Camping & Survival

Important Skills to Have After TEOTWAWKI

In the Max Brooks book, World War Z, one of the characters is retelling a story on rebuilding the United States after a serious zombie outbreak. He says, “The more work you do, the more money you make, the more peons you hire to free you up to make more money. That’s the way the world works. But one day it doesn’t. No one needs a contract reviewed or a deal brokered. What it does need is toilets fixed.”

If a catastrophic world-wide event happened that wiped out a large portion of our population, infrastructure and destroyed many of our natural resources, what skills do you have that would be useful in rebuilding? What skills would you like to learn? Water, food, shelter and security are our number one priorities. Knowing how to grow food, take care of livestock, cook, can, smoke, and preserve food should be high on your “know how to do things” list. Depending on where you live, gardening can be as simple as starting out with containers and keeping rabbits, to maintaining fields of food and a herd of cattle.

If the event lasts a very long time and has horrible consequences such as ground water contamination or loss of all city services, you might need to know how to find water and build a well.

Construction and carpentry will also be important. Other services such as plumbing, electrical, mechanical, sewing, blacksmiths, and stonemasons will all be extremely valuable skills.

Any medical, dental, nursing, and first aid services will be in high demand. Knowing herbal remedies will also be a plus in case medications are hard to come by.

The best way to learn any skill is by actually performing that skill. Start practicing a skill that interests you. There is plenty of information online to get you started. Further, there are plenty of books written about any of the skills I mentioned that would teach you basics. Your local community college or trade school might also have a beginner’s course in any of the skills you want to learn. My local Home Depot store has free weekend workshops on a variety of topics.

Many survivalists join communities in order to take advantage of others’ skills. Where you may be strong in electrical repairs, someone else might know carpentry or nursing skills.

You might have stockpiled food, water, ammunition and guns, but thinking beyond a few days of disaster can put you ahead of the game. Knowing a little bit about all those essential skills means you cannot only provide for your family, but also be a good bartering tool. Any trade skill makes an excellent hobby—do you like to tinker with cars? Then you have some basic mechanic skills. Do you like to grow your own vegetables? Why don’t you expand that knowledge and raise some chickens? What skills do you have that will be beneficial during SHTF? Tell us about in the comment section.

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Comments (35)

  1. Hello Doc,

    I am a semi-retired M.D., Ph.D. a state or 2 north of you, who has given some thought to the survival community. At the moment I have none. It would be me against the invaders. No, I don’t sew much (one never loses their skill here), but I still have a few other skills, that might be useful, in the world of medicine. Some of my best tools are made by both Ethicon and Glock.

    Nikko

  2. Concerning EMP scenarios:

    Reference:
    http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473-EMP_Commission-7MB.pdf
    [April 2008]

    Extracts and Key Pages to Read
    in Apr 2008 Report of EMP Commission to Congress

    [ When viewing the above pdf document displayed on your computer monitor, add 16 to page numbers in Table of Contents to convert to page number shown at bottom of your PDF viewer ]

    Table of Contents – pdf pages 5 & 6 (printed pages ii & iii)
    Transportation
    P 112 road vehicles: Vehicles with engines “not running” had NO DAMAGE. If running:
    p 115 Automobiles – some failed, NOT most
    p 115-116 Trucks – little effect
    p 127 recommendations

    Water systems p 142 + 16=158 pdf

  3. To commenter #2 Stormy “the country boy”. In regards to your question about arthritis medication. Take up bee keeping. I have heard you’ll never find a beekeeper with arthritis. Something in the enzymes of the sting.

  4. Curious,
    Any groups in the Kingwood area of Texas (Kingwood, Porter, Mongomery County, North East Harris County)
    My Skills: Tactical and Critical Care Paramedic, Remote Medical Practitioner, Electrician, HAM Operator including CW 18WPM, SAR Diver/Swimmer, Coxswain, Computer/Networking Specialist Former Military, Combat Experience (2 Tours of the Sandbox and several other 3rd world dumps) Grew up on a farm. looking to form a Mutal Support Group and plan for what if and learn from others.

    Drop me a line here, and we’ll arrange to communicate via a common email box..
    Doc Out

  5. Having read the comments above, sadly I have to agree with the consensus: life-sustaining supplies will be essential for any chance of survival. Groups of multi-skilled members have the best chance of survival, particularly those who also have life-sustaining locations and resources. Those in urban and most suburban areas will have a tough go of it. I believe that a breakdown of the infrastructure, social and physical, will bring out the worst in people-immediately The “rule of 3” will lead to horrific results.

    Few will have it easy, many will have it very tough, and most will not make it. Picture a Katrina-like scenario virtually everywhere. Mankind will be reduced to its lowest common denominator-survival without conscience. Frightening but inevitable.

    I do not think there is a single best way to survive. Rather, methods of survival will be determined by the confluence of factors affecting each survival scenario. Generally, the more folks are dependent on society for their present status quo, the less likely these folks will survive. I do believe the unprepared will do whatever it takes to survive and will do so without hesitation or limitation. Humanity will become inhumane.

    I agree that folks will need to be able to acquire independently what they need to survive, such as food, water, shelter, medication, etc, etc. I suggest those who do prepare do so with the view that there will not be any infrastructure for the forseeable future. The more you have put away or that you can produce the better your chance of survival. Absent intervention by armed marauders and the like, the more you have and/or can produce is directly proportional to the length and quality of your survival.

    What I have not seen in any of the posts in emphasis on developing the mentality necessary to survive. Few in civilized societies ever develop this mindset. One can have all the firearms and ammunition necessary, but if you cannot pull the trigger, literally and figuratively, you will not make it. If you hesitate for more then a moment in a crisis situation you probably will not survive. Those who have experienced combat and survived will fare far better then those whose combat experience was learned on TV. Those who have experienced combat know exactly what I mean. A case in point. My wife is probably the nicest person who I have ever met. She fully supports my efforts in preparing to carry on. However, recently when discussing survival issues with her and , in particular, what each would have to do to defend ourselves in a
    SHTF scenario (shooting people), she stated “that’s what I have you for”. When I asked her what would be her plan if I went down her face went blank, then white. I need say no more about this.

    As to my contribution to the “nuts and bolts” of survival beyond what I have read here I suggest you “own the night”. Upgrade your firearms to NV capability. Install IR, 360 degree, perimeter security and do so in 12 volt configurations with solar charged, deep cycle, batteries. Obtain rechargeable batteries and solar chargers for them to power your optics and flashlights. Situational awareness is critical. So too are “force multipliers”.Plan and train for a worst-case scenario. If you survive the first 30 days you will be in pretty good shape. Thereafter, it will be more up to you than the predators kin determining whether you are going to make it. However-ALWAYS be prepared….

    With any luck life will continue on as it has and I’ll live to a ripe old age after which someone will get a hell of a deal on my “inventories” at my estate auction. If that is not the case-so be it.

    Keep your head below the ridge line.

    Out here.

  6. I keep seeing “a years supply of food”. What happens after a year?
    I am sorry to say but….. you folks in the city are pretty much screwed after 3 weeks if you can make it that long.
    Will anything really happen? Why not, they’re starving in Spain already.
    “Well, I’ll just go to my friend in the country”. Because your sure they will want you there? Because you can make it there? Because your such a asset to have living there? Oh, their my family. Remember we are only related to someone by blood not by choice. Most of the people I know that have relitives prefer the friends they choose.
    If you are a believer that something is going to happen, I suggest that you contact who ever it is that you would like to go to. Be sure you bring something to the table, not just mouths. Make some kind of plan on how to get there. Don’t be a doubting Thomas and then become this clown that says, “oh I always knew something was going to happen”.
    I imagine if your reading this your among the people that read this and similar blogs about survival or prepping of some sort. Send an email to those that don’t and ask them or tell them that they better shape up or don’t come knocking. EMP, Financial colapse, civil war or what ever is the thing everyone has to be on one side of the fence or the other.
    Don’t make long speculations and speaches. Keep to the basics. Plan your work and work your plan . Good luck.

  7. I think these mind games are all fascinating. More than likely, however, what is going to happen is that you’re sitting at home watching TV and the power goes out. You wait a few minutes, then get up and go look outside to see if it’s out at your neighbor’s across the street, too. And up and down the street, people are all looking outside to see if everybody else is powerless too. Then you sit and wait, because of course you can’t make any phone calls with your digital phone system, you can’t get TV, and your cell phone is giving a rapid busy signal. You go to your car and turn on the radio and get nothing but static. That’s when you first start to get concerned. Even XM/Sirius is not functioning. You tell your wife, honey, go to the store and buy up every roll of toilet paper they have. And then you realize that everybody else will be there doing the same thing, potentially in a mob mentality, and you tell her, never mind. But how long do you wait for the power to come back on? Do you hop in your car like all the other people on your block are doing, to drive somewhere and see how widespread the outage is? What if your car refuses to start because something has managed to kill everything electrical, including your watch? Now you know you’re screwed. Coronal Mass Ejection. But if not, it’s going to be interesting to see how many people sit and wait for the government to get the power back on, versus those who hit the ground running in survival mode. Might make a nice TV series.

  8. IF and When TSHF we are going to go through stages before some survival population steadies up the country. Be it a physical event (earthquake or such) or an man made attack (more likely it appears as N. Korea & Iran get close to usable nuclear weapons using EMP) it is going to be bad. Very bad.

    First, will be society wide chaos, as those who are NOT preppers, suddenly discover Kroger’s is out of (or going out of food). As people get hungry they will start attacking those who have prepared for food. Having a secure home, yard, and weapons to defend it will be important. Most of us in urban areas are in immediate trouble; as we simply won’t be able to defend ourselves, living as a nuclear family. I’ll try; but I have to sleep sometime.
    Nation wide, Medical facilities will almost immediately become 18th century places of horror again. No staff coming to work, no supplies coming daily, and no utilities means most patients will die in a few days. Staff on duty will soon slip away if they can figure out how to get home…

    Secondly, vital supplies of food and water are rarely stockpiled by the government’s Emergency Management folks. They apparently don’t understand the idea of prepare ahead of time. They use what is in the ‘supply pipelines.’ For instance, “The National Oil Depository: won’t do us much good without refineries, tank cars, trucks, and pipelines to convert it to useable fuel AND in the places we need it. Without electricity refineries, don’t operate. The grain that the government stockpiles (to keep up prices mostly) in the Midwest are nice; but again without trucks or trains to get it to urban centers, it isn’t worth much to most of us. Most of us can’t eat hard wheat or corn with out some way to cook it.

    Bottom line: It would be good if you had a years supply – yeah, I said a year’s supply – of canned foods, grains, and water purification supplies. A fire ring in the back yard to cook over. Firewood stockpiled too.

    I live in the Rocky Mountain west; we have coal, we have natural gas, we have water that flows ‘downhill’ to our communities and a fair number of power stations what operate on hydroelectric. No where near enough to maintain power of course for major cities like Denver or Salt Lake. We also have a very short growing season, not very good soil, and a lack of ground resources (poor soil) to grow our own food. We might – if it is not an EMP attack – maintain some lifestyle for a while. IF someone had sense enough to cut off the national grid and keep power locally. Doubtful.

    If it IS a national EMP attack and the power is out, probably a hundred million will die by starvation and murder within a month. That is a conservative estimate. First the cities – any place over 10,000 say, will dissolve into food riots, then starvation.

    Third: If autos are running (one plus for the rural population if an EMP attack; most won’t) the horde will try to spread out to smaller towns and the country. Looking for food and water. Country people have everything, right? I grew up on a farm and we did have meat in the freezer and canned goods in the storm cellar. Without electricity to keep the freezer running, or gas to cook the meat or heat the cans, they are nice, but not useful overall. I keep three cords of firewood in my wood pile. I doubt I’ll be able to defend it too…others with fireplaces or fire pits will pillage it as they are cold or hungry as well.

    Forth: Mormons will suddenly be the most popular people on the block. As people known as preparers will too. As the popular mythology is they all have a years worth of food and supplies. Most don’t actually…but even if they do, how can they defend themselves for other hungry people? I expect bloodshed and gun fire.

    Fifth: As others have noted, it is hard to build up medications for an advance period. The cost of most medication makes it hard – I’ve been buying from Canada online – but, even those are expensive. Medicare and most insurance plans have NO desire to have you stock up; 30 days supplies are about all they’ll do. 90 if you are lucky. But you can try over time to do that. If you need a medication that needs refrigeration you are probably going to die when it gets hot or old. Just assume that and have the ‘black pill’ ready if you want to end your suffering.

    Lastly: Location, Location, Location: IF you live in the country, on over 40 acres, I suspect you have a better overall chance to survive. Anywhere. If you live below the Mason -Dixon Line, you’ll probably have a MUCH better chance of survival. If you live East of a line drawn north and south from the Dallas – Oklahoma City – Wichita I-35 corridor you probably have a better chance too, IF you have water and food, and even rudimentary gardening skills. You have a long enough growing season, good enough soil to grow more food, and get enough rain (normally) to grow a decent garden. A good well (with a manual way of pumping or raising water in a bucket) will be a lifesaver. So would a few acre woodlot…

    Remember the Survival Rule of Three: You can go 3 minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks before you starve to death. I’m not sure if the obese in our country will last longer or shorter.

    Dire prediction: If it is – as it appear more and more likely – an EMP attack everything will hit at once. Total breakdown of society, total lack of power to do anything, and total chaos from mass starvation and rioting.

    BTW: 1. The idea of having chickens to produce eggs and bunnies for meat is appealing. I love fried chicken too. Rabbit is good too. But, unless you live on that aforementioned 40-160+ acre farm in the country, where they can free range, you just can’t begin to store the amount of feed for say for a dozen alive for a year. You are talking about over thousand pounds of feed. Storage? Protection from rats, mice, coyotes or wolves and people? Much less enough to actually have 50 or so hens (rabbits) to produce chickens and rabbits enough meat for a small family. Build a survival pantry of a years food. The country will either come back or it won’t be enough…
    2. Hunting and fishing for food will rapidly come to an end. Game will simply disappear as it is hunted to extinction. Fish will do likewise. It will work for maybe one season. Again: Stock a years supply of what you need.

  9. Stormy commented on having a good supply of arthritis medication. I am 70 and don’t have problems with my joints. A long time ago an old timer told me to everyday wet my finger up to the first joint and dip it in a box of Twenty Mule Team Borax (the stuff you buy in the laundry section of a grocery), and then lick off whatever sticks to the finger. He swore by it, and I know it sounds crazy, but I recently have read articles on the internet by some fellow in Australia who has investigated it and believes it really is a good arthritis preventative and cure. While the box warns that the contents are poison, the actual toxicity of borax is about the same as table salt, so there is little danger of poisoning yourself with a lick a day. You could probably store a dozen boxes for a lifetime supply.

  10. I assure you that if my kids are hungry I will kill to feed them. For every one of us that prepares, there will be 100,000 or more people that have not. I think the most important thing is to be ready to get the hell out of the cities quickly. Otherwise the zombies (really hungry stupid and unprepared people) will outnumber and destroy you. This is the reality of a real severe SHTF scenario. The question is, what will that event be? And depending on where you live now, will you need to or even be able to deploy? A major hurricane in the southeast, a power grid meltdown in the northeast, the big earthquake on the west coast, a deadly virus? These are very realistic and you can go on from there with other scenarios. So depending on the event and what’s left, is when you decide if you may have to stay put and defend your ground/food. So many people just have a little BOB bag at home and put all their resources at some major bug out location 400 miles away. You may not be able to make it there. I suggest you don’t put all your eggs into one scenario and think realistically. Survival comes first.

  11. After the initial SHTF scenario begins, I’m thinking the most valuable skill set around is going to be experienced field medics, and nurses with skills in triage and managing and dealing with battlefield trauma and injuries. Knowing how to quickly stop arterial bleeding, or what to do with a sucking chest wound, could mean the difference between helping a wounded family member, or just watching helplessly as they bleed out. Next would be a good GUNSMITH. Your weapons are going to be over-worked, and under-serviced, and prone to fail. Knowing a good gunsmith or armorer is going to be a high priority for anyone who doesn’t possess that skill set. Gunsmithing skills will allow you to barter with everybody who has something to barter with, ie. food, water, ammunition, shelter, home-brewed alcohol fuel, homemade black powder and gunpowder, etc. Then, good shade-tree mechanic skills, being able to repair and patch up damaged vehicles and machinery, and keep them running with limited resources, ie bailing wire, duct tape, and “spit”. Welders, who know how to turn the alternator and a couple of batteries in a vehicle into a makeshift mobile welding shop, will be in high demand too. lot’s of broken, over-worked devices are going to need welding. And black-smithing skills will come in real handy, especially after welding rod supplies are depleted. Knowing how to design and build improvised and effective weapons, after the remaining supplies of ammunition are exhausted is going to be probably the best overall long-term survival skill out there, in my opinion.

  12. I’m afraid we give our society to much credit to not believe it will be filled with looting, rioting and murder until we reach a certain point.

    Survival skills are great and important but unless your prepared and able to reach a secure location off from the majority of people, good luck in those first few weeks (or even days). Neighbors and friends will be worth more than gold/money if you can really trust them. People will turn on each other and when it comes to survival it doesn’t get any worse than that.

    Having been in 3rd world countries and seen first hand the results of this behavior makes one realize how quickly stuff will hit the fan. I’m optimistic, a pastor, father of 5 young kids, and my wife struggles when I tell her that having 1,000,000 rounds of ammo won’t mean much when it all goes downhill.

    Think of the scene in war of the worlds (Tom Cruiz, Bleh) where they have a working vehicle and the mayhem that breaks out. It would/will be like that. Just because one has guns and ammo doesn’t mean they can be alert 24/7/365 on their own. You will need a group with a defendable environment (your home isn’t it because it just takes someone lighting it on fire to torch that idea, as well as you and your ammo).

    A community of like minded survivalists, in a remote environment with structures, rules and roles provides the greatest chance of success in this kind of environment.

    Make no mistakes I try to be prepared but I realize there is no 100% chance scenario.

    My wife’s a doctor which provides help in medical situations, and possible bartering, but when medicine is out or low people do drastic things. My friends I hunt with have my back for now, but when it’s a rough winter, stuff didn’t grow or we risk an attack by a random group then what? When our smoke house gets raided or gunfire breaks out, what then? If someone kidnaps and captures your wife/kids how will those promises you made stand?

    So you got 500lbs of rice/beans/flour/etc. water is key. Cooking is needed, fire creates smoke, smoke not cared for attracts attention and gives away location…

    I’m not trying to sound all gloom and doom but realize all your plans can be for naught if you get caught in a bad situation that you can’t control. It’s like planning a military raid. You can run the numbers, drill it 100 times, but something outside of your control takes place and it all goes to hell real quick, resulting in casualties and more.

  13. “I’m a prepper, you’re a prepper, wouldn’t you like to be a prepper too!” Sounds like a good theme song and billboard sign.

  14. Each adult in each family MUST have at least one skill they are proficient in. Then these proficiences need to be combined with others in a group so they can depend on each other because group survival will likely be the most common. Even then , that won’t work for everyone because of the differences in personalities and egos and someone else always thinking they are being mistreated.
    Last and most important- WE are America and byleaning on and with each other we can make it one more time unless Jesus comes back, and all we have to do then is let God sort it out.

  15. G-Man, we will require intelligence, so you are out.

    Gunship,

    “Prepper” is a high-vis media and advertising buzz word, portrayed by popular reality shows. You got sucked in. The author is correct is saying survivalist. The fact is, most so-called “Preppers” are just impulsive consumers who desperately needed a new group to belong to.

    Ellak,

    You made an excellent point. However, it won’t be just the people you refer to as
    worthless. It will be the guy down the street, the people at church, your next door
    neighbor, etc. Unless you are up 24hrs a day and can compete with the likes of
    Chuck Norris and Rambo, you are going to have a rough time of it. Much of it, like war will simply be up to chance for the individual. And unlike war, you won’t be standing next to (if you are lucky enough to have someone there) another soldier or sailor who was trained the same as you and held to the same standards and regulations. It will be chaos, at best. For many people in the scenario you describe, they will only need one gun and one cartridge.

    In summary, the guy on the farm who lives hundreds of miles away from civilization, has lived without power and luxuries, and has never seen a computer will have the best chances, next to Native Americans (who actually have such a place-and there may not be any) and have kept up their traditional lifestyles. They were here long before we got here. They will be here long after we are gone.

  16. I hear an awful lot about what you will need to endure a post apocalyptic scenario but very seldom do people remember that you will not be able to survive alone. There will still need to be a community effort, as one man or family cannot do it alone. I would put my skill set against any out there but I cannot watch 24/7, I cannot protect my family and plant and harvest food. I hope that there are enough of the people i trust to take the hazards on as a group so as to provide a safe environment for all of our families, traditions, and ideals of a free america. I am of the American party and believe in the constitution as written, not as interpreted by some judges or politicians with an agenda. God Bless America and all her people.

  17. Part 2
    I am not a pessimist and I need to add in a calculated development that will occur during a time of great disaster that we (here) suspect is on the horizon … an end of the world as we know it scenario. Although I am pragmatic by career, I have also discovered the element of the supernatural. This supernatural pops up it’s head almost daily as things that should go wrong, sometimes do NOT by intervention. I believe the most overlook resource will be the weak and impotent church of Jesus Christ. The election of Obama has been waking up this sleeping giant and a calamity will catapult many of them (not all unfortunately) into a faith mode. Faith is the opposite of fear. Their faith will demonstrate great peace among them (this is also a calculation 🙂 Most of the American greats demonstrated “faith in the Creator” thus explaining why they made such a “mark” in our society … they brought the strength and supernatural power of God into the realm of the natural.

    I calculate that the World will see a movement of mostly college, career and young adults do things of biblical proportions such as multiplying food, parting the Mississippi, healing the sick (hospitals and medicine unavailable), raising the dead and teaching a great number of people willing to relearn life through the very basic and fundamental core beliefs of life (ie: love your neighbor as yourself, what you sow you also reap, forgiving one another, etc) Such fundamentals were all captured in the formation of our constitution by Godly men who understood that any society that practices these things EXCELS and PROSPERS (they are blessed by the Creator).

    You might call this religious, it is BUT, non-religious societies thrive on these principals, successful non-religious businessmen get wealthy by practicing these principals. There is an ORDER in life, a protocol that if practiced, success comes to you. The Liberals have actively sought to remove this (these) from every nation that they have collapsed. These principals work, they are laws that are written that often make life effortless.

  18. I’m a clockmaker. I’ve wondered where I fit in when/if TSHF.
    In a total collapse or EMP I could tell you what time it use to be.
    🙂

  19. I, with a long time career in a mechanical science industry have always found it interesting how life plays out in societal shift because of 1 event entered into an equation. I use calculations to achieve an end result. The above comments are all calculations based on scenarios that could develop. The run on banks, run of food stores, etc are all historical scenarios and are most obvious as peoples fears kick in immediately. The guns and ammo events we are currently experiencing are fear based. The radical left wing government we have caused true Americans to arm themselves so that we don’t have to “fear.” Collectively, each community will have “thinkers and pragmatic” people that will quickly rise to the top of leadership in resolving our issues in each community. Here are some of my calculations: 1) Fear and panic will be widespread that will bring society into extreme violence in urban areas 2) There will be death from starvation, violence and fear (men’s hearts failing them from fear, ie: heart attacks). 3) The larger community with ethics and integrity will not be able to help those in need because of lack of resource and willingness to venture into dangerous areas of cities. 4) There are American Patriots being prepared for this day that may not have even considered it, that will immediately pull together plans and leadership to rebuild America without socialist liberals (most will die from inability to take care of themselves without government).

    Here is what some of these scenarios will most likely be: 1) A Midwest earthquake that will cause the Mississippi to split the nation in 2, thus breaking down our food chain that is mainly harvested in the West. 2) A West Coast Pacific Rim disaster affecting millions of people with calamity and collapsing the US economy, thus a world wide depression of a magnitude far beyond 1929. 3) The unsustainable debt created by Bush and Obama will finally come home to roost and collapse our economy when some multiplying event takes place.

  20. I concur with Ellak and Roger; a strong defensive posture will be paramount:
    1. Family members and co-survivalist friends (comrades-in-arms) must know how to access, use, and maintain each of the arms stockpiled.
    2. A pre-determined chain-of-command and Rules of Order must be established in writing.
    3. Every comrade must have and be able to teach at least one or two critical survival skills.
    3. A defensible, single-access-plus-escape-type fortification must be planned in advance.
    4. Fuels, bleach, WaterBOBs, black powder, and alcohols for weaponry, medical, heating, cleaning, etc. must be stockpiled.
    5. Domestic rats and mice are a better protein source than rabbits.
    6. Anyone without a sense of humor must not be allowed to join the troup.

  21. I concur with Ellak and Roger; a strong defensive posture will be paramount:
    1. Family members and co-survivalist friends (comrades-in-arms) must know how to access, use, and maintain each of the arms stockpiled.
    2. A pre-determined chain-of-command and Rules of Order must be established in writing.
    3. Every comrade must have and be able to teach at least one or two critical survival skills.
    3. A defensible, single-access-plus-escape-type fortification must be planned in advance.
    4. Fuels, bleach, WaterBOBs, black powder, and alcohols for weaponry, medical, heating, cleaning, etc. must be stockpiled.
    5. Anyone without a sense of humor must not be allowed to join the troup.

  22. In addition to basic blue collars skills, farming skills and medical skills being a Radio HAM and having the equipment to operate will also be an huge asset.
    Communication will be imperative to cement communities through barter and trade, also as an early warning system in case of criminal gangs.
    You can start with CB’ and standard VHF radio’s. I recommend that at least one person in the group gets a HAM license and the appropriate equipment.
    Doc Out.

  23. I was born of a generation some short few years after WWII, The son of a Korean Veteran of the Vietnam Generation. I have seen some tough times. A Boy Scout, learned essentials I still practise. Taught to me by a “man”, a Career Marine Drill Instructor, “discipline”. Something which may have been lacking in my upbringing.. Back in a day when there was still hope. “Prepare for the worst and Hope for the Best”, was our Motto.. Today and for most of if not all my life, I have always prepared a bit at a time in an exponential manner… Going to the grocery store? Seek out long term food stuffs on sale only and only what you or your family would actually eat. Not just because it is on sale.. I am now single, live in a very large house paid for, thank God for the economic downturn.. Or I would not have what I have today.. Right place and right time for a change. Never before and always a struggle.. Can goods are my number one purchase. Pay attention to expiration dates and circulate.. I have many children and grandchildren.. They all know and say they will show up here when SHTF… I am prepared but with all these mouths to feed and protect will be daunting.. I try to instill in them, that they must also prepare at least a little.. 2 weeks supply is not enough but at least something.. Yes I can raise animals, and have done so when I had a family.. Today I am alone and raising animals seems moot as I am one. Already cooking is a challenge for one.. Too much no mater how far I cut it back.. I have always loved gardening, call it stress relief.. Something the former old lady could not deal with.. Just one of them.. But I would not be surprised she would show up with her new husband if times got ruff.. And I would except them.. These are things to be considered now as opposed too when they actually happen. As then that would be too late! Best of luck.

  24. The ‘extremes’ of society’s pay scales will be those most effected by say, a massive EMP crashing the infrastructure. Those on 0bama’s handout voter level of society and those who make millions by shuffling ‘paper’ or stocks. In either case their lifestyle crashes around them and they turn to the streets for survival. The bought voter will of course loot their own turf first, but they will roam the urban blight in packs, taking whatever they can from anyone in their path who isn’t ready to defend themselves. The uber-rich, if they had any sense, would have made themselves secure retreats to which they could flee in bad times.
    The rest of us will be in the middle, getting by with salable or bartered skills and items we put aside for such events. I lay out what I think of ‘urban crisis’ in my book, see the website.

  25. I see a government with someone who takes advantage of a bad situation. A government owned and run by a dictator. We are the luckiest people on this planet to be as free as we are, even though we are gradually losing that. When TEOTWAWKI happens, we can fall in line to be sheeple, robots, scoungers, resistance, or be dead. Trust no one. Hey, I’ll be dead so good luck.

  26. Having a huge stash of ammo is great until some one that has enough shooting skills to take you out takes that stash from you. Keeping poultry and livestock is a viable plan, as mentioned above, until you can not feed and water them.
    My suggestion is to look to the space program. Meals that arestore ablee, caloric sufficient and palatable have beendevelopedd over the many years that humans have been exploring space.
    Just a thought.

  27. Having chickens, dogs, rabbits, cattle and any other animal is great. Feeding those animals in times of disaster is another thing. I do have several skills but I worry about having the manpower to raise the things needed to sustain what I need to have. Remember the more you have the more it takes to maintain it. More mouths to feed to take care of it means more mouths to feed to maintain it. Skills like electrical, hunting, fishing, and some others will be needed by who? The game will disappear quickly, the stocked fish will be not stocked and many people will fish for food depleating the supply. Electricians will be needed for what? Who will be making the wire and how will it be shipped? I believe in becomming farm self sufficient and being able to defend it. There will be alot of thiefs when the SHTF. All non essential personell hopefully will disapear within the first few months. The rest will be mauraders and sustainers. I envission it to be more like “the Postman” senario.

  28. Those of us who practice being prepared for emergencies, prefer to be called “preppers”, not survivalists. We know how to survive because we are prepared. Your post is well thought out and written. Not only do you need to learn necessary skills, but you must practice them. And don’t forget to acquire the necessary tools and the basic materials you need to use those skills.

  29. If & When that happens it will be worse than you imagine…..Yes we would loose many trades but also so many worthless people who live off & abuse the system will be looking to be fed and turn to stealing whatever they can….There will be more people like that roaming the streets looking to rob you blind or kill you to make less competition. So in addition to what you think we need to learn as trades to survive… We still need more of an army to protect it… So still, the more ammo and bullets the better along with trusted people who know how to use them the better. or everything else will be a waste of time!!

  30. It is scary to read, but also eerily reassuring. I have lived and worked on a farm all my life (66 years), except for my time in the military. The farm has not only taught me how to make and process all types of food, but coupled with my love for camping, hunting and fishing has made me extremely self-reliant. Military weapons and survival training along with a tour in Viet Nam certainly didn’t hurt even if I hated it at the time. There is not much around the old farm that I can’t fix or at least jury rig to make it work somehow. I had never thought of my lifestyle as preparing me for TEOTWAWKI until I read this article. Thanks for the encouragement. Just hope I never have to use it. How do you buy a couple of years of your arthritis medicine? These old bones aren’t as flexible as they once were. Thank God, I’m a country boy!

  31. Something that does not get discussed often enough is how we go about repopulating areas that fall short of the human resources necessary for sustaining an adequate society. It takes 10 to 15 years for a human being to become productively sufficient enough that they are no longer a burden and instead actually become self supportive enough to also contribute to society. Other factors such as mental or physical human defects have an impact on the overall progress of such efforts and as such must be calculated into any long-term planning to ensure successful results across various environments. Another question would be as to whether the new TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) government would opt to control aspects of pro-creation or allow it to occur naturally. In either case, I feel that I am well suited and of good stock to assist females in either situation.

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