SHTF Living When TSHTF
Tips and advice on how to survive while sheltering at work when SHTF!
Last Revised 11/13/2016

Remember the Rule Of 3 for SHTF survival:

  • You can only survive about 3 minutes without air.
  • You can only survive about 3 hours without shelter/adequate protection from the environment.
  • You can only survive about 3 days without water.
  • You can only survive about 3 weeks without food.
  • You can only survive about 3 months without medication (for chronic conditions).

A Basic Workplace Emergency Kit

Workplace emergency supplies should include enough food, water, and supplies to last three days without power, water, heat, or help until you can leave for home. Check your work emergency kit against this basic check-list:

  • Food that doesn't require heating or refrigeration, such as high density energy bars. High density energy bars have the advantage that any surplus bars can be given to those workers who must walk home from work. Canned goods can supply their own water and can usually be eaten out of the can without heating, but beware of buying foods that require clean water and heating to eat. Canned goods are also bulky to store, so there may not be space to store them. In addition, canned goods must be rotated out as they expire and can be difficult to give away.
  • Manual can opener if you store canned goods for your three day emergency food supply.
  • Paper plates, cups, soup bowls, and plastic eating utensils if you store canned goods for your three day emergency food supply.
  • If you have space, one (1) gallon of treated water per worker per day (allow enough for 3 days). If you decide to use the chlorination method of treating water, use 1/4 teaspoon of unscented regular chlorine household bleach per gallon of water. Change stored water every 6 months.
  • Water purification tablets and/or portable water filter to treat water if you do not have space to store water (enough to treat one gallon of water per worker per day for 3 days). A good water filter is the Katadyn Hiker Pro. If you decide to use water purification tablets, most tablets treat one liter (quart) of water per tablet. So for a three day supply per worker, you will need about 12 tablets per worker. You will also need a one liter bottle per worker to mix the water to be sterilized and tablet.
  • Wash cloths (for use in taking sponge baths), baby wipes, and hand towels measuring approximately 16" x 28". Consider substituting cheaper bath sponges for the wash cloths and cheaper (automotive) microfiber towels for the hand towels. Microfiber towels are less bulky, more absorbent, and dry out quicker. Try and get a microfiber towel as close to 16" x 28" in size as possible. A quick partial bath only includes the face and neck, hands, axilla (region under the arms), genitalia, and buttocks using baby wipes or wash cloth with soap and water.
  • Compact emergency Mylar (space) blanket for each worker.
  • Flash-lights, lanterns, and batteries. My personal preference is the Mag-Lite with at least at 3 D-cell capacity. It is tough, bright, has an adjustable beam from spot to flood, and can be used as a pretty good attitude adjuster if need arises. Ask any cop or bouncer why they carry one. To avoid the need for batteries or to provide lighting when your battery supply is exhausted, consider dual powered solar/wind-up lanterns and cheap solar powered lawn lights. Many people like solar powered lawn lights because they are so cheap. The solar powered lawn light usually has one LED, so the light it produces is dim, and it also has an automatic cut-off switch. A one LED light will cast enough light to read printed instructions, but you are not going to want to read a magazine or your eyes will quickly get fatigued. The automatic cut-off switch will turn the lawn light on when the light falling on the lawn light gets dim, and turn the lawn light off when the light falling on the lawn light starts to brighten up. Since this is an automatic process, if you want to control when your light is on or off, or want light from more than one LED, you will need a dual powered solar/wind-up lantern.
  • Small battery/solar/wind-up powered radio with a wrist strap. A "nice-to-have" is an option on the radio to charge your cell phone if it dies.
  • Battery-powered Traveller's alarm clock or wristwatch with alarm.
  • Cellular phone (always keep your cellular phone at least one-half charged at all times).
  • Basic First Aid Kit. For those minor injuries that don't require dialing 911, a few bandages, gauze, surgical tape, disinfectant, tweezers and ibuprofen are handy for handling minor cuts and scrapes. I recommend Adventure Medical Kits if you can afford them because they are designed for remote medical needs. These kits are superior to the average Red Cross First Aid kit.
  • At least a one week's supply of OTC medicines and prescription medicines.
  • Several travel packs of tissue for improvising a face mask, use as emergency toilet paper, or for wiping your glasses or nose.
  • Anti-Nuclear Radiation Potassium Iodide tablets. 65 mg dose for children, 130 mg dose for adults. If the tablets must be rationed because of limited supply, the rationing priority should be by age with the youngest having the highest priority to receive the tablets, and the oldest having the lowest priority to receive the tablets.
  • A N100 face mask (particulate respirator) for each worker. If N100 face masks cost too much, get N95 face masks and use surgical tape to seal the face mask to the face.
  • Portable chemical toilet(s) and heavy duty black construction bags (e.g. black Hefty Bags) for use in lining (non-functional) toilets.
  • Enough rolls of toilet paper for three days.

Water Sanitation Kit (For Warm Sponge Baths)

While sheltering at work when SHTF, running water for bathing may not available from your workplace plumbing. A method of sanitizing water that doesn’t require expensive fuel for boiling or household bleach uses the ultra-violet rays of the direct sun. SODIS (Solar Disinfection) is ideal to disinfect small quantities of water of low turbidity. However, SODIS will not remove harmful chemicals from chemically contaminated water. Fairly clear dirty water is filled into clear transparent plastic bottles of 3 liters/quarts or smaller in size and exposed to full sunlight for six hours. During the exposure to the sun the pathogens are destroyed. If cloudiness is greater than 50% , the plastic bottles need to be exposed for 2 consecutive days in order to produce water safe for bathing. However, if water temperatures exceed 50°C, one hour of exposure is sufficient to obtain safe bathing water. The treatment efficiency can be improved if the plastic bottles are exposed on sunlight reflecting surfaces such as aluminium (foil) or corrugated-iron sheets.

All the method requires is a reusable cheesecloth, a funnel, a washed clear transparent bottle with a cap (e.g. a washed 2 liter empty plastic Coke bottle with the label removed), and a piece of aluminium foil big enough to place the bottle on sideways. The funnel is placed in the mouth of the bottle, the cheesecloth in the funnel, and fairly clear non-murky dirty water from a running source (e.g. a river or stream) is slowly poured onto and through the cheesecloth filling the bottle almost to the top. The funnel and cheesecloth are removed and the bottle capped. Then the bottle is placed on the aluminium foil sideways in the direct sunlight for 6 to 48 hours. The disinfected water in the bottle is then carefully poured out into a small basin or a collapsible camping pail without disturbing any sediment that has settled on the side or bottom of the bottle. If fresh from the direct sun, the disinfected water can be used for a warm sponge bath using soap and hair shampoo or the washing of hands using soap.

A wash cloth, a hand towel measuring approximately 16" x 28", and a small basin or collapsible pail (found at camping stores) will be needed for taking sponge baths. Consider substituting cheaper bath sponges for the wash cloths and cheaper (automotive) microfiber towels for the hand towels. Microfiber towels are less bulky, more absorbent, and dry out quicker. Try and get a microfiber towel as close to 16" x 28" in size as possible. Many of these items can be purchased very cheaply at Wal-Mart, Harbor Freight, Dollar stores, or Thrift stores.

Solar Disinfection Process