Prepping Basics

How to Survive The End of The World: Preparing for The Worst

How to Survive The End of The World

The online community has been actively discussing the subject of how to survive the end of the world for years. With every new national or international crisis, we see even more people coming up with what they believe are foolproof survival tactics. The key is to find the differences between these strategies and isolate the similarities. There are a number of important points that should be included in any end of the world survival plan.

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Disaster scenarios are determined by a number of circumstances. Most of which being those out of our control. Since we are unable to control absolutely everything that surrounds us, the least we can do is gear up as best we can.

Different natural disaster scenarios

Natural disasters affect all four corners of the globe on a regular basis. There is as much activity above the earth’s crust as there is beneath it and, in many cases, the warnings come too late.

Natural Disasters

We have seen many Hollywood films and documentaries about disasters that cause massive or even worldwide flooding. The earth’s water levels are rising as the polar ice caps melt. This, in conjunction with a meteor hitting one of our oceans, could result in a massive tidal wave. Constant rain results in flooding and, in many areas, it wouldn’t take much before the waters rise and swallow villages, towns, and cities.

Earthquakes are even more unpredictable and strike without warning. Huge earthquakes can destroy structures, disrupt transportation, and communication. Not to mention the possible significant loss of human life.

When economic disaster strikes

The economy is just as fragile as our world’s environment. In fact, in many cases, we are even more affected by economic changes than natural disasters. For example, when an earthquake occurs, it usually only affects a certain radius. On the other hand, when an international financial crisis occurs, everyone is affected.

An economic disaster can also occur in the wake of a natural disaster. Once a particular area is affected by a superstorm, flood, volcanic eruption or any other similar destructive force, it will also affect the economy. The question is, what happens when the destructive force is so great that it affects a country, entire continent or even the whole world?

Economic disaster strikes

Solar flares have been a hot topic of discussion, and many fear the effect they may have on electronics. Should a particularly potent solar flare strike, it could leave at least most of the United States in darkness! This will also affect foreign residents since there are so many systems that are operated from and based in the United States. So, in the end, whatever affects them will affect other parts of the world too.

The effects of no order

Take one minute to imagine what life was like a couple of hundred years ago without electricity, mobile phones or the internet. This is a possible outcome that awaits on the other side of a global disaster. When everything we know and love is taken from us, it can also lead to huge disorder and lawlessness.

Just think about how quick people are to rob and loot as soon as a disaster strikes. There’s little consideration for the law or consequences of their actions. It’s kind of like watching people rush into electronics stores on Black Friday. They don’t care who gets trampled in the process!

No order on streets

This is the kind of “each man for himself” attitude that survivors need to be prepared for. Everywhere you go, there will be a clear “smell” of desperation and, apart from the disaster itself, this is the most dangerous time of all.

Planning an evacuation

Depending on where you live, you might need to plan for the event of an evacuation. Remember that roads might not be the best way out of town and you might need to explore other options like off-road motorcycles, bicycles or even on foot. If roads are open but heavily congested (even worse than rush hour), you might be better off weaving through traffic on a bike. If the roads are under water or have been otherwise compromised, it really could be time to head for the hills.

In the event of a water disaster, getting to higher ground is essential. Those who live in tornado country will agree that their storm shelters are the best defense since you never know how fast a twister will travel or if it will change direction.

Planning an evacuation

Sometimes, you may not need to evacuate but you might need to hide out for a while. This is when an underground bunker will prove to be a real life saver!

How to prepare and pack

Preparing yourself for an end of the world scenario involves so much more than simply hiding out and hoping for the best. You will need to prepare a bag with the most valuable essentials to help you get through the first few weeks at least.

Go bags infographic

That said, you will also need to use your supplies sparingly since you never know when, where or how they will be replenished.

Health and fitness

Part of being prepared is preparing your body. Modern society has made us pretty lazy, and we depend on cars, buses, trams and trains for transportation. A high fitness level will make it easier to navigate longer distances on foot or bicycle. You will also depend on your physical abilities to perform tasks like chopping wood, gathering food and building basic structures or performing repairs. For that matter, you wouldn’t do yourself any harm by brushing up on your DIY skills – minus the power tools of course! For the best survival food list, see our article for more options.


There is no life without water so this will be your main priority. There are certain types of water that have an extended shelf life. In addition to this water, you should pack water purification tablets. In the time of crises, water could become scarce or less than pure.

Water for evacuation

Preventing sickness is an important survival skill. Make sure that you purify all the water that you drink since it could be contaminated. When you can, purify water and save the bottles for absolute emergencies when there’s no water in sight. Understand how much water your body needs and limit your consumption so that you don’t consume it all too quickly.

Food and cooking equipment

There are many compact and dehydrated foods that have a really long shelf life. These foods won’t take up too much space in your bag, but they might weigh a fair amount. Like water, you will need to consume your food sparingly. You might be accustomed to eating until you’re as stuffed as a Thanksgiving turkey but now is not the time for that! You will need to condition your body so that you can survive on as little as possible.

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Pack minimal cooking supplies. There’s no point in having food if you don’t have any way of preparing it! A pot for boiling water and cooking food is a good start. You should also pack some lightweight bowls for transferring the food once it’s cooked. Basic eating utensils are also a good idea, and you will need a knife for more than just food prep. Consider something like a Swiss Army Knife, which has several uses.

Medical supplies

There’s no substitute for a good first aid kit. Basic supplies include band-aids, gauze, bandages for larger cuts, bandages for sprains or to hold splints in place, and surgical tape. Pack an antiseptic cream, a burn cream, sting relief cream and a strong disinfectant.

Pack pain medication, anti-inflammatory pills and something to bring down a fever like ibuprofen or paracetamol. Pack a first aid guide book for easy reference just in case you’re not sure how to dress or clean a wound.

Fire building supplies

Fire, like water, is an essential part of life. We need it for light, heat and cooking our food. Not everyone is an expert at lighting fires like they did centuries ago. So, be sure to pack plenty of matches and a few lighters too. The lighters are great if you cannot use matches during extremely windy conditions. The matches you pack should be high quality and waterproof. Spending more now will save you plenty of trouble in the long run! The same should be said for your lighter or lighters that you pack. Invest in quality and it will pay off in the long run.

Source of light

Navigating in the dark is not only frustrating but also dangerous. You might take one wrong step and end up hurting yourself, for example. Pack a flashlight with extra batteries or invest in a solar flashlight or wind up version so that you always have light even if you no longer have batteries. You should also pack flares and glowsticks just in case.


You cannot rely on your usual forms of communication during an end of the world situation. Mobile phones will be useless and accessing the internet will not be an option. Take a few steps back and prepare yourself with a good old-fashioned radio to receive messages. Radio stations (both AM and FM) might still be operating with the help of generators. It’s up to you to make sure that you are on the receiving end when an important message is broadcast.

Emergency radio packed

Battery powered radios might sound like a good option, but those batteries will lose power faster than you think. Instead, just like your flashlight, you should choose a solar powered or wind up radio instead.


We might not be so fortunate as to find ourselves near a cave or another similar form of shelter. It is best to prepare yourself for anything and make sure that you have a roof over your head when you need it the most. This is especially important during bad weather and at night. You might not have four walls around you, but a tent can give you that sense of security and shelter you from the elements.

A compact tent used only for sleeping is all that you need. Along with a thermal sleeping bag, you will be able to get the rest you so desperately need.


You will really get to know yourself and what you are capable of when catastrophe strikes. You will also come to learn who your allies are and who you cannot trust. People have a way of losing their minds when they are taken from what they know. It’s much like being tossed into the deep end without knowing how to swim. If you notice somebody nearby, you will latch on or even use them as a flotation device just to ensure your own survival. It’s a basic human instinct that we are all subject to.

Emergency protection

Be prepared for aggressive behavior and don’t be surprised when even your closest friend turns on you! Some might armor up and pack a handgun, rifle, and extra ammo. Others prefer their collection of knives, and there are those who want to take after The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon with his impressive crossbow skills.

It is ideal to test different weapons to establish which ones you are most comfortable with. You may also like to stock more than one type of weapon. If you are a firearm kind of person, make sure that you choose a weapon that won’t be affected by water. You could get hit by a sudden downpour, or you could slip into a river, lake or another body of water. See our list of the best survival weapons to give you more choice.


Poor hygiene often leads to illness which is why it is so important to pack some basic personal hygiene supplies. These include soap, toothpaste and a toothbrush and some feminine hygiene products too. You can pack some deodorant, lotions, and similar products but, if you are roaming through the woods, you might attract an alarming number of bugs by wearing cologne or perfume!

Hygiene products

Consider just how essential the product is before you pack it. If you can live without it and if your overall health does not depend on it, then you may be better off leaving it behind! The lighter your pack, the easier you can move around and the less energy you will consume.


You never know what kind of weather you might face. So, when packing clothing into your survival bag, your checklist should include: a tough pair of hiking boots or non-slip shoes, one pair of long pants, two pairs of socks, a long-sleeve shirt, a T-shirt, a warm jacket, a rain poncho, a hat, underwear and a bandana.

Emergency clothing packed

Never underestimate the many uses for a bandana! It can be used to protect your neck during cold weather, you can keep the sun off your neck in hot weather and as a sweatband. You can also use your bandana to keep your hand from burning while cooking food. It works much like an oven mitt. In the event of an emergency, your bandana will make a great sling or tourniquet.

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You can even make your own little waist pack out of a bandana to keep some essentials on your hip for easy access. If the air is particularly unpleasant or filled with particles, use your bandana as a mask. Keep cool in the heat by wetting your bandana and placing it on your head. With so many uses, you might want to pack more than one bandana! They are compact, lightweight and extremely handy.

Piecing it all together

After evaluation your location and possible disasters, it’s time to plan. Make a list of all the items you need to pack in your bunker or storm shelter and don’t forget to have one bag packed for each member of your family.

Make sure that your emergency plan is printed clearly and in multiple copies so that each family member has one. Discuss a meeting place with all family members in the event of separation during a disaster. In addition to this, you should also set up a second meeting place just in case the first one has been compromised by the disaster or subsequent events such as looting or violence. Keep your wits about you. In such times, people become even more unpredictable as their survival instincts kick in. Your best friend could sell you out for a piece of bread, if that’s what it comes down to!

Doomsday preppers

Our world is becoming increasingly volatile, and anything can happen. In so many cases, the general public is not privy to vital information and adequate advance warning systems. This is particularly the case for smaller towns and villages where such facilities as sanitation might not even exist. The less developed the community, the more damage it is likely to suffer.

For example, without proper sewage systems and water drainage, a flood can result in structural damage, the loss of human life and the spread of disease if the water is not drained away. That said, these communities are usually close knit and they often band together in times of need. Larger cities have lost this sense of intimacy which also accounts for the extreme aggression and danger in such parts.

Do you want to learn more survival techniques? Check out article on basic survival training for more information.

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About the author

David Dawson

David Dawson is a retired security specialist with over 20 years of experience. He worked for a secret manufacturing facilities and hospitals in Illinois. David's responsibility was to protect people in case of any disaster or cataclysm that might occur. Now he keeps on doing it through teaching others about how to prepare and survive flood, earthquake or even war.


  • Truly, you can never be prepared enough to face the end of the world and it can strike anywhere at anytime through any means. You can pack all the stuff that you want but if SHTF you’ll find that it’s never enough. The best way to be prepared is to learn the basics, the skills needed to survive. Hunting, Fishing, Foraging, Carpentry, Farming and Swimming are some of the skills that a survivalist needs to master.

  • Our survival will be threatened by either an alien invasion, asteroid impact or natural disasters on a massive scale. Or ourselves. I’ll never be full prepared but I still stock food, water, cash and firearms to protect myself. My plan is simple: shoot anyone with has malicious intents to harm me or take my stuff.

  • Hold on there cowboy. Don’t go shooting anyone just yet.

    While it is good to maintain a full stock of emergency supplies, make sure that you are able to identify what kind of people will mean you harm and which ones are just in need of your help.

    Cash is good but it is much better to stock up on rare gems and gold as this do not decrease in value.


  • Do you know that the world will end someday? There are vital signs everywhere that the end of the world is rapidly advancing. Humanity is making frantic efforts to prepare for this inevitable event. This article seems to proffer necessary survival measures, and information that can guide you and your loved ones. You need to invest in a survival package that will include clothing, first aid kit, water, food, cooking equipment, and shelter among other things.

  • Thanks for sharing your views, Donaldson. Yes, there are vital signs across the globe that indicate the end is near, and we all need to prepare for the unexpected and unavoidable. The info provided here should give you a head start.

  • Hi! I’m a complete newbie at survivalist stuff, but the recent political climate has driven me to begin learning about these things just in case.

    The reason I’m commenting though, is to offer a suggestion. Under feminine hygiene products, I would suggest adding investing in a menstrual cup. It’s made of silicone, and can be reused for a few years (depending on the brand). I feel like it would be much easier to use in a disaster scenario than pads or tampons, to be quite honest.

  • Hi Juju,
    The menstrual cup is a good addition to a woman’s emergency kit. We will definitely include a few reviews of the best models in our next postings.

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