What Do You Do When Someone Asks For Food in a Crisis?

C. Davis
By C. Davis March 8, 2018 09:09

What Do You Do When Someone Asks For Food in a Crisis?

If you’re checking the perimeter and you see three or four armed men cutting the fence, there’s a clear threat. In that situation, opening fire is an option you’re going to have to consider in a hurry. But it’s not always going to be so clear-cut.

What if a woman with a couple of young kids, all three of them looking tired and hungry, turn up at your door asking if you can spare them a meal? Are you really going to shoot them on sight?

Your best security as a prepper is to be unobtrusive. If nobody knows you’re prepared they’re not going to assume you have food supplies. It’s hard to hide all your preparations, though. Unless your home is isolated people are probably going to notice that you’re not in the same state as everyone else. The sound of a generator, lights on at night when most homes are blacked out, or the sight of livestock, vegetable patches or orchards – these will all reveal that you’re doing a good job of surviving. That’s likely to attract hungry people. Then there are likely to be others who’re desperate enough that they’ll knock at any door in search of food. The chances of you getting through the aftermath of a crisis without someone asking you for help are slim.

The question is, what are you going to do when it happens? You can’t help everyone that needs it. No matter how much you’ve stockpiled, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to how much food the unprepared millions are going to need. If you share out all you have you might keep a couple of hundred people going for a day or two, but after that you – and they – will be hungry again. Your top priority has to be preserving your supplies for you and your family – and other people might be a threat to that.

Related: Awesome Places Where You Can Hide Your Food When SHTF

Shoot them?

Desperate people can be dangerous, and some of them, if they get the idea you have a store of food, will try to take it from you. Any time you meet refugees or scavengers you have to be prepared for it to turn violent. Keep your weapon ready to go, stay close to cover and have overwatch if you can arrange it.

Most encounters won’t turn violent, though. The majority of people are either going to accept that you can’t help them or you can turn them away, firmly but peacefully. Generally there’s no reason to start shooting.

What about taking a proactive approach and opening fire as soon as anyone enters – even approaches – your property? Well, it definitely means nobody’s going to be knocking on your door asking for food. On the other hand it’s probably going to create a lot more problems than it solves.

First, if you start shooting at people, anyone else in their group or the general area is going to think you have something worth protecting. That’s just inviting them to band together, grab some guns and try to over-run you. They might succeed – and even if they don’t it’s going to cost you ammunition, possibly leave you damage and casualties to deal with, and likely attract even more attention you don’t need.

Secondly, there’s the law to think of. The crisis might not be permanent; law and order could be restored at some point. If that happens, and you’ve spent the last year shooting everyone who stepped into your drive, questions are going to get asked. Castle or stand your ground laws might protect you, but there’s no guarantee; you could end up spending a lot of money – not to mention jail time – before you clear your name.

The chances are you also want to keep living in your home once the crisis is over. That’s not going to be a lot of fun if you’ve gained a reputation as the guy who shot at refugees, or maybe even your neighbors.

Finally, if you start killing people, there’s the prospect of a revenge attack. If your conflict is with looters that’s always likely anyway, but by shooting first and asking questions later you raise the risk of provoking more law-abiding people into coming for you. As one comment on our last post pointed out, there are a lot of combat vets in the USA these days. If you shoot someone who just wanted to ask you for food, and half a dozen of their relatives decide to come after you with the skills they learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, you’re not going to have a good day.

Feed them?

Basic humanity means that sometimes we’re going to decide that helping a little is the right thing to do. That woman with the two hungry kids? You can probably give them a meal, and enough food to last them for a couple of days, without eating into your own supplies too much. If it’s an exception, and not the rule, you might decide you can give a little help.

If you do decide to give somebody food, try to avoid revealing that you have stocks. Give them the bare minimum they need, and try to give the impression you can’t spare any more. Also try to give them regular canned goods, the sort of thing anyone might have at home. If you hand over ten packs of freeze-dried emergency meals, you’re basically telling them that you have a stockpile.

Make it clear that anything you give is a one-time donation. Give them directions to a safe area if you can, and encourage them to move on. If they come back later asking for more food tell them you’re sorry, but you already gave them all you can spare. If they’re persistent, tell them they need to leave and not come back. Be as firm as it takes. You really don’t want people hanging round your gates in the hope of getting a handout; that will just attract more of them, and finally somebody is going to decide that if you won’t give them food they might as well try to take it.

Tough choices

Dealing with hungry, desperate people after the SHTF is going to be a challenge; there’s no way round that. There’s also no easy solution. If you adopt a shoot first, ask questions later policy you’re increasing the risk of being attacked during the crisis or arrested when it’s over; if you try to feed everyone who turns up at your door you’ll quickly end up unable even to feed yourself.

The only sensible way through is to evaluate each person that approaches you and take the actions that seem tight. If an armed group comes onto your property and starts trying to break into your stores, a violent response is appropriate. If it’s just a frightened, hungry family looking for food there’s no justification to start shooting. Talk to them from a position of strength, help them if you think it’s the right thing to do, then send them on their way. And in each encounter keep in mind that surviving the crisis doesn’t mean a lot unless you manage to survive it with your humanity intact.

What’s your plan when this happens?

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C. Davis
By C. Davis March 8, 2018 09:09
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91 Comments

  1. Preppernerd March 8, 13:22

    They have to be willing to work, bareter, trade for what they get. You ask, Well, I hope you are not coming here empty handed. What can you offer for a meal/?” This goes for you and your own family too. Never go somewhere unless you are prepared to be a part of their solution too.

    Reply to this comment
    • Claude Davis March 8, 13:51

      That’s a good point, Preppernerd. Barter is going to make a big comeback post-SHTF, and anyone who doesn’t have goods to trade can still offer their labor.

      On the other hand, you need to be careful what work you ask people to do. How much are you willing to reveal to them? You might get a few hours’ work out of someone in exchange for a meal, but is that worth letting them see just how prepared you are? I’d let someone fix up the fences round my boundary, but I wouldn’t get them to sweet the root cellar!

      Reply to this comment
      • PB- dave March 10, 20:55

        You are assuming folks will be willing to work, or have the knowledge to perform skilled or semi-skilled tasks.
        Maybe “need ” will change some folks willingness to sweat and get a little dirty ?
        All I know is every time I ask some poor sad sack, that is holding a cardboard sign with his tale of woe, to work an afternoon in the garden or cleaning out a shed, for couple sacks of groceries and some pocket money, I’ve always been turned down. Guess all I met were lazy bums or professional panhandlers ?

        Reply to this comment
    • JakeTP April 23, 16:49

      Everyone has to do what they are comfortable with. Just remember The people that came to the door now know you have enough that you can trade. That information will not remain secret………………..

      Reply to this comment
  2. Hoosier Homesteader March 8, 14:14

    I agree with all that’s written, but a word of caution: the mother and children who are at your door asking for food might have their male partner with them, hidden, and ready to commit violence against you. Talk to them from a distance so your location can’t be determined, staying well away from the door.
    I would take every approach to my property in a SHTF situation as life threatening. It’s far better to be cautious when you don’t know who you’re dealing with. Trusting a stranger just may be the last thing you ever do. It’s too bad that we live in a world that requires the good to react this way.
    Good article!

    Reply to this comment
  3. drnutt March 8, 14:51

    I have the requisite back up supplies of dried food, etc., but also have buckets of 1# beans and rice. I will gladly share a bag of each, but you will have to find a squirrel or other to beef it up.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Clay March 8, 15:06

    Great read! Love the photo too. Keep em coming. It really forces people to have a plan for themselves and mentally to deal with a possible scenario. For me personally there are so many different variables that would need to be known before i could possibly answer the what would you do question. But i love these. I always pose these articles to my family members and love the responses. Not that they are right or wrong but just to get the conversations going.

    Reply to this comment
    • Claude Davis March 8, 22:59

      That’s exactly what I was hoping to get across in the article. Any contact with other people has to be handled on its own merits. We have to respond to people based on who they are, what they’re doing and what impact they can have on our own situation. A one-size-fits-all template, whether it’s to feed them or fight them, isn’t going to work.

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  5. GreatNorthernPreppette March 8, 15:09

    Pre-industrial revolution, if a stranger knocked on your door, you would let them in, feed them, and give them a place to stay for the night. That person would be thankful, and would think of you fondly.

    I think the biggest flaw with our whole idea of Prepping is that it’s every man for himself. And I think that simply sets yourself up for failure. Honestly, I think that’s why our entire country seems to be turning to S***.

    If you truly want to be prepared for a disaster or for a SHTF situation, then you’d do better to start an off-the-grid community NOW. With like-minded people. And each person or family has a responsibility. Like the old days, there would be a blacksmith, there would be a wheat farmer, there would be an apothecary run by someone who is very familiar with medicinal herbs, etc. You would need a mechanic, a teacher, an experienced nurse or doctor would be essential. If everyone contributed to the success of the community, then there would be no need to fight each other for basic needs. You would simply trade/barter for what you needed. And if someone steals, they are banished. You would need security, but I don’t believe killing outsiders is necessary. All should be welcome to join the community, but at the first sign of sabotage or theft, they are banished, and should they attempt to retaliate, THEN and only then, should there be a need for violence.

    Humans are not, by nature, bad. If we think the best of someone, then it’s easier for them to live up to that positive image. But if you constantly think the worst of someone, then there’s no motivation to avoid being exactly the terrible person you think they are. They would have nothing to lose.

    Honestly, if there were already an established community that were self-sustainable, that would be the most successful prepping situation. And it would be the least painful (or even noticeable) transition in a crisis.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 8, 18:31

      Great Northern: Some of us are pessimists and some are optimists. Some of us have seen evil up close and some of us have never been touched by true evil. That gives us a different prospective on people. I’m not saying either one has the correct answer. Maybe there is no _correct_ answer. Woking in court for many years I was forced to see evil in its worst form. If you live a normal life, you have never met the evil personified that I have had occasion to become acquainted with. You have never seen people fight to the extent that neither won over a relatively insignificant sum of money. So, I hope you will understand if I say that I hope in your lifetime you never meet the evil that I have seen, but I am afraid in a situation where our society breaks down you will meet evil, even when it’s intent is purportedly to be benign. For example, if the federal government sets up emergency camps, the intent will be benign, however, knowing how power corrupts, they will soon become camps run like prisons. The administration will have extra benefits, the guards will have benefits and the inmates will have the short end of the stick. While a tribe will work together as you describe, there will be a leader of the tribe and whether his rule is benign or oppressive will depend strictly on his whim. The tribe may work together in seeming harmony if the rule is benigh, but they will work together if the rule is oppressive, but for different reasons.

      If a situation develops where our country is thrown back to the 18th century, I think tribes will develop. You can call them villages or co-ops or any other name you want, but they will be basically tribes. We need other folks in order to survive. We can’t be the rugged individualists that we like to think we are.

      Within the last year I have read two books by real mountain men. It was interesting, even though they ran their own trap lines and sometimes lived a solitary life for a few months, they still universally had some connection with a group, even if that group was a tolerant Indian tribe. While the annual rendezvous was ostensibly for trading furs for goods and money, it also was an opportunity to meet other mountain men and form new groups or join old groups. It would appear from their writings that no one left the rendezvous alone. If someone did, it was because their conduct was so outrageous that they were pariah.

      Reply to this comment
    • Auckland Escapee March 8, 20:24

      Hi Great Northern, I feel that trying to form a tribe of well meaning folk in the good times will be extremely difficult, the only safe place to find these people would be among the prepping world, but living locally. Most preppers will speak of what they have got stored and what they have done, but only anonymously, in articles such as this one, they wont give you details of address or how to find them because they worry about the unknown, the people that wont prep, maybe wont work either, but expect to survive, just as well after SHTF, as now, they will expect to be given what they need, or they will take it by force if necessary. Left Coast Chuck mentioned these people and their closeness to pure evil, but this evil may be seen in a courtroom quite clearly, but when its a personable neighbor asking for a handout in bad times, maybe the same person that joked at your expense about being a prepping weirdo very recently, they will turn like Jeckle & Hyde into pure evil instantly. The tribe idea is a great start for a new beginning, but you will need to be expecting the worst from people, you might get the best from people, buy don’t expect it

      Reply to this comment
    • Terressa March 9, 00:10

      So, tell us: what do you do when these people in your “community “ start bringing in others, such as their extended families that they have told about your setup, which may or may not share your ideas?

      What about when those extra people start telling friends, and the chain reaction starts to take place and you end up outnumbered on your own land, chased off your land or worse, killed?

      Please, do tell. GreatNorthernPreppette

      Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe March 9, 17:12

        Well Terressa, it would be good for all original parties who agree to help each other to have a good understanding of some rules everyone agrees on. Maybe even a written compact everyone signs and if individuals break it such as bringing in unwanted others, then they have the signed compact to fall back on. Not everything is full proof unfortunately.

        Reply to this comment
        • Terressa March 9, 18:09

          That’s cute. You’re gonna create a community constitution. Have fun with that one. LOL
          People don’t abide by the law now.

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck March 10, 18:09

            I am reading a book containing the diaries of women who crossed the Great Plains during the emigrant exodus to Oregon and California in the 1850s. A single shared commonality among all the wagon trains that left for the left coast was a contract signed and agreed to by all the participants in that particular wagon train. They elected a leader whose rule they agreed to abide with unless it was unreasonable in which case they could elect another leader. Another commonality among all the wagon trains was that it wasn’t too long before people ignored the contract that they had signed and agreed to abide by. Of course there were no courts to enforce compliance on the prairie and so wagons and families left the original train and turned back or did any number of actions contrary to their signed agreement.

            Noticing the comments here about setting up communities and having groups is interesting when comparing it to what has already taken place 150 years ago where the wagon trains were in essence, individual communities that set themselves up for a common purpose. Even when the wagon train was composed of members of an extended family it frequently didn’t finish the trip as the same entity that started the trip. Not saying it can’t work. Just saying that it has been tried and found wanting.

            If you want a modern day example, just take a look at a planned community where there are CC&Rs and an elected committee to enforce them. How many of them operate smoothly? And they have the benefit of having the legal system to enforce the CC&Rs. There are always the iconoclasts who must go their separate ways even though they have agreed to and signed documents binding themselves to a particular course of conduct. That’s why we contract cases being tried in courts on a daily basis.

            As a matter of fact, as a personal matter, I would be very reluctant to buy a home that had a Home Owners Association. I know myself and I would be one of those iconoclasts marching to the beat of a different drummer.

            Reply to this comment
            • Chris F. March 12, 01:40

              Hi there Left Coast Chuck, I certainly share your thoughts on HOAs, and also have an intense interest in the way things really were on the wagon trails. The Donner Party’s survival story in particular aside, we’ve built a library of books dedicated to describing the times of Great Depression and dust bowl all the way back to Lewis and Clark’s expeditions. Fascinating and very informative… I’ve spent hundreds of hours with those books over the years.

              The major difference between our current circumstance and those earlier days of stress, limited resources, and the struggle to survive during times of trouble boils down to the sheer populations of people all crammed together in this modern world. The recent example of the Montecito disaster in Southern California demonstrates what can and will happen (is still happening, although now in very slow motion) when a mere 30,000 people need to get out in a hurry but are faced with the shutdown of a single travel-artery. They were in serious trouble, 22 of them died while the lives of hundreds more were permanently changed forever — even though there were intact communications systems, hotels, caring citizens, first responders, helicopters to assist in extractions, and basically all imaginable resources available to help them just a few miles away!

              Here’s my thinking: whether you are in an unbelievably crowded region like SoCal or a very rural relatively “deserted” area like the one I live in now, any regional/national/global SHTF scenario in the future will require addressing something that the pioneers never had to deal with: hundreds or even thousands of displaced individuals who are in over their heads, who didn’t prep or come up with a plan in advanced, who will be forced to band together for sheer security reasons while out on the road looking for any useful resources to survive a serious emergency. That was in fact a terrible run-on sentence, yet instead of stopping to fix and edit it, the obvious point here is that so many displaced people roaming around will absolutely be an unprecedented challenge that the pioneers would have never imagined.

              While a few commentators here may (probably will) vigorously disagree with my personal assessment, a grid-down situation in these modern times that goes on for more than a couple of weeks will likely require 24/7 eyes-on coverage to secure any property. Two sets of eyes scanning from the inner core (i.e., house or other abode) in the front and back to watch for petty thieves, hungry innocent refugees, semi-organized criminal gangs, or “new tribesmen” just wanting to feed their families. While my math isn’t always all that reliable, 24/7 eyes-on coverage would require at least two people who are doing nothing else than watching the core front and back in six hour shifts. 24 hours divided by six hour shifts equals four shifts of two people, in other words eight people minimum.

              On the bright side, in such a terrible SHTF situation that may involve large numbers of survivors-against-all-odds who realize that they will probably die without their own “tribe” while out on the road, identifying people who are very highly motivated to do their part in exchange for staying in a much safer place — with 24/7 eyes-on security — may be somewhat easier than we think. Having watchful eyes around the clock will be one of the most prized securities in this crowded world that few others could provide, at least in my opinion.

              On the dark side, that’s a lot of water. Not enough water to drink means nobody can stay for any length of time, and not enough water for even the most basic sanitation (think just washing hands, dishes, and clothes) with at least eight people co-habitating in close quarters means serious contamination problems and, perhaps eventually, disease.

              In no way am I trying to discourage you from prepping Chuck, keep going! Yet my personal basic assessment (with some very primitive math thrown in) led me to leave SoCal a dozen years ago… I just can’t see how anyone could make it through another Carrington sunstorm event (a la 1859) or a Yellowstone eruption, let alone some kind of manmade disaster. Like Claude Davis pointed out: who are you prepping for and why? My eyes are clearly focused not necessarily on myself or my other half, but on my immediate neighbors as well as many others who might be impacted by events that may not occur for another 20 or 50 or 100 years from now. Who knows what that world in the future might be like, or what will happen? So, very slowly building the essential stand-alone infrastructure (water, sanitation gardens, animal housing, heating and cooling) to help support future generations of good people who we may never even meet ourselves has become my part-time vocation and perhaps — hopefully — our legacy.

              It’s just too bad that we don’t have the time travel technology to pluck a single pioneer from the 1800’s and place him or her into a crowd of just 1,000 people at a Saturday farmer’s market in any major city today. I’m pretty sure that pioneer would immediately poop in their pants before fainting dead away from pure shock at the sight of so many people. What we think of completely normal has never been normal before in the history of the world!

              Reply to this comment
    • CarmenO March 9, 22:38

      Great, this is what I would call a fairytale scenario. First of all, what makes you think that “pre-industrial revolution” people acted like that? At best, they may have given the stranger a bowl of food (if they were very kind) and told them they could stay in the barn for the night. That’s the same thing, some kind people did after the industrial revolution, as in during the Great Depression. I’m sure some people would still do the same. But making a blanket statement, makes the statement false. Most people would be afraid, and in a similar situation as the people looking for food. Would I feed a couple of children on their own? Absolutely, probably would take them in, but when an adult is involved, that adult would have to look mighty hungry and weak for me to feed them. As to your UTOPIA, if you haven’t started one already, you are definitely not even remotely be starting one in the future. I suggest learning as much as possible about essential skills and knowledge for survival and then hope you can find a couple of people who you can be friends with with those skills you don’t have. In a large community, you will find too many bosses. I’ve spent most of my life learning about a lot of things, but I’m what people would have called ornery, and bossy, I would not have me. You will find that people who have the knowledge will want the control. (That is real human nature.) If you are a preppette, I suggest you drop the “tte” and replace it with an “r” to put yourself in a position of equal. (Just to make it clear, I’m also a woman.) About the only skills that I don’t have acquired, in my 71 years, 1) auto mechanic-not driving anywhere; 2) electrician-not expecting electricity; 3) can’t think of any thing else. And I have a large library at home, starting with number one: books on wild edibles for my region, many that I have planted in my property because they will feed just me due to the fact that most people only see weeds.

      Reply to this comment
      • Terressa March 9, 23:06

        👍👍👍

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      • Claude Davis March 12, 08:50

        “what makes you think that “pre-industrial revolution” people acted like that?”

        History books.

        Pre-industrial societies were usually very big on hospitality. When any journey of more than about ten miles usually meant at least one night away from home, and there wasn’t a handy Motel 6 to sleep at, everyone knew that the stranger knocking on the door asking for a bed could easily be them next week.

        Reply to this comment
        • CarmenO March 12, 11:55

          Just because you make a statement about what you think it was like, doesn’t make it history. One of the subjects that I have research the most is the history of the pre industrial revolution Europe, among others. I’m a history aficionado. Get this, one of the most common ways to make money then was to establish a inn for travelers. They were all over the place. If you were talking Asia, I would not be able to tell you much, but when it comes to northern Africa and Europe there is a lot that I know. By the way, Motel 6 did not show up until 1962. The first known inn is believe to have first opened in 707. That’s 1,311 years ago. Look it up. I’m not making it up. You can bet that people could NOT afford to take in everyone that showed up, back then and there were a lot of criminals around even then. And by the way, people who are now taking on the responsibility of educating their children, because our educational system is an absolute disaster, will continue doing so. The ones who do not care what their children are NOT learning will still not care if their children learn or not.

          Reply to this comment
    • Claude Davis March 10, 21:59

      There are some good points being made on both sides here. Yes, taking people in or trying to form a community carries risks. There’s no doubt about that. On the other hand, what are you surviving FOR?

      If people don’t start to rebuild some form of community, there is no future for your children. They’ll be subsistence farmers, spending all their time producing essentials. Their children will be almost completely uneducated, and still trying to sustain themselves with a shrinking stock of technological and intellectual capital. That’s if they HAVE any children, of course, because if there isn’t a community, who are they going to have them with?

      Living as a self-contained household is something we should all be prepared to do, because it’s the only way to survive some types of crisis. It’s a short- or at most medium-term measure, though. In the long term it isn’t going anywhere; a community, where some people can be spared from field work or foraging to educate the kids and specialize in other skills, is essential.

      Reply to this comment
    • jefe guapo April 23, 19:28

      In 1620 just prior to landing at Plymouth the pilgrims sat down and negotiated the MAYFLOWER Compact, The first Governmental organization in what is now the USA. It would be most helpful if someone much smarter than I could rough out an outline of how a neighborhood watch could be organized and regulated fairly….There is an old Engineering motto that when you are sinking in quicksand and under attack by mosquitos and alligators it is hard to remember that you just came to drain the swamp We need a SHTF outline of rights and responsibilities for the neighborhood that is well thought out and fair;

      Reply to this comment
    • plucknpick October 2, 01:43

      We don’t live in that moral world anymore. Relative truth=violence in case you haven’t seen the news….

      Reply to this comment
  6. left coast chuck March 8, 15:47

    As you might imagine, water is in short supply in SoCal. Most of our “rivers” are concrete channels with a little trickle of lawn watering runoff in them ten months of the year. The other two months there is more runoff and when there is the occasional downpour they are then flood control channels and run full but are so full of junk that gets washed to the ocean that it would take massive amounts of cleanup to make it potable.

    However, we do have a very large ocean not far from where we live. That water can be distilled into potable water. It can also be boiled to use for non-drinking purposes such as washing clothes or washing one’s body. If the toilets are working it can be used to flush without prep. If someone wants food they can trade labor for water. Distillation takes fuel for the fire. They can provide wood for the distillation process. If the toilets are not running, sewage must be disposed of either by burying or by burning. They can burn sewage. Unless a lot of homes get destroyed, in suburbia there won’t be a lot of room for outhouses, so burning will probably be the most efficient way to destroy sewage.

    I have special rations I put away for such occasions. I save lard from frying bacon. I dry bread crusts when I am using the oven. If you read Angela’ Ashes by Frank McCourt, bread soaked in bacon fat constituted breakfast on an almost daily basis for poor urban Irish. Frank McCourt is younger than I am, so that was post WWII Ireland. He attributes his poor eyesight in adult life and bad teeth to such a diet when young. But, if your kids are starving, bread soaked in bacon fat will provide needed fat and carbs to stave off starvation.

    Speaking of needing fat, I purchased the books, The Prairie Traveler and Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey and in both of those books they talk about the need for fat. In Prairie, the author talks about a journey where they were reduced to eating their mules which were so skinny there was no fat on them and how the men felt debilitated and enervated due to a lack of fat in their diet. Additional, different women in Women’s Diaries, talk about the lack of energy due to a lack of fat in their diets. Both of those books impressed me about the need for fat in our diets. They are actual first-hand accounts of our food requirements. In both books they speak about people who died on prairie journeys from lack of food. Something I learned and did not know prior was that cholera epidemics swept the United States during the time of the western migration and the death toll was exceedingly high. That will once again raise its head in a EOTW situation when people will be less than fastidious about the water they drink.

    Overall I agree with the premises in the article. We must be vigilant to protect what we have stored away. Unless we are the federal government, we can’t afford to feed the world. Even the federal government will find that it cannot feed 330 million people. We will, of necessity, need to use violence to protect what we have saved but violence does make for more violence, so it will have to be used very judiciously. An EOTW situation will truly be the times that try men’s souls.

    Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty March 9, 13:08

      Plagues and Peoples is another book you might be interested in. I don’t remember the author, and it came out some time ago but I believe it was recently reissued. In any event read it if you can find it – excellent book on epidemiology and the historical ramifications of disease outbreaks.

      Reply to this comment
      • Chris F. March 10, 02:57

        That sounds like a fascinating book so I ordered a copy via Amazon, should be a great since I just finished reading “Survival of the Sickest: The Surprising Connections Between Disease and Longevity” a few months ago. My great-great-Grandfather’s daughter died during the Spanish Flu epidemic although she was the only one in the family to perish, ever since hearing about her I’ve been trying better understand the mechanics of pandemics… plus why so many people die while others survive.

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        • Miss Kitty March 10, 04:26

          I think in some cases genetics plays a role in (partial) immunity – look at what happened to the Native Americans when they were first exposed to smallpox – the death rate was near total in some villages. Better hygienic practices plays a huge part in avoiding some sicknesses, and now we have immunizations available. I know bubonic plague shots are available in parts of the U.S. where it’s endemic in native rodent populations like prairie dogs. I don’t know how long the immunity lasts but it might be worth talking to your doctor about as well as shots for other diseases. I’m going to try to get more info on the subject.

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    • CarmenO March 9, 22:59

      Interesting, but are you aware that salty water would destroy most affordable water distillers? Corrosive. I suggest you set up a water collection system using barrels to capture the little rain in California (assuming it’s not illegal where you live) in which case you better figure out how to disguise it. It’s surprising how short a rain can fill barrels of water, from the roof. As to food, as I mentioned to Great above, if you have even a small yard, try planting wild edible that most people do not recognize as food. There are regional books for every region in the US and some even have recipes. Of course, I collect bacon fat also. As to the use of wood, I would recommend building a rocket stove, which uses very little wood to cook entire meals. Plenty of simple example on YouTube. Wood will be hard to find unless you live surrounded by 100 year oaks that drop branches (like mine).

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      • Miss Kitty March 10, 04:30

        I think in some cases genetics plays a role in (partial) immunity – look at what happened to the Native Americans when they were first exposed to smallpox – the death rate was near total in some villages. Better hygienic practices plays a huge part in avoiding some sicknesses, and now we have immunizations available. I know bubonic plague shots are available in parts of the U.S. where it’s endemic in native rodent populations like prairie dogs. I don’t know how long the immunity lasts but it might be worth talking to your doctor about as well as shots for other diseases. I’m going to try to get more info on the subject.

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        • CarmenO March 10, 11:55

          Miss Kitty, you are confusing two things. That was not a case of “genetics”, it was a case of never developing immunity to something that did not exist in the Americas. The native Americans, had never encountered those diseases, so their bodies were not able to developing immunity fast enough. And some of the diseases were spread purposely, to them by the Europeans (example blankets contaminated with small pox).The fact is that the thing that protected Europeans was their total lack of hygiene, which allowed them to became immune to those diseases. Most Native Americans had washing as part of their religions so they were not prepared for the filthy of the new arrivals and all the diseases that came with them. The bubonic plague was one of those diseases that came from Europe and Asia and had wiped a huge percentage of the population of both connected continents, along with the rats in the ships. This was a case where good hygiene proved to be detrimental and no hygiene favorable. It’s called history, not speculation.

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          • Miss Kitty March 11, 00:04

            Carmen O I beg to differ. Virgin populations have a much higher death rate than populations who have been exposed to a disease over generations. The descendants of these people are better able to cope with the effects of the disease, either due to an inherited ability to recover from it or through inherited immunity from the worst effects. And in the case of a highly contagious disease such as smallpox hygiene doesn’t matter. It is spread through personal contact with contaminated body fluids or items that have been contaminated (such as the blankets used by the English to spread the disease to the Native Americans- completely heinous!) . It is also spread through coughing, sneezing, etc.

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            • CarmenO March 11, 10:10

              Miss Kitty, you are telling me what I told you? Of course, people who have been exposed to something for generation develop an immunity, unlike people who have NEVER been exposed because exactly what would they have been exposed to, to develop said immunity. Immunity to one thing doesn’t make you immune to every thing. I know how people get contaminated. Most of the people in the Americas that died when the European came died of diseases they were not immune to, except that in what is the US the Europeans (British) purposely spread the contamination through things like blankets. Why is the native population in what is the US almost extinct (less than a million full blooded “indians” left, while south of the US border most people are either full blooded or mestizos (white with indian)? They developed an immunity because the Spanish were not giving them blankets with small pox. And people blame Columbus who never even set foot in either American continent. He stayed in the Caribbean.

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              • Miss Kitty March 11, 16:30

                Carmen, epidemiology is NOT your strength. I have done some research on the subject so I know whereof I speak. Your forte is day-to-day practical skills and knowledge – like your suggestions re the rocket stove – and is incredibly valuable and much appreciated. So don’t get bent out of shape when someone tries to correct information that is wrong. That’s why we’re all here – to learn as well as teach.

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                • CarmenO March 12, 12:27

                  Miss Kitty, here’s where you are wrong. My “forte” is not just “day-to-day practical skills and knowledge”. Correcting something that someone else said that is WRONG is not “bent out of shape”. You can believe what you want, but do not expect people like me, not to question the veracity of what you are saying. I know a lot about a lot of things. I’m a product of the Cold War, when things were almost as bad as now, so I made it my business to prepare for just about ever thing that I knew was to come. Yep, I’m one of those first of what people referred as “Y2K” nuts (from the early 1960’s), which had zero to do with religion of any kind, or with computers, being that the only thing you had to do then, was punch another hole in the cards that were used to “program” computers. It had to do with what almost happened then and what we knew would happen now if we survived then. I was in Germany, when every time Kennedy sneezed, the military went into high alert. People back in the states had zero idea how bad it was. Yeah, sure, the US implodes by “coincidence” when we said it was going to implode (2001) and we are nutcases. BUT right now we are talking something else. I happen to also have two doctorates, and enough credits from a few more degrees in English literature, psychology, law, geology and history. In other words, I have spend most of my 71 years researching. I don’t know much about the history of Asian or southern Africa (although I bet I know more than most people about those two) but when it comes to other subjects. I bet that I have forgotten more than most people have ever learned. Knowledge is my PASSION. And being that I have been paranoid most of my life, you can bet that I am not into speculations. I’m a very intelligent cookie and I do not like for people to be fooled by people who don’t much pretending they do. Not that I’m saying you don’t know much, since I don’t know what you are an expert on. By the way, I am not a politically correct person, as if you hadn’t noticed.

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                  • Miss Kitty March 12, 19:45

                    Carmen O, since you are unapologetically non-p.c., I shall be the same. You don’t have the right to be snarky to other people under the guise of educating them. You do not have the right or the qualifications to say that I am trying to fool people into thinking I know things when I don’t. To you or anyone else who thinks I’m blowing smoke up your tailpipe I say fact check me and come back with hard evidence. Immunogenetics is a real thing – look that up in your Funk and Wagnall. And your comments saying that the filthy habits of the Europeans somehow conferred immunity on them are so off base it boggles the mind. Filth breeds disease. Period. And unless you have something constructive to add to the conversation, do us all a favor and keep the nasty, rude and sarcastic remarks to yourself.

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                    • Auckland Escapee March 12, 20:03

                      Well Stated, the concept that we are here to help each other seems to of bypassed Carmen0, sure some people know more than others, but the idea is to read and listen to as much as possible, and then sort out the grain from the chaff. The thought that one person can say they have all the answers, and other people are completely wrong in all details is more than verging on Communism, but that is only my thoughts, and I may be wrong.

                    • CarmenO March 13, 08:16

                      Where did I even remotely say that you are “blowing smoke up your tailpipe”? What I said was that what killed millions of people in the Americas was the fact that they were NOT immune to diseases that did not exist in the Americas. And yes, the Europeans came from nations when even royalty were proud of hardly ever bathing vs the people in the Americas where bathing was part of most of their religions. Try checking if that is not true. If you live somewhere when a disease exist and develop an immunity, your likelihood is that you will survive vs the person who has never encountered said disease. That has zero to do with genetics, it has to do with immunity. Spreading false information does not help anyone. Filth breeds disease and immunity saves you from the disease. Cleanliness does not save you from a disease that you have never encountered before, if it’s purposely inserted by someone else. Period. Of course, people assume that that will never happen, in case of a major collapse in the US, when we should all be aware that many pandemics are man made and germ warfare is something that has been used before. So sorry if it bothers you. If things get really bad, people need to know facts not people’s opinion. What happened to the people who were in what is now the US, can happen again in the US. How’s that for constructive.

      • left coast chuck March 10, 18:27

        CarmenO: Yes, I am quite aware of the corrosive effects of salt water. However, it can be done. Since the installation of steam driven engines on ships at sea, they have been distilling sea water to provide fresh water to ships on ocean voyages. It is still done today. Nuclear submarines that stay submerged for long periods of time distill sea water for fresh water on board the boats. Cruise ships and aircraft carriers do the same thing.

        As for firewood. Using a rocket stove allows one to use almost any kind of combustible material for fuel. In an ETOW situation, wood will be the most abundant fuel available. Whatever other fuel you may use it will soon be used up and no longer available. Wood will once again become the available fuel. With the demise of great portions of our population, wood in houses will be available to burn. Even a house that has burned to the ground will have wood that can be salvaged and used as fuel. We have an example of that currently In SoCal with the Thomas Fire that burned so many homes.

        As for collecting rain water, I have six fifty-gallon water barrels, together with six wading pools that I use to collect the scant amount of rain we receive. Unfortunately, the problem with rain water collection in SoCal is that the rain falls in a very short time frame. It is easy to collect the 300 gallons of water and fill the barrels. That happens in a week or two. The rest of the year there is no rain. That 300 gallons goes quite quickly. Using it sparingly it will only last two people 5 months and that is just for drinking purposes and food prep. That leaves 4 months of zero water. There really is a limit to how many barrels of water one can store on one’s property in a suburban setting. Fresh water sources are so sparse that they will be crowded with people and probably will be gang controlled. The ocean is the only source that I can see, other than a private artesian well and there are no artesian wells in most of SoCal any more, the water table over the whole area has been too drastically drawn down. This has been another long post that I didn’t intend to drag on so long, but as you can see, I have given considerable thought to the topic and have covered the points you raised as best I can anticipate them. But I do appreciate you raising them.

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        • CarmenO March 11, 10:16

          left coast, let me quote me “are you aware that salty water would destroy most affordable water distillers?” Notice affordable. Sorry, I don’t know about you, but I can not afford a distiller from a submarine or from a cruise ship. If you had posted what you are posting NOW, I certainly would not have commented on you post, asides by saying you are right. First post, fantasy, second post smart.

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    • Claude Davis March 14, 18:43

      “That has zero to do with genetics”

      It has everything to do with genetics. When a population is exposed to a new disease, the disease weeds out the people who are genetically less resistant to it. The initial epidemic will kill the least resistant; some people only get badly sick, and others are less affected. The next generation has more people who’re resistant; the next has even more, and so on. Yes, exposure to a disease creates immunity – but it does that through genetics.

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  7. TruthB Told March 8, 16:16

    When TSHTF , my feeling is that you are better off being in a group (combat vets. pref.) of other “prepared” folks. Everyone would have unique talents and stuff to contribute to the common good. That would be the only way to restore civilization anyway. One grain of sand (unless it’s in your eye) is of no consequence, but a desert made of sand is.

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    • Claude Davis March 10, 22:09

      That’s exactly right. Unless people work together, there’s no chance of recovery from the crisis. If everyone just stays huddled up in fortified homesteads, shooting at anyone who approaches, in two generations human civilization will be gone for good.

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  8. Labienus March 8, 16:28

    I’ll give women and children something like canned food, bread and things like that. If they are willing to earn their keep then they can stay or be adopted.

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  9. Just Me March 8, 16:29

    Even kids can be taught to gather intell on your condition, be careful, maybe even cough a lot while talking to them. Have them bring you an arm load of firewood if they have nothing to offer in trade.

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  10. aunt bea March 8, 16:32

    This comment was better than the original article. Thank you. My duty to God as a christian is more important than anything. I will be prepared, but I will continue to see all I have as something that God has given me, temporarily, to do His work on earth.

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  11. Chris F. March 8, 16:43

    We keep a battery operated megaphone that has a built-in siren handy so that we can stop any strangers in their tracks and communicate with them from hundreds of yards away. Our message will be simple: we have sick people on our property and are running low on sugar and salt to treat their diarrhea; we have voluntarily quarantined ourselves until we better understand the nature of the sickness. Being able to communicate before anyone gets within shooting distance is essential, and an inexpensive bull horn makes this possible.

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    • Claude Davis March 8, 21:40

      That’s an excellent idea! It’s non-violent, but likely to be pretty effective.

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      • Chris F. March 9, 00:48

        Claude, it’s the bullhorn that’s the most important part of this strategy and many other alternative tactics to help keep a homestead safe. It basically all boils down to one’s ability to communicate from a safe distance (and thus effectively “dominate the conversation”) when any strangers hearing you cannot clearly answer back to you. In one situation it may be announcing to strangers that a quarantine is in place and they must leave immediately; in another situation it may be issuing the instruction to strip down to your underwear, take ten steps away from all your belongings, and we will then come to you to render whatever assistance we can provide under perhaps primitive circumstances. There’s over a dozen different post-SHTF potentially deadly scenarios involving strangers that we’ve contemplated, and all of the best ones depend on being able to communicate without getting overly bogged down with answers from probable con artists. Desperate people are amazing, and all desperate people will become con artists to one degree or another.

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        • Miss Kitty March 9, 04:08

          Not to mention there are organized gangs in most cities and even suburban areas like where I live. I’ve seen bands of youths in gang colors walking down the street a couple blocks away from my house. Do you think these people are going to be willing to barter with you for a can of oatmeal and some dried beans? Especially once the law is gone and the drugs are gone and they’re getting hungry and even more pissed off than they usually are. These are the people who will have guns and who won’t hesitate to use them. Those who can should consider leaving urban areas now, although there are rural areas that have issues with drugs and gangs too. Research is key.

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    • Miss Kitty March 9, 03:51

      Oooh- clever Chris! My thoughts are in line with yours as far as women and kids being used as “bait” in a shtf situation. Although I would keep some packages of food handy (ie easily located) in case of someone coming snooping. “Oh, no that’s all I’ve got.” But in the case of a lone wolf, once people find out you’re alone you’re gonna be easy pickins. And unless the group you join with are on the level you could wind up getting ripped off or worse. I’ve known people whose own family have turned on them and stolen them blind. There aren’t any easy answers here are there?

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      • Chris F. March 9, 05:31

        Miss Kitty, it appears you have worked yourself up to the point of being in hysterics of some kind. What an odd commentary.

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        • CarmenO March 10, 12:05

          Chris, have to agree with you. Speculation, doesn’t mean knowledge and assuming the “a lone wolf” is in more danger than someone who is clueless, only makes the clueless one, the one in more danger. A little knowledge, is the most dangerous thing out there.

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          • Chris F. March 10, 13:06

            Carmen, stop with the name calling please. Attacking others is not an effective method for communicating your beliefs.

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            • CarmenO March 11, 10:23

              Exactly what do you define as “name calling”? Clueless means “having no knowledge, understanding” and I certainly did not call you clueless since I wrote “agree with you”. I stick by what I said, “a little knowledge is the most dangerous thing”. Or do you think that “having no knowledge or understanding” somehow keeps you safe? Sorry, but if I hadn’t been at this longer than you have been alive, I would like people to give me facts that can help me. Not fantasies. Name calling would be me calling some one an idiot.

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          • Miss Kitty March 13, 12:32

            Carmen, you have completely missed the point., but I’m not going to waste any more of everybody’s time trying to reason with you. Reading over my previous posts I realized that I was not following my own advice about dealing with certain people – therefore I’m going to ignore you. If it makes you feel better to vent your spleen on me, fine. I got more important things to worry about..

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    • SoJ_51 March 14, 08:40

      @ Chris F – Brilliant idea. I might supplant that idea (..and maybe you already Do this..) with the use of a ‘two-tiered approach’ – ie: some way to ‘remotely cue the Mic’ – affixed to a ‘dummy’ (even just a ‘farmer hat behind a burm, with the horn in front..) so You’re not the one standing Behind it (even if ‘hidden’, since if a long-off ‘sniper’ was in the approaching group, they could take you out, straightaway, then the ‘subterfuge’ would be pointless…) So, cue the Mic from an offsides position – and have your Own Sniper fixed on the approaching group. If they pot-shot the bullhorn / dummy, well.. Then you Immediately know their ‘intentions’ (and that they likely won’t be dissuaded by the ‘threat of sick people’. Truly depends on just How ‘desperate’ things get in each area – there’s really no ‘binary’ answers, here, but.. Just some deeper thoughts on your Excellent idea. 🙂 Cheers..

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  12. mbl March 8, 16:58

    I live in a coastal community which swells in the summertime and is quite small in the colder seasons. Everyone knows just about everyone, or there’s maybe two degrees of separation at most.

    While we are not exactly off the beaten path, we are also not conveniently located, so in a shtf situation, only the most able would be able to make their way here, unless the shtf sitch occurred in summer.

    So, most of the people would be someone I know or we know people in common.

    Most people here tend to do for themselves, and if you need help, you ask your neighbor to help you. He knows the time will come where he’ll need help and ask you.

    I was raised in a similar small town, and no, neither was a perfect place, but both have a strong sense of community. Most of the neighbours on my street are prepared for weather events, do a phone chain to check on others, and will simply drop in to say hi if they haven’t seen you for awhile and want to make sure you are all right.

    I realize in a shtf situation, we can see a side of others we wouldn’t otherwise, but it’s not just everyone becoming a vicious pack of wild animals. Yes, there’ll be some of that, heck, we have that now,. But, if you are in a place with a strong sense of community, I’m venturing to say that others will help as they are able. Strangers will be likely be held at arm’s length, until it can be ascertained what their connection is to anyone in the community. And whom they name will provide you with a lot of information about how much you want to trust them.

    If it’s someone I don’t know, and they don’t know anyone, i’ll have to do what one priest said to me long ago, “Pray a lot, and play your hunches.” If in my gut, I trust them, i’ll help as I’m able. They may be able to help me as well. I’ve got some fencing they can work on, and sticks to gather for kindling.

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    • Claude Davis March 10, 22:05

      A community like yours is going to be in the best position to survive just about any SHTF scenario I can think of. You already have the right habits of helping each other, and those will carry over when things turn bad.

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      • mbl March 11, 04:49

        Agreed, Claude. In early November, 2014, we had a wild snowstorm hit my county and part of the two counties flanking mine; the rest of the state got snow, but in our area, it was a microburst of weather, and trees snapped like twigs, telephone poles that were perpendicular (90 degrees) to the ground the day before the storm were at a 35-degree angle the day after. Wires lying across many roads, and the heaviest snow I’ve ever shoveled in my life. A shovelful was easily 40-50 lbs.

        We had teams from other states and provinces come to help, and all of them noticed how helpful people were. We were just glad to see them, because the locals were working around the clock to restore order. People offered them cups of coffee, food, and the use of my bathroom if they needed a bio break.

        I walked around my neighbourhood to check on others. My neighbours did the same. All of us were without power, some had generators, others did not but had woodstoves so they could heat at least part of their houses. The snow provided plenty of cold places to store food, and we got on with things.

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  13. jefe gordo March 8, 16:58

    A thought provoking article for sure. I have been struggling with the question of organizing a neighborhood watch/mutual protection assn. How do you share your stockpiled food with neighbors who you depend upon for mutual security? If you offer mutual help to a neighbor does this extend to their extended family? Any thoughts on what might be the ground rules for a neighborhood watch?

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    • Auckland Escapee March 8, 22:10

      Jefe, in your neighborhood there are people that will hear about your plans for a mutual protection assn. and they wont join because they will think you are a weirdo, and because they know for a fact that IT will never happen, but when IT does happen, they will turn up with their hand out, and if you send them away, they are likely to come back with a few colleagues armed to the teeth, and now they wont be asking.

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      • Terressa March 9, 00:49

        Auckland Escapee: My thoughts exactly to GreatNorthernPreppette. You might want to do the right thing, but it won’t be feasible.

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  14. BlindmanCC March 8, 17:08

    I like the barter approach. It gives you time to evaluate the individuals. I would try a few demands first to see if they are reasonable or if I’m being set up. While keeping a secure position, demands like, lets talk but you need to move out in the yard and Ill be with you in a minute or come and talk with me in the morning. You are giving yourself time to watch listen. Having neighbors you can trust is the safety in numbers approach. Deciding whether to have a safe zone cut around your house or hide has to be according to where you live. However, for those I would feed I would store Top Ramen or something like it and that’s all I would give away. This is a food you have to rotate often or it will spoil but it is cheap if you watch for the sales. It will fill the belly and not be suspicious. Every situation would have to be evaluated, every choice made with caution. If disease and radioactivity is in the environment, then keeping them at a distance is not unreasonable or paranoid. (Disease most likely in all cases.) If you give food, then do it wisely, but preserve humanity and be a Christian or practitioner of your faith, in every situation where you can. However, keep you family safe. Careful with the emotions of fear but trust your senses. Remember being dirty and shaggy may not be an indicator of someone bad, nor being clean. If you have to just say “I have nothing, go away,” and see if they will. Then find them down the road and feed them. Pre-plan for the request for food being directed at you. Remember the disaster may take your shelter and stores regardless how well you got ready, this may be you asking for food.

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  15. Pup March 8, 17:43

    All well thought out advise. I pray we never have to encounter these senerio’s but if we must it will take much restraint to hold what we have and not share to the children. Just the thought of seeing a needy child upsets me so. May the SHTF never happen!

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  16. Bro. Scott March 8, 19:58

    Good article and comments to consider. Someone once recommended making modest donations to a local post-SHTF Help Agency or church and then referring people to THAT place for help. It is honest, thoughtful, and a way to legitimately divert people away from your location. . . Just a thought.

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  17. Spike March 8, 21:56

    I’m considering having a few 275 gallon totes cleaned out and filled with grain from the fields. Wheat, corn or yellow peas should keep a starving person going for a while and keep them moving down the road. Initial costs should be minimal and I could rotate the grain regularly by feeding it to my livestock. Food grade totes are another lengthy topic.

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  18. Meathead March 9, 00:24

    Take some supplies that you can spare to your nearest church and donate it. If, and when, anyone shows up at your property, simply inform them that you took supplies to the church and that’s where they need to go for support.

    My wife and I are ex-armed security guards and damn good shots because we practice at least twice a month using 9-inch pie plates for targets. While I am talking to them, she will have the scope cross-hairs of a .308 trained on them from a secluded position just in case they want to get violent. They will have to make the first move because we will not randomly shoot people who are in need. However, we will protect what we have with deadly force.
    Those who have failed to prepare have prepared to perish or rely on FEMA holding facilities from which they may never exit.

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    • Terressa March 9, 01:01

      Meathead: One very minor adjustment: don’t tell them you took supplies down to the church, tell them you got supplies from there. That will downplay the idea you have enough to shared; that you’re “in the same boat they are” whether you are or not.

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  19. PR March 9, 00:30

    Interesting comments. Some things to think about: Christianity and Islam both have rules about how to treat the less fortunate. I don’t think shooting them is part of that. What if that needy family was black? What if they were Asian? This is a very difficult moral dilemma. WWJD?

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    • Terressa March 9, 01:08

      PR: J already said what to do in the beginning as far as inalienable rights: First life, Second Liberty, Third prosperity and Fourth the right to protect them in the best means necessary.

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  20. left coast chuck March 9, 03:28

    If I remember my bible correctly, Jesus was able to feed the multitudes by working a miracle. I am sorry, but in an EOTW situation I am afraid I am going to be fresh out of miracles. I don’t mean that to sound sacrilegious, but the fact of the matter is, in the kind of scenario this website envisions, we don’t know when we will be out of danger.

    We know that a snowstorm will stop in three to five days and that authorities will be working around the clock to restore services and the absolutely worst case, might be 30 whole days until services are restored. In the meantime we can do much to improve our situation. We can leave the area once the roads are partially cleared. We can even snowshoe or ski out to another area. The same with other localized emergencies. Here in SoCal if the big one hits as we have been promised by all the earthquake “experts,” eventually emergency services will show up.

    Most of the Thomas fire victims are back to more or less normal living. Yes, they aren’t in their homes and they may be scrounging for used furniture that folks are willing to give away, but they are busy getting on with their lives. The city seems to be finally getting its act together although that has been a long slow process and one wonders about the thought process behind some of the decisions. FEMA has closed up their office due to lack of claimants and the insurance companies that had set up tents to handle claims in shopping center parking lots have taken them down. Unless one drives through the burned out areas, you would not know that a disaster had happened and I submit destroying 700 dwelling units does qualify as a disaster.

    HOWEVER, what we are discussing here, an EOTW situation means that the whole country is stuck in the same situation, perhaps even multiple countries If it is a world-wide CME, every modern country would be affected. No one knows how long the effects of such a situation would carry forward and how many people would be affected.

    The more you share with passers-by, the less there is for your family. What is most important to you? Feeling good about yourself or the survival of your children and your spouse?

    Some of the comments on here remind me of comments I see on a local net that discusses local problems. Like many towns in SoCal our town has a significant problem with “homeless.” Despite official urgings from the local PD and actual officials charged with addressing the many problems that the “homeless” have not to hand money to people panhandling, many posters maintain that they feel it is their Christian duty to help the less fortunate. This in the face of the overwhelming evidence that “the less fortunate” maintain themselves in that condition by choice. They like being high on drugs or being besotted on alcohol and have no intention of changing their lifestyle. They are able to get free cell phones, free medical care, food stamps and a limited amount of cash from disability payments and they panhandle to support whatever perception altering substance habit they have.

    Of course, reasonable people can disagree, but I don’t feel a Supreme Being would want us to shortchange our loved ones to their detriment and possible miserable death so that we can feel good about ourselves by helping people whose condition in life is of their own making. Further, having seen some of the worst of human life, I would urge that should such a disaster come to pass that you use extreme caution in how you interface with others.

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    • Miss Kitty March 9, 04:21

      As far as the homeless population goes, let’s not forget that many of them are mentally ill. There are many more mentally ill people with jobs and homes who are coping now with medications, but what will happen when they go off their meds? You can’t reason with a crazy person. And you can’t trust them to act predictably. Read up on mental illness so you can better gauge whether someone is just stressed or listening to the voices.

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      • left coast chuck March 9, 05:39

        Wow! You are correct. I had forgotten that many folks are coping with their mental problems because they are taking medication. When that is gone, they will once again be faced with their mental illness without access to either professional help or helpful medication. I am afraid we will see a larger number of suicides than certainly I had anticipated until this minute.

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  21. Miss Kitty March 9, 06:33

    “Hysterical?” I will own to being distracted and a bit disjointed as a result. I brainstorm situations so I’m better prepared if sitch occurs and I wanted to get my thoughts down quickly as I felt I had some valid points others might find useful. Sorry if you found it confusing or disturbing in some way.

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    • Chris F. March 10, 02:47

      No worries Miss Kitty, I have to admit to being mistaken on your meaning and original intent. Sometimes message boards are hard to interpret with notes exchanged on the fly by total strangers who don’t know each other, therefore of course it’s too easy to misunderstand under such circumstances.

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  22. Dennis March 9, 06:54

    Your responses have been thoughtful and I appreciate everyone who contributed. I wish all of you were in my survival group.I have spent many days and hours back planning/reverse engineering for just such an event. I live in a duplex in the San Francisco East Bay Area. After trying to consider all the possible scenarios, to make a long story short, I decided one has to move to ones bug out location now. All the security, self sufficiency, etc. has to be normal when SHTF, or we won’t make it. I have to get there, plant the food forest, learn to grow crops & raise live stock, become energy and water independent, recruit my group. All of it.I talked with an economist who visited the store I work at, and she confirmed that the system can’t continue. However, she predicts a slow, managed decline, not a crash or catastrophy. Either way, I’m moving where land is cheap and rain is plentiful. Learn from Noah. Work on it every day until it happens, and your people can survive, even thrive.

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    • Chris F. March 9, 14:06

      Bravo, Dennis! This is exactly what we did in 2011 and it turned out to be the best decision ever. When my Dad died he left me a broken down old house on two acres in California, I was able to sell it and buy 200 acres with forests and pastures in the Ozarks. For the first time in my life I now know what real freedom is… while also realizing how incredibly stressful daily life was back in California. Whether SHTF or not, becoming semi-self sufficient has been the most rewarding and satisfying experience ever — although yes, it involves a heck of a lot of work!

      One book that you might benefit from before making the leap was written by a man named Ragnar Benson: “Starting A New Life In Rural America: 21 Things You Need to Know Before You Make Your Move.” It’s spot-on and could have saved me from making a lot of (common!) mistakes in the early days. Take a look, it really is a helpful book!

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  23. MrSleep March 9, 10:35

    I read a post the other night that suggested having a “sacrificial stash.” A small stockpile that you’re willing to give away if necessary. Tell them it’s all you have, share some of it with them, then tell them you need the rest for you and your family.

    You will, of course, have a larger stash hidden in a safe location. Just don’t tell anyone about that.

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    • SoJ_51 March 14, 08:31

      Hello MrSleep – Our sentiments (..and practice) Exactly. What we do, is SAVE some our ‘old food’ (stuff that we’d ‘rotate Out’ / use.. Canned / Pre-packaged, etc, and Anything that may have gotten ‘compromised’ (ie: Rice or Beans that got ‘weevilized’ – nothing ‘rotten’ or Truly bad, (save THAT stuff for the ‘Marauders’ that take at gunpoint 😉 but.. Not stuff, we Ourselves, want to eat (unless Truly desperate) THAT’s stuff you can ‘afford to give away’. Sure, it might seem ‘mean’ to not give way ‘your Best’, but.. ‘Never underestimate the Power of Subterfuge’ – it just may save your Life / Family member.. Fwiw..

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  24. Chuckstur in NC March 10, 14:03

    After reading all of the posts, I would add 2 items. We have introduced a radio controlled neighborhood watch program using Bae Feng radios. Very effective. Also, provide a couple hidden packages of food (in different places) away from your location and when approached by someone for food, tell them where 1 of them are and that you are also very short on supplies.

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    • Claude Davis March 12, 23:14

      The radio idea is excellent. Handheld radios are very cheap, and everyone should have a few of them stored in a Faraday cage. I’m not so sure about the hidden food packages though. People might wonder why, if you’re so short of food, you’re hiding it well away from your home and telling them how to find it. Personally I’d just give them food from inside the house and tell them it’s all you can spare.

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  25. PB- dave March 10, 20:39

    Your faith is refreshing to others as it is a comfort to you. Folks need to keep their faith, but never ignore the good common sense the Maker has also provided to them.

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  26. Donovan March 10, 22:18

    I actually already have a list of who in my area I’m willing to feed. It’s less than ten extra mouths to feed, so I’m ok with that.

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  27. Ted July 16, 20:00

    Think warlord instead of prepper. Prepper works with tornadoes and hurricanes, floods, lights out a few days, snowed in a week. In widespread events if you aren’t the warlord, you will be the victim of a warlord. As soon as it falls apart you got to get a handle on all the local half wits real quick. They can be controlled with strong personality and brainpower. They think I’m the smartest thing around here and are half scared of me as it is. But, they know that I know what to do. Even if I don’t, I tell them like I do.

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    • CarmenO July 17, 20:22

      Too funny. Thanks for the comedy skit. lol How can I tell a person doesn’t even remotely qualify as a prepper? When they are so clueless. “Warlord” that sounds more like a bully who is used to people trembling when he (or her, some women can be a menace) comes by. In real life, not video games, the real preppers would use you as target practice, the second you started using your “strong personality and brainpower” (sure, lol). Want to know why, because people like you are a hindrance NOT help. You can bet most real preppers fall under alpha male, even if they are women. Bullies depend on the weak for their power. I suggest you start planting lettuce. lol. My military dad, taught me to box when I was six and I broke the 13 year old (kids used to flunk in school) school bully’s nose when I was 8, after warning him to leave me and the other little kids alone. He laughed, same as the two policemen when his mother called them and showed them who the bully who broke his nose was. Too cute. You are the big fish in a tiny pond, honey bun.

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      • Ted July 17, 22:22

        No, this will be worse than you can ever imagine. Those who beat their swords into plows will plow for those who do not. You won’t be able to tell me that I was right. But, that’s okay, I will already know it. Because you don’t know who I am and where I have been. I speak with experience. I will have Trespassers Will Be Shot posted all around. Then when they come up for food, I will require them to read a little paragraph and I will feed them. If they read it, means they could read my posted signs, I’ll then feed them some lead. They will either learn to stay away or I will run out of people. I may put them on sticks like Vlad The Impaler, then they will understand what posted really means. Ha Ha get it? About 90% of the US population lives within 40 miles of the coast. They will all be displaced. The numbers will be overwhelming. You have to flip your instant A hole switch on to deal with all that. I know how the military, government, and local deputies function because of involvement with all three. Remember a few years ago when they joked about when they say there is a nice meteor shower tonight….that means it’s here? Meteor showers now thru August 24. Deterrence is the only way. You have to make it not worth it to mess with you.

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      • Ted July 17, 23:54

        What if you look outside and there’s 250 men and they are closing in? You shoot a few down and the rest keep coming. Will you toss a slice of light bread out in the yard, lock the door and hope for the best? Nope, you will be a victim if the warlord. That group will have a leader. If they are robbing, raping, and killing, what will that leader technically be called? You have your own little watered down definition of war with all its little rules that should be followed. You will soon learn it’s not the same definition and there are no rules. In those circumstances, might makes right. They will just put mind over matter, they won’t mind and you won’t matter. But don’t fall in love just yet.

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    • Chris F. July 18, 00:56

      Ted, you seem to be publishing comments on here that have zero strategic value to anyone here including yourself. I had a neighbor (yikes!) who posted lots of signs around his property announcing his intent to shoot any trespassers on sight, then came the day when he shot someone on his property. Those posted signs were used against him in court to demonstrate premeditation and intent; in the end, he ended up in prison for a very long time, and who knows whether he was right or not on shooting the intruder (or perhaps just a clueless guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time for all the wrong reasons).

      So all this talk you’re shoving forth about being a warlord faced with 250 bad guys, and what you “would” do to survive or rule over others, or yack yack yack babble babble babble, just makes you look like a five year old frothing at the mouth while on the floor having some kind of strange temper tantrum. That doesn’t accomplish anything, and it doesn’t help your cause (what is your cause, anyway?) to use your keyboard for creating a trail of crumbs that you might somehow regret some years from now.

      Nobody here ignores what is obvious: if times get tough, if bad people show up on one’s doorstep, then it’s important to have a well thought out plan for dealing with it in a logical and defendable manner. Cleverly defusing a really bad situation if at all possible seems to be a top priority for most of the people here, from what I’ve read over some months at least. Perhaps that could be part of your Grand Plan as well, really thinking thing through and becoming the fox who survives despite all odds, rather than just another run of the mill “Rambo.”

      As a last word I met a few tribal warlords in Afghanistan while writing a book, and after leaving noticed how they tended to pop up dead within two or three years or simply disappear never to be heard from again. Being a warlord might seem romantic, but the reality is a few luxuries in the short term obviously doesn’t make up for becoming a major figure who’s a most-wanted target. Be careful about what you wish for, perhaps you’ll be a lot happier if you simply grew a few zucchini plants this summer and quit setting yourself up via this keyboard warrior talk.

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  28. CarmenO July 18, 21:57

    Liked your response Chris. As to Warlord, let me quote you: “Because you don’t know who I am and where I have been. I speak with experience. I will have Trespassers Will Be Shot posted all around.” That’s where you are wrong, I do know your type well. You speak with experience? So why is it that you say “I will have” and not I have? I will go to the moon someday. That’s wishful thinking same as my statement. Ain’t gonna happen. If at this point in time you don’t even have somewhere to go and somewhere to be you are way, way behind. Let me guess, your food storage consists of a few cans of chicken noodle soup and a box of crackers. lol Dear, child you can bet that the people who post here add up to more than a few thousand years of experience. And we don’t fall for it. I suggest you go write yourself a few Warlord Ted books, the people who buy books at Amazon won’t know the difference. And yes, I know, I tend to make people want to tell me where I can go. (You are talking Dracula? How about a few Zombies? Impaling then does no good. lol) I pride myself on being a historian, even have a degree and one of the subject I have focused longer than you have been alive is military history. I know that in the end the ones who think they are the toughest fall to the ones who have nothing left to lose. All empires fall and all warlords do also.

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