Pretend the crisis has hit and the world is in an even bigger mess than it ever has been. There were people who were prepared for the SHTF situations and then there were those who were not.
The ones who were unprepared are coming to take from those who do have it – unless you take preventative measures. Of course, preventative measures should always be taken, but there are some things you can do when the crisis erupts if you haven’t yet.
If Supplies Weren’t Hidden Ahead of Time, Do It Now
One of the best deterrents to thieves is keeping them from finding your supplies in the first place. If you have all your supplies out in the open and someone comes along who needs them, you won’t have them for long. Before you have a situation where someone tries to steal your supplies, hide them from view right now before another day goes by.
Some survivalists don’t want to put their supplies out of easy reach and you don’t have to. You can hide your supplies in plain sight where thieves won’t look. Obviously, if you hide your food in a pantry, thieves will search there. But they won’t search inside appliances like a stove or a washer and dryer. You can have a couple of extra appliances in your garage like they’re junk. Load them up with your supplies and then stack boxes and other garage items on top of them. Most thieves want to get in and get out.
They’re not going to take the time to search beyond the obvious. Just securely package your supplies in waterproof containers or bags and make sure they’re sealed so pests can’t get in.
You can hide supplies in filing cabinets and camouflage it by placing folders and papers on top of them. You can put your supplies in laundry hampers and cover them with wadded up old clothes to make it look like the hamper is full of dirty laundry.
You can also stash your supplies inside air vents, inside large pillows, or you can create a fake wall and hide your supplies behind it. You want to camouflage your supplies – whether you store them inside your home or outside of it.
If you choose inside, the key is to make it look like it’s something else. You can use wooden boxes filled with supplies, but made to look like an ordinary sofa. You can tape supplies on the underside of cabinets out of sight or beneath your cabinets – hidden behind the baseboards.
Underneath your kitchen cabinets, it’s usually empty space all the way to the supporting walls. Outside, you can store supplies in garbage cans and either leave them sitting like they’re used for trash or you can mark them with labels such as “compost” or something else that would fool a thief.
You can cover waterproof containers with natural debris like leaves and brush as well as camouflage tape or material. You can use outside meter boxes that are fake and put supplies in that.
Some people bury a cache of supplies. You can bury them underground in tubing or pipes. PVC with threaded tops wrapped with tape work well. Food storage buckets that are well sealed will also work.
You can use ammo cans. Anything that will keep out water and pests will work. Don’t keep all your survival supplies together. Use several different hideouts so that if one gets taken, you’ll still have others.
You can bury them in your backyard or along your bug out trail or in the woods. You can bury them inside of tree stumps or in the base of trees that are hollowed. Look for places that are not obvious to a thief.
The Best Defense Is a Closed Mouth
If you’re someone who’s prepared for the crisis that hits, it can be easy to feel satisfaction in the thought that you’ve prepared when others haven’t. But now isn’t the time to let anyone know how prepared you were.
In normal circumstances, people have access to food. They don’t get desperate. But when there’s no food and no other supplies and no way to get what’s needed, people will go to great lengths to find and take what they need.
But they won’t know where to look – whose house to approach – unless you’ve been telling other people. In desperate times, word of mouth about where there’s a location of food and other supplies will travel fast.
It can be tempting to let your friends in on your secret. After all, you’re friends. But you’ve seen how your friends act when they’re not desperately hungry and maybe have family of their own that are hungry.
When people get hungry enough, when they get desperate enough, there’s no such thing as friendship. There’s only survival – and if you’re the only thing standing in the way between them and survival, they’re not going to choose you.
You might believe that family is different. Surely your family wouldn’t take what you’ve stored. Think again. A SHTF crisis changes people and drives them to do things they wouldn’t normally do.
Your best offense to make sure that you and the people you’re responsible to care for have enough supplies is to keep your mouth shut. Don’t tell a single person that you have anything stored up at all.
Don’t tell your neighbors, don’t tell your family and don’t tell your friends. Don’t even act like you have any supplies at all. Fake it like you’re struggling just like they are. You must act as desperate because if you don’t and they know you have supplies, it will only be a matter of minutes before you are just as desperate because they’ll take it. Fit in with others and don’t stand out.
Protecting Supplies When Thieves Break In
No matter how well prepared you are to try to thwart thieves, there will always be that person who will do whatever it takes to get to your supplies. You certainly don’t want to put your entire lot of supplies at stake.
So what you can do is have a smaller amount of supplies set aside and act like that’s all you have. Most thieves opt for the easiest routes. They want to take something and get out.
If they feel like they’ve achieved their goal, they’ll leave. So you can use this misdirect to protect the rest of your supplies. You might be faced with a situation where a thief isn’t content with a misdirect and does find the rest of your supplies.
At that point, you’ll have a choice to make. You’re either going to have to give up your supplies or you’re going to have to fight to protect them. Fighting someone who’s determined to take what you have can be dangerous and even deadly.
So you need to know exactly what the worst case scenario is if you fight. Odds are pretty high that the thief means business. So he’s already willing to battle for what he wants.
You have to ask yourself if you have any supplies elsewhere. If you can afford to lose the stash you have there, it might be more beneficial to you to let the thief go. However, if your situation is dire and there’s simply no way you’re going to be able to restock what you have, you’re going to have to be prepared to fight.
You may have to be willing to risk taking a life. Some people consider this a last resort – a him or me situation. If you have small children depending on the survival stores you’ve set aside, you may have to be willing to do bodily harm or kill to protect those you love.
In most cases when a thief breaks in, unless he’s armed and willing to shoot anyone who moves, you can fight him off. You’ll want to train for situations like this and you’ll want to make sure that your whole family is prepared as well.
Each of you should know self-defense and how to fight back against an intruder. You should practice and have dry runs on what each person’s responsibility and reaction should be.
Make sure you cover when not to react such as being outnumbered or if the person is holding a family member at gun point. It’s better to fight back against a thief before a break in and you can do that by preparing your home in advance.
Set Up Booby Traps Ahead of Time to Prevent Theft at All Times
You want to protect the parameter of where ever you’re living before anyone can breach the interior of your place. The best way to do that is by setting up booby traps that stay armed and ready to fight off a thief for you.
These booby traps can also alert you if anyone trips them, which will allow you to be prepared to fight back instead of being taken unaware. You can easily fashion an inexpensive set of trip wires to protect your place from thieves.
You’ll need electrical tape, fishing line and firecrackers such as champagne poppers. You can dump the gun powder out of the firecracker into the igniter and use electrical tape to put it together with the fishing line.
Make sure you leave the length of fishing line to stretch across whatever space you want to cover it with. Tie each end of the fishing line between two small stakes in the ground and camouflage those stakes.
When someone breaches the trip wire, there will be a flash followed by a loud bang which can scare a would-be thief off and alert you. Some survivalists use what’s called a swinging log trap.
You use two pretty heavy piece of wood or logs and have each on separate sides of the walkway or trail. When someone trips the rope, the logs swing in unison and hit the person on either side of their body.
You can also use spike pits by digging holes in the ground and placing large spikes sharp end up. When a thief steps onto whatever is covering the opening, the covering collapses and the thief gets a nasty surprise.
Some booby traps can be simpler. You can camouflage a rake with the hard tines pointing up. When someone steps on the rake tines, the handle will swing up at them. If you’re concerned that a thief might make it past your booby traps and reach your door, you can set it up so that if they pull on the knob, they get doused with a bucket of something that won’t be pleasant for them.
You can use chemicals, nails, or paint. You can also set up a trip wire using a pepper spray type alarm. If the thief trips the wire, he’ll get doused with pepper spray. Just make sure you only use booby traps in a SHTF situation and not when life is peaceful and no one’s expecting to encounter hostility.
Grow a Garden of Unrecognizable Food Sources
You want to grow food sources for your survival but when there’s a SHTF crisis, you can’t have it looking like a regular garden. If thieves notice that you have a garden, you can bet they’ll go and dig up the food supplies for themselves and take off with them.
So don’t plant your garden in neat little rows like you normally would. Instead, plant your garden in a variety of areas around your property and make it look like there’s nothing at all edible there.
If thieves see what they think is a bunch of weeds growing, they’re not going to investigate. They’re going to move on. Have things in the garden like nettles and peanuts, gogi berries, quinoa and root crops like yams, carrots, beets, onions, etc.
Root vegetables aren’t easily identifiable either and can safely grow out of sight. Let your food sources grow up right along with the weeds and other items that can help keep it safe.
Because your garden will grow and look like weeds, it will be safe from thieves looking for easy to grab canned goods and a regular garden.
Considering the Opportunity to Bug Out
When a SHTF crisis is in full swing, you may have to make crucial decisions in a second’s notice and you need to be prepared to change course if necessary. While you might have planned to remain where you are in the crisis, you might be faced with having to bug out.
If you can remain where you are and you’re safe and you have supplies, then it makes sense to stay. However, if your neighborhood has been overrun with mobs of people scavenging for food and supplies, even if your home hasn’t been hit yet, it’s only a matter of time before it will be. When people gather in a mob, in the best of conditions, the mood can quickly turn, the herd mentality kicks in and people get hurt. Adding things like hunger, fear and desperation to that mix and you have a recipe for disaster – including life or death situations.
Your safety and your family’s safety is more important than holding down the fort. If you’re faced with a mob determined to overrun your neighborhood, you’ll want to bug out.
However, if bugging out will mean that you’ll be put in a desperate situation, then you’ll have to weigh the risks. If you don’t have a way to take your food sources with you, staying and fighting to protect your home might be your only option.
But just be aware that if the mob is large enough, odds are good you won’t come out the victor unless you’re prepared to use lethal force. If you have a secondary place that you can bug out to that’s safe and has a food supply, when a mob shows up in your neighborhood, then leaving is safest option for you. You can always come back once the mob has moved on to another neighborhood.