SHTF Event Plan: How To Be Prepared

SHTF Event Plan: How To Be Prepared

A SHTF event can happen at any time and it can take you by surprise.

By being as prepared for it as possible you won’t be thrown off guard. Instead, you’ll be able to survive and thrive. 

What are some common types of SHTF events?

These include natural disasters, pandemics, riots, and economic collapse, to mention just a few.

In order to successfully deal with a SHTF event, you need to be prepared and for that you need a plan. Here’s what to do so it doesn’t get the best of you. 


What’s A SHTF Plan? 

While you can’t always control what happens, you can control how you deal with it. That’s what a SHTF plan is all about. It’s about planning ahead before disaster strikes.

It’s when you sit down and actually think about what you would do if society collapsed or a disaster struck and you couldn’t stay home. Your plan should outline what you’ll do before, during, and after a disaster event. Here’s what you should include in your SHTF plan. 

Bugging In Vs. Bugging Out

Bugging in means that when disaster strikes, you decide to stay put in your home. Bugging out means you grab your resources and make a run for it. 

If you’re choosing to bug in, you’ll need to increase the security of your home. Take a walk around it and look at it with new eyes. What needs to have its security improved? Are the windows and doors secure enough?

Then, you’ll also need to ensure you stock up on enough water and food for at least three days in case you and your family are stuck at home, but aim for your resources to last two weeks or longer.

You’ll also need to have an emergency kit of other important items, such as prescription and over-the-counter medication, hygiene items, a first aid kit, flashlights, as well as gas or solar energy in case the power grid goes down. 

If you’re bugging out, you’ll need to pack an emergency backpack that contains enough food, water, and other items (such as those mentioned above) to bring to your new location.

You obviously need to ensure you find the right location that you and your loved ones can go to. It should ideally be close to your home so you can get there on foot – the roads might be blocked.

Your bug-out location could be a friend’s family home in the woods or a spot on unused land. Make sure it has access to water

How much food and water should you actually have in stock?

Whether you’re staying home or evacuating, you should have one gallon of water per person per day, and a minimum of 1,500 calories per person per day. 

Create A SHTF Folder 

This is just as important as securing food and stocking up on survival tools. You should have a folder in the home that contains important information. It should be in a place where every member of the family can locate it, and it should be updated regularly.

This folder should include information such as emergency contacts, medical and allergy information of all family members, and copies of important documents such as social security cards, financial information, and insurance information.

It’s also wise to include a list of your food storage items along with their expiry dates so you have a record of what you own.

Pack The Right Clothes


You never know when you’ll find yourself in bad weather conditions, and that can really sabotage your survival efforts.

Make sure your plan involves having enough warm clothing, such as gloves, beanies/hats, raincoats, jerseys, jackets, socks, and strong boots. You should also ensure emergency ponchos and tents are included in your plans. You never know when you’ll have to rough it. 

Get A Map And Compass

What if you want to move around the city or move out of it?

You need to ensure that you have a map and compass to help you get around. You can’t rely on your GPS.

It might sound like overkill, but it’s also a good idea to draw maps of the area on which you include some cardinal points to help you find your way around and reach your second location. 

Set Up Your Emergency Location 

If disaster strikes and you and your family members are not in the same place, it’s crucial that you know where to meet up.

You should set up an emergency location and everyone should be able to access it, such as from their school or place of work. It should also be a place that you can get to via different routes, in case one or more of them are restricted.

Plan Ahead For Getting Your Own Food

What if your food supply runs out?

You need to have a plan in place, such as knowing how to forage for food or hunt. You will therefore also need to procure tools that will help you, such as spears, knives, hammers, axes, and shovels. 

Don’t Neglect Your Finances!

Don’t Neglect Your Finances!

While it’s always good to have some cash on hand instead of relying on your bank cards, you should also consider that a SHTF event could be that you lose your job and run out of money.

Plan ahead to pre-empt that by supplementing your income, selling possessions you don’t need, and saving money. You should have an emergency fund set up that can be accessed quickly. 

Related Questions

Do you always need to choose between bugging out or bugging in? 

You should actually have plans to do both, because you never know what could happen. For example, what if your bug out plan is hampered by a disaster that prevents you from being able to go to your second location? 

How do you prepare for your mental health? 

You should ensure your SHTF plan includes activities and items that will help you feel more relaxed and comfortable, such as board games, headphones, your favorite books, and so on. 


Planning is the key to success. When faced with a disaster or emergency, it helps to have a solid plan to fall back on so that you can navigate your way through it and ensure the survival of yourself and those around you.