Top SHTF Scenarios

7 SHTF Scenarios You Need to Prepare For

When are we ever fully prepared in life? Despite our best efforts, there are many times in which we find ourselves saying that we should have been better prepared.

While some skills such as CPR or other lifesaving techniques are certainly helpful, would you know what to do in case of a fire? How about natural disaster? Would you know how to remain calm, cool, and collected?

These are the SHFT events which are truly devastating, but with the right survival skills and preparation, you can get through them with much better success.

Here, we will list out some of the most common/likely SHFT events which you can start preparing for today. The situations here will be ones in which any average person may find themselves unexpectedly. You may ask, “why bother?” or “will that ever really happen to me?” There are no guarantees that the following situations won’t happen to you or someone you love.

Start preparing your knowledge base now, and be prepared!

What Does SHFT Mean?

SHTF situations are when s**t hits the fan.

SHFT is a situation in which things can’t possibly get worse. Think as far as you can into the hypothetical ifs and you’ve got yourself a SHTF scenario.

It could be a personal situation in your personal or family life, or something at the government level. Economic fluctuations and political instability can result in food and other supply shortages which can affect daily life. While an egg or bread shortage might not seem like the end of the world, imagine a gasoline shortage. Or, imagine that multiple food items are simply not in stock for an extended period of time.

Not to mention, other scenarios such as pandemics, epidemics, and war. While it may seem far-fetched, these situations are always possible.

You can start planning for SHTF scenarios in simple, practical ways. Here are the situations you need to know about, and how to best prepare for them.

SHTF Events You Need to Know About

These situations may not all be life-shattering, but they are certainly possibilities which could be dangerous and tricky to navigate without proper knowledge.

Floods and Fires

Floods happen regardless of most human effort.

We build dams, pumps, and other contraptions to try to monitor water levels, but so often they simply can’t contain a flooding body of water.

Floods are very difficult to avoid-perhaps more difficult than fires. In case of a flood, it may be that you have to leave your home. Prepare a to-go bag with all your essential items. When water levels start rising, be sure to look for a higher level of ground for your next accommodation. Search for this place by foot. That way, you and your family won’t get stuck on the road in your car during a hazardous flood.

Wildfires are also potentially devastating, but you can take some measures to protect your home. Make sure you properly store all outdoor items, such as furniture, kids’ toys, etc., in a shed. Keep your lawn sufficiently watered and turn on the sprinklers even when you leave your home.

We say when, and not if, you leave your home because there is no question about it. In case of a wildfire, do not stay and wait for the situation to improve. Get out!

Economic Crisis

This is a big one in the news these days, as everyone awaits the next economic collapse. There is a myriad of potential situations from stock market collapse to large-scale lay-offs and soaring unemployment rates.

These situations have happened with frequency both in the US and abroad. It is best to be prepared in case of an economic downfall which is far beyond individual control.

If you can keep yourself calm, cool, and collected in the midst of widespread panic, others might think that you’re off your rocker. However, your proper planning and preparation will surely show the world that you’ve been ready for this.

Prepare for this one by taking a look at the same advice given here for job and career turmoil. For example, becoming more self-sufficient in your food and water needs. You will save money and become more independent at the same time!

Job Loss

Job loss can come at any time—not just during an economic crisis. Anyone who has experienced this knows that it is most definitely classified as a SHTF scenario. Even if it isn’t a crisis for other people, it still feels like your own world is falling apart.

The best way you can be ready for job loss is to prepare your home with sufficient supplies for survival. This means collecting food and water resources on your own, and even gathering energy by yourself!

Start preparing now by learning how to grow your own food. Try collecting rainwater. By practicing these skills now, it will all seem less scary when SHTF for real and you are out of a job.

You’ll also save large amounts of money. You may even enjoy the process! Your financial savings will stretch even further than expected when you don’t have to worry about your food and energy bills being too high.

Natural Disasters

This category of SHTF scenarios is largely dependent on where you live. If you are traveling, be sure to take time to familiarize yourself with the natural disaster risks of your destination.

What is a natural disaster in one region may seem laughable in another. For example, a snowstorm bringing a foot of snow in less than 24 hours is everyday business in some areas of the northeast, but would be considered an emergency in the south.

While it all depends on context, it is still advisable to know what to do in case of various natural disasters. The first and most effective tip would be to have somewhere to go in case of emergency. This could be a family member or friend’s home. Whoever is helping you, be sure they have sufficient space and resources to accommodate you for the amount of time you’ll need to stay.

Your homestead may have a shelter or other emergency resources. If so, it may be alright to try to stick it out at home. However, the safest option would be to get far away from the disaster until it is safe to return. 


This SHTF scenario is one of the modern world. There have been several attempts to attack our power grid. It causes mass-panic quickly, causing instability and uncertainty. Most people today are extremely dependent on energy. In a situation like this, many people would struggle to know how to get through one day.

From food-prep to self-care, we all could learn how to be less energy-dependent. Two of the biggest helps are solar panels and a backup battery grid.

Learn how to live on these resources. In case of a true power grid failure or hostile takeover, you don’t want to be the only one using electricity. You can store energy and even hide your solar panels, so that you can stay under the radar. In addition, you’ll want to draw from the other tips listed here, such as keeping your emergency to-go-bags ready to go.


Any of the scenarios here could cause civil unrest. All it takes is a natural disaster and some economic turmoil to interfere with the psyche of the nation, and riots start.

Rioting and civil unrest happen all across the world, and it is not specific to any one type of political climate. People are people, and sometimes they decide to take matters into their own hands.

The best advice we can offer is to steer clear from any riots. What may seem like a nice opportunity to voice your ideas and help the cause may turn into personal injury. People involved in these situations also tend to turn on each other instead of sticking to their original cause. Not only could you get physically hurt, but it would impede any chance of removing yourself from this hostile environment. For instance, if you were taken into police custody, how would you get your family to safety quickly?

Be sure to keep your emergency bag with you at all times during civil unrest. Also, keep your vehicle ready to go. Make sure you have tools for your vehicle in case of a mechanical issue which could impede your escape. Finally, stock up on extra gasoline (properly and safely stored!) for emergency’s sake. It is likely that gasoline would be inaccessible for at least a day or two during this SHTF scenario.

War: Nuclear or on Home Turf

This is one scenario which has been on the global what-if list for generations. Still, can you ever be too prepared? Nuclear war is only becoming an increasing possibility. Watch the news and you’ll understand why.

It is always the same nations mentioned, and it is highly probably that the US is prepared to confront nuclear war in the case that it does happen. While we can all sit comfortably as we depend on our nation’s mighty military, we can all benefit from having a few personal survival skills in case of a real nuclear threat.

Your best bet is to have a safe hiding place. This might be a bunker in your home, but you should also consider securing an alternate safe spot. You could also get with friends or family who have a safe bunker or hideout, who would be willing to take you in. Make sure you are near natural resources for your survival, and stock up on survival foods. Have your handy emergency bag ready to go as always.

Always Be Ready

In addition to these measures, you can also keep yourself prepared by keeping yourself healthy and fit. Your supplies will carry you far, but make sure you’re also physically and mentally savvy in order to get through these SHTF scenarios. It would be a shame if you were prepared with all the survivalist know-how, but didn’t have the strength or stamina to get to your safe place! By training yourself now, you could be doing yourself and your family a favor in the long run of your collective survival.