Second to buying a large stockpile of food, planning is the most important aspect of prepping and can be highly individual to your situation. Particularly it makes a difference how rich you are and whether or not you can afford to bug out into an extremely rural area, or already happen to live there. Also you might be living in unusual circumstances, such as where water is scarce, which this guide will not really further explore. For simplicity sake, it is assumed that you are not wealthy, reluctant to spend money on prepping, and live in a western country and water-rich urban area, like 80% of the population in Europe or the US.

Survival Pyramid

Your priorities in prepping should be roughly aligned with the graphic you see above. You can’t expect to survive, if the very select few people knowing about your supplies will not follow your plan and betray you. You are doomed when reacting emotionally and unreasonably, and don’t have a plan that deals with every eventuality long before it occurs. You will be raided by hungry people if you don’t make it your life’s mission for your supplies and prepping efforts to remain a secret. You can’t protect your supplies without weapons in a secure home. Finally it might be possible to survive without having hidden backup supplies, but it is still a huge risk. Equally, not having antibiotics or equipment like walkie-talkies might be a disadvantage, but it can still work out with a bit of luck. Last of all, skills and fitness are nice to have, but require enormous time-investments with comparably little benefit.

To sum it up, you should do everything you can, but not waste all your time on buying gadgets online. Or watching Youtube videos on how to make fire with sticks and build log cabins or forge knives from scratch. Most popular prepping and survival material online can actually be misleading and is often not helpul. On a very tight budget you should concentrate mostly on food, cheap weapons and water.

select people to trust and let them in on it

For starters, this should be at most the people who live in your home, like your wife or father, and worst-case it might just be you. The less people know about it the better.

You have to realize, that for every brother or sister you warn and let in on your efforts, they will have several people very dear to them who they will want to protect with all their heart and might if the disaster strikes. Their reactions to the subject are likely to be very emotional, quick, inconsiderate, judgemental, careless and presumptuous. But worst of all, most people will react with ignorance and disbelief to your warning. Most people are highly likely to not take the subject serious at all, no matter how dramatic, elaborate and convincing you explain it. And even if serious events were to unfold, they will downplay the gravity of the situation, and still behave carelessly. From the family and friends I know well and trust, I can easily tell that at best only 1 out of 10 would pour even just 200 Euros into building their own stock of supplies, after hearing my advice. But 9 out of 10 would remember my warning in a blinks notice for the rest of their life, and run down into my home to take food when it came down to it. If you talk with friends or family about prepping, or maybe even just drop a hint at the doomsday scenario, they will easily be careless enough to chit-chat with their neighbors or coworkers about it. Or they might indirectly reveal it to relatives and other people, by somehow socializing with them about related topics. After starving for several weeks, all those people will suddenly show astonishing and unworldly powers of memory recall. Nothing you say will remain forgotten.

Telling other people about an apocalypse and urging them to prep for it, will be highly ineffective and only have a snowballing effect, resulting in a large number of unprepared people to raid your home and your supplies to diminish within days, instead of months and years. This helps no one.

You should take your chances only when the situation demands it, or if there is an unusual and extreme relationship of trust, e.g. a brother who lives alone and has no additional relatives.

You should have many intimate talks with the people you let in, explain the situation and your plan to them with great detail, emphasis and seriousness. You must make them understand that you have spent months into planning the situation out, and how other people pose a grave danger in case of societal collapse and famine. There must be no grounds for them to question your competence or reasoning, or else they might act carelessly out of line when they feel safe about it and eventually betray your group accidentally or with intent.

planning, foresight and reason

You will find a lot of advice on this website. However truly planning out the situation must still be done by yourself, by running the various scenarios through your own mind. You have to imagine what will be like, how people will react given different circumstances, how your close friends might feel and what to say to them when they call you in desperation or for help. Where will you get the water from, who guards your home, how will they cope with it. What are your neighbors like. How can you defend against attackers, reinforce the doors, not get seen, how to not stand out with your actions. What consequences will it have if you are attacked and have to act in self-defense. And so on and forth. Those are things that no guide can truly prepare you for.

All eventualities must be accounted for, and it is important to make tough choices when it comes down to it. This might mean to make them even if there was still hope for things to play out differently. Empathy, emotion and hope have no place, in a scenario where the odds play against it, and the consequences are life or death. With perfect reason it might make sense to leave your sick grandfather behind, or your pet, or any sort of similar thing that feels very difficult and unethical to do, but actually acts towards the greater benefit of your group. Nothing should be done by gut feelings or other forms of short-sightedness. Old notions of social cooperation, community and intrinsic trust should be questioned and reevalued at every moment’s notice.

It is important to not wait until disaster strikes, in order to be cautious and vigilant about your actions. Taking it all serious should start today.

secrecy, seclusion, isolation

Human civilization thrives through cooperation. But this is only true when there is a certain level of food security and availability of resources (such as it is still the case with normal disasters or other classic prepper scenarios). In a doomsday scenario such as outlined with AGI however, you can expect that most people will gradually or dramatically switch to destructive, deceitful, violent or other antisocial behaviors. Therefore, the greatest threat you face in a societal collapse are simply other people and being exposed to them. The best strategy is then to just avoid them.

Even if there are initial advantages in going a cooperative route, the risk you are taking does not outweigh the benefit. Eventually the same people willing to help you will raid you for food if they run out. And you only make a name for yourself as someone “who can help” and likely also has food supplies stocked.

Your first priority should be physical distance. Prep and bug out into a secluded vacation home in the wilderness if you can. Or maybe you know a relative in a remote location, to whom you can build a high level of trust from now on, and eventually let him in on your prepping plans. The higher the population density is where you live, the more you should bend your mind around it in advance, to somehow be able to get to a safer, stocked, prepared and more rural shelter on doomsday. Generally speaking, staying in a urban environment is a very very bad situation. But in any case, you should stay in a very secure place where your supplies are and where you can defend them. So if it can’t be helped to remain in an urban area, then you have to deal with it.

Other means of avoiding people are simply keeping quiet and a low profile. Don’t behave suspiciously. Observe your neighbors. Don’t give away cues such as a noisy generator, being the only home with lights on and power, hauling large amounts supplies, suddenly new solar panels or other fixtures, and maybe even a smoking chimney. Ask for food like other people but not too much. You want to talk with people as little as possible, and be seen as little as possible. But absolutely never being seen and never talking to anyone could make you stand out as well.

Don’t chit-chat, ask for advice or otherwise talk on ham-radio on common frequencies without extreme reasons. You wouldn’t even guess how easy it can be to identify and locate people when nothing of consequence was said.

Beware of other “preppers” especially, as they are inherently more dangerous than normal people. Most of them are unlikely to have more than 1 month of supplies, but they know all the tricks to identify other preppers and get food.

Never talk about prepping to anyone, never give away food to anyone, always play dumb. Nothing could be more critical to your survival than this.


Friends, mobs or organized gangs might raid your place eventually. This is why you have to keep a certain larger amount of your food and a small second set of items such as weapons as backup, and hide it somewhere safe. Possible hiding places:

  • bury 200L drums where no one sees it (reinforce with wood from outside to prevent collapse)
  • erect a new drywall in a corner
  • inside unused chimneys
  • ceiling spaces
  • under a large pile of rubble in an cramped attic

Only drums are really rodent-proof, so hiding bags of rice in the walls can be a risk. Rodents will start chewing through all packaging at the same time and spread dangerous disease with their feces. They can climb walls vertically and get inside homes in impossible spaces.

Ultimately finding safe hiding spots, other than burying drums outside, is challenging. If the situation was such that the risk to be raided was suddenly extremely high, then even just putting the backup supplies into places that are counter-intuitive and hard to reach or check could be very helpful. Thieves might feel most content with stealing your main stock and probably will not waste time on looking for any unlikely backups. Similarly desperate hungry mobs or neighbors are unlikely to think as far as to check your whole house for a hidden stash.

shelter & security

As mentioned earlier, you should always stay at the place where your supplies are safe. And if at all possible get very far away from people at the same time.

You should leave your place as little as possible and have always someone guard it.

Sleep at somewhat or entirely different times so that people can be on guard 24/7.

If guns are outlawed, have other weapons accessible in many places, such as spears in corners and crossbows to shoot through windows or doors. Keep a folding knife and pepper spray in your pocket at all times.

If there are many sections in your house or multiple buildings, concentrate beds, people and storage all in one corner or section that is easy to defend and hard to break into. Install two drop bars behind the main doors from the inside. Unfortunately there are many variations of houses, rural or remote, so it is hard to give more specific advice about this. It is possible to break and overcome many common types of doors or windows in a matter of seconds, often even without any tools at all.


Do weight lifting, run marathons. Quit smoking, drinking, caffeine or drugs. A lot of medication like antidepressants, benzodiazepines, pain medication or statins are heavily overprescribed and questionable to use to begin with. They might be deteriorating your health and produce severe withdrawal symptoms. If you are obese lose weight. You can’t expect to survive if severely sick and dependent on medication that will run out. Blood pressure medication can produce withdrawal effects as well. So if it is within the realm of reason, you should try to somehow fix your life and stress levels today, so that you can reduce your dose and maybe quit all together. If you are too old or sick, you should get comfortable with the thought to sacrifice yourself when it comes down to it, and save your children or relatives instead by following this guide.


As mentioned, skills can be deceiving in that they will only be marginally useful, often cost you a lot of time to aquire and bother with, or give you a false sense of competence, secuity and alternative options. I will list some things here that are short to explain and have some value, to not clog up the other pages with information of low priority.

Food preservation and spoilage

By submerging foods in water and sealing the container oxygen is removed. By adding salt and/or vinegar, harmful microbes are put at a disadvantage. If this is done in jars to produce, a process called fermentation (via lactic acid bacteria) will start. Cultivating this microorganism provides somewhat of a guarantee that other microorganisms will die and the food will be safe to eat for a year or so. Fermentation will still occur at 3% salt and 3% acetic acid solution, but it will be significantly slowed down. 1% of both will still work out for a high success rate, or 3% of either or. Sugar only works to preserve food if used in extreme quantities, e.g. in jams, and otherwise it accelerates microbial growth, especially yeast, which are naturally present on some fruits. Similarly salt and vinegar do not kill microbes, in concentrations that you can still consider edible/palatable, if it wasn’t for lactic acid fermentation to outcompete the other microbes. The goal in food preservation is therefore either to (lactic acid) ferment, or to remove water entirely, or both. Another method would be pressure-cooked jars, which relies on heat and specialized equipment.

To cure meat, rub it in as much salt as possible, ideally 2-3x in a row every hour, then smoke it over a fire for a few hours or dry it in the sun or over an heating oven. Just using salt without smoking or drying is rather prone to failure, even if you are curing whole cuts (which are sterile on the inside), and even if you do 6 rubs with salt throughout the day. Even if cured, as in salami, less-dry or humidity-exposed meat can develop molds on the outside which may or may not be safe to eat. Recognizing those molds without extensive experience is possible, but not ultimately safe. The safest mold color is white, while green might be so and so, and black, pink or orange is rather dangerous.

Generally speaking, fermented foods will have a very distinct, slightly odd but still pleasant taste, like Kimchi. Actually spoiled food that is not safe to eat can almost always be recognized by a very strong and repugnant smell and taste. Food that tastes excessively odd, but not outright repugnant, might still be safe to eat in small quantities but could cause strong digestive issues in larger quantities. This guideline is only true to naturally preserved food that is not older than 2 years.

Canned food where the can has bulged could be very dangerous and should be discarded.

If you are thinking about food preservation, you have to realize that there is hardly any place at all were this food will come from. Unless of course you live in a rural area or the wilderness. Trees will be picked blank, your horticulture will be raided empty. And it is not like you have a pig to slaughter or boar to hunt that you could cure and live off through winter time. For most people, those skills can hardly ever be put to use in the heat of a doomsday scenario. What counts is only the stockpile of food you have in your cellar. Always keep that in mind.