Survival Debate: Take In or Turn Away

Take People In Survival

One of the most basic questions survivalists and preppers wrestle with is what to do if unplanned guests turn up at your door in a SHTF situation. Do you take them in and divide your supplies or turn them away and protect your family?

Take People In


  • BeggarMore People = Better Security
  • Clear Conscience
  • More workers
  • Might be family members


  • Use supplies X-times faster
  • Group decisions and arguments
  • Harder to hide larger groups

Turn People Away



  • Guilt
  • Security Threat if they are desperate enough
  • No longer hidden or anonymous

Middle Ground

The only middle ground here is to offer the beggars some supplies, but send them on their way. In my opinion this might be the best option because you preserve your status as a good person to them and you can justify the guilt of not taking people in to yourself.

Obviously, this opens you up to several security risks. The people then know you have food and supplies and may come back, either peacefully or not.

Where do you stand?

This might be the most difficult and humanizing survival debate we’ve had so far, and not something to decide quickly.

Really think about living with yourself after this decision: whether turning people away to possibly die, or taking food directly out of your family’s mouths for others.

Top Photo by: LiminalMike

{ 152 comments… read them below or add one }

Nytestriker July 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm

A very tough situation indeed. I would take the middle ground – share some resources but send them on their way. This really is a potentially no win situation.

Hopefully a little charity will go a long way….


Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 7:59 pm


I think am with you, but on the other side, you have to have the security and firepower to back it up when you say you want them to leave or they will just force their way to your supplies.


Montezuma1775 July 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Ya know after you watch a movie like The Road or Book of Eli, you start to wonder if you you would ever consider trying to help someone else.

I don't think it is as easy as Yes or No. In some situations, hurricanes, floods, natural disasters, etc.. I would be very willing to help people in any way that I could… because I am confident that society will be returning. Once we have turned a corner that society is not returning or is not coming back on anytime soon… I will be closing up shop and unless we have shared a roof in the past.. I don't plan on sharing one with you now.

My role as a husband and father are paramount to me and I will be extremely cautious in trusting ANYONE in a true EOTW situation.


Peter July 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Much as I would like to disagree with you, I can't. I've learned from experience how cruel and unforgiving this world can be. Having extended a helping and charitable hand out to those in need in the past and then having some of those individuals turn on us has been a critical learning curve. When and if the SHTF, people will be even less willing to show what I call "returned" goodwill. Depending on the severity of the 'S' will determine the amount of generousity you can afford to give out. Frankly, if we face a future similar to "The Road" or "The Book Of Eli" then I'm afraid it's every man for himself as we degenerate into barbarism and lawlessness. In that case, I think that the individual "Eli" found hanging in the closet had the right idea.


yatahey July 11, 2010 at 1:58 am

"Survival of the fittest", in every sense of that statement.


Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Montezuma you make a good point.

In a regional situation, you're right, i'd be much more willing to help other people because you can see the other side. You know it won't be forever.

Otherwise, I'd be avoiding other people as much as possible.


Ken November 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

I like it Montezuma! You have hit the nail on the head as far as I am concerned. One of the real values of a blog like this is that it makes one think about situations before they happen. I totally agree with your take on the problem. My experiences in the US Military included several instances of dealing with mass casualties and relief efforts (India,
Africa, Indonesia, and Central America) have shown me how merciless desparate peole can be. You need to protect your family.


Josh July 1, 2010 at 10:06 am

In a small scale catastrophe, (i.e. ice storm/power outage) I am going to have to go with give them some food and tell them to keep moving. In a large scale disaster/collapse of society, I doubt that I am going to be in any position to give handouts.


Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm



caine30 July 25, 2010 at 7:39 am

hey hey little bro I tend to agree with you but think of it like this where i already have an established group and plenty of fire power and more joining every year what would it hurt to teach some how to live,

I read a shirt that said somthing like this "if you give a guy a fish you feed him for a day, If you teach him how to fish you feed him all his life"

spend some time teaching them how to survive and you will have an allie that is close. try reading "the Tri-states manifesto" it was written by William W. Johnstone. it lays down the rules that my group use we are of like mind with mixed races you can not revert back to far or you loose something that makes us human shuting yourself in is not going to help to restore order in the world it has to have a firm hand standing it back up dusting it off and saying is that all you got. be a teacher of the future my friend.


Josh July 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm

There is a song "Give A Man A Fish" by "Arrested Development" about that that philosophy. It must be really nice to have an established group like that, it is something I would not mind having. I am going to have to look at that paper, it looks interesting.

Thank you for sharing your ideas and incite.
Your friend,


caine30 July 27, 2010 at 1:08 am

it is a book he has some great ideas


Milli May 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Depending where you live, ice storms (and definetely not power outages) don't tend to keep you from society for long, I don't see what would be the drawback to letting them stay with you. In my opinion, you are being too careful.


Bill July 1, 2010 at 7:47 pm

They get a little food, a little aid, and sent on..Giving them somewhat less than asked for gives the illusion you are 'less well off' than actual. Don't show them ANYTHING! Not members, not stores or ANY resources.It could be an intel gathering trip, not what it seems! CYA, live long…


Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Very good points Bill. OpSec will be the major concern here, and giving them something will also be a psychological game to some extent.

I like you idea about giving them less to appear less well off.


Michael July 1, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Old fashioned rolled oats are 6ยข a serving at Costco. Let them eat oatmeal! I’ve got 300 servings worth of the stuff out in the garage.


Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 8:02 pm


Nice I like that. If you have good security they won't know that you have all of the real goodies hidden somewhere else. and hungry people will be apt to take whatever you give them.


Michael July 4, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I’ve got all sorts of stuff out in the garage. If we ever get to a point where I’m worried about people stealing food, most of it will get moved under my stairs and I’ll push a bookcase infront of the acesss door


Ray July 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm

This is a case by case situation. Do they have their own supplies that they can add to the group? what are their trades and talents? Do they benefit the group? This is a hard question to answer. Short term crisis, I say help. Long term crisis I say assess the situation on a case by case basis.


Glock2291 July 1, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I agree with Ray. I know it sounds ruthless, but surviving is a business. If they don't have much to bring to the table, and their presence would be more a liability than an asset, it's your job (as the leader of the situation I am assuming) to do what is logical and better for the survival of your family or group, as opposed to what's better for the survival of the visitors


Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm

You guys bring up a good point.

For example, if it were someone I know, or could prove, that he/she was a physician I would bend over backwards to get them to join my group (since I have no real medical training outside of first aid).


caine30 July 25, 2010 at 7:48 am

it is not ruthless it is senseable in an SHTF situation the ones to watch out for are the ones that want somthing for nothing but on the flip side if you turn those type away you have just made your first enemy.

in my honest opinoin the ones that are trash will not be willing to work for food. they will be the ones that are bullies and no hygene a security risk and trouble in a big way. would rather let someone else do the work for them then complain when it is done that it was not done right well TS to those ones they can keep on trucking and never know what your AOP can do.


Miss August 5, 2010 at 1:53 am

I'm with Ray. Short term, the supplies can be replaced, help all you can. It's the real thing to do.

If supplies were becoming impossible to get before "this" happened, and people are dying everywhere, things are different. Those applying for help get judged. If we can really use them, they get brought in after a good examination. Those useless to us, but needy enough get a little bit of help and sent on their way. I can't save the world, but for my loved ones I'll try my damndest.


adventureK9(YT) November 6, 2010 at 8:43 am

Since a dog isn't a tool like a knife of gun, or other miscellaneous piece of gear designed for a specific function that can just sit on a shelf, I would say to pick your "survival dog" based on your current lifestyle and not what you think you may need should the SHTF. Remember, that you need to live with this animal for a lot of years, day to day, perhaps never having to use the traits that would make it a good "survival dog". So pick wisely.

In my opinion my Belgian Malinois is the perfect "survival dog" because she meets all of MY criteria for a good all-around "survival dog". That criteria being:
1. well trained, and will listen to me in any situation (talking off-leash here).
2. athletic enough to keep pace with my every move.
3. confident and able enough to overcome any physical or environmental challenge.
4. conditioned to gunfire, so she won't bolt should I have to engage with a gun.
5. quiet when she needs to be, but will be very imposing when a threat is near.
6. light enough that I can carry on my shoulders, and lift over fences, but big enough to be imposing should I have to bug-out.
7. fast enough to catch small game should I run out of ammo.
8. all-weather coat for all seasonal conditions in MY region.
9. sound genetics and good health, including dental health
10. keenly alert and naturally cautious of strangers.
11. extreme loyalty to me!

I think sound off-leash obedience and good confidence are the two attributes that are a MUST regardless of which breed you go with, because those to qualities will be called into EVERY situation that comes your way.


MikeH. November 27, 2010 at 12:40 am

I have to agree to some degree, no pun intended. We have to be smart and access each situation as it comes along, but one way to find out their true intentions is to ask them if THEY have any food, water, or supplies that would help you and your family. After you figure out what they truly wnat and like you said, what skills they may possess to help your group, then decide how to move forward. I have to say, for the most part, act like you are hungry and are in need and send them packing, and then just have to understand and accept, it's your group/ family that you are responsible for.


Michael July 2, 2010 at 12:24 am

I'm approaching this sort of thing with the idea that helping getting community going again after some sort of big too-do is part of my job. So, I've got a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins and peanut butter for the whole neighborhood to have for breakfast for a few days (didn't cost that much either) . One of neighbors probably isn't very prepared, but he's handy with a hammer and a welder. Another neighbor is a retired doctor. There's a guy a little way up the street that by the DOD tag on his windshield looks to be some sort of officer in the army. If something big goes down, we'll get together over oatmeal and figure out what to do next.


Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Absolutely. In the "Emergency" book Neil Strauss makes some good points about this.

He started out just preparing for himself, but eventually joined his local CERT team and started helping people in regular everyday emergencies like car wrecks and fires.

Long term effect of your plan: if some happens again later you will be "that guy that helped everybody" which could be a really good thing or a really bad thing. That's kind of a stretch scenario though.


aj52 July 3, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I have a similar situation in that I am taking inventory of the people around me. I have started trying something that I offer as a possibility to see if there is common interest. I am telling people I saw a good movie called 'The Road". I am using their responses as , if they watch it, a litmus test of sorts in deciding to persue discussion or not. Two positive hits from co-workers. After watching it with my wife she no longer rolls her eyes and calls me Rambo. We are in agreement about the need to prep and she is actually pushing for more supplies and firearm training. She now gets the old saying,"Dig the well before you are thirsty'


Chief Instructor July 2, 2010 at 1:30 am

Yeah, this is the $64k question. I'm in the camp that, if I know it's a localized disaster – hurricane, earthquake, etc., I'll give as much of my extra long-term supplies as I've got, since I know that I'll be able to replace them.

If it's a One Second After scenario, it all comes down to resources and skills. You had better have one or the other, or you're going hungry.

It's harsh, but my family comes first.


Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 8:07 pm

" It's harsh, but my family comes first. "

Absolutely. In a One Second After scenario I'm going to be doing my best to avoid contact with anybody.


Dustin July 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm

I don't subscribe to this, but I've heard of people who prepare "charity packets" with a little subsistence in it, then it is offered to those in need with the warning "I don't have much – take this, but if you come back or send others …[insert firm, but sincere threat here, usually something along the lines of "having their weight substantially increased through the addition of lead to their system"].


Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Key point to this strategy: Be able to back it up.

Also, I think you would have to be careful sounding too scripted in your "this is all I can spare" pitch or they might not buy it.


aj52 July 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm

As stated above it depends on the situation. For me,charity with extreme caution! As a practical matter I would never have any type of contact without someone in an overwatch position prepared to act in the event I give the prearranged distress signal. I would never allow myself to be physically moved into a position outside my overwatchs capabilities. Generators running,food grilling and other activiesare could draw a crowd. If you played the poor church mouse at some time and some of the crowd knows it, be prepared for attitude.A less than lethal response could include a riot control sized pepper fogger. And of course your overwatch is covering your back!


ParkerBK July 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I would probably be charitable where I could, but I'd be more inclined to trade for things I have than to give them away for free.


Wayne October 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm

I know this is kind of off subject, but another way to have fast drinkable water is simply take it out of your hot water heater. Most homes have between 30 and 55 gallon tanks, you would want to close off the valave at the top to keep new water from coming in if you believe the public water to be contaminated, but for all intensive purposes. A hot water heater has drinkable water in it, a lot of people overlook this water source. Also I would like to appologize if there is a pst somewhere else regarding this, I haven't had a chance to view all links as of yet.


Melinda July 4, 2010 at 8:50 pm

So many good points have been made here, some I had thought of and some not. I would certainlly want to help others but I'd be afraid to risk it in certain situations. This is a topic that still needs a lot of soul-searching and discussion in our homr.


Lucas_SurvCache July 9, 2010 at 10:26 pm

And probably will still have to be decided on a situation by situation basis, I think.


Carl July 5, 2010 at 7:37 pm

My comments will appear harsh to some, but please consider them. My posture in any survival situation where others may "need" something I have, is: to have, but appear to have not. One cannot part with something they do not have. Giving any form of supplies to anyone will invite unnecessary speculation that you in fact have more than you appear to have- and that might get them, or you, injured. Better to injure no-one and leave them to believe you are worse off than they are.


Resh July 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm

That’s actually similar to my perspective on it in a long term situation. I may be on friendly terms with my neighbor, and when they come knocking I would want to spare a bit for them… but when hunger and starvation starts gnawing on them and their family they are going to go back to where they got food in the past. That leads to a whole mess of problems that I wouldn’t want to deal with in that large scale/long term of a disaster. I can think of a lot of nightmare situations arising from that, like forcibly having to deny them access to supplies, them telling other people that I have supplies in order to get a riot crowd on my doorstep, or just plain bitterness and anger being placed toward me as they starve and do something drastic like setting my house on fire at night.

If it seems like there might be an end to the disaster and a return to life as normal I think I’d probably do what I could to help a limited number of people. For something long term though… appearing to not have anything while taking care of the group seems like it would be the safest way to go both for us and those who might need to be stopped from coming back for seconds. Then again, I’m in a city with 6 feet or so between houses so a bug in scenario for me would be a lot more trying than for those in rural areas.


bigraves August 31, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I am also in the 6 foot neighbor realm. Urban setup (on a golf course) in the country. Having lived in Floriday, aluminum shutters over the windows were standard to keep debris out. A close neighborhood in Colorado has me looking to secure the house with the same metal sheets, but on the INSIDE of the house. Quick to install, easy to maintain, and difficult to penetrate. This can provide my basement, naturally temp controlled, security from intruders for a while and a safe sleeping environment. The basement scenario allows me to help neighbors on the ground level, but not allow access (visual or otherwise) to stores, family members, etc.


Lucas_SurvCache July 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm


I don't think your comments are harsh. It sounds rough on the outside, but really what you are saying is you want to protect your family, and other people, if you can help it.

Keeping your supplies hidden is the best way to do that.


Prepared1 July 8, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Family will always come first. I would have to make my decision based on the person that showed up. If it was a neighbor and I felt I could keep them at arms length I may help. But if it was a complte stranger God would have to move me to help because I wouldn't be hospitable otherwise. I would not want to put my family into harm's way to aid somone else.


Lucas_SurvCache July 9, 2010 at 10:29 pm

There's a TwilightZone episode set in the 50's where the man is building a nuclear fallout shelter for his family.

All of the neighbors make fun of him, until of course, a "bomb" is coming and they are all going to die.

They were his best friends and neighbors but as soon as they new what was going to happen they were ready to kill him to get into his shelter and food.

Just a point that friends and neighbors might not be any more of a better choice than strangers, people will do anything when hungry enough.


easyskanker July 11, 2010 at 4:34 am

As much of a cynic as I am & as much as I can't stand people, I would take the person in in most cases. If only because I've always depended on the kindness of strangers (hitchhiking, random favours, etc)
I believe in karma.


caine30 July 27, 2010 at 1:10 am

that is good and all that but sometimes you have to look at the situation before you decide taking people in on blind faith is not always a good thing.


A1C Baland July 12, 2010 at 2:16 am

This is great question, i believe it mainly depends on the stranger you meet up with, if he/she seems the slightest bit shady i would say help them out with some supplies and let them be on their way, but if they proved themselves to be trustworthy on you’re first impression and you believed that they could be a strong asset i would have to say give them a chance and if the continue to prove themselves useful you might have just made a very valuable companion that could save your life in the future.


Simon July 12, 2010 at 11:45 am

Don’t have enough to go around(or just don’t want people to think you do)but still want to help(/salve your conscience)? Print up some flyers with basic survival info. Basic first aid, water purification, shelter construction, and a list of local edible plants could help a lot of people(and make them grateful to you)without actually putting your family at risk.


Anthony R. July 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

There is no black and white answer to this debate. Decisions would be made on a case by case basis. But generally if I felt the people in need of help were trustworthy and would benefit collective survival efforts then I would help them and train them as members of the group but if I were unsure of their motives and felt threatened by them then they were probably better off never crossing my path.


OutLander777 July 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Its not that hard to say it. You are on Your Own. I have struggled and skimped to be able to put all of what I have away to help keep my family in food, water and shelter. I've been at this for years and have lost items and sold items to gain better items and supplies. I can not risk that my children and grandchildren will go with out because I gave something away to others. Besides if you happened on to my front door, you must have come looking for me. If you just stumbled upon me where I'm at you must have had something to get you there and run out. You should have done better. Only people in my family group are of blood or marriage. The rest are just a Threat.


KarlRove July 27, 2010 at 4:03 am

Here is how it really sits folks. You need 3 plans. #1. Short term disaster, #2 Mid-length disaster and #3. Of the Grid forever (as far as your concerned) disaster. In the first case the things that people know about you and your preparedness should only extend to the limited supplies you keep on hand for normal emergency and you should be willing to share those until the stuff shakes out. In case two you need to have a backup stash that is hidden and not known to anyone but those you KNOW beyond knowing are trustworthy….and that means 1 or 2 people MAX!! You can refill your short term stash from the secondary when the time (dark rainy nights etc) is right and make sure you don't leave a trail. It can be kept close to the house but well hidden….think geo-tubes that hold supplies.


KarlRove July 27, 2010 at 4:03 am

In the last case you better have a bug out path with a hidden stash and the ability to protect you and your family (make up your mind that you can't save everyone) and you don't let anyone know you are even alive if you can help it! Most will never put in place more than the first two steps, but that is a mistake…we have had "Off the Grid" disasters in the past and they will come again…think dark ages…and so you must be prepared even if you never use it, and I hope I never will!


Jerry July 27, 2010 at 9:43 am

Help if you can, because even if you have what you need you may have to still bug out if something else happens and you can't stay in place anymore, then you may be the one who needs something. If you have helped someone they may be the ones later with something that you might need. and they may remember your kindness and if you were a jerk to them they will remember that too. something to think about. It is not always good to burn your bridges.


kev July 27, 2010 at 8:29 am

if the sheeyit does hit the fan 1 family / group will not bring us back.. Man did not stand on the moon from the labour of one man. united we stand………..


Jack July 30, 2010 at 11:23 am

I believe any decision to 'help' strangers to your group must made with your personal survival as the number one priority, not the ostensible 'needs' or desperation of the stranger. Body language should give you many clues as to whether the stranger is truely 'in need' or merely scoping out you and your group. Sometimes decision-making is a difficult thing, but even a difficult and distasteful decision to survive is better than a suicidal one.


Robert August 2, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Depends on several things: The nature of the catastrophic event, disposition of the people wanting "In", their inherent value to the group, etc. Survival is about surviving, not necessarily "Providing" for other unless they bring with them a measure of value to the overall group. Since you can't take care of everyone you would need to be very, very selective. Others have diferent political/social opintions than you. What's yours may seem as "theirs" to them.


Emerson August 5, 2010 at 9:06 pm

If anyone is watching that new show "The Colony" on the Discovery Channel, a group of 3 outsiders came in and the colony-group gave them a single small box of something and sent them on their way without showing the 3 outsiders what they truly had stored. That group of 3 outsiders turned into 20 within a day, and they stole all the colony-group's medical supplies. I feel that this scenario is fairly representative of a true disaster situation and, in the event of a true SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situation, if I don't know you personally, you get nothing. My family comes first and I will provide for them before others.


Peter August 6, 2010 at 2:30 am

What is happening at Survivalcache? We have not received any new posts for over a month. Could somebody, anybody contact us a let us know what is happening? We're having serious 'Cache' withdrawals.


Dennis August 7, 2010 at 2:55 am

A couple points about bring them in or letting them leave. One letting someone in means that they might be a spy for another group and you just been targeted. Second turning them out might open you up for revenge. There is no good solution except to hide and hope no one or no group finds you.


Chris August 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm

A very good argument! Theres a lot of food for though here. Also – this scenario was displayed on 'the colony' in season 2 episode 2. While it is reality TV, in this situation it is a good idea of the 'you have supplies- we'll be back' option.


nifi August 24, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I must say, after reading all of these posts, I must ask the question "why survive?" If the only point is to outlive your competition it seems like a waste. I understand the need to be cautious (and am actually of the same mind set). But surviving in this matter in a PAW seems to ensure my own demise is lonely if somewhat delayed by excellent prep.

Hidden benefits to charity:

In the PAW, information may be hard to come by, and an exchange for a meal would seem like a "good enough" exchange by an outsider (maybe plan to play this up, sharing may seem an act of desperation instead of charity if you are constantly asking about a particular region/relative).

Also, the long term benefits of unity will become apparent the first time someone in the solo/small unit becomes sick. If as the husband/father/sole adult male you become injured or ill during harvest, you may not be able to gather enough of your harvest before winter, and that's all she wrote about your whole family. Spreading the risk is part of what community is actually about.

Early on especially requires caution, especially for short term/regional issues when looting is as much a hobby as it is a career. In the long term, I am fearful that the solitary/small group that doesn't band together will also be lost to injury, illness, or even depression and suicide.

Hopefully food for thought and an encouragement to review new situations and scenarios.


KarpJ August 29, 2010 at 9:28 am

Clearly "The Colony" insults the intellegence of the true survivalist. In the ostensible 'attack' on the colony all I saw on the part of either the colonists or the intruders was a bunch of pushing and shoving – certainly not what would happen were the incident to happen in "reality". It would get ugly and bloody and FAST! If you come to steal from me and mine (in a life or death situation) – we have to take you out with extreme prejudice. I know it's only a TV show but save the disingenuine drama for "The Housewives of Orange County." People need to understand that a scenario as described in The Colony would require a ruthless determination to survive and prosper and there would be no room for a schoolyard shoving match.


1TexasPatriot August 30, 2010 at 12:37 am

As selfish as it sounds, they would have to bring something to the table, skill, food to share, intel, ammunition etc. Once everything falls apart, it's about building the best team, forming loyal alliances. Not feelings.


Matt September 23, 2010 at 1:26 am

Rather than thinking about a vague event, let's think about the reasons that TSHTF: Act of God, government action or war.

For an Act of God I would share my supplies. For government action, I might still share my supplies. For war, no sharing.

The next fan hitting will be nuclear war – first in the Middle East, then against America in retaliation. Survivalists should be sealed up in their underground bunkers for the first 30 days. Probably not a good idea to answer the door. After 30 days most neighbors will be dead or dying, so no issue with sharing supplies.


2R4U September 28, 2010 at 9:15 pm

The main problem is "Now and Then"… Yeah see the harsh reality is I can't feed every kid, I can't protect every woman, and I don't give a damn about the men unless they can and will contribute… The tough reality is that a woman these days is mostly relying on her smile and charm to get by when in reality they are about as worthless as boobs on a bore. Then take into consideration she maybe prego or may get prego or worse has snot nosed brats in toe and ya got a huge problem… I say send em on their way, as a group we have to think about ourselves and how we are to make it though the tough times… Like I said before, in times like this the rules have changed…


MadManDan October 12, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Our plan deals with this in depth. There will be absolutely no handouts from our group. In the first 24 hours under strict guidelines, I'll take in women only, because at that point enemies will be unlikely to be fully organized. Any unknown would be strictly forbidden from going anywhere near food stores, weapons, or water supply for safety/intel reasons. After 24 hours, I would take a different middle ground, I would assist people in setting up a small camp of their own, about a mile or 2 away, with some stone age tools, offer some amount of limited protection from my group, and a set of rules to follow. Great care must still be taken to make sure that the smaller camp doesn't grow more powerful than you or exhaust local food supplies. You might think about adopting people into the main camp after a certain amount of time, but that currently isn't in my plan.


Jerry October 25, 2010 at 12:38 am

A lot of you forget or don’t know history. there have been times where people had to survive after a desaster and most worked together to do it. There will be some that want to steal from you, and others who will help you. Remember even your best laid plans may be out the window if it is something that prevent’s from going to your safe site. (I learned that in the Army.) You maybe the one in need begging for food despite all your careful planing. You really won’t know what you will do untill it happens. just like war. A lot of the guys who talk the bravado maybe the first to run and the one you least expects rises up and saves the day. from cave man to now. At the moment only the Russians and The Chinese have any ability to send any nukes our way in mass, and it is not in there interest to do so. If a desease or worse happens it will be like it was a few hundred years ago. I’m not worried about all these what if’s If you have enough to survive and some weapons too. and if we do somehow have one big dog eat dog world left then you will have to make some friends and the ones you don’t think you want to take on well you can give them like an ensure and a little water that you have just for that and send them on their way looking down your gun. If it’s that bad there won’t be many left anyway.


Daegnus October 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Vegetable Seeds. You never know how long you're going to be stuck, food supplies run out, the best option is to be able to grow your own. I recommend root vegetables and greens. Carrots, beets, radishes, kale, chard, mustards, and lettuces. Other vegetables are fine too, but generally take longer seasons to grow.


Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Good point Dustin, how many people you have in your group versus how many you need might be a consideration when inviting people in.


Peter August 6, 2010 at 2:24 am


I haven't received any 'Cashes' for over a month. Is there anything wrong with Lucas?


Rastus McGee October 31, 2010 at 3:29 pm

antidisab, I had a bug in my ear once, it'll drive you nuts! I put rubbing alcohole in it but I was fixing to pur a Coca-Cola in there to bubble it out, any liquid that doesn't hurt you would probably work but a small bug sure can drive you batty!


caine30 July 25, 2010 at 7:28 am

I personally would not want people to know how much I have or where it is stashed that is why my caches are not directly at my AOPs they are close but not at.

I would not turn them away coldly but i would not bring them into the fold blindly. and i tend to agree with you servingbrother that people with go for what ever big brother says even if it means forced relocation which they would tend to look at depending on the severity of the situation. If a small group shows up set them up with their own AOP away from yours and keep a close eye on what they do you can tell which ones are going to be your problems by how well they help each other.


Genghis October 31, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Don't forget papones, for they are good for bullit wounds. They soak up the blood faster and can be pulled out and replaced quicker. Simple items can help you more than you think they can!!!!


caine30 July 27, 2010 at 1:13 am

its not cold its called trade lol. I feel that those who are not willing to help out others that are helping them are just a waste of my air so i can honestly say teach them how and say good by


Roman Redna November 6, 2010 at 8:17 pm

It's very simple. When all things come to survival and your life or theirs, which would you choose? If you have a family, immediate or distant that you need to care for, they're will be your top priority and no level of consciousness will change that. Your wife needs food, your child needs food. Food is a precious resource. If a stranger comes knocking, one with a family of their own, they will be as desperate to take what you have as they will be to simply ask for it.

As for remaining hidden, do not be where your enemies can find you. If your position is compromised, it's time to move.

Most things in these scenario have only one alternative: You die. (Or put yourself in a position where your survival rate drastically declines.)

Those that have no conscience, that fend for themselves and protect their own, will have a higher survival rate overall than others. It may be a tough choice for some, but the alternatives are worse.


Melanie November 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Family First. Whether to take someone in will be decided by family together on these (1) does this person have any kind of mental disorder, high maintenance medical problem, a prima donna, a complainer, gregarious talker, overweight pig that will break into the supplies when no one is looking and gorge themselves, etc (HECK NO. Move along.) (2) Protection first. what do you have to offer us as far as protection. guns, fighting skills, etc. (3)Have a service/trade to offer in exchange for food, (4) Help provide food whenever possible by finding a job/barter/hunting/etc, (5) no one will sit around being lazy. Everyone has a job to do, if they don't do it. then they are out. (6)no future friends, family members are permitted after we take you in. (7) you will sacrifice your life for protection of mine and my family. If they fail to protect any of my family members in an emergency-well if one of my family dies cause they didn't help then…..figure it out.(will be understood and agreed upon before they are allowed in).


wildone_uk November 25, 2010 at 9:26 am

short term disaster i would help, long term disaster,i would turn them away, my only problem what if its asmall child,??????


Guest December 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm

It depends:

Ideal situation:

We'll be far enough off the beaten track that anyone who gets to us will have to have some decent skills just to make the trip. They'll have potential. If my gut doesn't like something about them — they'll be given a vector and an invitation to follow it. If they don't like that, I'll have my overwatch illuminate them to see if they can recognize the error of their ways.

Less than ideal:

I'll be a grunt/non-com at a fallback location and it won't be my call. I trust the men who'll be in charge, but will keep a close eye on any newbs, all the same. I'll be one of the marksmen in overwatch.

Really bad:

It'll be me and mine that find ourselves afoot somewhere between home and one of our BORs — s o o o . . . the shoes will definitely be on the other feet. As long as we have food, we'll keep out of sight and moving toward our destination.

No plan survives first contact.


JCM December 9, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Not to sound heartless but…if the individual isnt a small child or other innocent…shoot them in the head and go about your day.It’s the “End of Days” right?I’m not dying because someone else was so stupid they didnt see it coming.Even more importantly I’m not dying because that person turns out to be a murderer who kills me and takes my stuff.That’s why there is a no trespassing sign outside my fence.


Enzo December 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm

It depends. If it is a minor SHTF scenario, then I'll glady help them out and send them on their way. If it is TEOTWAWKI, then I would see if they have any useful skills. If so, they are welcome. If they don't have any useful skills, supplies or means to live, they are going to die anyway and I don't need them competing with my remaining resources, so I would shoot them.


LesStroudfan January 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm

this really depends on the longitiviy of the disaster. if it was a local, small crisis like a hurricane or a flash flood then i would definitely lend out all the help i could dish out.

however, i would also consider this point too: when i was in elementary school, all of the kids would ask me for school supplies such as pencils or paper simply because i was the "nice guy in class" (wat eva). eventually, i had to severe my aid so that i would have supplies for myself.

all in all, if faced with this question, i would play it safe and be a little selfish to perserve myself and those i care about the most.


Chance January 31, 2011 at 11:21 am

I had this conversation with a friend once. He owns a large spot up in the mountains. Once a year he hosts a survival based retreat. The common theme seemed to be that if anything ever happend we would all show up there. I spoke to him later about it. He told me that he would shoot most of them before they could cross the creek. I was suprised by this. Of course I asked if I would be shot as well. He said he diddnt know yet. I have no hard feelings toward him. I am glad to see this in its truelite.


James Felix February 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm

In my social circle I'm a lone ant surrounded by grasshoppers. None of these people are prepared for even the most minor disruption of our infrastructure, never mind TEOTWAWKI.

But I also know damn well that when TSHTF they're all going to show up at my place, their jokes about how crazy I am forgotten. With that in mind I've built a "freeloader factor" into my plans. I just stockpile more of everything than I really need. Since I have no children this is much easier for me than it would be for many people here, it's certainly not a viable option for everyone.

For strangers though I'm in the "give'em some oatmeal and send them on their way" camp. There's always the chance they'll be back looking for more than you're able to give, but that's what the 3500 rounds of .308 is for.


YooperJim February 23, 2011 at 8:28 am

The decision to take someone in, send them packing or really send them packing…some of your stuff…is really situational. As a Christian I cannot allow myself to send someone packing unless they are clearly showing hostile intent. That leaves me to always allowing someone into my home for at a minimum a hot meal then I would send them with a packed meal. In cases of Inclement weather I could see myself allowing them to stay in my home until the weather improved enough to allow them to move on. However, I would think twice before I sent away someone with a skill set that would be invaluable i.e. a doctor…Now let me first say that your family comes first, their providence and safety is your responsibility, at least it is in my case, and before I allowed anyone entry into my home I would make it very clear it was under my authority and my rules the moment they walked into my home, and ESPECIALLY if they were going to take up permenent residence with us. The individual would be expected to participate in the labor around the home as anyone else would be. thats all i got.


Gutter1 March 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Absolutely no entry into my home. If they have supplies i can use i will take them and then send them on their way.
I am joking i think but i definitely would not welcome them in.


KvG March 2, 2011 at 10:27 am

There is only three days worth of food for the population of a city. The animals (people who choose to take advantage of a situation to loot, rape and murder) will loot stores, drug stores, and hospitals. about 3 days of looting before they really start to get hungry and realizd they cannot eat the DvD player or jewelry. Now they hit supermarkerts that have already been totally looted. Where do they get food? They come to your house and take it. You can be forced to leave your house if the animals set it on fire (Animals travel in packs.) Point here – your home is not your castle. You have 3 days to get out the city. Also, in a SHFT situation if you can afford to give out handouts this will tip others off that you have a stockpile of food. Do not underestimate the use of children or women to get you to drop your defenses.


Horse November 15, 2011 at 12:31 am

That's the Judas goat idea, leading others to the slaughter.


ruger110 March 11, 2011 at 10:39 am

I've heard that during the Katrina disaster there were government entities that were sending out scouts dressed as civilians to look for what they called "hoarders" , we call them "preppers", who have stockpiled supplies and when they located them they confiscated their supplies for distribution to the general public.
I'm not spending my time and money to prep for my families survival just to have the national guard or some other government force come and take what's mine and put it in a community stockpile to distribute to those who didn't make the effort to prepare, With this in mind I might make an effort to help the occational drifter but I would make sure they didn't know exactly how much I have and where it's located, I might even go as far as having a small supply for that purpose, maybe items at the end of their shelf life that need to be used up before it goes bad. You can bet I'd be very suspicous and if I had any reason to think they were spies or any kind of threat, they wouldn't live to report back to whoever sent them.


The_Mastermind August 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm

As far as these agents checking for supplies, please, cite your source. You have made me curious.


Darin August 20, 2011 at 5:14 am

It came up in conversation with others at the local surplus store, not exactly a credible source but I also worked for a trucking company that sent out a qualcomm message during the disasters aftermath, it ordered all trucks out of the area immediately, it gave an area description and said do not stop until you are out of the area even if it meant violating the drivers hours of service regulations. It said not to stop for anyone except authorities and not to resist giving up the load if they wanted to confiscate it.


The_Mastermind August 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Interesting. Honestly, it doesn't surprise me in the least that they would do that and while I won't exactly see them as an opponent to a lorry driver, I don't think it is right to take people's supplies that they built up with their own money, it's just not ok for them to do. It's theft, really.

Interesting story, I will see if I can legitimize it through searching stuff.


David March 2, 2012 at 10:17 pm

I was there for 45 days with the 45th INF.. and I can tell you that this is not true…even after the manditory evacutaion there were still a few hold outs that we looked after…the "gov" didn't show up until after everything was secured… the only "people" that you had to look out for was the NOLA PD… the few people that were still holding on were the ones helping out the most!.. looking for and takeing in people that did not have the ability to get out of town as well as informing my teams af the ones that needed the help the most.

Fyrguy335 March 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I’m inclined to agree with Ken, they could be conducting recon.
Helping humanity has to go through a triage mindset. I’d be upset first and foremost that someone found my home and would be thinking twice about letting them live long enough to tell others where me and my supplies are. I also don’t like the thought of bringing them into the fold. Potential for uprisings. I think my only option would be to use the three rounds and bury the guests.


threehawks March 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I would probably help…to an extent. But even with that, I would let the person(s) know that I am the Alpha male and if they become a problem they will be exiled. If they become a threat, they will be killed.


T.Rapier April 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Very hard choices . I depends on the situation but I agree with a lot of posters , I would most likely take in . Yes your supplies would get drained faster but if you believe in any kind of afterlife or judgment for ill deeds later , it makes it easier . Its also what separates you from the animals . Personally prefer an Arthurian approach to life no matter how bad it gets , the pregnant woman can have my daily ration of food .


T.Rapier April 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Alpha males die the fastest cuz there is ALWAYS somebody smarter and more bad ass than yourself , not to mention make enemies the quickest . Ya gotta sleep sometime and ya gotta eat , drink and work …….. too many ways for somebody to kill YOU . Think with your head , not your emotions . Have honor , be vigilant but also be just . No free ticket in life , it will eventually come back on ya . Everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time , and everybody gets old .


guest April 3, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I think all the above comments are well thought out and informative. However consider the following generic scenario. You are in a situation where you hiding (race,creed,supplies/weapons/food). a group of people you know that know you are the type to be able to protect them/locate supplies show up at your location asking for help/shelter/food and possibly to survive along side them. I think as long as more people in your group do not give away your position then you should take them in. However there should be the condition that its your roof and your rules. If they eat your food now, they owe you to help replenish your stocks however that might be accomplished. In this type of situation loyalty must be pledged.


bob April 8, 2011 at 8:11 pm

i tend to disagree with everyone on each side. family, yes i take them in, except my lazy bro and inlaw
bro , both who are lazy shiftless bums and mooches. females cook and clean, in laws eat and sleep and expect you to do for them..not on my plantation . you werk from dawn to dusk and you might get a piece of bread and a bowl of soup. if i'm in a generous mood. same goes fer strangers. you better have something werth while to trade for what you want or you be wasting my time . times are rough enuff right now. don't bore me with sob stories, i got my own problems


HawaiianStyle April 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I am on the fence on this one. I do believe in bieng charitable and bieng “Chirstlike ” but the devil in me is saying why weren’t they prepared , or why this or why that ….. But I guess it all comes down to what they can bring to the table that we both could benefit from.


stickman April 27, 2011 at 9:57 am

no good deed goes unpunished…


E5 Keven May 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I would ask em how they vote and take it from there.


TINDERWOLF May 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Tough, tough, tough. Small scale event where things will come back to normal i.e. natural disasters, I would be charitable as much as I could without putting my family at risk. However, in TEOTWAWKI, it is a play by play call. Overall my family comes first and I am not inviting anymore chaos into out prepared group if it can be helped.


TNTCrazyLady May 23, 2011 at 8:17 am

My family and Friends (yes capital F) know that if they come to me during a crisis, they must bring a fixed amount of necessity to life items and other supplies with them. I am one person, with 1 person’s worth of supplies that I can effectively rotate; I have limited space so I can give them shelter – not their own bed or bedroom. I have set their expectations realistically by stressing their responsibility to bring their own supplies and be willing to work to sustain them. A preparedness/survival group must do the same!


steven June 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm

well there is actually a 4th option that no one mentioned.. you could just kill them when they show up. it isn't the most morally right thing to do but really if you think about it it's the most logical.

because if you bring them in you lose resources and will be noticed by the outside world and if you don't bring them in you will be noticed by the outside world.

if you kill anyone that shows up you will be safe.

well another option i just thought of is that you could be picky who you bring in that would be useful to your group while killing the rest.

you can't be weak in TEOTWAWKI


Bill June 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Most of the end-of-the-world novels I've read (Alas Babylon, Lucifer's Hammer, etc.) convinced me that I'm going to face moochers and militants long before I've expended my Stay-Put food and water. That means hooking up with a small group of like-minded survivors to pool our resources and skills. But there's the rub: like-minded people. When things get really bad, I want to know the people I am yoked with really really well. Here some questions I think should be an essential part of any survival plan: (next post)


Colt July 5, 2011 at 10:15 am

This may be radical, but if society breaks down my #1 goal beyond the immediate survival of me and my son, is to get it going again. I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I like society. :)

This is actually a major factor in my survival planning and I consider everything I do in terms of how do I accommodate adding the resources of my neighbors into making it better for everyone. Surviving on my own is going to be a pain in the ass. Look, there's just WAY more manpower required to accomplish everything that needs to be done than I can do alone. But, if I have the plans and resources available, add my neighbor to wield my extra hoe and maybe his back yard, and all of a sudden I might be able to get enough crop variety in to feed the both of us year round.


Prep4theDay September 12, 2011 at 12:23 am

I want to live on your island, man. That crazy nazi dude above your comment wants to just kill everybody. I got a feeling that he probably doesn't even have the vast amount of stockpiles and comforts worth killing over. Some of the others are only a little less extreme.

I agree with you that the sooner we reestablish society the better. If it gets to the point of having to completely reinvent society… wow… kinda scary.

I've seen 1st hand what makes people kill. Been deployed twice and worked in ER's and worked in jails. Believe it or not, I still have faith in humanity. I'm prepared to protect my family with deadly force, but SOME of the reasons these guys are using are just plain paranoid and/or cowardly. The only scenario I can think of where you wouldn't help is when earth's resources are GONE (nukes, chemical, meteor) and the whole thing is a wasteland. Other than that… well… society WILL return and then you'll be judged for your behavior/actions.


MjeanM September 6, 2011 at 6:38 am

I wouldnt take someone i didnt know before disaster hit. From a parents perspective, its like not picking up a hitch-hiker with your kids in the car. Id give them water but thats about it. Maybe food, and a good knife that i might have spare if they have kids themselves but even then i still wouldnt let them stay with my group.

It sounds cruel but its about YOUR family surviving,


squiddy1 October 10, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I agree with most, If I know you and more importantly can TRUST you mabey, If not I have a wife and family that I need to take care of first.
Because I will be able to help others better from a posistion of strength rather than weakness. With that being said SECURITY first Nobody knows what I have from stores to weapons and the simple facts are they wont I am not a newspaper AD telling what I have in my house, Now If GOD tells me to help someone than yes no doubt if not then there is doubt


Steve October 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Impossible for anyone to develop an all risk policy on this topic. As someone who is part of the "thin blue line" believe when I say, you will not know who is nice or not. Humans make the best predators, no species has killed more of their on than humans. Criminals understand recon, and who to send, the sweet and inoscent, just readers of this newsletter would send a hardy capable member of their team for scrounging. Best to be gray and out of sight. Moral adjustments will be balenced by the length and intensity of the event. What is stealing today, may not be tomorrow.


Thrivalist October 26, 2011 at 9:23 pm

This is a no brainer. Nobody gets in. You should have prepared. I've lugged your asses around my whole life. Now you starve. Go protest or loot and we'll sort one another out Darwin style.


Jon November 3, 2011 at 10:17 am

The scenario that J. W. Rawles had in his book 'Patriots' describes my belief pretty well on this topic. Keep in mind this is assuming you have a fortified retreat and are aptly prepared, meaning that your retreat is located in an area that not a lot of people are aware of. You should only meet a few beggars in your area. You can never have too much basic supplies. You should calculate how much supplies you need for your party's long haul now, work on actually accumulating it, and then get more. Roughly 10-20% more. This excess can be used for charity or bartering. Being a good neighbor is always good thing.


MethanP December 2, 2011 at 6:48 pm

In any scenario, of any duration, do we remain civilized.


MethanP December 3, 2011 at 4:16 pm

In Pat Franks "Alas Babylon", the key part of the whole story is when he stops to help. In that instant he decides that his moral foundation is what matters and is what will be important to rebuild civilization. We are our brothers keepers or we are savages. Which are you?


malbernaz December 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

In a short term situation like a bad winter storm or natural disaster when I know that normalcy will be restored then I would certainly help out family and neighbors to the extent that I could. In an extended SHTF situation or TEOTWAWKI, I would have to take the hard line and send people on their way. Children are my weakness, as I have a 2 yr old daughter myself. I would have a lot of guilt turning away a child in need but any stranger can not be trusted. They may be a scout or decoy for a larger group who plans to come back en mass and wipe out you and your entire family for whatever you have in your caches. Best to pretend you have nothing if resources are that scarce. If it got too bad to stay in my home due to lack of security I would have to bug out to somewhere that no one would be "passing by". If someone was able to locate me at my BOL, they would already be trespassing on posted private property. You would have to be an idiot or totally desperate to even try walking into someones BOL in an end of the world type of situation and either way you can expect to be met with the business end of a 12guage.


MeanOlLady December 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I am fortunate to have moved to live on the very edge of a tiny village where about 95% of the people are prepping, are reliable, and are willing to stand and fight as well as barter and trade with each other.

I specifically chose this place (Middle of Nowhere Farm) to BE a bug-out location for my children and a few select 'others' whom I implicitly trust – IF they can get this far out. They all know who they are – and those who are NOT welcome have been told so directly and firmly when they have mentioned it. "Oh, wow, you are really well set-up there! Mind if we come out if SHTF?" "Yes I do, and here's why…" your wife is a drama queen who expects to be waited on and hates guns, your husband has never worked a job for two years running, you are more interested in laying around and giving orders than in doing what needs to be done, your kids are as shiftless and entitled as you wanted them and created them to be… Everyone knows exactly where they stand with me.


MeanOlLady December 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm

I don't mind teaching people what needs to be done, but they will do it my way since it is my property – or they can stay where they are and do for themselves. Like the ant, I planned and worked for every thing I have, for the winter that is coming, and no grasshopper is entitled to it or will share in it, no matter how big his puppy-dog eyes are, how cold his feet are, or how hungry his children are.


Odinson December 25, 2011 at 8:00 am

Well, the way I ideally would want to set it up is that no one knows I have stuff therefore they won't bother me.

But if I did get people asking for stuff, I'd base it kinda like a business interview. How well are they dressed, are they dressed provocatively, how do they present themselves to me, etc.

For example, I would give supplies and/or offer shelter to an average looking family. Dad, mom, and kids. Maybe some older people. I would turn away (and threaten if need be) a bunch of assholes dressed in the "gangsta" shit and speak worse than a three year old.

My two cents.


MethanP January 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Read "Alas Babylon". Are you a builder or a savage. In a long out of print Survival Magazine a noted gun expert/ex soldier who is still active, said to the question of the ideal survival gun, a long range bolt rifle with a good scope. "I'll snipe them before they get close". Really! He did say that.
I hope there are few like him. Read Pat Franks "Alas Babylon" for how we should behave in a crisis.


TED January 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm



Blitzkrieg January 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

When the s**t hath hittith the fan, it would appear to me the normal use of survival common sense should be on your mind. Common sense would/should tell you to weigh your options. Be it so, it is in a lot of people to want to help those in need and god bless you for it. However, at a time of "long term disaster", you have to do what you have to for yourself and your family until such a time comes when you can afford to help those in need.

If it were me and my family and close friends, I would go to the most remote area I could to survive and weather the disaster storm. To do this requires preparation, which I have already done. When disaster strikes, you get your people and go and stay out of sight and out of mind as much as possible avoiding any types of confrontations or possible "guilt" scenarios. That won't happen if they don't know your there. When the baby steps of infrastructure returns and you are able to sustain your family and yourself, then for the love of all mankind do what you can for others.


OhioEMT January 24, 2012 at 12:34 am

The morals of each person answering this question are apparent. The ultimate answers will come out when and if the question truly has to be answered. Could even the hard-heartest person gun down crying ten year old child? Could even the saintliest among us give aid to an abusivea-hole who comes looking for a hand out? We will not truly know what we are going to do. Granted we all have preconcieved notions of how we will behave, but, when the fit hits the shan, most of us will surprise ourselves with what we are capable of in the name of personal survival.


Ro Gal February 7, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I will be conservatively charitable, but they better have some skill or service to trade.


Guest February 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm

The way I see it, just outright shooting the person(s) is way overboard, and the loud noise is worse (or you can knock them unconcious and leave, but that doesnt solve the problem of them knowing you are there). A good course of action might be to either give them a little of what you can afford to give up and send them on their way, or send them away outright with force if necessary and pack up immediately afterword. However, if you are bugged into a great location permanently, accepting a few people here and there might not seem like a bad idea for security and workforce purposes. However, like was mentioned above, there would be more mouths to feed. And then when you reach a certain number, as mentioned above (again), it becomes hard or impossible to conceal the group. So you need to dig in. Then comes the problem of improving your security measures, and you need to get more weapons and clear more land to house all the new people and plant food. A game of leap-frog starts. Then you have to go farther and farther out to find food to hunt. And now you have the dual problems of the security and scarecity dilemmas. So again, as I see it the best thing to do is offer what you can, send them on their way, and pack up immediately, if possible.


Liberty February 18, 2012 at 2:55 am

I'd invite them in for dinner… only if I was hungry.


Scott February 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm

This is one of those your damned if you do or don't debates….
Take them in, they undermind your efforts and destroy your group possibly….
Turn away and you are a huge target…
Now the real twist…give them some supplies and send them away…hahahaha not gonna happen that stray is coming back and you get screwed again….so prepare and plan to make judgement calls.


billy February 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm

i would kill them on site take thier supplies and bury them out back


PKF February 29, 2012 at 1:34 am

For me I could turn somebody away with a clear conchious. It really depends on a few factors.
1: do they have there own suplies? And 2: do they have any skills to contribute? If they have 1 or the other then may be, if neather then no if both then maybe. It would have to be up to my party to deside.


akula83 April 4, 2012 at 9:20 am

There a too many variables here. I myself, will not turn away Mothers and children. Men on the other hand, are going to have to suck it up just like I will have too in a very serious and lengthy crises. The stored food and clean (bottled) water are for the vulnerable first, I will make do with the natural resources (treating stream water and eating the good stuff under fallen logs and such). Effective resource conservation will be paramount for the longer term, we will do our best.


JoAnn April 7, 2012 at 7:15 am

When I started sharing what I was learning about survival to a couple of close friends the response was overwhelmingly "great, now we don't have to do anything because you've done it all, we'll just come to your house if the sh*& hits the fan". That caused a moment of dread and so I responded by "outing" myself as a survivalist. I sent everyone I know an email with advice, lists, rationale, links, blogs, resources, etc…and told them prepping was their own responsibility so don't even think about coming to me after the sh*& hits the fan because I will greet you with my rifle. I make that point very clear whenever the subject of prepping/survival comes up. "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." Pooling resources with other preppers is a different senario altogether and I feel it is wise to do so. Strength in numbers.


Odinson April 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm

My take on this is as follows:

It depends on who's asking for my aid. If it's an average Joe, a family of four, husband, wife, and two kids not looking for trouble, then yes, I'll shelter them and give them food, but tell them to stay quiet about it. However if I get group of hip-hop "gangsta" punk assholes, they ain't getting anything. and if they try anything stupid, I'll give them lead.

Want my help in a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI event? You better come asking for my help like you were getting interviewed for a high paying job.

My two cents


simon June 25, 2012 at 10:30 am

When they come to my door my first question with a straight face, would be "do you have any food" ? This would give them the impression that there is no food in my house. I would then offer to barter my blankets, tissue a jacket for any food they might be carrying. When they say they have no food I would throw them a jacket and slam the door. Hopefully this play would not show my poker hand. Sorta a double bluff.


Jim July 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

I think it all depends on the size of the catastrophie at hand. But lets say its all turnred really bad. In a situation like that it is going to be nearly impossible to trust anyone. Times and people have changed so much that by the time you factor in the catastrophie it will boil down to eat or be eaten. The cutthroats will take advantage of the weak. When it comes down to eat or die people will do anything. Especially to feed loved ones. Pesonally I would hate to turn people away thats why I would try and stay hidden. You are going to have to hide to survive anyway.


Alex August 7, 2012 at 1:38 am

All of these have to be dealt with on a case by case basis. I can just as well ask also that if I am a mobile survivor, I have a vehicle, supplies, fuel and am relatively able bodied, if I pull in to someone's "safe haven", are they simply going to rob me of my resources and send me down the road with nothing or just kill me?

Very real situations happen like this in many communities even if it is not SHTF, in fact it happens to survivalists all the time who get targeted because local people will precieve them as "having what they don't need' in terms of gold, food, extra vehicles, guns, other assets that others seem to deem themselves more worthy of "handling properly".


JustClaude November 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Well here's the bad, if you answer to a need call, your a cache. And I will save you for later. Smart up people. I don't care if it's large or small I will take you. I'm not putting myself up in front of you to dicker over me helping you. And leaving my family to deal with you after you take me out. There will be warning is the only help to survive I will give. Feel fortunate !


Hary January 15, 2013 at 10:47 am

I would first ask if they have anything to trade. If they don't I'd probably show them how to get something to trade, like how to set some snares or purify water, or what plants are edible and tell them to come back with something to trade. If, that is, I was in a place where people would come across me at all, which I would avoid.


Kay March 13, 2013 at 5:01 am

I am facing this exact situation. I have three children at home and two older children who live on their own. Also a mother-in-law who lives on a fixed income. I have made several attempts to educate them on prepparedeness but just like others they feel that everything will be fine. My husband and I have had several late night conversations that have brought me to tears. Im am a
God fearing person and feel that it is my christian and motherly duty to take these three in in a survival situation. My husband not so much. He feels that if they didn't listen then why should we have to prepare for them. How do you sacrific one child to feed another? I feel that I will have a lot to answer for when I meet my maker. This is what keeps me up at night.


TeTe August 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm

How about this as an idea – let the person in, but either lock them up until you can be sure they’re cool, or have one person already in the group assigned as a minder to the newbie. There could be details like no outside contact for a time, and stated consequences for ditching said minder…just an idea…


daniel October 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm

if the goblins make it out hear I know its bad sorry but keep mooving


richard December 11, 2013 at 9:02 pm

why dont preppers make a universal signal that is to be used in a post apocalyptic event the military has signals with ir beams and hand signal ie when i was in the infantry (usmc) three flicks of my nvg ir beam was a way to communicate to other frendlies that i have entered thier space dont shoot or our code word if in an emergency was devil dog three time loud so why dont we make a trend thats subtle yet recongnizable by the common prepper ????? or does that make it a target indicator ????


TeenPrepper December 29, 2013 at 11:55 am

If you have a little time on your hands, I'd recommend doing some research well before you have to make this decision. I know of one good example for this debate.
There's a show National Geographic Channel made called "The Colony", where they basically dump a handful of people into a mostly abandoned urban setting with limited supplies and not-very-secure shelter, then have them try to survive. The "Take In or Turn Away" decision came up quite a few times over the first season; they made some mistakes everyone can learn from and some good decisions.
Notably, they let in two people that they didn't know, who wasted supplies such as water and food, stole whatever they could, and destroyed supplies when they were finally kicked out, even attacking the Colonists. Later, they came back to steal because they knew there were supplies.
From then on the Colonists would give limited supplies to travelers and then send them off, but the more they gave, the more travelers came wanting stuff.
If you can take a few hours to watch the first season (available on Netflix), you'd be able to see a few different ways of handling this situation and the various consequences these choices had. I realize this show isn't as reliable or valuable as real-life experience, but it's what I have to offer to the debate, having never been in this situation myself.
Personally, I think it comes down to weighing pros and cons. Do the people have valuable skills and/or knowledge? Will they be loyal to you and your group? Are they willing to work hard and be under surveillance? If not, better to send them on their way.


caine30 February 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

I am also a husband and father and yes my family comes first. on the other hand you never can tell what is in peoples hearts and minds i know my wife would be one of the first to tell you i am a hard man when it comes to anyone messing with my family but i am also a realist so if they had skills to trade or were starving i would help them maybe. it would all come down to what my group voted on and then if he or she was told to move on then we would move our AOP as well that is not a hard thing for us we have just a few spots to choose from.


caine30 February 27, 2011 at 9:37 am

I tend to agree with you but line Ken said its a possibility that this is just a recon to judge what you number is and to find out if their group is bigger its always going to be a risk meeting people in a EOTW situation so i am kind of the mind set damned if you do damned if you don't I honestly hope that things never turn into the situation where you have to be untrustworthy of your neighbor just to survive but it might so steel your core group to that fact you might have to defend what you have with deadly force.


caine30 February 27, 2011 at 9:38 am

its a reasonable way to look at things its not harsh


TDP March 6, 2011 at 3:23 am

I came across the link for that Twilight Zone episode "The Shelter" …enjoy!


Kevin Cease March 23, 2011 at 2:24 am

Id take in my neighbors or hope we could combine efforts. I'm one man with a hundred pound girlfriend. Overall I think what Jerry says makes the most sense of all of this. It's rational.


bob April 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm

i have to ask myself… where were you when i was building my bunker/ bombshelter? charity goes both directions don't it?


CaptBart April 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I have a "public" pantry – about 3 days worth if I'm careful. from there I give. It looks like it hurts, the Fed says have 3 days worth and I do. If it is seen I have some stuff but not a lot and I always will make it seem painful for me. My larder is quite private, never accessed when anyone is around. That way I don't have to face the 'give me more' crowd.


Hemloche November 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm

"Spreading the risk is part of what community is actually about."

I like that. I think I'll "steal" it. ;)

Kidding aside, in an extended SHTF scenario, I will still (and always) want for my son the same thing: a better life than I had. Life will likely be nasty, brutal and short initially so it makes good sense to either bunker down or get off the map (I'm not saying which). But eventually, community and perhaps even society will return at which point the better life is with my son living in it and not apart from it.


Mr. Brown January 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm

That's any excellent idea and so out-of-the-box. I'm going to do just that if we get to that point. Printing the flyers soon of course.


TheBrianScott February 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I'm going to assume that you've never had to live through an ice storm. I appreciate you taking the time to think these things through, but if anyone, by the pure providence of God, actually makes it to your front door in an ice storm, you HAVE TO take them in or they will die in minutes. Period. To group an ice storm in the same category as a power outage is an unwise view. Ice storms can be done in a matter of hours and at worst only last a few days. There are no long term ice storms and they are ALWAYS fatal if one is without shelter. Power outages, long term or short term, are drastically less dangerous if in a temperate climate, and turning people away can and should be a viable option, but as one who has experienced many ice storms (one during a power outage – not cool by the way…)I felt it necessary to bring to your attention that although I appreciate your foresight into possible future disasters, I suggest you revisit your plan or policy dealing with the always short-term ice storms. Every life is valuable and worrying about "squatters" is really a non-issue when it comes to ice storms. Well, I hope this at least inspires thought. Thanks for the post!


TheBrianScott February 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I think you're spot on, Carl. Not harsh at all. This really is the safest way to go. Especially if you have a family to think about.


Steven January 11, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Trading also leads to opening up lines of civilization. A trading partner may be more inclined to band together against a common problem, be it militarily (renegade/bandit activity), or economically (getting that community mill up and running). Historically, trade is the starting point for most civilizations.


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