The Givers and the Takers – What Will You Do When the SHTF?

What Will You Do When the SHTF10th May 2014

By  Gaye  Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

During my recent vacation, I made a pest of myself by asking strangers whether they were prepared. This was done in a very polite manner after engaging in small talk and learning where they lived and asking about the likelihood of a  natural disaster in their home town.  Responses such as “Oh yes, of course. We have five gallons of water, some canned goods, and a basement” were common. And so it goes.

Just this weekend I learned of a local establishment that will serve as a Red Cross shelter if the big one (earthquake) comes along. Not 30 minutes later I learned that the same establishment was built on landfill and would be swept away if there were a quake of any major magnitude.

I get so frustrated when I hear such idiocy.

Today I will describe the ‘givers and the takers’ in emergency situations, and the decisions we may be forced to make if the stuff hits the fan.  

How will  you  deal with the unprepared?

What Will You Do When SHTF?

As much as I wish it were not true, I do believe that within my lifetime, our society will reach a SHTF situation. The nature and shape of this event is unknown to me but on some level, I dread the thought of the societal chaos that will occur, for better or for worse.

Now it may seem odd to include the words “for better” when referring to a SHTF situation, but in looking back at history, it seems that advances in civilization have frequently risen from the ashes of chaos. So even though I may have to live through the disorganized and destructive forces of a global breakdown, the optimist in me is hopeful that the results will be beneficial to future generations – even if the generations may be hundreds of years from now.

This leads me to the topic today: What will you do if and when the SHTF? How will you deal with the unprepared? Will you be a Giver to those that have failed to prepare?

As some of my readers have indicated, in today’s world there are people that will walk in to a McDonald’s and demand free food.   If it is not forthcoming, they shoot the place up, causing harm to innocent bystanders.   For these people, there is a prevailing mentality of entitlement with no mindset oriented toward hard work, moral ethics and the family values so well ingrained in previous generations.

So where does this leave the prepper? Where does this leave those of us that have saved our money, planned for the unexpected and lived a life of self-sufficiency? When the SHTF, do we share what we have with our peers that have lived the good life with no concern for tomorrow? Do we open our homes and our hearts? Or do we lock ourselves up within our well-fortified homesteads and say no, you are not welcome here?

This is certainly not a new topic but one that must be addressed on an ongoing basis. Why you ask? Well for one, food is becoming more scarce and more expensive on a daily basis. Something as simple and basic as a single potato can now cost as much as $1.00 each. A buck a potato? Five years ago that would have been unheard of. Fuel to heat our homes and to cook our food is becoming precious and consider this: gasoline, the mainstay source of power for our transportation systems is running $11 a gallon in Europe. It won’t be long until the rest of the world will pay that much and I don’t know about you, but that will certainly curtail my ability and interest in freely moving around by private vehicle.

During some recent travels to the city, I saw copious and conspicuous consumption. It was sickening. And yet the mention of putting away some canned goods and extra water for a “just in case” situation was met with either a quizzical look, a blank stare, or an “are you one of those nut jobs?” comment. This came from folks with a new car in the driveway next to a mailbox overflowing with monthly credit card bills totaling tens of thousands in debt. These same folks were also dining at the newest and the most chic of restaurants and were routinely coming home with shopping bags laden with brand new designer clothes. (And by the way, those designer duds are often available for a fraction of the price on eBay.)

I just do not get it. And as generous of spirit as I would like to be, I find myself hunkering down and reminding myself that I can not and will not be able to help these people. Even more significant, I don’t want to help them. For the moment, I am losing compassion for those that will not take the few steps necessary to learn to fend for themselves.

One thing I know for sure: I will not be a Taker. But when the SHTF, I will also not be a Giver to those that have turned their thumbs down to those of us that have kept informed and learned to be self-sufficient and self-reliant, no matter what.

How about you? Will you be a Giver when society breaks down?

Further articles by Gaye Levy:

About the author:

gaye levyGaye Levy, also known as  the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State.

Through her website at,  Gaye lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle, speaking her mind and delivering her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us.  Gaye is also the author of 2 kindle books,  The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage  and  11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life, available  now on

You can find Gaye through her website, on  Facebook,  Twitter  and  Pinterest.

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Gaye’s  Facebook  page, which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  In addition, when you  sign up to receive Gaye’s email updates  you will receive a free, downloadable copy of her e-book  The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.


If you've found value in our articles, we invite you to support the release of our brand-new book, "Gratitude Practices for Kids: A Practical Guide for Adults to Instill a Spirit of Appreciation and Positivity in the Next Generation."

"Gratitude Practices for Kids" brings together over 25 innovative and accessible practices designed to enhance gratitude in everyday life. This comprehensive guide is backed by 17 scientific studies, ensuring each concept is grounded in research, underscoring our commitment to nurturing growth, emotional intelligence, and positive interactions between adults and children.

We encourage you to opt for the paperback version to celebrate this new release. Dive into its fresh pages away from digital distractions, allowing you to immerse yourself in the transformative practices it offers.

Over recent years, Wake Up World has faced significant online censorship, which has impacted our financial ability to operate. Moving into book publishing represents a strategic step to secure the ongoing funds needed to continue our mission. By purchasing Gratitude for Kids, you help us keep our content free and accessible to everyone, avoiding needing a paywall. With over 8,500 articles published in the last 13 years, we remain dedicated to keeping our valuable content open to all.