7 Things you will Likely Lose during a Long-Term SHTF Disaster

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7 Things you will Likely Lose during a Long-Term SHTF Disaster

When planning for disasters, most people don’t take the time to really understand what threats they will face. That’s unfortunate, because the only way you can start to mitigate your damages is to first understand the threats.

While the list of potential dangers and complications is going to be a little bit different for everyone, changing based on your location, your level of preparedness, and your unique living situations, there are some things that you need to take into consideration.

No Running Water

Water Treatment Plant

While many preppers understand the need for having an adequate water supply, I don’t think many people really understand what it means to lose their water for an extended period of time. Should the water system become compromised, it’s not just drinking water you’re going to have to think about. You’re going to need a way to do dishes, shower, and provide for all of your sanitation needs.

No power

Power Lines

Think you’re ready to face an extended power outage, think again. In a recent survey, 90% of American admitted they would probably be dead within two weeks if ever faced with a complete shutdown of our national power grid. While those numbers may seem a bit shocking, they’re probably not that far from the truth.

Think about it; we live in a world that has become completely dependent on the power grid. Almost everything we do in some way depends on that grid. From the lights in your home and the television hanging on your wall, to even more critical services like the power that runs your local hospitals, and basically every other major service in your city, losing the grid to a large-scale disaster would completely change life as we know it.

No Computers and No Internet

Computer Network

It’s not just the loss of emails and Facebook that you’re going to have to worry about; in fact, almost every aspect of most modern people’s lives is in some way dependent on the Internet and other interconnected computer networks.

From the food that’s delivered to your local grocery stores to your bank accounts and medical records, if the grid goes down, or we ever face a large-scale cyberwar that attacks our computer networks, we are in for some serious trouble.

No Phones, Facebook & Email


I made light of losing things like Facebook and email, but the fact is the way we communicate on a daily basis would completely change during a long-term SHTF disaster. If you haven’t thought about how you’ll communicate during a long-term crisis, you need to put it high on your list of preparedness priorities.

No Electronic Commerce

Bank Cards

While many preppers think cash will become useless during an economic collapse, during the beginning phases of any long-term disaster or collapse situation it could be one of the most important lifelines you have. The fact is, once things go bad the only way you’re going to be able to buy goods is with cash.

Even during relatively small-scale disasters, like hurricanes or storms that take out the local power grid, electronic commerce is usually the first thing to go down. During a collapse type scenario, the problem will be compounded by the possible loss of everything in your bank accounts.

No Public Transportation

Evacuating during a disaster by foot

If you look at short-term disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy, you will get a good look at how unprepared most people in urban areas are to survive. During both of those disasters, people who relied on public transportation were stuck in the disaster zones because they lacked the ability to leave once public transportation went down.

No Personal Transportation

People trying to get gas during a disaster

I always tell people to never let their gas tanks fall below half a tank. Once things go bad you’re going to need a way to get out, and once the gas trucks stop running you’re going to need to have a plan for obtaining fuel.

Think it’s far-fetched? In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, gas stations ran out of fuel within hours; those that did have fuel quickly started rationing supplies, limiting customers to fewer than 5 gallons of gas.

Figuring out what threats you’ll face during a long-term disaster:

This list is really meant to get you thinking; to really be prepared you need to perform a thorough threat assessment. Performing a threat assessment will help you improve your ability to handle threats, manage threatening situations, and protect the people you love from harm.

Next Steps: Read our article on performing a survival threat assessment.

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