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The truth is although you may get some advanced warning of an SHTF situation, no one will predict it with absolute certainty. There are however some predicted behaviors and events that experts can predict may happen leading up to the chaos and afterward.

These predicted behavior patterns are important to understand for anyone who is trying to protect their family and homestead during and after an SHTF event. If you are aware of the changes that could take place, you can prepare your homestead for SHTF and its aftermath. The more steps you take to prepare, the better off you and your family will be.

What Could Happen When SHTF

  • extended power outage
  • widespread panic and looting
  • overwhelmed emergency services personnel
  • stores and businesses are wiped out or closed
  • shipping delays or complete stop
  • pandemic due to poor sanitation or lack of medical care
  • spoiled or stolen food and other supplies
  • injuries, illness and/or mass casualties or death

Plan for Food and Water

One of the big issues following an SHTF event is going to be having access to enough water and food to sustain you and your family through an extended period of chaos and possibly indefinitely. Below are some steps you can begin to take now to help ensure that you and your family have an ample supply of food and water when you need it.

Most people may not be able to do all of these at once but it’s a good idea to make a plan for implementation over a period of time. Do what you can the first year and gradually add to your food and water resources when you can.

  1. Start a food garden to grow vegetables and fruits to sustain your family when grocery stores shut down.
  2. Plant an orchard now so that you’ll be able to harvest fruit for pies and jams to boost morale following an SHTF event.
  3. Grow an herb garden to supplement your food stockpile and for medicine when pharmacies and professional medical services are shut down.
  4. Start a compost pile to use to fertilize the soil so your garden will flourish.
  5. Gather/Buy manual kitchen appliances and equipment so you can cook without electricity.
  6. Stockpile food for livestock and pets when shipping is delayed or stopped.
  7. Create a hidden food forest to sustain your family if your garden and stockpile are confiscated or wiped out.
  8. Build a rainwater collection system to use for watering the garden, for livestock, personal hygiene, and if necessary for drinking.
  9. Build or buy a solar oven for cooking without power.
  10. Make a smokehouse for preserving meat if refrigeration fails.
  11. Gather/Buy manual tools for gardening and other homesteading tasks.
  12. Install an aquaponics or hydroponics system to supplement your garden
  13. Plant berry bushes so they can mature and be ready to harvest following an SHTF event.
  14. Stockpile home-canned food to create a sustainable food supply without refrigeration.
  15. Build a root cellar for preserving harvested vegetables to extend shelf life through the lean winter months.
  16. Stockpile as much water as possible to prevent dehydration.
  17. Identify nearby freshwater sources to supplement your water stockpile.
  18. Begin raising livestock for food that can enhance the nutrition level of your food stockpile.
  19. Save seeds from the garden for future crops in the event shipping is shut down.
  20. Identify wild game and fishing resources on and around your property to supplement your food stockpile.
  21. Identify wild edibles in and around your homestead as a backup food supply.

Plan for Security

Another major issue when it comes to an SHTF event will be sheltered. Whether it’s an extreme weather event or something else, steps you take now will mean you can quickly protect your house and livestock shelters against extreme weather or intruders.

  1. Build storm shutters to protect windows and doors to protect against extreme weather. Have these ready and accessible or even installed so they can simply be closed and locked with very little warning.
  2. Reinforce door locks to keep intruders out of your home. This is a step everyone should do anyways to protect against burglary and home invasion.
  3. Build a safe room to use in the event intruders do get into your home or in the event of a tornado or other extreme weather event.
  4. Clear out brush around your home to create a clear line of sight to protect against intruders sneaking around your property.
  5. Stockpile firearms and ammunition and other weapons for self-defense.
  6. Consider forming a “survival group” with trusted neighbors or family/friends.
  7. Build a secure fence with a locked gate around the perimeter of your homestead to secure against intruders.
  8. Establish early alert systems and other perimeter deterrents to protect against intruders.

Additional Ways to Prepare Your Homestead for SHTF

  1. Prepare for waste disposal (Composting Toilet/Humanure) when sanitation systems shut down.
  2. Install a fireplace for heating your home and for hot water.
  3. Install a solar power system to run critical appliances if the power grid fails.
  4. Stockpile batteries of various sizes to use during a power outage.
  5. Install a wind turbine for supplemental power in case of a grid failure.
  6. Buy/Build a generator to run critical systems during short term power outages.
  7. Bury backup supplies in hidden cache locations in and around your homestead as a backup in the event your supplies are stolen or confiscated.
  8. Stockpile personal medications or identify natural alternatives to treat chronic medical conditions when pharmacies are closed.
  9. Buy/Build a ham radio system for communication with family or group members and to monitor news and events happening in your area.
  10. Make any repairs to house and livestock buildings regularly to safeguard your shelter.
  11. Stockpile replacement parts for vehicles and manual equipment in the event of a mechanical failure.
  12. Create plans and assign duties for possible scenarios (in case of fire, tornado, intruders, etc.) so each family can act quickly in a crisis.
  13. Consider bulletproof options for your vehicle and house to safeguard against an intruder attack.
  14. Establish a method for properly storing gasoline and other fuels for vehicles and for heating your home.
  15. Begin growing your own fodder to feed livestock to sustain them if feed supply stores are wiped out or shut down.
  16. Improve insulation in your home and barn to increase your ability to stay warm in cold weather and cooler in hot weather.
  17. Establish a system for washing clothes without power.
  18. Stockpile firewood to use for heating and cooking in an extended grid-down situation.
  19. Pay off as much debt as possible, use the excess to enhance your stockpile.
  20. Create ways to make money from your homestead even in a grid down situation.
  21. Stockpile items (honey, cigarettes, sugar, coffee, etc.) that can be used to barter for other items you may need to survive.

Is your homestead prepared for SHTF? What steps have you taken to prepare? Which of the 50 ways to prepare will you consider?  If we’ve missed something you think is vital for homestead preparation, let us know in the comments below.

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7 thoughts on “50 Ways to Prepare Your Homestead for SHTF”

  1. What about clothing, seasonal clothing. You don’t want to be limited only having one season of clothing, based on your time of year you visit your homestead.
    I am at our homestead as I write this in 100F weather, in my swimmers.
    We don’t come here much in the winter, but we have dedicated one closet to winter clothes. It never really gets touched, except to change out sizes as the kids grow.
    In an emergency we can survive here with appropriate clothing.

  2. Regarding the composting toilet—we have a septic system & we are on city water. We have a lake very close by that we can get water from for flushing. I’m not sure how long septic systems are good for but ours was put in 13 years ago. If the city water systems shut down, would we still be okay? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    1. JB unless your septic system has any kind of pump on it, your septic system will still work. As you noted, you will have to collect water for flushing if the public water service fails.

  3. JB> The size of your septic sys. and the # of folks using and the extent of your drain field (and location thereof) are all important factors. The folks we bought our place from 3 yrs ago had been in 18 yrs and never pumped the sys out. They also wasn’t sure the previous owners (20 yrs) had ever. So, just to be safe, I had it done at yr 2. It really had very little sludge in it, maybe 12/18″In the 1st tank, less than 6″ in the 2nd. We live on a lite slope so get NO standing H2o, but have seen 4″ of running h2o in the yard with heavy rain storms (S Tx., NNW of Houston). We never get standing h2o at the drain field, indicating no clogs in field lines and a well functioning sys. Must also add, we live on all sandy soil so get good natural drainage. Note: your sys doesn’t care what water u use to flush as long as it doesn’t have junk in it (leaves, sticks, clots,etc. On that note, tell your Fam. not to flush ANYTHING but TP!!! Fem.products, wipes, diapers, toys etc. all verboten (you REALLY don’t want to rebuild your sys or even clean your main house lines). Consider, how close your lake is, how far you have to carry (flush poo only), IF you have legitimate access to it (without getting shot) etc. If that all is a yes, there’s your drinking water also, assuming filters or boiling (assuming available wood for fire). Legit access also can provide some protein (yay). Hope this helps ya. PS: If ya live on ‘clay’, drainage is a whole different world, and I don’t know how to help, but all of the above would still apply. Best to you and yours. Sorry I got carried away but I wanted to cover all the bases

  4. Along other line of questioning. I live alone and I’m a senior citizen. If the power goes out all I have is my grill to cook on and a small propane gas stove. Does it make sense to start stockpiling firewood to run the grill with? Or should I stick to coal? I think wood would get hotter and burn longer, thoughts?

  5. First aid supplies: even in a short term scenario, storm damage will have people out with axes and chain saws and up on roofs – people WILL get hurt/injured and require care and treatment.

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