5 Places You Shouldn’t Go When SHTF

When disaster strikes, there are certain places you definitely want to steer clear of. We’ve witnessed it during the pipeline outage in 2021, the devastating hurricane Katrina, and the pandemic – there are some spots that should be on your “avoid at all costs” list.

Emotions run wild, and unfortunately, there may be opportunistic individuals lurking around, searching for vulnerable targets. So, when disaster strikes, make every effort to stay away from the following areas if you can.

  1. Public Places

Public places should be avoided during emergencies for several reasons. First, these areas are prone to chaos and panic, making it difficult to maintain personal safety and navigate effectively. Crowds can lead to stampedes or violent confrontations, resulting in unnecessary harm. Secondly, public places are often the first to be stripped of resources such as food and water during crises, leaving those dependent on these resources at a disadvantage.

This leads us to the second place you should avoid.

  1. Grocery Stores & Gas Stations

During an emergency, it may seem logical to visit grocery stores and gas stations. However, it is advisable to avoid these places for a couple of reasons. Firstly, these establishments are likely to be overwhelmed with people panic shopping, which can lead to the second reason for avoiding them: the potential for a mob to break out and mass looting to occur.

The same applies to gas stations. In times of disaster, people waiting in line for fuel can become agitated, and if the station runs out of fuel, the situation can become precarious. Moreover, waiting in line for fuel puts you at risk of being carjacked by a looter.

If you have to go out during an emergency, back into a parking lot. That way, if things get crazy, you can leave the area quickly.

  1. Gun Stores

Most gun owners already have what they need, so those flooding a firearm store are desperate. Depending on where you live, there may be laws imposing mandatory waiting periods, which could lead to customers being even more anxious.

We saw something similar to this in 2020.

Additionally, depending on the severity of the disaster, looters may feel they have the opportunity to take advantage of the situation, and you don’t want to be there when they do.

  1. Hospitals

Unless you are seriously wounded, this would not be where you want to be. If a disaster takes place, they’ll likely be crowded. Hospitals have triage, meaning even a severe wound could take hours before attention is given, and you could be there for hours. Meaning people will be agitated and emotional. All of these things could turn into a powder keg. Better to have your own supplies and only go to the hospital if you absolutely must.

  1. Pharmacies

During a severe disaster, people are going to realize they may not have enough of their prescription to get them through and start to panic. Additionally, the flow of pharmaceuticals may be hampered due to the damage. This will lead to many becoming desperate, which could create a mob of angry customers. Since pharmacies have controlled substances, they are also a prime target to be looted.


Some other areas you may want to avoid are shelters. Like we saw during Katrina some people at the shelter may not have your best interest in mind. Also, stay out of the bad part of town. If the area was terrible when things were normal it’s going to be a whole lot worse now.

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