Check out any survival or prepper website and I can guarantee you’ll find all sort of articles on prepping for disasters and what to do when a disaster strikes. Unfortunately, one important aspect is often overlooked, even by many of the so-called experts: How to prepare for Post Disaster Problems.
What about the Aftermath?
While prepping for disasters is definitely an important topic, one that we’ve covered numerous times here on OFFGRID Survival, you need to start putting some thought into what will happen and what you’ll do in the aftermath of a disaster.
What problems might you face post Disaster?
Living for an extended time without Utilities
Once the main disaster dangers subside, a whole new set of challenges are likely to pop up. One of those challenges could be a total loss of utilities. Whether it’s damage to the power grid from a storm or natural disaster, or a more serious problem like a terror attacks or EMP attacks that causes long term damage to the grid, you must be prepared to survive for an extended period of time without access to public utilities.
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What does that mean?
- You need to be prepared to live without electricity for weeks, maybe months. After Hurricane Sandy, communities throughout the Northeast went without power for weeks, and in some areas power was not restored for months because of the overwhelming damage to local infrastructure.
- Water, water, and then some more water! You need to plan for the possibility that your water could become undrinkable for some time. Make sure you have at least 2 weeks’ worth of emergency water on hand at all times — more if you have the space.
- You need to have a Sanitation Plan. Think about it, if something goes wrong with your local water and sewer infrastructure, sanitation is going to be a huge issue, one that could kill more people than the initial disaster.
- You need to have ways to cook your food. Without electricity or gas, do you have methods to cook your emergency food stockpiles?
Living for an extended period of time without a grocery store.
Depending on the disaster, there is a good chance local delivery services could be disrupted. Since most grocery stores no longer have local warehouses, and depend on complex computer systems to manage their daily deliveries, anything from a power outage to road closures could wipe out your local store shelves in a matter of hours.
Most stores only have a three day supply on hand at any given time; once people realize a disaster is imminent, supplies will be wiped out quickly.
- Have a way to secure your own food; that means having at least a two-week supply of emergency food and water, knowing how to hunt and fish, and knowing how to exploit local resources.
- If you live in an urban environment, it’s even more important to know where and what your local resources are.
- Start a survival garden. Having a small survival garden is a great way to have what you need to survive when things go bad.
Preparing for Post Disaster Violence
This is a big one! Today’s world is becoming increasingly unstable; every time you turn on the TV it seems like some group is protesting something, taking to the streets to create chaos and fear, or burning down their own neighborhoods to push some ridiculous social agenda.
If you think things are bad now, just wait until you see what happens in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster. These same groups are going to be looking to take advantage of the situation; throw in the unprepared masses who failed to prepare for disasters and you have a recipe for chaos.
Listen, we live in a world where even during the good times chaos seems to rule the day. Just look at what happened in Baltimore and Ferguson, and then consider how in the last year there have been multiple people who have targeted and killed police officers simply because they were cops. What do you think these people, who are already mentally unbalanced, are going to do when the shit hits the fan?
Things you need to consider:
- People are going to be desperate; even your “normal” neighbors could become a threat once they realize they don’t have what it takes to survive.
- Criminals are going to be roaming the streets looking for easy victims. You need to know how to defend yourself!
- Social unrest is not just a possibility, in today’s world it’s almost a guarantee. You need to be ready for looting and rioting, especially if you live in an urban setting.
- Home break-ins are going to skyrocket. One of the biggest problems during events like Hurricane Sandy and Katrina was people breaking into homes to steal whatever they could find. Many criminals though it would be easy pickings because so many homes were left vacant after the evacuations, but for those that stayed behind the threat was very real and in some cases very deadly.
What you need to do:
- If you don’t own a firearm, you need to consider the benefits of owning one and you need to learn how to use it.
- Learn how to defend yourself with and without a gun. Having a gun definitely levels the playing field, but there are times where you may not be able to get to it or be able to rely on it for your defense.
- Think about fortifying your home and making it harder for criminals to break into your house.
If you really want to dig deeper into this topic, a large portion of my book, The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide: Self-Reliance Strategies for a Dangerous World, deals with these issues. I dedicated an entire section to dealing with violence and the criminal threat.
Preparing for threats from your government.
First off, since some people are a little sensitive these days, let me say this is not political; it’s reality. The simple fact is, once things go bad governments at every level are going to be a threat to your safety and security.
From incompetent government emergency planners, who seem to make every disaster so much worse, to scarier situations like gun confiscations, travel restrictions, mandatory curfews , and martial law, you need to be aware of the steps you government will take in response to threats.
- Don’t wait for the government to issue an evacuation order, by that time it’s usually too late.
- Don’t trust everything they say. They may have a fancy title, but in my experience with emergency planners, most are more worried about their cushy federal jobs than they are actually saving people.
- Be prepared for chaos! Just look at how the government responds to disasters that they know are coming, they usually make things even worse.
- Be prepared for crackdowns on your liberties.
The most import at thing is to have a plan. Having a plan to deal with these post disaster threats can help minimize most of them and can help ensure the safety of those you love.
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