SHTF Threats: Your Neighbors, Friends and Family

One of the most important skills you can have as a partisan is that of threat analysis. Being able to know if someone or something is going to be a problem before they become that problem is a pretty critical tool to have. It’s a hard and uncomfortable truth that one of the most dangerous SHTF threats to you and your immediate family is not the government. It’s your next door neighbor, your non-prepping buddies, and even your extended family. A reader sent us an article recently from 299 Days on this (thanks Jeff!), and it reminded me that this topic needs to be written about—even if it doesn’t fit into the Tradecraft for Patriots series we’re currently in. Would you take on additional mouths to feed if your buddy showed up with his family? Let’s take a closer look at why or why not.

Let’s start with a scenario. This one comes from shtfblog.


You’re a 3 person household – one child and two adults. You have 3 months worth of food and water stocked away for the 3 of you, 4 months of food if you stretched it.

Day One – an EMP hits. The grid goes down completely. Local authorities say it’s down across the entire state and the bordering states. That’s all the news you know. All grocery/convenience stores go empty. All gasoline stations go dry.

Day Three – local authorities say the federal government will air drop food, water and supplies to your town in 3 days.

Day Six – no air drop. Local authorities now say it’ll be 4-5 days before supplies come.

Day Seven – your neighbor has his home broken into, but the intruder runs away when your neighbor yelled that he had a gun. The two of you discuss taking turns staying up at night, outside, watching over each other’s house.

Day Nine – a close friend, his/her spouse and their 2 kids pull into your driveway. They drove from 45 minutes away. Your friend came to you for a reason, he/she knows you have food and water, he/she knows you’ve prepped. Your friend asks if they can hold up with you until all of this “blows over.” He/she (besides hungry mouths) brings 8 cans of mixed vegetables, a few cans of soda, 2 rifles, and some ammo (items you already have).

You haven’t heard from your parents, sibling or in-laws. They know you have a food supply, too. You’re hoping at least some of them will show up.

Those are the only variables you have to work with. Do you let your friend and his/her family stay with you? Why or why not?

Take another look at that. Four people bring you 8 cans of veggies, a few cans of soda, 2 rifles and some ammo. That’s it. That is not a contribution. That’s an insult.

If you read the comments on the original post, you’ll see a wide variety of opinions ranging from those who would welcome them, and those who would turn them away. Glen Tate over at 299 Days talks about that unprepared neighbor living on your street. We all know someone like this, who always seemed to have money to Life Live To The Fullest, because Life Is Short and You Need To Make Yourself Happy. While you were trying to get your rain collection system up and running, he was having fun on family vacations and buying sports equipment. Once it hits the fan, however, your nice, polite, and friendly neighbor won’t be any of those.

He’s been awake for several days because of all the gunfire he’s hearing, the baby has been crying, and his wife has been screaming at him for hours to “do something!”…Your unprepared neighbor is not thinking rationally.  He’s desperate.  Studies show that after about 72 hours without food, people – even “nice” ones – will do horrible things to feed themselves and their families.  He needs to shut her up, get some food, and feel safe.  He’ll do anything to make that happen.  Anything.

He remembers that conversation he had with you about “having a little bit of food in case the power goes out during the next ice storm.”  He remembers seeing you putting a gun into your car that day you went to the shooting range.  It all becomes “clear” to him: You need to give him food and a gun.  It’s only fair.  Besides, he tries to reassure himself, you are a nice guy.  You’ll help.

Will you? Do you take from your own family to give to someone who chose not to prepare? Do you reward their laziness with the fruits of your own labor? If you do choose to help, do you just give them a few days’ rations and send them on their way? Do you completely take them in?

People of faith may find this particular decision even harder, as some may decide it goes against their faith to turn away someone who is needy. But are these folks truly needy? Or are they simply reaping the consequences of their own poor choices? I can understand helping the elderly, or folks who are disabled or sick, etc.

Glen Tate takes a hard line stance on it. “…here is your official warning: if your ‘plan’ for your and your family’s safety is to come to my place, you’re wrong.  When you show up, I’ll ask you to leave.  When you don’t, I’ll point a gun in your face.  If you refuse to leave, I will shoot you.  You are a threat to me.”

While this may sound harsh and even diametrically opposed to the honorable, decent people that we aspire to be, there’s a valid point behind it.

…showing up at my place hungry and unprepared is a threat to me.  You will eat my food and use up my medical supplies, generator, firewood, etc.  That’s less of these life-saving things for me and my family.  That’s a threat.

Is this greed on my part?  No.  I will take care of the truly needy – those who cannot take care of themselves.  But you are different.  Very different.  You had plenty of chances to prepare for yourself.

But what did you do?  You spent the weekends watching football, went on expensive vacations, and never made your spouse mad at you with your “crazy” ideas that something bad was happening.  You didn’t do shit because… you would just come to my place.  Problem solved, right?  You didn’t need to spend time, money, and create domestic strife because I did that all for you.

We all know someone who posts about their gym trips, their vacations, their fun times, and yet you know if there was a disaster tomorrow they would be running around like a headless chicken wondering how in God’s green earth they’re going to survive. Some of these folks live such shallow lives that they never even consider the fact that they are unprepared. They simply don’t care.

What would you do?

Author: Kit Perez

Kit Perez is a liberty activist, longtime writer, and intelligence analyst specializing in deception detection and HUMINT. She is prior Air Force, holds a degree with honors in Counterintelligence and has a Master's in Intelligence. She writes at

6 thoughts on “SHTF Threats: Your Neighbors, Friends and Family”

  1. Great discussion topic, I immediately thought of the case of Europe inviting in millions of ravenous and dangerous Muslim men.

  2. They can take a hike. Actions, or in-actions in this case, have consequences, and if you didn’t prep, if you didn’t heed the warnings, if you played the fool, then you and your family are going without my food, guns, etc. You’re on your own. Funny how this works. If the situation were reversed, there would be no mercy for me and mine, either. It’s more than a fable of the ant and the grasshopper. And I have no problem with shooting ANYONE that thinks they’re going to help themselves to my preps. Goes double for relatives.

  3. It is about survival after all.
    It is not selfishness if you choose not to help others who had the opportunity to help themselves and chose not to when they could have.
    That was their choice.
    Their misfortune they visited upon themselves. They certainly had no trouble not preparing for dire circumstances.

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