A Brief History of SHTF for These Troubling Times
There are two types of people in this world; those who prep and those who don't.
For those who do, many don the label of prepper/survivalist quite proudly. They also understand the true meaning behind SHTF (AKA Sh*t Hits the Fan). The SHTF philosophy is for those who are willing to identify the many threats facing them and their families and take the proper steps to mitigate them.
How the Survivalist Movement Got Its Start
Much like many other major movements throughout history, survivalism got its start during times of turmoil. The 1950s were a period of great tension between the United States and Russia. The threat of nuclear war loomed large over everyday life. Kids were subject to drills at school while adults were encouraged to build fallout-proof bunkers.
While worries about nuclear war eventually subsided, many people still sought to be prepared for a world catastrophe or other chaotic events. The survivalist movement started to gain momentum in the 70s, particularly with the creation of The Survivor newsletter. Creator Kurt Saxon, who is best known for coining the term survivalist, filled the newsletter with essential skills and tips on how to get by off the grid and on your own.
Eventually, the term survivalist evolved into the term prepper, which began to take hold in the early 2000s. Bolstered by the events of September 11, 2001, many people recognized a legitimate threat in the making. Other events throughout the decade, such as natural disasters, also increased the need for readiness among the American people. As a result, many started investing in underground bunkers, camping supplies, non-perishable foods, and even weapons and ammunition.
What It Means Today
While survivalists were once maligned as "kooks" and "reactionaries", their actions look far more reasonable over the course of recent history. These days, being a prepper is all but mainstream. There are magazines and books devoted to the subject, as well as TV documentaries showing the daily lives of preppers all over the nation. People think nothing of stockpiling canned goods or other food items. Others keep a healthy collection of guns and ammunition because you just never know what's around the corner.
While being a prepper may be trendy, it's not for everyone. A lot of people can't seem to accept that we're living in the SHTF era. Social unrest is higher than it's been in decades. There are fears about collapsing infrastructure. Misinformation is rampant on all sides.
How You Can Ready Yourself for a SHTF Situation
With recent world events, prepping is even more valuable than ever. Let's face it: you can't always rely on the local or federal government to act in your best interest, whether that involves your health or your security. What you can do is make sure you and your family are fully prepared for the following:
Law Enforcement Is No More - Law enforcement officers are supposed to protect citizens, but you can't always count on the boys in blue. Law enforcement may be inaccessible or incapable of responding to a genuine SHTF situation. Even worse, there may come a time when you can't exactly trust your local police force. Know your rights as an American citizen so you can identify wrongdoing at every turn.
Fallout From a Natural Disaster - Even if a natural disaster doesn't impact you directly, you and your family could still experience turmoil because of it. What if a natural disaster affects the food supply chain? What if it causes massive unrest? What if a natural disaster cuts the supply of power to your home? Safeguard yourself against these effects with a good stockpile of food, access to firearms, and back-up power in the form of generators and fuel.
Looting Gangs - When society starts to break down, roving gangs and looters aren't far behind. These individuals will think nothing of breaking into your home and taking your belongings - or even worse - if you don't protect yourself. Make sure your bunker is properly fortified against break-ins. If you have a stockpile of weapons, you should be highly proficient in their use. Also, each family member should have a bugout bad ready to go in the event your town or city becomes uninhabitable.