Though it can be hoped that a SHTF situation will be short term, it sometimes works out that it won’t be. That means that you need a strategy to make sure that you and your loved ones can survive for however long it takes.
There are several areas that you need to focus on to make sure you’ll be okay.
The first priority is food. You’ll have to make sure that you have enough for everyone who needs it and you’ll have to make sure that you store it in such a way that it will keep for as long as possible.
Certain types of food will store well, while others won’t. You need to know the difference and prepare to have the right foods on hand. You also need to know how to keep up with your supply amounts and how to make sure that what you put aside doesn’t spoil.
You want to start by getting a good supply of your dry foods. These are often said to be your basic food list. On this list, you’ll find flour. You need to have both wheat and white flour.
Make sure to store yeast as well as baking soda. Grains are good to have for nutrition. You’ll want wheat, barley, cornmeal, oats and rice to name a few. Grains can be used in a variety of ways and are both healthy and filling.
You need to store dry pasta – and you can find these in the large, family size bags as you can with most dry food supplies. They’re easy to cook and season and will please everyone in your group.
You’ll need beans and peas. Also make sure that you set aside plenty of easy, instant fix foods. These are things like macaroni, instant potatoes, noodles and any kind of packaged or boxed pastas that only require you to add water.
You’ll want things to flavor the foods. These are items like sauces, salt, pepper and seasonings. You’ll want to get both sweet seasonings such as cinnamon and regular seasoning such as garlic.
You’ll want to have honey and cocoa powder, too. Dried milk should also be one of your staples. Dried fruits are also a good storage food. Put aside foods like jelly, jam and fruit preserves.
Protein bars and breakfast bars can stay stored for years. Plus, they make an easy, quick way to keep up your energy in an emergency. There are a bunch of flavors you can stock up on.
You’ll need sugar and oils. For the oils, you’ll want a variety of these. These will also usually keep for several years. Make sure that you have a good supply of peanut butter as well as a variety of nuts. Both of these are high in protein.
Store up plenty of different kinds of cereals. Have a good supply of popcorn, but buy whole kernel popcorn that you can pop with your oil. Put aside a supply of tea as well as coffee. Some families love to stock up on orange flavored Tang because the kids love it.
Create a large store of canned goods. Anything that can keep for several years should be in your survivalist pantry right now. You can use tuna and other types of meats, heat and eat pasta varieties, stews, fruits and vegetables.
Eventually your store of food could run out if the SHTF situation lingers. So you’ll need a way to replenish your foods. This is why you need to set aside some seeds for planting.
These food items can be growing while you’re using your survival stores. This way, you can keep ahead of your need for food. As the food you plant ripens, you’ll be able to can it and put it aside for future use as well as use the seeds to replant.
With everything that you set aside for emergency survival, you have to take precautions to ensure that it doesn’t get ruined. The food needs to be protected from the light.
The light can cause food to spoil. So can moisture. Pests can be a problem, too. Because of this, you’ll want to put the food in a cool, dark place where dampness isn’t a problem.
Seal the food within airtight containers that keep pests out. There are some storage containers that are specifically designed for long term food storage that you can buy.
There are two important things about caring for your survivalist food storage that you’ll need to keep in mind. One is that you have to know what you have. As you begin to put aside food items, you’ll forget what you have.
The best way to keep up with what you have onhand is to make a master list where you have every item listed and how much of that item you have, along with the expiration dates.
The second thing is that you need to rotate the foods to keep them viable. If you have canned goods with an expiration date of four years down the road, if time passes and a SHTF situation doesn’t happen, you’ll want to put those foods into your current meal plans so they don’t go to waste.
Then, when you go to the store, you simply replace what you used with a fresh supply of what you need to keep onhand.
Water is an important part of a long term strategy for taking care of your survival needs.
Depending on what you use to store it, water will not only keep for many years but it can still taste fairly decent. When you store water, you want to leave what you buy in its original container.
If you switch it out to a larger container, you can run the risk of contaminating a large water supply and you don’t want to do that. Any stored water has to be kept away from the light.
Water that gets direct light can have temperature changes that can make the water warm enough for bacteria to grow. You can use soda bottles to store water in once you’ve washed them out, but you should never use a milk jug.
This is one way that water can become contaminated. All it will take is an area where you didn’t get all the milk droplets out. You can buy barrels for storing water and you can find these as large as 55 gallon barrels.
You can fill these up with water straight from your kitchen sink and the water should be fine to store. If you use water from another source, such as well water, you’ll need to treat that water because ground water usually contains some microbes.
If you have well water with a good filtering and decontamination practice in place, then the water would be okay for you to use. But to be on the safe side, you might want to make sure you disinfect the water before you use it.
Water stored in 55 gallon buckets won’t last you forever. So for that reason, you’ll need a way to replace your water supply. You can capture rainwater that runs off your home via your gutter.
Instead of letting that water splash onto the ground, you can place a lidded container beneath the runoff. Even if you take the utmost care when you set aside your water storage supply, you’ll still benefit from testing the water.
You can buy test kits at a variety of places that will alert you if the water needs to be purified.
Having a long term shelter is next on the list of what you need as part of your long term survival plan.
These shelters take the place of a temporary one such as a tent. Remember that when it comes to building a shelter, nature has a lot to offer you. You can use straw and rocks, stone, mud and trees.
What some people do is to set aside something that they can use in the even that they need it. They use old trucking containers and make those a survival home.
They cover the container with natural vegetation to make it difficult to see so that others won’t know that it’s a home. Others choose to use what’s available to them on the land.
You can build a mud hut as long as you have a support foundation. A support system would need to be made of trees, logs or boards. You would use the mud to fill in the walls, which would act as a type of natural cement once it hardens.
You can also build a survival shelter from trees to create a log cabin. Just remember that whatever you do build need to have load bearing walls to keep the structure from collapsing in on you.
Weapons are an important part of your long term survival. You can use weapons to help you catch or bring in food. Weapons can be used to make someone think twice before they attack you and weapons can be used to defend yourself if someone does decide to attack you.
Guns are a choice that can be used as a long term survival weapon. Some people choose to have a rifle on hand. Others choose to get a shotgun. Shotguns can be used to supply you and your family with small animals and birds to keep you fed.
You’ll want to choose a simple shotgun that can be effective for either hunting or as a defensive weapon. Shotguns in the Remington series are good for long term survival planning.
Always choose shotguns based on whether or not you know or can learn the ins and outs of the gun. Remember that in a SHTF situation, if the shotgun needs to be repaired, you’ll be the one who has to do it.
A rifle is a better choice if you think you’re going to encounter large animals like bears because a rifle has better long range accuracy. Besides a shotgun or rifle, you should have a pistol.
A pistol is a weapon that’s light enough to be carried on you and you can keep it out of sight. When you have a weapon on you, it can easily turn a potential attack into one that doesn’t happen.
Many attack situations are crimes of opportunity – and having a weapon can often deflect that crime before it gets started. Your best option is to choose a large caliber pistol. But make sure you know how to handle it and shoot accurately.
Knives can also make great weapons. If you get a fixed blade knife, you’ll find that these types are more versatile. You want one that you can easily carry on a sheath attached to your belt or strapped to your leg for easy reach.
There are some additional items that can also be used as weapons. Spears can make great weapons. Some people use these for fishing, but if needed, they could easily be weapons.
A bow and arrow set can be a great weapon if you’re skilled in the art of archery, but would not do as a close weapon. If someone is within arm’s length, it’s too late for a bow and arrow.
Anything that can pack a punch can be used as a weapon. Items like baseball bats or canes cut from tree limbs can be used as well.