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Levels of SHTF

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by FalconDance, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Over at my homesteading forum, there's a nice little sub-form for survival and emergency preparedness. In this sub-forum is a thread asking what people consider levels of SHTF......and it made me curious as to how you guys define and categorize it.

    For instance, Level 1 may be something that only affects within a 50 mile radius and is relatively short term though potentially critical if you're not prepared.


    Level 5 being world-wide Holy Shite, the sky's falling and only a few survive! Pretty much TEOTWAWKI but not necessarily.

    Thoughts? Comments? Sharable delusions? [yack]

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2015
  2. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Level one: the baby has a dirty diaper and mom and big sis are nowhere to be found.

    Level two: No wet ones

    Level three: No diapers.

    Just kidding. I haven't seen a list categorizing the SHTF levels, it sounds a little too much like our Gov.'s color warning system. There are so many varying degrees to survival levels, storms, loss of jobs/economic survival, MZB's, etc. etc. While we would all like to be prepared for anything, most of us will not go to that extent. We have to have priorities and decide what is the most likely SHTF situation that we will encounter. What is the most likely thing that would happen to you given your location, job, and lifestyle?
  3. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    In the "Rawles Gets You Ready Course", they discuss the Levels of Preparedness where Level 1 is minimal and Level 5 is pure "off the grid". These might line up nicely with levels of catastrophy.

    Level 1 preps have a few days of food, maybe a flashlight and some candles hidden "somewhere". One item of interest he notes is: "At Level 1, you are better prepared than half the nation..."
  4. SeptemberMage

    SeptemberMage LaMOE Monkey

    Off the top of my head; I would imagine it would break down like this...

    Level 1 break out the Candles
    Level 2 Break out the Blankets
    Level 3 Break out the Water
    Level 4 Break out the Guns
    Level 5 Break out the Mountain House
    Seriously though, I think of SHTF scenarios in 3's; a 3 day scenario, a 3 week scenario, a 3 month scenario, a 3 seasons Scenario, and finally, a 3 year scenario. and of course when I hit the 3 year scenario, I imagine this is a TEOTWAWKI event, I dont have anything to back this up, other than a feeling.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  5. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    These aren't really categories of SHTF, but it's how I'm looking at organizing my preps (got the idea from Melbo, and tweaked it for myself a little, and it really helps organizing things).

    Stage 1) Short Term - Up to 7 days - Bad Winter Storm, Power Outage

    Stage 2) Mid Range - Over a week, up to 3 months - Bird Flu Pandemic?

    Stage 3) Permanent - TEOTWAWKI
    Motomom34 likes this.
  6. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    There is alot right with breaking it up into digestible levels..."preparing" for a year or several years scenarios is pretty overwhelming but any anybody can start with acouple of weeks and keep adding ...without being overwhelmed . Most folks don't have 72 hours much less 72days of edibles...Have to agree a power outage is most likely here(hopefully a week or less), To me SHTF includes some societal breakdowbn...a power outtage hardly qualifies..
  7. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    :lol: @ EL! That was awesome!!

    1. "Just a" Storm (3 days-ish)
    Power/phones out
    2. Major Storm (5-7 days)
    No grocery store availability for weekly perishables
    3. Local Natural Disaster (2 weeks- 3 months)
    Major injuries/Loss of lives. Emergency services overwhelmed, local population panics
    4. Regional Disaster (6 months +)
    Attack in single area of country (like NY), economy stops in local area, slows for the rest of the nation
    5. National Disaster (1 year +)
    Nation-wide (meteor shower, attack, delusion-of-choice)
    Motomom34 likes this.
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    To me I think I kind of break it down even further and start the scale even lower. My catigories would be something like this;

    1-Day to day crap (the fart hit the fan), this would be the stuff that probably half of all the folks have at least SOME preps for, the stuff like a flat tire or dead batterie in the car, a pipe bursts and floods the house, etc.

    2-local minor (3 day or less) problems, this could be a thunder or ice storm knocking out the lights for a couple hours to a couple of days.

    3-local moderate problems, this would be when the lights are out for a week in the midle of winter or some similar problem where if you dont have some preps beyond what the average houshold dose (maybe a generator, some extra food stuff, extra nonelectric lighting and cooking meathods and so on) then you are going to have significant problems.

    4-personal mid term, I put this higher on the SHTF scale since its one thats more likely to happen to most folks and less likely to be prepaired for by a lot of folks but would include things like loseing the main income for the houshold, someone being seriously injured and haveing medical bills beyond insurance and/or unable to work and such for week or months.
    I would probably also put at this level of severity local to regional serious short term things, kind of like when we were potentialy down wind from a chemical plant fire and might need to BO for a couple of days as a precaution.

    5-serious mid term This would be when you get into things, be it local, regional or nationat that are likely to last from 2 weeks to say 2 months. Things like say Katrina or anything that would disrupt infrastructure and/or could lead to civil unrest and could last a while. The stage when you are pretty well on your own but things will get pretty well back to 'normal' within a couple months.

    6-national long term moderate/severe, on this level I would be thinking of something that would last several months to years but not be a total break down of society, things like the great depression, bird flu hits but not with the force to knock out society, just make us unable to function as we have, etc

    7-National long term serious, this would be when basicly the whole country for some reason goes belly up like NO after Katrina but theres no one to be of much help and no place practical to go to where its better. You still have SOME semblance of law and SOME infrastructure but we basicly become a low end third world country with civil unrest and can expect to stay that way for several months to years.

    8-this woul pretty well be TEOTWAWKI when there is NO law beyond what you can make with a gun, society is gone, infrastructure is gone, government is gone, you are truely on your own with roaving hordes and no real promise of it changeing.

    Like I say I break it down a lot further but I also figure if you can get through a level 4 or 5 then I figure that you should stand a REAL good chance in any situation through 8 since if you can make it without money and feedand house your family and have the means to protect them in a depression, major storm, and several months out of work then it isnt much further to keep going with the same thing after that for as long as needed. I also figure that anything above a level 4 is, while totaly possible, also MUCH less likely than the level 4 and below.

    Theres my lengthy breakdown of how I look at it and try to plan for with the resources spent on preperation for them being heaviest at 1 and least at 8.
  9. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I like to think of it more as levels of preparedness. Mine are pretty much the same as Tracy listed. But I do have sub catagories.
    For instance, I live in "Tornado Ally" so that is my first prep. But I have some things in place for a short term power outage, say a few hours tops. Then I have contingency plans for long term outage, a few days to a few weeks, we were out of power for 3 weeks after the May 3rd IIRC 1998 tornados.
    If your breaking out the Mountain House that is a definite TEOTWAWKI !!
  10. Joe Dan

    Joe Dan Monkey+++

    That was very good.

    I will have to think about that - I really like it.

    I was going to say (and after reading SepMage's post I reserve the right to change my mind): I don't have levels and it's all in one's attitude.

    For me TSH either HTF or it has not. No levels.
    What one considers SHTF really varies from person to person.

    I could deal with a multi day power/water outtage with barely a bump in my stride. For some ppl, going without air conditioning on a hot day is a crisis.

    But again, I really like the way SeptemberMage summed it up.
    Thanks for that.
  11. Gallowglass

    Gallowglass Winter is coming

    I also like SM's rule of 3s, except that I would add one more: 3 decades

    We know from sources written at the time that every time England got hit with a really bad outbreak of the Black Death it took an entire generation for things to get back to normal. I could see if the societal grid went down really hard that it might take a generation to get back on our feet.
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Bump, and -
    For "normal" thinking, the rule of 3s works best, sez me. However, there are permutations. Suppose the hacienda catches fire and you do not have time to grab a BOB? Ditto for flooding, both of which just might prevent your return.
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