do what you can when you can and can afford it. I've had stored food for 30 years, but a generator for only a few. Last time the lights went out I learned a valuable lesson when my generator wouldn't start. I had to go to Plan C.

Plan A: Everything works. Enjoy
Plan B: Generate your own power
Plan C: Candles

I would make a list and just start working on it. Some stuff is cheap and won't break the bank. Other stuff, like a year's worth of food, can be very expensive. So work on Plan C first and work your way up. Sounds like another thread! Thanks.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 02:10 PM
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reply to post by AuntB
 


Now this is just my opinion but i think step one is obtain a firearm. We both live in america which means alotta people will have them. If you obtain supplies first theres not much in the way of protecting them you can do.. Un less your crazy good with throwing knives that is. Protecting yourself is of the utmost importance in these situations. Rations, generators, and radios cant help you if your dead. Now as to other things to add to your list. MRE's meals ready to eat. There not cheap but last along time. All you need to do is add hot water. Guaze pads and rolls. Trauma bandages if you can find them, glow sticks, flint and steel etc. I dont call it being paronoid i call it being prepared.
Just some food for thought.



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 05:28 AM
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reply to post by Hellforge
 


Now as to other things to add to your list. MRE's meals ready to eat. There not cheap but last along time. All you need to do is add hot water.


Really, have you ever had MRE'S...you don't need water!!! Oh you must mean the cold weather MRE'S that are freeze dried, and you only get 1 a day when in the military, because it has everything in the one...thats what you ment...right?



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 06:29 AM
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SHTF scenarios...hmmm.

The ones I fear and see most probable would be

-a terrorist nuke attack on a major city...especially Washington DC
-a collapse of the dollar and panic at the banks, ATMs, grocery stores, and gas stations
-an EMP from a country like N Korea or Iran

I have been through Hurricanes and tornadoes and snow/ ice storms...inconvenient and glad to just be alive.

Now, in the event of Nibiru/ ELEnin/ Planet X or better stiil the Yellowstone Caldara.... all bets are off....



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 08:18 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Plan C is exactly where I am at. I printed off the Army survival kit and will start to obtain some of those things, including MRE's. I know a fire arm is very important and even though it is not much fire power- I am leaning towards a 22 because I am comfortable shooting them- Dad took me shooting quite a bit.

As for the original question- What is a SHTF scenario? The one that I can imagine is a crash of our economy. The other scenarios are to horrific to even try to contemplate. Could they all happen, yes they could. Plague, nukes or EMP disasters are just hard to imagine. Maybe it is the Christian in me that doesn't want to think that anyone could harm others that much. So carry on Survivalists, as I read your posts I become more educated and more able to take care of me & mine.



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by AlreadyGone
SHTF scenarios...hmmm.

The ones I fear and see most probable would be

-a terrorist nuke attack on a major city...especially Washington DC
-a collapse of the dollar and panic at the banks, ATMs, grocery stores, and gas stations
-an EMP from a country like N Korea or Iran

I have been through Hurricanes and tornadoes and snow/ ice storms...inconvenient and glad to just be alive.

Now, in the event of Nibiru/ ELEnin/ Planet X or better stiil the Yellowstone Caldara.... all bets are off....
The ATM/Banks is very interesting. It is amazing how people really don't rely on actual money- plastic is what most people carry. You mentioned the Elenin/Planet X. I googled Elenin and it pulled up that it was a hoax. Yellowstone on the other hand could be a real scenario.



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 08:26 AM
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reply to post by AuntB
 


I hate to contemplate that humans are so terrible as to wipe out entire populations leading to and during a SHTF scenario....

However, history tells us otherwise.... in fact, looking through a few thousand years of mankind...we can be horrific in out treatment of each other.



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