Post SHTF Occupations

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Gazrok

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Everyone talks about surviving, but how many people actually have a plan for what they'd DO after a SHTF event? By this, I mean a job, a function to society beyond just your own survival.

I remember an episode of Doomsday Preppers. I know, most of it is pretty crazy and of course, made to make the person look like a loon, but there was this one guy who is a trucker, and post SHTF, he foresees a need for this of course.

It got me thinking. What would we do post SHTF? Specialization is the key to human society really. We can't all be good at everything. When we assembled our group, we were lucky enough to have friends who were ex-military, current law enforcement, former EMT, skilled animal handlers, etc. I got the idea that once settled into our lifestyle (post SHTF), we'd likely be a trading post...trading goods and services we could spare, for things others could spare that we need (or could trade with others).

Of course, this had me taking stock of what we could offer (or could learn to offer). Now, some of these things we'd be able to do, and others we'd trade for, but here are some ideas.

Looter - A guy who goes around looking for discarded or abandoned items. He might find ammo that doesn't fit his weapon, for example, and want to trade it for a jar of home-canned food. Could also be less savory raiders, but same deal, they may find they make out better trading vs. risking it with armed opponents. Example, a looter may clean out an old abandoned pharmacy, but have no idea what the drugs do. He trades them with us for food, any needed meds, water, some ammo, etc. We then have them to trade with others (or use on patients).

Medical - Whether an EMT, a doctor, a nurse, or even someone who knows a lot of first aid, these skills will be in demand. Serious ethical issues too, because you don't want to use up items if nothing for trade. However, labor could always be a commodity.

Farmer - Grow food, trade excess for other items. Raise animals for food, work, etc.

Drugs - Whether looted pharmaceuticals, home-made remedies from medicinal herbs, tobacco or currently illegal plants, etc., these will be hot commodities.

Mechanic - Things break, always need fixing

Construction/Plumber/Electrician - Always have to build, modify things, fix infrastructure

Messenger/Communications - Whether a HAM operator or runner, communication will be very different, as will news

Fuel Specialist - Making biodiesel, converting engines, etc.

Soldier - Things need to be guarded

Trader - What I plan to do (as above)

Prostitute - You know it will be around

Truck Driver - Would probably be armed convoys, but can see how this would eventually be something that would work, especially once settlements allied.

Food Prep - How to preserve food without modern power, etc.

Hunter/Fisherman - Provides meat for the masses

Laborer - Just all around muscle work

I'm sure there are PLENTY of others you could think of.
 

Altani

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My husband will probably shine the best in SHTF jobs. He's one of those guys that loves fixing things and can build a house by himself. He can do pretty much any kind of construction, repair kinda stuff and can fix cars, tractors, and appliances. He's also one of those broad shouldered and tall guys. He knows basic blacksmithing (he's building a forge right now), animal handling and care, and he knows how to shoot and use bladed medieval style weapons.
I would probably work as a negotiator (a lot of people come to me with their problems and I'm very good at getting a disagreement resolved), and a manufacturer of things that can be sewn. I can make quilts (I really don't like to do quilting but basic blankets for warmth, I can make), mend and make clothing, and my specialty is hats especially fur lined or very warm felt hats. I'm hoping to learn how to hunt and maybe that would be something else. With prostitution, I'd be worried about STIs so I would not go that route. I have a feeling my hubby would not agree to that anyway, though I know he'd be okay with me being an entertainer as I can sing and I do know how to belly dance (I know some real-life gypsies that make a living playing music with singers and dancers).
Remember, specialization actually is fairly modern concept. I think in a SHTF situation, you're gonna want as many services to offer as possible. In history, the more valuable you are, the less likely you would be killed. You might be captured and put to work but they may not kill you which brings me to another occupation to your list: Slaver.
I have no doubt that slavery, still a common enough problem today, would come back into fashion. There will always be those who will strong arm others who have skills they don't into doing things for them for little to nothing. People may go in willingly because at least they would be given a chance to survive in a group. There may be those that come along as 'agents' to find a place for such people or take them by force and sell them. Human trafficking is big business now. I don't see why it wouldn't be then only more outright and pronounced here in the states than it is now because there would be now laws stopping them from doing otherwise.
 

Gazrok

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I have no doubt that slavery, still a common enough problem today, would come back into fashion
Sadly, I think you're right about that.

With prostitution, I'd be worried about STIs
Obviously safe sex would be the way, though yeah, certain aids for that would be in limited supply. Oddly enough, some of the women in my group suggested it, not me. On that one, my only comment is has to be ladies' choice...up to them to offer that up, and to who, etc. Of course, here's to hoping we never have a SHTF event that tests such things.
 

Overlord

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You can also add:

Tailor/Seamstress/Weaver - For making clothes and anything cloth in general. the latter to make the cloths
 

Kenny Lee

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I currently make soap, there I said it ><. When the SHTF all the smelly people will need to come to me to keep themselves clean. On another note, wouldn't people have to go back to being jack of all trades type people anyway?
 

Overlord

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I currently make soap, there I said it ><. When the SHTF all the smelly people will need to come to me to keep themselves clean. On another note, wouldn't people have to go back to being jack of all trades type people anyway?
Maybe for small tasks, yes, we would need to be a jack of all trades but at the community level, there would be a need to have specialists for certain tasks
 

DrHenley

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Once upon a time I wanted to make custom knives for a living. Some were made from store-bought metal, but some were made from things like industrial hacksaw blades. It was not a lucrative job back then, and my father talked me into going back to school instead of pursuing the knifemaking business, but I believe it will be an important trade post SHTF. Even just maintaining blades for people may be a lucrative job. Maybe I'll even be a blacksmith...

There should be massive quantities of leaf springs from abandoned vehicles...so I'll never run out of raw materials.
 

ChancesR

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I sew on a treadle sewing machine and make clothes, I make patterns from just measurements and would love to weave on a floor loom non electric of course but my real dream is woodworking with non electric 1800's styled machines some of the best things ever built or made was prier to electricity I want a work shop where I can make and employ people to make not just wood crafts but also the devices and non electric machines to be used by others till the US recovers should an EMP or prices make electricity unavailable. I think the later is more likely "prices must necessarily sky-rocket" to quote the president.
 

Tom Franks

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You do such a great job with your information. Also, read your information about your bug-in location well down.
Here we are a multi-generational family. Carpenter and military service. We have also been learning other skills and medical is one. Anyhow, we enjoy your writing.
 

TypicalDude

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This is a very interesting and enjoyable topic.
It's very simple if we figure that like a jump to the 19th century where we'll have to say bye to many comforts.
It depends by the scenario you have. The needings depends on the environment: for example a pandemic sickness would set completely different issues rather than a nuclear conflict. Btw I suppose we're talking about a "stick-and-stones" scenario, and we know water and food will become the major issues, so people will move to coastal areas or near big rivers who provide some green grass. Then plumbers will be no that fundamental. People who can teach how to fish, grow plants and breed animals will become important figures and I don't know if I can say rich to some degrees.
Medics will be the most seeked people, because any "really bad" catastrophe will cause health problems, without mentioning the people who already depend on drugs for living, so also pharmacists will become precious. Taylors ... mmmhhh also, but we would be already plenty of clothes nobody will wear, while food rots.
Trained people who know how to protect a community if the gov fails, ordinary people who try that that usually fail or end becoming violent, ex officers would be perfect because they also know the basic of the law, they could even manage the community with the right to do that, thinking that people like mayors and judges are absent. Mechanics and electricians, definetely yes, because for the most the few current/power supplies available will be gasoline/diesel engines.
Faith will be a concrete hope more than ever so priests will become very important social figures again.
People who are brave enough to travel far away in order to mantain contact with other communities or seek help (not a kind of sentinels).
Anyway, if we assume the distribution of roles the same everywhere, statistics says there will be no lack of a particular professionist, but the distribution it's not that equal everywhere so big cities and small villages will have different resources and lackings. Little-medium size cities will face the least problems but big flows of refugees. All of this with the hypothesis that someday the gov will handle the situation again and restore order and safety.
Maybe I've just written complete BS and I'm also sure that I missed so many essential professions, but it's just my 0.02$.
 

realisticdude

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A country boy can survive . Jack of all trades ...master of none. What job do you need done ?
 

Kamokustoms

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I would say the Blacksmithing trade would be my area as I have been a fabricating something from steel most of my life. I make knives, axes, tooling and just about anything needed. Also I have a heavy background in Military, Law enforcement and Farming........I think Hank Jr says it best, "country folks will survive"
 

Verona

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Military medical training is my trade. Im only air force but im a self trained marksman on my handguns, my ARs, and my sniper. I can cover 600-700 yards out in my field of view by myself for a long time. Plus i have hand to hand combat training including the ability to use my own hand sharpened throwing knives at upwards of 20 feet away. I can fight and treat. Note: im only a field medic, i cannot perform surgeries or anything at that level.
 

The Norwegian

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Farmer or fisherman for me.
But there will also be room for musicians and singers. Entertainment will still be around. Someone will probably want to rule as well...
 

Longhorn

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I'd probably fall somewhere between Drugs/Farmer/Fisherman/Cultivator/Cook ... and Communications/News/Teacher/Commerce.

I have professional culinary experience, I grow my over herbs, fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants year round and plan to continue to grow them plus add growing tobacco and marijuana post shtf for bartering. I live in Florida so I have some decent fishing experience. So that is where I would draw from for my occupation.

I've been a freelance photo-journalist out of high school, I originally wanted to go into the journalism field in school but opted for business management. I've been a writer and corporate admin for a few websites and a company for 10 years as my profession. My mother was a psychologist (and so is my wife) who had her own practice which I helped run and I learned a lot from her about human behavior, ptsd, domestic violence, and so forth. So I feel that i've learned some great info and still have so much source material that I could draw from for running a business, and teaching some sort of way, or even as a form of committee/council or government going forward.
 

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