Places to Avoid After SHTF

October 8, 2014 by | 29 Comments

During chaos, people usually do one of two things; button up for safety at home, or seek safety and resources elsewhere.

We recently talked about where to find supplies after SHTF, but it’s just as important to know which places to avoid because violence and disease will be rampant.

Below are some of the places that you should avoid in a post-collapse world.

  • Hospitals should be avoided at all costs. Risk of infection is high even under normal circumstances, but as patients begin dying, it will become a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Plus you risk severe emotional trauma from seeing the dead or even worse, being unable to help those who are still alive and suffering. If you think that won’t affect you, you are either a psychopath or have never been around dying people.
  • Prisons are obvious—either the prisoners will still be locked up inside, creating the same problems you would face in the hospitals, or they will have been released and could attack you.
  • Police stations may seem like a great place to find supplies and weapons, but the police and their families will already be buttoned up inside and won’t be eager about sharing. Chances are, you won’t make it past the fence.
  • Avoid military bases for the same reason.
  • Stores where food or supplies can be found should be avoided because they will be looted immediately by lots of scared, angry people.
  • Large cities will become plagued with disease and violence. The risk of ambush will be extremely high, and unless your group is large and has extensive urban warfare experience, you don’t stand much of a chance. Additionally, there won’t be much to find there anyway because anything of value will have been picked through already.
  • Major roads/highways can be helpful but can also be very risky.  A roadside ambush is easy to execute and produces devastating results, so if possible, use smaller roads or even skip them entirely.
  • If you can, avoid “support” camps provided by the government. The living conditions are poor, violence is high, and disease runs wild.
  • My house. Seriously, stay the Hell away.

Melanie Swick (a.k.a. Survival Chick) grew up wanting to be a rocket scientist, but when she realized she that required way too much math, she took to her second dream—spending time in the wilderness. Today, when she's not hiking, camping, or hunting, she's blogging about it. You can connect with Melanie on Facebook.

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  • Avery says:

    Michelle…smile and learn to laugh a little. Life can be fun and people too. Geesh!!!

  • Haha, loved the last point. Got it loud and clear 😉

  • FLAPrepper1 says:

    Ditto on the last one. But make it my cul-de-sac. Our cul-de-sac is well armed, well stocked and no you can’t have any.

  • Chris says:

    The lack of trust is what causes the whole problem. Instead of all this prepping for selfishness and minimalistic survival, why not use all that energy to figure out a way to find trust with one another? Sure, if everyone instantly starts acting like a bunch of apes after day 3 of SHTF then you have your scenario. But it’s been proven that in areas that have been destroyed beyond repair for nearly months at a time, areas where major disasters have occurred like Joplin, Missouri – that people have worked together and the vast majority of individuals have risen to the occasion, putting those who show a lack of trust and faith down and to shame. Now, imagine if those people had gone on like that for years, they would have formed their own type of community and organized themselves much in the same way you see before this technological future unfolded. You crazy “Walking Dead” fantasy people who have no trust or faith in your fellow human will be the ones crawling through the bush trying to get over on good people and you’ll be getting your asses handed to you by the organized and civil majority of individuals in each town. You all use the term “Wake-up”, well it’s time you listen to yourselves and do just that – pull your heads out of this fantasy of anticipation and start looking at actual historical data. Oh yeah, and the fact that human civilization came from nothing to where we are today – how the hell did that happen if we’re all just a bunch of instinctive monkeys who can’t be trusted or find the value in working together in times of need?! Again I say, “Wake-up” – YOU and this mentality is what’s causing this potential form of Armageddon as it seems!

    • Jeremy Knauff says:

      Chris, you are dangerously wrong. I have served in places all over the world that have collapsed and I can assure you that is exactly what happens. Perhaps you should follow a few links on this site and see the first hand accounts of what has actually happened in those places. It wasn’t the rainbow and unicorns that you’re painting it out to be. Furthermore, when a disaster occurs nationwide, you can expect it to get even worse.

    • teotwawkiandifeelfine says:

      Wow! Thanks Chris – every so often we need someone who is either so naïve that they don’t understand what’s happening or they want so bad to believe in the goodness of man that they leaves themselves in dangerous places. If you have so much trust, walk into East Compton or Detroit or Anacostia and yell out “I have a thousand dollars in 100’s on me!” I’d bet good money that you would not choose to do this. There is good in people, and there is evil.

      Have you paid attention to the atrocities of our Federal, State and Local law enforcement? And it gets worse, NOT better each year. And there are loads and loads of people who believe that things can be changed. Until man’s greed and malice is changed, I will not trust anyone in authority – Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

      So the riots in Ferguson were for fun? The people dying from no-knock raids? The number of people going to jail for smoking a naturally growing plant is growing and growing. PC is going off the deep end; eating a poptart the wrong way equals suspension in public school. WHHHHUUUTTT? If I eat a poptart into the shape of a cannon, am I looking at jail time?

      What does it change that someone I know is storing up extra food, and water and skills? Rather than use their money on conspicuous consumption items, they are putting their money into food that may be needed soon. If they have food and water and don’t need Red Cross’s support, that leaves more for you! Which one is helping his brother more, the one spends his money and only has a few days worth of food, thereby needing rescuing in a bad time, or a family that stocks up on necessities way before they are needed? Your great grand-parents (or great-great grandparents_ probably) survived the depression. That generation was the most amazing in the way they stocked up or reused anything they could. Were they harming other people? There’s no difference but in the name for MOST preppers. We aren’t preparing for “The End”, we preparing for a major emergency. Whether by EMP, Pandemic, Financial Collapse, WWIII, Tornado, Earthquake etc, preppers are saving what they can when it is safe to, not during it.

      Do you realize what the survivors of hurricane Sandy were given by support groups; a small sandwich and one bottle of water is one group. Here are the words of one of the victims: “After sandy i called the red cross. I was told i had to go to them a half an hour away at a certain time and i would recieve a bowl of soup and a cup of coffee.” A bowl of soup. I don’t know about you, but I want my family to have more than one bowl of soup and a cup of coffee (the baby hates coffee.)

      Historical data says “Empires fall, tyrants rise, the masses die. Those who plan and prepare do better than those that don’t.” Trying to get over on good people? Now you’re just being malicious. I don’t know what you think I am, but I have no plan to hurt others, in fact my plan is to make sure I DON’T HURT OTHERS! I have faith in people, just not in groups and in fear. “Nowhere to here today.” Wow again. What is so different about us and ancient Egypt? Are we any kinder, and more giving, any better? “Civil majority of individuals” You’ve never met my wife, or best friends. They are the epitome of civility. But they also know that humans are human and when they are starving and thirsty and their kids are dying, we drop our code quickly.

      If there is no water, there is no food, there is no Law, what would you do then to save your family?

      • Jeremy Knauff says:

        Well said!

        • teotwawkiandifeelfine says:

          Thank you Jeremy. I really do enjoy hearing from those ‘against’ prepping. It teaches me the places I need to learn – where I need to grow. And it shows how some of us, me definitely, are not getting the right message across. It seems I need to focus more on prepping for the block or street, or row or… you get the idea. If they think we are all about “me”, are we? I see some of it, but I feel I see a lot more of “if my neighborhood is hit we will…” I could be totally blind. Thanks for the great topic!

          • Jeremy Knauff says:

            Thanks, brother! I think we all have blind spots (myself included) but when we work together, we become more effective as a community.

      • Ina Blümers. says:

        Agree! Here in Holland (the Netherlands- Europ) are more and more people prepping and learning skils befor there are problems so thee dont need help from the Red Cros or others. My specialiti is food from natur….you can eat almos every plant and a lot of them heal you from ilnes!

    • Susan Roth says:

      If you want trust, move to the country and earn it with your like minded neighbors. Most of us here would have nary a problem if the cities started breaking town. We’ve got land, trees, lots of lakes and steady water, agriculture, and the high ground! We’re in the hills! Plenty of tractors, excavators, heavy equipment , not to mention New Hampshire has the 2nd highest rate of gun ownership in the USA. Alaska is #1. We’re uphill, upwind, and upstream!

      • Buzzray says:

        Yep moved back to NH from Alaska and in the north country. Live far enough out with a few neighbors who are liked minded.

    • Hatter says:

      Wow Chris,!

      You have no chance when the SHTF.
      By definition, you will be one of the first victims.

      We can’t trust strangers now and it’s relatively peaceful.
      How do you think you are going to trust anyone else when they are starving because they did nothing to prepare and they have their family to feed?

    • Tammy says:

      Chris its nice to know that there are still people like you out there however… are the minority. I myself have been robbed on the job once and averted it a second time and we are not even in crisis! You will be one of the first to fall unless you change your thinking. This country is not like it used to be. There is a lot of anger and hatred out there, add a national crisis and its a recipe for disaster!

  • Larry says:

    Chris – You are living in La La Land. Good luck on trusting others when the SHTF since you will be one dead door nail! This is from a Viet Nam vet who has the seem the worse sides of humanity and our government.

    Jeremy – Good article since you are right on.

  • AC says:

    One of those ‘good’ people you really shouldn’t have trusted, is probably going to kill and eat you some day.

    • teotwawkiandifeelfine says:

      Umm. Now you’ve got me scared and I’ve got minefields (well, really doggie bombs 🙂 ) Someone could do that now – Dahmer and others are warped but that doesn’t mean it will happen in the Shift. I think the biggest thing that people forget faster and faster – we need other people. To keep us on the right track and not on the crazy train. God forbid it ever comes to that on any scale, just remember folks, (6 legged) Insects = Protein! Learn to herd crickets! (ROFLMAO)

  • Illini Warrior says:

    Schools, colleges, churches, libraries, national guard armories, county fairgrounds, auction houses/barns, racetracks, sports stadiums, convention centers, empty warehouse/factory/office complexes, mega retail areas (not only food), …..

    FEMA will be using any large enclosed buildings for housing, medical, relief supply warehousing & distribution …. Homeland Security, military & LEO will be setting up detainment camps – if it has a fence they’ll be penning people up …. long after the stores are totally looted and most likely burned out they’ll remain dangerous locations …..

  • Cindy says:

    How can a woman in her 60’s prepare? I am alone….thanks for any suggestions

    • teotwawkiandifeelfine says:

      Hey Cindy, wife and I in our 50’s, prepping’s not JUST for the youngsters. Lots of others here know this, I’d call it he Prepper’s Catechism 😉 .
      I’ve heard it called the Rule of 3’s –
      Without ANY form of oxygen you die in 3 minutes – you need clean air and the air needs to get to your brain, so that means medical too, as blood loss kills quickly
      Without ANY shelter (clothing and/or a building) you can die in 3 hours
      Without ANY water, you die in about 3 days
      Without ANY food you can die in 3 weeks
      Without ANY social interaction you can die in 3 months (without people, 99% of humans either start or end up cracking up.)

      So – Medical, Shelter, Water, Food, People*:
      – if you only have cough medicine/pepto etc., add big bandages, sterilizing fluids (alcohol and iodine) and bunches of gauze to your first-aid kit,
      – watch for great sales on TOUGH and/or weather based clothing
      – soon as you can, save up water in plastic containers, food grade, a gallon at a time as you can,
      – next add an extra bag of beans and rice to your weekly/bi-weekly/monthly grocery shopping
      – make friends as you can – especially of nearer neighbors IF you can.

      If you can only do the water and the medical, then do that, or the food and the water or the… but IF you can try the order listed above.

      * Note the comma between food and people. 🙂

      It’s about doing things to help yourself AND your neighbors. Read sites like this (and this is a good one) and pickup up ideas, then use, the ideas that apply to your life situation. You will hear people talk about the training first. They are right but, you can only train so fast; you can buy beans, band-aids and bullets faster. Best of things to come to you and yours.

    • Jeremy Knauff says:

      Same as any of us…start small. Every step counts. Your first goal should be to have a week of water and non-perishable food on hand, then build up from there. A good first aid kit, a weapon, get in shape.

  • Vivian Eaton says:

    What about the disabled? Most of
    Them are struggling to get by now.

  • Amber Green says:

    Depending on the kind and severity of the disability, the people in question can make fine sentries, baby-rockers, soup-stirrers, sock-darners, lost-skill teachers, spiritual advisors, negotiators/peacekeepers, weed-pullers, soup-stirrers, egg-collectors, laundry assistants, and so on. Or they could simply be the heart of a small community.

  • Thomas Quinn Jr. says:

    I have seen the best and worst after disasters. Sure a tornado hits and the town comes together. Local, State and Feds roll in and put it back together. Katrina hit and so much in fighting among govt. and crime went through the roof. Murders, rapes, looting. Look at Freguson recently, not good. My Motto, “Hope for the best, Prepare for the worst.” Each year I plant fruit trees , on my property. This year I will start growing more fruit trees and scatter them around town in the woods. So I can find them later. I keep building my garden bigger each year. it’s 50 x 25 ft. right now. I have 6 potato boxes right now, 6 more this year. I have a 8 x 20 ft. strawberry patch. I’ll double that this year. I raise ducks and this year, I’ll start raising chickens for both eggs and meat. I’m going to learn to can this year. Maybe start hunting dear.

  • Cindy, I agree totally with TEOTWAWKI (which stands for The End Of The World As We Know It). I just wanted to add that water storage is one of the hardest things to do, especially the older we get, but it’s actually more manageable than some might think. Sunlight kills bacteria, and gallon milk jugs corrode quickly, so my family and started using 2 liter soda bottles. They’re virtually indestructible, will last forever, and any bacteria in tap water can be killed in less than an hour in the sun if you take the label off. I purchase freeze-dried foods for long term storage, but for semi-long term, I just buy a case of chef boyardi ravioli, or beef stew every grocery trip. Just make sure you have at least 3 ways to open the cans (the pop top cans are extremely convenient). God bless and have fun. Oh, and get to know your neighbors and friends that are like-minded. It takes a community… As it were.

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