109: Sara Hathaway Interview: All About Long Term Survival

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Long Term Group Survival and Rebuilding after a Stink Hit the Fan (SHTF) Scenario

Pay Attention to Three Things First to Ensure Early Group Success

Although this is more about the long term, how are you going to get to “the long term?”  Individuals will see to their shelters early on, so you need to focus on three key areas as a community to ensure success.

  • Attaining Food and Water
  • A strong defense strategy
  • Medical Capabilities

Food Procurement and Water Source Location is Key

Hunting parties and Gatherers will find early sources of food.  Ration food well!

Water is extremely important, and you need to set up to an abundant supply, such as rivers, lakes, streams, underground springs, etc.

Strong Defense Strategies will Help You More than You Realize

At this time in the world, there are limited supplies.  Everyone will be fighting for those supplies.  You will need a great early defense strategy to protect early key people and your supplies and storage.

Medical Capabilities will Keep You Alive

medical supplies

This is a harsh time.  Everyone is tired, thirsty, and malnourished.  Sickness and injuries will be large.  Medical is a must.

See to All of Your Needs in a Long Term Survival Scenario

When you get past the initial stages of your group’s survival, things will settle just a bit.  Spirits will pick up, but everyone will still be struggleing.  People will naturally start falling into place.

For the leader that is prepaired, you can use the group dynamic to ensure total survival.  You MUST pay attention to the following aspects of your community’s survival.

  1. Food and Water
  2. Shelters
  3. Security
  4. Medical
  5. Power
  6. Communication

Food and Water: Keep Your Energy Levels and Hydration Up

You need to keep everyone energetic and hydrated to ensure total productivity.  You do this by keeping people fed and hydrated.  You also do this by treating them as PEOPLE, not slaves.

In the short term, you will be looking for water wherever you can.  Rivers, lakes, and streams are your best sources initially.

You will need to send out hunters, gatherers, and trappers to obtain food.  You will need to ration, so you don’t kill out the population of animals in your area.

Eventually the group will need to work on getting easier access to water supplies and filtration along with using land for food production.

Skills Needed for Food and Water

Builder trades, electricians, engineers or architects, and ditch diggers for water systems.

Hunters/Trappers, Farmers, Ranchers, Military/Police for security, Veterinarians, auto mechanics for equipment, blacksmiths for mills or plows, and workers for gardening and harvesting are all trades that will be great for getting food.

Supplies Needed for Food and Water

water filtration system

Filtration Media and large containers for your water filtration.

Land, plows, shovels, seed, scrap or iron, security items, and fencing for food.

Keep the Elements off, and Have a Community Gathering Location

Allow people to take care of themselves for personal, short-term shelters.  As a group, begin building community buildings and areas.

In the short term, people will build or find their own shelters.  They will  create primitive shelters and use tents or tarps… whatever is available.  Some will have the ability to build nice solid structures.

As the group recovers, they will need to focus on building more permanent shelters close to water and food sources and creating a center meeting point.  It could be a structure, or a nice outdoors area around a fire.

Skills that Will Extremely Important for Community Shelter Needs

Carpenters, builders, blacksmiths, lumberjacks, will be needed early on.  Civil engineers and security personnel will be needed as consultants for the strength and defense of the community.  Everything will need to be built with future growth and defense strategies in mind.

Supplies Needed for Shelter Building in the Community

Lumber and/or clay, nails, hammers, roping and other items will be needed.  Nails will be like gold.  Early Settlers used to burn their old buildings, and sift through the charred remains to find the nails that were left, so they could use them to build their new home after they get there.

You Need a Secure Settlement, Because YOU WILL be a Target

Early in development, the group will need a solid security detail that can protect all of the workers.  Everyone will carry personal protection items, from knives, to guns, to clubs, and more so they can protect themselves when under attack.

Eventually, the group should develop a more organization of militia with great training for members.  The militia will be responsible for basic training for the entire community.

The community will need to build security measures to keep others out and will need to designing exit strategies.

The Skills that will be Required for a Great Security Detail

For feet on the ground, you will need people that know shooting, combat response, sniping, pistol fighting, basic ordinances and explosives.  Bullets may be low, but if you have trained people, you can save ammunition in a fight.  Explosive techs would be a great addition for their understanding of how powder will react in many different situations.

People with solid military tactics will be needed for leading, and will need to train others in team movements and maneuvers for a solid battle foundation.

Gunsmithing and blacksmithing will be vital for weaponry.  If you can find someone who is skilled at powder making, you found a very valuable person.

For security communications, you will want amateur radio operators.  You will also need electronics experts to fix broken communication equipment.

Supplies Will Be Needed for a Solid Security Foundation

self defense

Building supplies, Firearms, and powder will all be needed to strengthen defense.  At least 20% of your community members will need to be trained.

Eventually, the group should attempt to find tactical supplies, such as vests, packs, vision enhancers, and more radios.


    • Where would you find it in the short term?
  • Any first aid kits you have
  • Splints and other items you will creatively use
  • People will quickly rise as medically knowledgeable people.
    • What future concerns would you have for this item?
  • Setting up medical facilities or tents
  • Procuring medicines or medical supplies
    • What skills are going to be required of your group for that?
  • Building skills
  • doctors, nurses, first responders, EMTs and Field Medics
  • The procurer… the guy that can get anything, the bartering expert
  • Alcohol producers
    • What supplies are going to support long term requirements?
  • Building supplies
  • Surgical supplies, first aid supplies
  • Medicine (otc, prescriptions, natural)
  • Disinfectants


    • Where would you find it in the short term?
  • Automobiles and inverters
  • Gas, natural gas, and propane generators
  • Salvaged solar panels, wind generators, hydogenerators

What future concerns would you have for this item?

  • Run out of fuel
  • Breakdown of existing equipment
    • What skills are going to be required of your group for that?
  • Primary Need is a mindset shift:
  • Heat – Fire, Large heated masses, rocket heaters, awnings and window overhangs
  • Cooling – Hand fans, river bathing, fans with wet cloth, lots of vegetation
  • Home Cooling – Underground living, thick stone, clay, brick walls, wind tunnels, super high ceilings, usable mono-vents or towers, trees on east and west walls of homes
  • Water – walk with buckets, manual pumps
  • Food – Cook on fire, using cast iron and thick steel, oversized fireplaces
  • Mills – much of what is available as a pump today, can be done with wind and animal drawn mills.
  • Electricians, small engine repair, mechanics, engineers and “mad scientists”
    • What supplies are going to support long term requirements?
  • Scavenged wiring or crude metal for power transfer
  • Small engines, solar panels and other generators, battery banks
  • Any metal and wood that can be found for all of the different items to build.
  • Wood for wood gas
  • Containers for generating methane


  • Don’t forget communication to the outside world.  Keep a beacon set up for automated contact.
  • Public Announcement Boards

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Ken is addicted to fitness and mountain biking. He is such a thrill seeker, people are starting to be concerned!He enjoys MTBing, Hiking, Climbing, Geocaching, Orienteering, Weight Lifting, and Wilderness Survival.

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