For those new on the scene to prepping, and survival here is the meaning or both hashtags.
#SHTF = Shit Hits The Fan
#TEOTWAWKI = The End Of The World As We Know It.
Both relate to prepping which is a term for preparedness. Preparedness towards the goal of survival. Survival is a general term that covers many sub-categories. Self-reliance, bushcraft, wilderness survival, urban survival, bugging out, off the grid living, homesteading etc..
Back before Y2K, 1999 the fear was that a technology collapse was possible due to the pending new year and the date formats of computers. People began prepping for the unexpected chain of events that would transpire if the social infrastructure collapsed. People began stockpiling up on gold coins and silver. Weapons and ammo in large quantities. They began storing food, fuels and water. However prepping did not go mainstream during this time just yet. Y2K came and gone with little to no effect. Companies and Governments to precautions to avert the disaster.
Y2K birthed the era of prepping that eventually went mainstream with the prediction of #TEOTWAWKI via 2012 and the Mayan Calendar ending on Dec 31, 2011. Again nothing happen on this date and life went on as normal.
Then with the US deficit rising beyond record breaking numbers. People losing faith in our country's leadership and ability to ever balance the national budget. Fear of civil and economic disaster, forced the mindset for more and more people to take precautions needed to become Self-Reliant.
The popularity of Survival and Prepper television programming became record breaking. The education and entertainment value flew through the roof. People were adopting preparedness more than ever in the history of the modern world. In the last several decades natural disasters of mega proportions started to unfold. More and more people became fearful of the unknown potential tragedy they could confront. School shootings, workplace violence and terroristic attacks both domestic and foreign. All these incident types brought with it more prepping by more people. Causing more of the population to explore preparedness as their only option to survive. The threat of war, flu pandemic, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, nuclear war, super volcanos erupting and other like disaster keep bringing more people to join the frenzy known as prepping.
So in a nutshell, here it is:
First things first, everyone should be prepared and have on hand the minimal life sustaining things needed in case of an emergency. Emergencies can be anything from natural to manmade disasters. However to take survival to the next level, one needs more than just inventory. Survival skills are needed to achieve self-reliance.
The knowledge needed to sustain for extended periods of time. Immediately some critical skills needed might be as simple as CPR, Basic First Aid. This would cover self aid and buddy aid.
The ability to defend yourself physically from an attacker with a form of self defense fighting style. Having training in hand-to-hand combat is smart.
Having food and water stored for your family that will last 72 hours or much longer. For long term survival you will need shelf stable and long term storable foods. This includes medication and first aid kits. Survival kits are also highly encouraged.
The next concern for a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI scenario may be security. You're ability to protect you and your family from hostile criminals or groups.
Beyond having an inventory comes proper training with the correct use of your home defense weapons or firearms.
Knowledge of primitive weapons construction will serve greatly too. Once the ammo runs out, you may find a need to fall back on primitive technology.
This covers a wide variety of personal
preferences. Here are a few tips on weapons/tools and their use.
• Bow & Arrow
• Sling Shots
• Firearms made in the privacy of one's garage or workshop.
Just to name a few.
First everyone needs to know safely how to use each weapon. Knowing properly the mechanical functions and safety procedures to all weapon types in your inventory. Practicing how to not only use safely but effectively.
Second however nice it might be to have a large collection. In a SHTF scenario, everyone should carry the same caliber ammo as the assist in a ammo support situation.
If you all carried different types of weapons and ammo types for various calibers. If a fire fight when one runs out of ammo he or she is out of the fight completely. To avoid this by carrying the same calibers of firearms this allowed you to support one another with ammo crossover or exchanges.
Some Preppers collect massive inventories and stockpile everything in their homes. I always thought that this was in part a failure in planning. First is hiding your inventory from those who wish to take it. If in a survival situation you might be forced to protect your inventory with lethal force.
One potential failure I see with this is if your home is cordoned off and a larger force organizes and plans to raid your homestead will you be able to effectively defeat the larger force?
I suggest you maintain 3 to 7 days supply for your home. Keeping the bulk of your inventory where you plan to Bug Out to in a geocache known only to you and your family members. Also never hide your inventory in only one or two places. I suggest multiple locations so if one cache is found you're not at a total loss. Also publicly advertising in social media or other such resources that your a Prepper as if you're proud of it and want to gain a certain level of respect for being known as one. This is a violation in your very own OPSEC. Nobody outside your immediate family or isolated group should ever know you are a Prepper. It's like holding up a huge sign "Come rob me if Shit Hits The Fan!"
Also beware that if SHTF were to happen your localize community will be watching your habits. When you move, what you carry out or in with you as you come and go. If they are all without power yet you have lights. That being an indicator or sign you posses a generator can cause horrible consequences. While everyone else is starving and losing weight, becoming unhealthy yet you're not impacted shows you posses an inventory. Never keep your inventory in your house. Spread it out. Keep in mind that law enforcement, military could go house to house seeking to confiscate your firearms and ammo stockpiles. I urge you to consider geocache seriously as a method to protect your inventory.
Only trusted members should know where geocaches are located. Also more valuable than food is water. You should consider cache of water or a secret water well as part of your SHTF plan.
Survival skills not only for wilderness but all region specific environments you may find yourself traveling or living in will be a life savor. Urban survival skills are key especially if you are forced to remain or return to a built up area.
My recommendation is once you relocate to your safe haven at all costs remain there if you can until you know things have improved or not elsewhere.
Having knowledge on primitive survival skills will help to minimize the need for extensive inventories and give you freedom of maneuver carrying much lighter loads. So consider learning primitive survival and bushcraft skills.
In a scenario of TEOTWAWKI you're basically trying to get away from bad people yet don't avoid good people. Remember there are more good people in our society than bad. Yet to be safe when you're not certain, avoid other people until you feel comfortable with them again.
In a worse case situation it's important to remember that the average Bug Out type personality is running for the wilderness. This can pose life and death consequences especially for trigger happy personalities or their victims.
It's my opinion that running to the wilderness might be like running into the middle of a civil war! That's the battlefield. Your best bet would be to seek refuge via a sailboat and head off to a remote location.
Why you might ask do I feel this way? It's simple, over the last three years I have heard countless people state that if someone crosses their property border it's shoot first, ask questions later. This shoot first ideology seems to be running rampant with the extreme of the Preppers.
What's smart, smart would be to eventually collect members and restructure communities together. Remember that in a TEOTWAWKI situation military either our own or foreign troops will be patrolling our streets. We will fall under a Marshal Law. So curfews will be in effect, you may also not be allowed to travel beyond boundaries set in place either.
The fear of the unknown is the thing that has the biggest influence on Preppers. Nobody knows what's going to happen. I suggest that we focus on community and not individualism and the reward will be greater. Prepping is made up mostly of individualism rather than community. Strength in numbers is obvious. Criminals and combative groups will run in packs, so should the good citizens. Security comes in greater numbers.
However the needs of the greater numbers grow as well. Sustainment for the members of your family or group will become center stage.
Homesteading skills, farming and harvesting will be needed. How many of you know how to dispatch a slaughtered animal for food or clothing? When was the last time you planted a garden and harvested your garden?
When was the last time you made your own ammo? Can you walk into the woods and pick out what plants are a viable food source or poisonous?
Can you survive without electricity and gasoline? Actually you can survive, it may not be ideal but not so many decades ago our ancestors all used candles and oil lamps in the evening hours. We are simply spoiled now, try living two weeks with no running water or electricity. It's not fun, yet it can be done. Try and see how fast things become uncomfortable. First main concern will be toilets and flushing. Second will be the food in the refrigerator and freezer.
Third concern may just be the Air Conditioner or Heater. Then sanitation will become a concern as well. It for some would seem easier to live outdoors than to worry about staying in a house with all the luxuries removed.
If SHTF or TEOTWAWKI did happen do you have a plan? What would you do? Would you survive?
Hope you enjoyed this article, please give me your comments in reply.
"Know More, Need Less" -Daniel W. Shrigley
• Be Prepared • Stay Alive • Thrive
"In Survival Failure Is NOT An Option" -Daniel W. Shrigley