Post SHTF: Who Do You Let In?

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Who Do You Let in - Post SHTF

Let’s set the scene. The crap has well and truly hit the fan, it could be a financial collapse, civil unrest or martial law and it’s time to batten down the hatches, escape to your bug out location or retreat to your bunker.

Whatever you plans are for a SHTF scenario, there is one unavoidable element that you should plan for ahead of time to avoid a possible life threatening decision/mistake when it really matters.

What we’re going to look at today is what do you do when other people come knocking.

We will look at each group of people in turn and propose some pros and cons to letting those people into your bunker to share your preps or turning them away empty handed.


First up we have the immediate family members, Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother and their kids, maybe even your grandparents, also aunties, uncles and cousins.

It’s a long list, it really is. That’s a lot of people who may turn to you in the even of a disaster and ask, or even expect you to take them in, feed them, clothe them, give them water and basically look after them because they didn’t prepare.

Now I know there are some of you out there who will scoff and say it’s an easy decision, they’re your family so you let them in. And I do agrees with you, I certainly would and many of you would too, however there are those in the survival and prepper communities that would happily turn their backs on family if they didn’t have enough to keep them all alive.

Is this wrong? I don’t know, all I know if that for me and the vast majority of you reading this will open those doors and let them in. Heck, you’re parents brought you into this world are you really going to turn them away?

I also believe there is some very logical thinking going on inside the heads of those that would turn them away. I mean you have a small family of 4, you’ve prepared enough supplies to last 6 months for those 4 people. If you let in just 2 people you’ve immediately cut your survival time down drastically.

If your brother or sister turns up with their kids, you could be looking at reducing that 6 months down to a few weeks per person. Kinda makes you think doesn’t it.


We all have friends, some of use are just as close and see our friends just as often as we do our own family members. It will be hard for many of us to turn away our buddy of 20 years if he/she was to turn up after an event that caused people to panic, loot, riot and cause harm to each other.

The saving grace in this situation is that you are very likely to know your friends, their habits, their mindset and if they will bring anything to the table.

Survival could well and truly be a numbers game, so having an extra pair of hands around could help. If you’re the only one in your family/group that can shoot? What happens when you get sick?

You can’t be on guard 24/7, you will need to sleep and eat and use the bathroom. Having another adult or two, especially ones you know so well can put your mind at ease and allow for as normal existence as possible after SHTF.

Personally, I have a mental list of my friends. They each have a tick or a cross to indicate who will get in and who won’t. They are ranked based on what they could bring to the group such as the right mindset, physical or mental abilities and even just having the right attitude.

Is it time for you to run through your friends and decide who is likely to show up, who gets in and who gets the boot?


Your neighbours may actually be the very first people to show up on your doorstep if you have chosen to bug in or go underground to your bunker. They are likely to be the first tough decision you have to make and I think this section will split you 50/50 down the middle.

You see half of us get on fine with our neighbours, we have them round for dinner and lend each other garden tools, the other half of us argue with them about the parking situation out front or the overhanging tree branches that you don’t want in your garden, or how much noise they make.

This is why I think it will also be an easier decision as you either like your neighbours or you don’t. It’s also likely that you are aware of their mindset and if they are prepared themselves or not.

Ever get funny questions about what it is you’re doing in that garage and what’s with all the security cameras etc? Small conversation topics like those can be an in-road to the mindset of your neighbour and to find out what he/she is really like and how likely it is that they have a grip on their families survival.


When it comes to strangers, the vast majority of you will take the “Stop, or I will shoot you” approach. Some will by hidden away or at a retreat away from people and traffic.

I myself would likely take this approach too, I mean you don’t know or trust that person walking in the park, let alone the guy with no food and a family to feed.

However I want to bring up an alternative, something that would make me question my initial response and perhaps let them in after all.

Bring Your Own

Say a guy and his wife with their small child comes around, they see you grabbing last minute stuff from the garage and he asks if he can hole up in your place as their home was burnt down by rioters and looters.

His wife is sat in the truck, the bed is full with containers, backpacks and camping gear. You can see he has a rifle on his shoulder and a pistol in his belt, but he has his hands raised, so he means no harm.

He tells you they have brought everything he’s been tucking away in his garage for a rainy day like today. They have enough food, water and ammunition to protect themselves but no shelter or friends/family in the area as they have just moved into town.

What would you do?

Me…I would talk to him some more, ask to see his preps and quiz him on how long he thinks the food would last and what skills he and his wife have.

More importantly I’d ask what he does for a living and where they relocated from, to get an idea of the kind of terrain they are used too.

I would meet his kid and ask him some simple questions about mommy and daddy and what happened to their house. Kids are terrible liars, the younger they are, the easier it is to spot. You can also get a feeling for how scared he is, what he/she has seen and other little signs.


Lets flip this now, same family turn up with nothing with them. He doesn’t even have a weapon, just open hands and wife and a kid. Do you stick to your original pre-thought-out plan or turning them away?

Telling them you have only enough for a few days for your family and you will be leaving soon? Perhaps a show of force with your weapon clutched and ready to go?

Let me propose this, what if you just had a conversation with him?

Additional Skills

You can see he has no physical goods to offer, however he tells you that he has his own business, hand building log cabins and his wife is a nurse.

Would that change your mind?

He clearly has good hands-on skills, perhaps he could help to board up the windows, fell trees for firewood or fix doors and other items.

His wife being a nurse has a great skill-set that would be in great demand. You have a first aid kit and you’ve practiced a little, but that’s not going to be enough if you lose a limb or a family member gets injured.

What other skills would be useful?

Will it would all depend on the situation of course. Here are just a few ideas off the top of my head:

  • Firearms experiences
  • Medical training
  • Procuring food and water (hunting and foraging)
  • Cooking
  • Electrical and Mechanical training
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Primitive Weapon Making

There are many more skills that as a group of preppers in a SHTF scenario could benefit from. There is safety in numbers and it may not be ideal or realistic to think that just yourself and your wife and 2 kids can stay alive, fend off the bad guys and survive whilst the rest of the world falls to pieces.

I hope this article has made you think more about asking questions first and shooting later. Snap decisions are often made in life and by preparing you are one step or many steps ahead of the curve.

Taking the time to stop and think what if, could literally be the difference in your families survival.

Meet the Author

'Mountain Man' John

'Mountain Man' John is a Survival and Preparedness enthusiast who loves everything outdoors. He has a passion for learning anything and everything to help sustain his and his families way of life post SHTF. He frequently shares his knowledge on a variety of topics from his hands on DIY projects, learning new skills such as hunting and trapping along with reviews on his Survival related purchases - Prepping has been in his family for generations, it's in his blood.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Joe Thomas Apr 3, 2017, 2:43 pm

    Only those that need my skill sets and those that have skill sets that I need. This does not include my neighbors, friends, etc. My mother and sister because not only are they family but also have valuable skill sets. All others will not be welcome. Only the strong survive.