What Is SHTF and How Do You Respond?

The world we live in today is ever-changing. Therefore, it is not always a surprise to witness unexpected life-changing experiences. Such events disrupt normal life and result in extreme chaos, and may result in death. SHTF is a colloquial term that best describes such extreme events in life. Therefore, the key to overcoming any of these adverse events is through preparedness. In this article, let's discuss how to prepare for a SHTF. Keep reading!

What is the Meaning of SHTF?

Shit Hits the Fan or SHTF refers to a catastrophic situation that has resulted in unimaginable chaos and disorder. For instance, war attacks, economic collapse, an extreme social disorder, a deadly pandemic or a major disaster such as earthquakes or hurricanes are classified as SHTF. SHTF will test your survival skills and put your quick thinking capacity to a test.

It is a situation of high unpredictability that largely impacts a normal day to day life.  When such a situation happens, immediate response is required to ensure security and survival.

Some of the SHTF situations include:

  • Natural calamities such as hurricanes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, wildfires, etc.
  • Unstable or collapsed economies that lead to actions such as mass hunger, rioting, sickness among other unprecedented events.
  • War and civil unrest due to political issues
  • Cyber and nuclear attacks can result into a SHTF situation
  • Loss of electricity for a prolonged period

Tips for Preparing for SHTF

Based on where you live, you can prepare a SHTF plan. For instance, if you live in war prone zones, earthquake prone areas, or hurricane prone areas, you must have a plan.  However, you should plan for all types of SHTH. Here are tips for planning for a SHTF situation.

1. Start Planning Now

The best time to plan for a SHTF is now, before it happens. Start by storing essentials such as dry food, water, clothes, blankets, medicines, survival kit, among other items. Stock up based on the number of your family members and pets.

Some of the things you need includes:

  • Potable water bottles with clean water
  • Water filters to clean up water in case you run out of stored clean water
  • Dry Food and foods with a long shelf life
  • First aid kit
  • Medications
  • Survival kit
  • Extra charged mobile phones
  • GPRS
  • Rope
  • Duct tape
  • Tent
  • Knife
  • A Fire starter
  • Hand-held radio
  • Blankets, clothes, hats, jackets, gloves, and other protective clothing
  • Face masks and dust masks
  • Multifunction tool kit

2. Learn Survival Skills

To survive any type of SHTF, you must be equipped with survival skills. You can learn survival skills from books, articles, watching videos and attending physical classes. Involve your family members into learning too.

3. Ensure Your SHTF Plan is Flexible

Having a SHTF plan is good, but not enough. Make sure your SHTF is flexible. Unexpected turn of events can render your plan useless. Create a plan that is adaptable and flexible to accommodate unprecedented situations.  Ensure there is a back-up plan all the time.

4. Check the Past SHTF Situations

Access all the past SHTF situations to help you prepare. Gather all the information tools such as emergency radio, mobile phones, TV sets among other tools that will help you access information during a crisis. 

5. Prepare Your Shelter

In most cases, moving out of the house is the safest option for most families. If you intend to move out of the house, ensure you have a solid plan to evacuate the whole family and all the supplies and safety tools.

Also, ensure where you are moving into is safe to accommodate you and your family.

However, if you intend to stay in your house, you must put up all safety measures in place. For instance, you should board up the windows, install booby traps, secure the doors, etc.

6. Check Your Supplies Regularly   

Once you have stocked up all the necessary supplies, keep on checking and replacing the expired products. Ensure all the products you have stocked are always in good condition. Also, remember to keep an inventory of all the products and equipment.

7. Ensure You Have Communication Tools

When planning for a SHTF, ensure that you have enough communication tools such as mobile phones, GPRS and radios. It makes it easier to communicate with loved ones and the relevant authorities.

It is necessary to have means of communication in the midst of an emergency. Also, it is comforting being able to get in touch with loved ones.

8. Prepare for Off-Grid Living

Living off the grid is extremely satisfying. It helps you cut down on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint. Off-grid living is reliable where the traditional systems fail. It gives you a sense of autonomy and control of your life.

Off-grid living skills is an important step in preparing for a SHTF situation. For instance, some of the off-grid living skills you should learn include gardening, water collection methods, animal rearing, and the ability to tap solar energy. In case of a prolonged SHTF crisis, off-grid living will help you prolong life, have access to basic things such as food and electricity.

Here are some off-grid living preparations you should start now.

1. Install the solar system

Installing a solar system is one of the practical ways of accessing power while living off-grid.  An off-grid solar system harnesses the sun's power using solar panels. The inverter converts the solar power into usable electricity. The collected power is stored in the battery or solar generator for later use.

Some of the essential components of building an off-grid solar system includes:

  • Solar panels
  • Batteries
  • Inverter
  • Charge controller

Here are tips for installing a solar system:

1. Calculate the Load

You must calculate your energy needs before installing any component. Consider all appliances and devices that need the power, by checking the power rating of each device. Then, calculate the watt hour, i.e. 

Watt Hour = Run time x Appliance power rating.

Finally, calculate the total wattage of all the appliances by adding together. This will help you determine the amount of solar energy you need to power your household.

2. Choose the Solar Panels

The solar panels are the most fundamental component of a solar system. The cost of the solar system will vary depending on the size of your home and the type of the panel. Here are some of the best solar panel recommendations.

1. BLUETTI PV420 Solar Panel


  • High Conversion Rate

The PV420 has an optimal solar intake with a high conversion rate of 23.4% which is capable of capturing approximately 2kWh of solar energy daily with six hours of good sunshine. With such power, you can power your devices and appliances for hours.

  • Excellent Performance

The PV420 utilizes the monocrystalline solar cells with multi-layered ETFE ensuring high efficiency, long life span, and higher light transmittance. The ETFE coat surface has an IP65 rating which is resistant to scratches, dust, and water splashes.

  • Convenient for Outdoors

The BLUETTI PV420 is compact-sized and relatively light weight.  Also, it is foldable for easy transportation. You can use it for your outdoor activities. Also, it comes with a flexible kickstand for easy set-up.

  • Easy to Regulate Productivity

Beef up the productivity of the solar panel by adjusting and tilting it based on the sun’s intensity for optimal solar power.

2. BLUETTI PV350 Solar Panel


  • Off-Grid Power Supply

The BLUETTI PV350 solar panel is highly reliable in generating solar power. You can continuously access power in your household, using this solar panel. Additionally, its portability allows you to use it outdoors for camping, fishing etc.

  • Durable and Efficient

The solar panel features an advanced laminated technology coated with a durable ETFE material. It is durable, scratch resistant, and with great light transmittance. With an IP65 rating, it is water resistant.

  • Excellent Conversion Rate

The PV350 is made up of 350-Watt monocrystalline cells that guarantee high conversion efficiency of up to 23.4%. It has 95% transparency which enables it to perform better even in low light conditions compared to polycrystalline solar panels. Also, it comes with four stands for better angling towards direct sunlight and maximizing solar efficiency.

  • Wide Compatibility

The BLUETTI PV350S panel comes with a MC4 connector which ensures its compatibility with most solar generators. For instance, it is compatible with BLUETTI EB150, AC300, AC200P, AC200MAX, EP500PRO, EB240, and EP500.

  • Easy Portability

The PV350 solar panel is relatively light weight, foldable, and compact sized. Its folded size is 35.6 x 24.1 x 2.5 and weighs 30.61 lbs making it convenient and easy to carry around.

3. Choose the Battery

Batteries ensure you have constant flow of power during night time and during bad weather days when the sun is insufficient. Here are some of the BLIUETTI solar battery recommendations for your solar system.

BLUETTI AC300 & B300 Modular Power System


  • Highly Flexible

The 3000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter is capable of adjusting the charging rate from 1800 W to 3000W using the wall outlets to meet your charging needs. The 30A charging cable enables you to boost your charging needs up to 3000W.

  • Green Energy

The power station does not emit noises, gas or any type of pollution. By using the AC300, you are reducing the release of greenhouse gasses which is sustainable to the environment.

  • Fast Charging

You can charge the system using a 15A AC charging cable at 3000 AC input. It can charge from 0% to 100% in just 1.5 hours. Additionally, you can recharge the battery in several ways including the solar panel, dual AC, solar + AC, wall outlet, generator, and lead acid battery.

  • Expandable Power Capacity

The BLUETTI AC300 is a 100% modular station capable of supporting up to 4×B300 at 3,072Wh per pack for a groundbreaking capacity of 12,288Wh. The power can run your household for days.

  • 24/7 UPS Home Back-Up

The BLUETTI Smart Home Panel allows you to tie the power system to your home grid system. With the system installed, you will not experience power outages.

4. Solar Charge Controller

A solar charge controller is an important component of the solar system that regulates the energy produced by solar panels to avoid overloading the battery. Every solar back-up battery must have a solar charge controller, to prevent damaging the battery.

2. Growing own food

With off-grid living, you must have different methods of accessing food. The best way to produce food is through growing crops and rearing animals. To grow your food successfully, you must start learning gardening skills as well as animal rearing skills. In case of a SHTF situation, your family is catered for in terms of food availability. Along with producing your food, you must learn the off-grid means of preserving it.

3. Develop Your off-grid water system

You will always need clean water as long as you are living. Some of the ways you can access water living off-grid is digging a well, living close to springs or creeks. Additionally, you can have measures in place for harvesting rainwater. You can combine two or three of these methods to ensure you always have enough water.

4. Other Off-grid Essentials

Other things you will need for a sustainable and comfortable off-grid living is a home protection system, a waste disposal system, and an effective communication system.

Final Thoughts

SHTF can lead to extreme chaos, desperation, suffering and even death. However, with proper planning and preparation, you can brave through the situation. In such hard and unprecedented times, you must rely on yourself for survival.

No one knows when a SHTF event will happen. It can happen anytime. Therefore, the need to stay prepared at all times. Follow the guide in his article to help you learn the necessary survival skills for better chances of survival during SHTF emergencies. 

Proper planning, the right mindset and good training are key to surviving through any SHTF situation.  In an ever changing world, strive to always stay informed, prepared, and importantly, be adaptable.