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Are you mentally prepared for a world where the SHTF?

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: February 16, 2021
Are you mentally prepared for a world where the SHTF?

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survival mindsetThe recent shooting at a Clackamas, Oregon shopping mall was a reminder that the crazies are out there.  Officials have yet to come up with a motive for the shooting but have indicated that this was not a terrorist event.  They are however, quick to point out that the weapon was a AR-15 semi-automatic rifle stolen from an acquaintance.  And we all know where that is headed.

Having another random shooting occur in my home state was alarming and most assuredly a wake-up call that these are hard times and that we can expect the unexpected to happen as we see the global economy collapse even further. (Remember the coffee shop shooting in Seattle earlier this year?)

Whether this particular event was the result of desperation, anger, drugs, mental illness or something else, it speaks to what can and will  happen when individuals and the world in general goes mad.  And that is when the stuff will hit the fan.

Which gets me to the subject of today’s article:  Are you mentally prepared for a world where the SHTF?

Ask yourself these questions

How many people depend on you for support, guidance and leadership?  If you are a parent, you know what I am talking about.  But even if you are childless (or an empty nester), do you have family members, employees, or friends and neighbors who look at you as a prepper pillar of strength?

How did you react to news of Superstorm Sandy or Katrina or even the September 11 attacks?  Were you glued to the TV in basic shock and awe mode?  Were you immobilized by the tragedy of it all?

If your world turned upside down tomorrow and you were suddenly broke or homeless, would you despair first and act later?

Taken in order, you can probably see where these questions are headed.  For in spite of having the extensive physical assets of preparedness (bug-out-bag, food, water, first aid, tools and weapons) it takes an examination of our own core feelings to assess our mental preparedness.

Mental PreparednessThe Survival Mindset

Where do these core feelings come from?

At the heart of it all is developing a survival mindset that will prevail in a reflex-like manner when that SHTF event happens.  By my own definition, a survival mindset is a mental awareness of the need to keep going no matter what.  And for that to happen you need confidence in your own ability to take care of yourself and be self-sufficient.

So how do you do that?  I have covered the basics before but will outline some of them again.

1.  Assess the risks and unique threats in your area.

2.  Prepare a bug-out-bag stocked with the supplies your will need to survive unattended for three days or longer.

3.  Learn to shelter at home, locked inside, without the need to venture out.

4.  Acquire an extensive stash of extra food and water – preferably to last a month or longer.

5.  Develop useful survival skills such as fire making, gardening, hunting and fishing.

6.  Secure your home and learn self-defense.

7.  Get to know your neighbors and like-minded members of your community.

8.  Educate yourself and develop a DIY survival library.

9.  Practice what you know and then practice some more.

10.  Conquer your fear of the unknown.

Is this a complete list?  No – of course not.  Good physical health, optimism, perseverance, faith and a myriad of other factors contribute to a positive survival mindset. The point today is not to list them all and is not to seek solutions.  Instead, I want to challenge you to think about what you personally would do and how you would react when faced with a real-life SHTF situation. 

I speak from the heart when I tell you that there are days that even with my own extensive arsenal of preps, I wonder whether I would cope or whether I would panic when things became really chaotic following a SHTF event.  I tell you this because if there is just one single thing to convey today, it is this:

Do not  feel ashamed to admit that you might feel inadequate or that you may still have some mental or emotional hurdles to jump on your road to preparedness.  You are human.  Accept that and move forward.

The Final Word

I started out by saying that I was alarmed about the recent mall shooting.  But it was more than that; I spent some time thinking about what I would do and how I would react if this were the daily norm and not an infrequent incident.  You too, should think about it.

Taken out of context are some lyrics from a tune by Tears for Fears:  “When people run in circles its a very, very mad world”.  Sadly, it is my belief that a mad, mad world is where we are headed.  And so I continue to work on my own survival mindset.  And so should you.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Bargain Bin: With the holidays coming up, budgets are stressed to the limit. Something to consider as a sneaky prepper gift for the non-prepper in your life is the Backdoor Survival Portable Pocket Kit. Heck, for as little a $5, you can purchase a single item in the kit or for about $50, you can put the whole thing together yourself. Something to think about, anyway.

Other ideas?  Check out the items in the article Survival Gear Checklist – 15 Items to Get You Started or the Backdoor Survival Second Generation Gear Bag which is an outstanding value for $119.99 with free shipping.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife:  This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing.

Streamlight Nano Light Keychain LED Flashlight:  extremely small and light weight yet it will throw off a decent amount of super-bright light. At just .36 ounces and 1.47 inches long, the Streamlight Nano Light Keychain Flashlight will take up a minimum of space in your pocket or bag.

Paracord Survival Bracelet:  Why a Paracord Bracelet? So you always have some of this useful cord on your person.

Windstorm Safety Whistle:  This particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.

Swedish Firesteel:  Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version.

Pepper Spray:  It is always good to have some form of defense that will temporarily halt a bad guy that is in your face.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets:  These come in compressed packets small enough to fit in a pocket or wallet.  You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you.

For December, Emergency Essentials has a special sale on Freeze-Dried Chicken Breast Dices. The price is $27.99 which is 34% off the regular price of $42.95. Other specials include these favorites:

Now I know there are a lot of diehard Emergency Essentials fans out there but I also want to ask you to consider Legacy food products.

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Oh, and by the way, shipping is always 100% free. One of my favorites is the Legacy Foods “Beans & Rice Enchilada” meal. Soooo good.

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