These are the 4 waves of SHTF refugees you need to look out for
06/08/2020 // Arsenio Toledo // Views

After SHTF, or after a catastrophic disaster strikes, people will try to flee. People will leave their homes and fan out into the countryside, other cities and even neighboring countries if they can manage it. If a place is unsafe or if there's no food left in that area, people will choose to either stay and hope for things to get better or try their luck and venture out. These refugees will be coming in waves that you should prepare for. Here are the four waves and what you can do to get through them. (h/t to Redemtion.Home.Blog)

First wave

Amid a disaster, people will begin trickling away from their homes and communities. After about a week or two, this wave will be reduced to walking as their vehicles break down and run out of gas. Don't expect the vast majority of these people to be violent or threatening in any way. The reality of survival has not yet dawned on them, and their fixation is only on seeking food. Many in this wave will still be unable to comprehend the fact that their homes must be abandoned.

Maintain a low profile during this wave. If people come by your home, respond positively. Politely say no to them and encourage them to find food elsewhere.

Second wave

The second wave will be a lot more hardened in their attitudes than the first. This wave is beginning to understand that they need to take advantage of any possible food source they can find because they can no longer afford leaving a place empty-handed. These people are a lot more desperate and are willing to do more to get their hands on some food.


Fortunately, this wave will still be inclined to look for greener pastures. They might look for a place they can rest for the night and ask for a full meal, but they will move on quickly, especially if it's clear to them that there's nothing in your area worth staying over.

Hopefully your home is far away from many of the major routes across the country, such as the coasts, interstate highways and any other paths leading to major urban centers.

Third wave

After about three more weeks, the second wave will die down. Similar to the last two waves, this third one will be made up of refugees. However, unlike them, these ones will be looking to settle down anywhere they can. (Related: Europe would have had MILLIONS of coronavirus cases if it did not close borders, finds study.)

These people know that they won't be able to return to their homes anytime soon and that they need to take care of themselves in this new place. Some of them will offer their services to people – a job, in exchange for food and shelter.

Most, however, might resort to criminal acts out of desperation. These people will rob you of your supplies and your home, without any concern for long-term sustainability. Once they've taken everything they can from you, they will move on.

Learn how to differentiate from those who are potential allies and those who are actual threats.

Fourth wave

The fourth wave will come in two stages: the organized gangs and the reorganized government force.

The organized gangs will be a lot more ruthless than the disorganized groups of refugees. They might offer protection, but in return they will take a significant chunk out of your income and food stores.

The reorganized government force will claim to work for the legitimate government of your area. However, they will act as brutally and as ruthlessly as the organized gangs, except they will try and hide their actions behind a thin veneer of legality. Hiding from this reorganized government will be fruitless, even if you've successfully bugged out deep in the wilderness.

When you encounter either the gangs or the reorganized government, your best option for surviving is to create win-win scenarios where you can both come out on top. For instance, you can leverage your knowledge and wealth, such as if you have a fruitful garden or if you have medical or repair experience. Make it clear to them that they stand to gain more by leaving you unharmed.

Or you can make yourself – and your community – far too costly to attack. This can work if you and your community are well-armed and well-prepared for the possibility of a firefight.

How to protect your home against invasion

If violence does ensue, you need to make sure that you have the upper hand in any engagement. Here are five tips for defending your home against either the militarized force or the organized gangs that might come for your supplies. (h/t to

  1. Make your home worth defending – Stock up on food, water, firearms and ammunition. This can motivate you to fight harder than you would if you were protecting a house with barely anything in it.
  2. Keep the looters outside your home – If one looter with a gun makes their way into your home, your chances of survival will drop significantly. Erect walls and barricades to keep intruders out. Place barbed wire on top of your fences and cover your windows with nail boards.
  3. Keep yourself covered – The home invaders will most likely be able to shoot back. Protect yourself by giving yourself plenty of cover, such as with sandbags placed in strategic locations.
  4. Make it difficult to enter your home – Your house itself must be fortified in case looters make their way through your perimeter defenses. Install plexiglass windows that are difficult to shatter, replace your wooden doors with steel reinforced ones or install heavy-duty locks and hinges. While these upgrades are not impossible to break through, they can buy you time to escape if need be.
  5. Have a backup plan – If the attack is too organized and too powerful, you must retreat. No amount of supplies and gear is worth losing your life over. If you truly have no other option, find a way to escape, such as a secret tunnel that can ferry you and your family out or a fortified bug-out vehicle that can ram through enemy lines.

To learn more about how to prepare your home, your family and yourself when SHTF, visit

Sources include:

Redemtion.Home.Blog 1

Redemtion.Home.Blog 2

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