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Define SHTF?

cstockwell

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When the gubment checks stop flowing and those blue debit cards no longer work wait to see what happens in this welfare state. The politicians won't reform welfare because they are too afraid of the consequences. The gov't printing presses will likely solve that at some point anyway.
 

mcb

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Katrina x 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
 
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There's short term and regional SHTF like Katrina, and then there's national collapse. Neither one is good, but the later is the one that I mostly associate with SHTF comments here.

And for the 3rd type of SHTF... My daughter when she was an infant, had a fan at the end of her changing table. Explosive surprises without a diaper on = fan cleanup duty. My response was "wow, that actually happens!" Being the fast learners we are, we moved the fan. [smile]
 
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Most likely to occur now (winter):

No electricity in winter = people freeze to death

Inflation = gas & food prices go up, people starve/freeze to death

Terrorist attacks on a meaningful targets, rather than wasting them on psychological ones, i.e. key power grid installations or oil refineries = see above

Does everyone here realize that the US does NOT make transformers for power stations anymore and the waiting list for a power substation transformer is over 18 months right now? I'll give you five guesses who makes them for us, but you'll only need one: China.
 
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When I use the term "SHTF", I use it as a euphemism for any event that causes one hell of a mess in my life, including but not limited to:

-Loss of power, whether just my house, the whole 'hood, or the eastern seaboard
-Fire, again, just my house, large forest fire, Dresden-caliber firestorm, etc
-Massive amount of precipitation - frozen, liquid, or freezing liquid
-Man-made disaster near my current location (train derailment, chem spill, terrorism, etc)
-Social unrest/anarchy/Mad-Max, etc.

Obviously, some of these are 1-turd situations, others are 3 or 4-turd situations.
 

jar

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Real SHTF = Any scenario where the probability of LE/FF/EMS showing up to help you out for any reason is zero or hovering pretty close to that.

-Mike

Yup, that's it for me. SHTF = not getting emergency services any time soon. TEOTWAWKI = they're never coming.
 

OPM

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SHTF is an umbrella term. Unfortunately, potential causes and effects of potential scenarios encapsulated by this term are so broad that many resort to coloring the magnitude of danger with TSHTF, WROL, TEOTWAWKI, etc. Worse yet, it is often difficult to decipher if the author is addressing regional catastrophe (Katrina), national (Argentina) or global (solar EMP).

The truth is - men always expected the end of days are near. Historic records show that all civilizations Egyptian, Greek, Romans, etc, widely believed that time is just about to run out, typically in the next 2-3 years. Our country has a long list of characters that predicted the apocalypse is just around the corner. Sometimes these people are successful in convincing others to abandon their normal lives and “head for the mountains” to prepare. Sometimes even mass suicides are part of the deal. Every decade or so, they come up with a new reason why SHTF is just about to arrive. So many reasons have been invented, that defining the actual meaning of this term is impossible.

However, these days, the most often interpretation of SHTF meaning is the cartoon world of The Road. The methods of getting to that world have recently changed. Few years ago when the prices of gasoline kept climbing every week – it was Pick Oil. Then EMP, which is still one of the favorites. However, today it is mostly dollar collapse. Mind you, most of these survivalists failed high school math, never mind undertaking any economic studies. Most have no idea what EMP is or the fact that each has different (almost unique) parameters. Or that most will not even stall your running car let along kill all modern cars.

Having said this you might get an incorrect impression. I do strongly believe in independence and self reliance. As such I do believe in having food, water, meds, heat, ammo, etc. I know for a fact that our utility infrastructure (water, sewer, roads, bridges, electrical grid, etc.) is collapsing and requires huge investment. As someone who does economic and financial research for living, I do believe the current economic climate, our financial condition, and government policies are very unnerving.

Rather than attempting to define SHFT, you might find it useful to identify and categorize various emergencies that you might face. Doing so should help you to prepare individual emergency based tactical strategies and needed resources. It should also help your mental preparation so that when you see signs of one of your prepped for scenarios come to life – you be able to immediately identify it and know exactly what to do.
 
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GM-GUY

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SHTF - a disruption of major services or the ability to obtain same

I base my preps and assumptions on a basic fact - most people MUST go to the grocery store once per week. Figure it will hit in the middle - 3 days until people realize they are screwed and begin taking any and all steps to survive. IF something happens (Dollar Crash, Major Terror Event, regional power failure....) figure you have three days max.
 

speedy

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when "civilized"societies grow and develop, and the population becomes dependant of others for their goods and services. All you need is a small disruption for "hell to break loose". All it takes is a break in the chain, and the whole thing just falls appart. Especially when we depend, unfortunately on foreign countries (COMMUNIST China)to supply most of our junk. We have become a country of mostly consumers and fewer producers. The direct result of "Greed". Nothing wrong with being rich. Love the idea. But as a result of somewhat misguided Capitalism (still the best system in the world), we have made our country, powerful, rich, the best in the world, and yet, we are only one step away from all hell breaking loose. Almost 49percent of the population depends on Govenment aid. That, right there, is a great fromula for all "Hell breaking loose".
 
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garandman

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SHTF is an umbrella term. Unfortunately, potential causes and effects of potential scenarios encapsulated by this term are so broad that many resort to coloring the magnitude of danger with TSHTF, WROL, TEOTWAWKI, etc. Worse yet, it is often difficult to decipher if the author is addressing regional catastrophe (Katrina), national (Argentina) or global (solar EMP). //
Awesome post and the kind of perspective I was looking for.

I'm trying to prepare for the most likely scenarios, so references to zombies make me question someones sincerity at best and sanity at worst.

So far the biggest deficiency I've found in my preparations for the more likely scenarios is medical supplies. I'm planning on taking a three day wilderness medical course so we are better prepared for being completely on our own. But now with all the summer toys put away, I wanted to take a serious look at how well prepared we are.

The thing I have done that most city dwellers don't seem to think about is to reach out to neighbors who I think we could count on, mostly guys with a similar military background. I haven't gone into too much detail with them, just talked about what happens in the neighborhood and how we might work together. We had some friends from the LDS church as well, but they've moved overseas. Their planning scenarios tend towards the pragmatic, and I picked up some good tips from them: like keeping a stack of small bills, not just $20's from an ATM.
 
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Everyone mentions "SHTF" like it's a known fact.

For us, a virtual as opposed to actual, SHTF happened about a decade ago. We took a step back and decided we were spending foolishly. We scaled back and stopped on any major outlays to our house other than what was needed. We decided against second property, purchased used cars for cash, carry no balance on our credit cards, and built up our reserves. We refinanced and the mortgage burning party is now visible on the horizon. We got hit with a major financial hurdle, our true SHTF, a few years back and although painful, the lifestyle we'd come to embrace changed hardly at all. As far as "Lucifer's Hammer" or "The Walking Dead" scenarios go? Well, If you don't plan for contingencies you'll be the one in the cellar a la "The Road".....

[wink]
 

ochmude

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Last night on Mythbusters they tried to find out exactly what would happen if the SHTF. Turns out it's really not as bad as the saying would imply. If you're standing directly behind the fan you stand a pretty good chance of making it through unscathed unless the "S" is of a more watery consistency.
 
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SHTF basically refers to any situation that would cause widespread social unrest. The Rodney King riots would be one example, where the police were refusing to help the honest citizens getting beaten in the streets, and unless you could take care of yourself, you were pretty much screwed. What about a situation where for any reason, truckers go on strike and refuse to deliver food and supplies to merchants? 24 hours after the strike starts, big city stores are out of food, and not too long after that, people are becoming violent trying to get food. Major natural disasters also come to mind. An impact event or a supervolcanic erruption come to mind for this.

Human beings aren't nice to each other because of some altruistic moral progress. We're nice to each other because we're instinctually satisfied. We have food, shelter, our comfort items, our children's safety, etc. Take any of these away from even the kindest person, by force, and notice how much less nice they very quickly become. When these things are taken away from enough people quick enough, the entire social order breaks down. You end up in a scenario that we call a SHTF scenario.
 

calsdad

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The problem with our "modern" society is that we have made everything far too fragile (IMHO). I recall reading stories about what it was like when the Soviet Union fell , and basically what it said was that for most people, they barely noticed it. There were reasons for this: most people lived in state housing, when the state went tits up, they just stayed and stopped paying rent. Most people had already had a hard time finding food - for years. So they had gardens out of the city, there was already a black market, etc. As far as replacing goods - the Soviet Unions penchant for "5 year plans" and massive inefficiency - meant that there were warehouses full of goods (over production) just sitting there waiting to be used.

The United States is drastically different. We depend on the banking system continuing to function. We rely on the supermarket shelves being stocked when we go there. We Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing and inventory procedures - it means that we are just a short step away from having NOTHING available. This is what I find so ridiculous about all the people who call for us to go to war with China: do you know how much crap we get from China? Like a previous response pointed out - we don't make transformers here any more. How do you like your electrical grid? You really think we can go to war with China and not take a massive hit?

I see SHTF as a slow process. As things start to fall apart ( look at what's happening with state and local finances) - the govt. will step in and try to take over more - not less. This will of course lead to things being completely screwed up because the govt. screws up everything it touches.
 

FiremanBob

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When the Cloward-Piven strategy finally succeeds. And we're much closer than most people think, and the Obamunist administration has the pedal to the floor to take us there sooner.
 
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Good point! Though I'm more of a Peet's coffee guy. No coffee? Break out the M1A.

[laugh2]

Pete's coffee is great but I started drinking starbucks coffee when they were taking heat from anti-gunners for allowing open gun carries in their shops and complying with the local laws.
 
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