What You Should Do Within 60 Minutes After SHTF

What You Should Do Within 60 Minutes After SHTFAs you should probably know by now, the first 60 minutes after SHTF could be the most critical moments of your life. That time-frame is crucial for your well-being and the lives of the ones you love. This is what you need to do and learn how proper planning prevents poor performance when things go south.

Most people believe that if they have the most high-end survival gear that money can buy, they will be all right once the brown stuff hits the fan. However, it won’t mean a god damned thing if you don’t have a solid plan that you rehearsed and adjusted long before the disaster event takes place.

Many articles will tell you what gear to purchase to get ready for the SHTF event you are planning for. I’m not going to do that since there is enough literature available on the subjects. However,

I’m going to tell you that thinking you will be able to go to a last minute shopping trip within 60 minutes after SHTF is wishful thinking in most cases. The time to stock up on everything you need is now when you are safe, and the wheels of the world are still spinning. That’s it regarding gear, let’s move forward.

Things you should do within 60 minutes after SHTF

1. Establishing priority and acting upon them.

In the heat of the moment, your body may be filled with adrenaline and you might not be able to keep everything in mind. There are certain priorities you need to establish to avoid making mistakes. The priority should be security. Make sure you and everyone around you are safe from any immediate threat.

Can you help your family members to safety?

This is your number one priority within 60 minutes after SHTF. Just like in a combat scenario, your security takes precedence over other needs such as medical aid, food and water or shelter. You should avoid becoming a falling victim because everyone else will remain unprotected.

In the army, they teach you to break contact from the immediate threat, dress your wound and help those accompanying you. Only after this is taken care of, you can move to the next step and assess the situation.

2. Identifying the problem and establishing a scenario.

Once you are safe and those around you are unharmed, it’s time to figure out which is the main problem. Although this sounds easy, the situation will be totally different when it hits the fan. You will need to figure things out within 30 or 60 minutes after SHTF because you may be forced to evacuate or hunker down.

If you think it’s easy to determine a problem, I will give you a quick example of how difficult would be to identify the problem. If an EMP attack occurs, only certain government entities and some preppers might have the capability to maintain communication lines open.

However, the general public will not be able to contact authorities or get in touch with loved ones and obtain critical information.

A must read: Prepper’s Threat Analysis – Establishing Prepping Priorities

In other cases, news and television, and radio stations should be able to give you some idea of what the danger is, enabling you to act on the next steps. However, you should take into account that information may be contradictory within 30 or 60 minutes after SHTF and you need to make the connection and put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

The bottom line here is that you will need to make connections between the information you get and use your situational awareness to establish the most likely scenario you are dealing with. By doing so, you will make sure the next steps you make aren’t the wrong ones.

3. Buging out or hunkering down? The old age question.

After your family is secure and you identified the problem that caused all the world to go mad, is time to act on your bugging in or bugging out plan. This step is situational dependent and within 60 minutes after SHTF you should decide on what to do. The more time you take to act on your plan, the smaller your chances of making it out alive.

As you may suspect, this is also a matter of common sense, which a lot of people lack nowadays. If you are near the ground zero, logic dictates that you should put as much distance between yourself and the immediate danger as fast as possible.

If the threat is not immediate, you should decide if you bug in or bug out. In any case, you should have everything needed to make it in the days, weeks and even months to come.

No matter how well you establish the threat analysis for you and your family and how well you prepare, there is no exact science behind disaster preparation and scenario outcome. There is no telling how thing will go, how long the water will continue to flow, how quickly you will run out of supplies and how you will be able to deal with hygiene and cooking problems.

You never lived in an austere environment, deprived of all the things you have no, and it’s hard to determine how you and your family will act.

4. It takes practice to figure things out

For some, this is the most boring part of their prepping plan while for others, it’s the most exciting one. Some people gain enough confidence to leave everything else for later, once they stockpiled their pantry and made a bug out bag. However, you must be brutally honest with yourself and figure out where you stand.

Within 60 minutes after SHTF, you won’t have the time to figure out how to pack everything you need to survive in your car. You won’t have the time to check your bug out bag and upgrade it for the season when you need to move away from the threat as quickly as possible. You may end up in the woods with nothing to wear but summer clothes.

Suggested reading: A Few Considerations Before Bugging Out Into The Woods

How about if your car breaks down? Have you tried walking a few miles with your bug out bag? If you’re an overweight 50-something who has a bad shoulder or knee, you’re not going to cover much distance. Not to mention that the average American family is spread out across the state, country and even the world nowadays.

Do you have a plan for rallying together as soon as possible after it hits the fan?

You may not be able to contact everyone within 60 minutes after SHTF, but you should at least have a plan for each of them. They should be able to fend for themselves and figure out ways to get in touch when they find safety.

There are many things you need to plan for, but you will not be able to figure everything out unless you take a good look at your family and analyze their habits and plans for the future. Even more, those plans will do you no good, if you don’t act on them and practice a few evacuation drills or test your skills.

Do it as a fun activity with your family and I guarantee there will be something new to learn from each experience.

5. Keep a low profile

Some may not see this as one of the essentials they should be concerned about within 60 minutes after SHTF, but this one is quite important. People tend to brag when they feel good about themselves, and they tend to show off their work or achievements.

Feeling proud and accomplished is one thing while showing off your supplies and making public your survival plan is another thing. There should be a limit somewhere, and you shouldn’t share everything with neighbors or on social media.

I can’t still figure why people like to brag so much. Learning about survival and teaching others how to prepare is one thing, showing your supplies and detailed plans to everyone is another. I guess vanity is part of human nature and they like to show others how good they have it. It’s like they are prepping for others and not for their families.

Recommended article: Smart Strategies To Keep A Low Profile During SHTF

When SHTF, the last thing you need is having dozens of people rushing to your home asking you for help. I’m a compassionate man, but I’m also a practical person when it comes to emergency preparedness. You won’t be able to help all of them, no matter how much you try.

You can bug in with all of them, and you may survive for quite some time, but what if the crisis prolongs more than you expected. How about if you bug out and they decide to follow you, cause you’re “the expert” what happens when they get hungry and become desperate? How many supplies can you share?

Think about the priority, your family, and don’t put them in danger. Keep things to yourself, and you will better off without all the attention.


Within 60 minutes after SHTF, there will be a lot of things you will want to act upon. However, you should restrain yourself and follow the steps that matter. An ideal survival plan should enable you to be organized and ready to move within 60 minutes after SHTF.

Some may even push it to 30 minutes, but that’s not doable for most preppers. Even more, if you have very young or very old and even sick members to take care of, you need to take them into account when you formulate your survival plan. Their needs will extend your time of action with every step of the plan.

Other Useful Resources:

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Survival Lessons from the 1880s

Find Out What’s the Closest Nuclear Bunker to Your Home

A Green Beret’s guide to combat and shooting

Learn how to Safeguard your Home against Looters

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

5 thoughts on “What You Should Do Within 60 Minutes After SHTF”

  1. This is well written, short and to the point. You do not waste anytime saying what you are going to do or what makes you an authority. Instead you rely on the content and the reader’s intelligence to convince them or not. It gets them to think of things they may not have before.

    The links you provide as other useful resources do not do that. They make long winded speeches about what they are going to show you, the way they learned about the miraculous revelation and what geniuses they are to have discovered it. Those links are not the only ones that do it. The internet is loaded with them and most of the time it is only a wild dream or a rehash of something. After wasting hundreds of hours on them while doing research, I make it a policy to stop watching or reading as soon as they say “I”m going to” twice.

  2. don’t panic.
    its very unlikely that SHTF will happen all at once- one big bang- everything gone sort of event.
    its more likely to happen over time a bit at a time.

  3. Excellent point, bigpaul. Unfortunately, people who do not plan for bad situations will panic. They will not know how to act. When you plan and prepare for bad times you ‘should’ know what to do, or have a decent idea.

  4. I have a different perspective. Part of your preparedness should include ways to communicate. I am a licensed Ham, and CERT mbr. When the big event hits we will need every body to work together to get though it. After making sure my family is safe i will be helping to get information to the authorities where Emergenicy Services are needed. As a neighborhood or community we will need everyone’s help.


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