Top 7 SHTF Mistakes to Avoid

Doug Williams
Store food and secure your location in a SHTF situation.

The average person is going to make a lot of mistakes in an SHTF disaster scenario. Even the world’s leading survival and disaster preparation experts are going to make a lot of mistakes in an SHTF disaster situation as well.


What does this mean for you? It means that you’re definitely going to make a lot of mistakes in a major grid down disaster as well.

While making mistakes may be unavoidable, this does not at all mean that you can’t limit the number of mistakes that you make.

With this in mind, here are the top seven SHTF mistakes to avoid:

1 – Not Having a Bug Out Bag

A bugout bag is an essential piece to have ready.

Having a bug out bag is arguably the single most important disaster preparation that any individual can possibly make.

This is because if you are forced to bug out from your home, the contents of your bug out bag can and will keep you alive for several days if not weeks afterward. In other words, a bug out bag and its contents can be the most valuable items that you bring with you and can be truly lifesaving.

2 – Not Having a Bug Out Location

A bug out location is very important to have.

Many people neglect the idea of bugging out because bugging in is safer: you know the area, you’re not vulnerable out in the open road, and you’re with your stockpile.

However, bugging in will not be safer or even possible in either of the two scenarios:

  1. Death is certain if you stay
  2. You are ordered to leave by the authorities

This is why you need to have a location in mind within a reasonable driving distance outside of town. Take note that it doesn’t have to be a cabin out in the woods; it can be the home of a close friend or relative (with their permission, of course).

In addition, if you do decide to bug out or are forced to, do so several hours if not days before everyone else does to avoid being stuck in traffic.

3 – Not Improving Your Home’s Defenses

Improve your defense system with locks and bolts.

The average house in the United States, and anywhere else for that matter, is very easy to break into. Right now, you should be taking action to improve your home’s defenses. This could include actions such as replacing all normal glass windows with acrylic glass and installing heavy duty hinges and locks on your doors.

Additionally, you should be investing in stakes, barbed wire, nail boards, and sandbags. Keep these things in your garage or shed and then pull them up to beef up your home’s defenses if disaster strikes.

4 – Not Following the One Month Rule

The average family in the United States has enough food in the pantry and the refrigerator to last them about a week.

The average family in the United States has enough food in the pantry and the refrigerator to last them about a week, give or take a few days.

Suffice to say, the disaster you find yourself in may end up lasting much longer than one week. As a golden rule, you should aim to have enough food and water in your home to last your family for at least one month.

Have at least two thousand calories of food and one gallon of water set aside per person per day, at the bare minimum.

5 – Not Keeping Yourself Up to Date Beforehand

The seven day weather forecast is one to watch.

The vast majority of people are going to be taken completely by surprise by a disaster, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be. 

Keep yourself up to date with what’s going on in your area. For example, if you live near the coast or in the American midwest, you should be watching the news and the weather tracker for any updates on hurricanes or tornadoes coming your way.

6 – Not Taking Action to Blend In

Blend in with others to keep out of the spotlight.

One of the most imperative survival skills of all is the ability to blend into a crowd. Wear clothing similar to what other people are wearing, and avoid the use of bright or tactical colors.

Furthermore, keep all weapons and valuables hidden. Conceal carry any pistols or revolvers you have and do not open carry any weapons. Also, keep all rifles and shotguns hidden in your car or home. If you don’t, you’re putting a screaming target on your back for both other individuals and the authorities.

7 – Not Rotating Out Your Food and Water

A golden rule is to rotate out any water you store at least once every six months. As for food, you’ll need to research how long the food you have keeps for and then rotate it out accordingly.

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