We know, we know: disaster preparedness is boring, survivalists are whack jobs and zombies are a fictional fad unlikely to actually wander the earth sucking out brains and feasting on carcasses. ---
But within the last couple of weeks, Kewa Pueblo was devastated by biblical-sized hail, Flagstaff, Ariz. was ripped apart by tornadoes and Oklahoma experienced a 4.3 magnitude earthquake. None of these are "normal" occurrences: anything can—and eventually will—happen. Half of us think Tea Party victories will spell the end and the other half are convinced President Obama will destroy America if left unchecked. However it goes, there's some merit in readiness.
Whether you're afraid of a NWO (New World Order) or a situation WROL (Without Rule of Law), it can't hurt to have some "preps" tucked away. With tongue only loosely in cheek, SFR is embarking on an investigation into how people prepare for seriously cinematic end times.
As a primer to this weekly report on "disaster preparedness, survivalism and all things apocalyptic" here's a glossary of terms germane to the discussion. In the coming weeks, we'll examine New Mexico's recommended disaster preparedness steps and unveil TEiN's first official product review on the JakPak, billed as the "world's first all-in-one waterproof jacket, tent and sleeping bag." We might even throw in a book review.
The glossary is ordered by relevance to the preparedness and survival mentality, rather than alphabetical order.
TEOTWAWKI The End of The World as We Know It. Used to describe an event or series of events so disruptive that the world as we know it is forever altered. Example: "Too bad nobody could possibly have predicted that allowing China to corner the market on rare earth mining was going to lead to TEOTWAWKI. Spare a fen-spot?"
EOTWAWKI End of the World as We Know It. A more practical usage of the above, ie, "an eotwaki event" rather than THE eotwawki event. Example: "Hurricane Samantha was an EOTWAKI situation. She was the creepiest chick my dad ever dated."
SHTF Shit Hits the Fan. Basically a serious eotwawki event, although it can apply to situations of lesser magnitude or temporary disruption as well, such as natural disasters, martial law or a busload of fucking hippies moving into the neighborhood. Example: "When the SHTF, I am going to shoot everyone in a 10 mile radius—that way I can start with a fresh slate when I meet some new folks."
ATSHTF After The Shit Hits the Fan. A term used to clarify discussion about what happens or what to do in a post-disaster or eotwawki situation. Example: "ATSHTF and those hippies put up tipis in the public park, we had no choice but to take a loss on our house and move to Georgia, where people understand us."
WTSHTF When The Shit Hits the Fan. A convenient acronym that saves even more typing, which can get tiresome when all your friends are members of paranoid, online message boards. Example: "WTSHTF, I'm not only going to stop paying rent, but I'm going to beat my landlord to death with a mail-order kubotan."
PREPPING The act of preparing for disaster and unexpected situations by storing food, water and other supplies perceived as necessary for making it through a time of difficulty with few resources. A person who is actively "prepping" is known as a "prepper." Example: "I've been prepping for 20 years but just decided that I'm not sure 2000 rounds of 7.62 x 39 is enough—what do you guys think?"
SHEEPLE These are people who behave like sheep. In other words, they go along with authority and the status quo. If FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency; see below) agents say, "you'll be fine in the Superdome" then the sheeple will head right over, even when there are apparently better options. Example: "The sheeple at work totally buy the line that hillbilly Arabs took out the World Trade Center even though 9.11 was clearly an inside job."
ZOMBIES The zombie apocalypse isn't just good fodder for movies, comic books and video games, its going to come true as soon as the SHTF. But zombies probably won't be shambling, brain-hungry victims of a top secret virus-gone-wrong...zombies are just the wide-eyed and desperate people who never bothered to become "preppers" and find themselves in the midst of an eotwawki event. Zombies are ordinary people who become terrified savages in desperate times. Example: "My in-laws were visiting last week and spent all their time eating and watching TV—they are destined to become spandex-wrapped zombies with fried chicken grease still lingering on their suddenly hungry mouths."
BUG OUT This is the act of rapidly leaving your current location, either in the event of an emergency or in anticipation of an emergency. Example: "WTSHTF, I'm bugging out for Georgia, where the other preppers will help me kill the hippies and take their tipis."
BUG IN This is the act of hunkering down where you are—preferably in the midst of your carefully "prepped" supplies—when the SHTF. Example: "Unless you're Mad Max—and you're not—the only option is bugging in. Or are you going to carry two years of food, tools, supplies and how-to books on your back?"
BOB Bug Out Bag. This is a pack, duffel or other container with everything you need for basic survival when bugging out. Also called a Go Bag, A GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) Bag or an INCH (I'm Not Coming Home) Bag. Example: "I'm pretty fit because the video store I work at is next door to a gym, so I think an 80 pound BOB is reasonable—I won't be hiking more than 20 miles a day."
GHB Get Home Bag. Similar to a BOB, the GHB is designed to hold everything necessary for making it home (from work, from a road trip, from wherever you are) when disaster strikes. People planning to bug in will have a GHB. Example: "My GHB has everything I need to get safely and discreetly from downtown to my house in the gringo barrio—including flats and pumps."
BOL Bug Out Location. A rally point or a secure destination that you plan to head to ATSHTF. Example: "I've totally buried a shipping container way out in the woods where no one will ever find it and I've ringed it with booby traps—it's going to be my BOL."
BOV Bug Out Vehicle. Any vehicle to abet the act of bugging out or to help reach a BOL. Example: "My paranoid neighbor thinks his Hummer is going to get him safely through the congestion of fleeing, panicked masses, but I don't think so—my mountain bike is my BOV."
HIPS Hide In Plain Sight. This is a principle especially pertinent to bugging out in an emergency. If you're trying to carry key survival gear in your military pack while done up in "tacticool" gear (ie, kevlar vest and combat boots with an EBR on a sling), you're either going to attract unwanted attention from FEMA shock troops and cops or you'll be ganked for your shit by hordes of panicked zombies. Example: "I'll be bugging out in shorts and sneakers with my gear in a junky, rolling suitcase in order to HIPS."
SITX Situation X. An unknown future catastrophe. It can be synonymous with TEOTWAKI or applied to any situation with an unknown outcome. Example: "My first trip to the bathroom after those enchiladas is going to be SITX."
EDC Every Day Carry. This is a very important concept for people who focus their OCD (you already know that one) on preparedness and survival. You're simply not always going to have a GHB or your illegally modified AK-47 with you at all times. What do you have day in and day out in your pockets and on your body? This is your every day carry. Example: "Part of my EDC is a belt woven out of 200 feet of 7 strand paracord—with that alone I could rappel from a roof, build a shelter, fabricate a bullwhip, set snare traps and lynch a zombie."
OPSEC Operational Security. This is a military term that has become beloved by the most paranoid (or practical, depending on your take) survivalists. It basically means to maintain strong awareness of your surroundings and your actions and keeping everyone else on a "need to know" status. Example: "Letting your neighbor know that you're prepping is bad OPSEC: WTSHTF, whose door do you think he's going to knock on? How many other people will know that you have supplies?"
SITREP Situation Report. Feedback from someone involved in an event or scouting a SITX. Example: "I just got a SITREP from Detroit over the solar powered HAM radio in the basement—it's been invaded by Somalis!"
MILSURP Military Surplus. Lots of preparedness buffs are into military gear. There's a big argument about whether military or civilian gear is higher quality, but surplus goods are definitely more affordable—an important point when you have a whole apocalypse to fit in your budget. Example: "Nice bright orange pack, loser. I'm sure it's light weight, but let's see what kind of shape it's in after you crawl through thicket to avoid the zombies. My MILSURP pack is made to last."
FAK First Aid Kit. Lots of people are attracted to weapons as preparedness and survival items. But it's going to be a lot more important to heal wounds than to inflict them ATSHTF. Example: "The first place I looted was Walgreens—I grabbed as many FAKs as I could carry."
PSK Personal Survival Kit. This is usually more compact than a BOB—something that can fit in a pocket for EDC. Lot's of people use old Altoids tins or something similar as containers for a few emergency supplies: garbage bag, rubber gloves, safety pin, fishing line and hooks, matches, candles, jig saw blades, band-aids, compass, etc. The shiny interior surface of the tin can function as a signal mirror. These are sometimes called BOATs (Bug Out Altoids Tins). "Um, no...that's not my PSK. Those are wintergreen Altoids. I keep my PSK in a money belt."
PDW Personal Defense Weapon. Some people carry concealed firearms, some people carry knives, some people rock a tire iron. Example: "So dude, what's your PDW? Oh, come on, you can tell me. You wanna see mine?"
LOOTING This, obviously, is the act of taking stuff ATSHTF. Is it looting or is it surviving? It's a debate that creates a deep divide. Probably it depends on what people are taking (if you're grabbing water and FAKs, you're surviving, if you're snatching flat screen TVs, you're looting) and how severe the SITX is. If things are disrupted for several days, looting doesn't seem too appropriate. If zombies are running through the streets, maybe don't worry too much about moral ambiguities. Example: "Even though the mainstream media described Haitians who were scouring the ruins of stores for supplies after the earthquake as 'looters' they were clearly just doing what the could to survive."
EBR Evil Black Rifle. Usually an AR-15. A quasi-facetious term used by gun proponents who fear governmental gun control. Example: "Those stupid congress critters think everything's an assault rifle, but they couldn't tell the difference between and EBR and a shovel."
BFG Big Fucking Gun. Unless you're a Roald Dahl fan or a Python web developer, a BFG is a scary, large weapon, as popularized by fictional guns in the first-person shooter video games Doom and Quake. Example: "A .22 has no stopping power. If you're going to be serious about defense, you need a BFG."
NBC Nuclear, Bacteriological, Chemical. Standard government abbreviation for the "big three" of potential manmade disaster situations. It's only coincidental that it shares its acronym with a TV network owned by General Electric, an habitually fraud-prone and war profiteering company. Example: "Stock up on the ammunition and freeze-dried food you want to...your ass is cooked along with everyone else if there's an NBC event."
EMP Electromagnetic Pulse. A particularly keen fear of survivalists for reasons not yet fully analyzed by professionals, an EMP would likely the result of an high altitude nuclear detonation. The result is a series of electromagnetic pulses that can induce extreme voltages in electrical conductors, essentially rendering all electronic equipment useless. It could mean an instant EOTWAKI situation for a very large geographic area. Example: "I can't fight zombies without tunes from my iPod, so I've fabricated a special faraday cage to protect it from an EMP. I have a charger rigged up to an old exercise bike."
PEAK OIL The point at which the extraction of petroleum reaches terminal decline. In the event that oil availability begins to rapidly decline before widespread adoption of alternative energy techniques, some forecast scenarios by experts warn of a crippling impact on modern agriculture and a pending inability to feed an overpopulated planet. Most experts believe peak oil is inevitable in the near future and we still have no real transportation alternatives to our reliance on petroleum. So, it's a natural point of dialogue for EOTWAKI buffs. Example: "I can't believe people think the sub-prime mortgage crisis was a big deal—can't they see that peak oil is right around the corner?"
MULTI-USE This is an ethos for dedicated preppers and a longtime tenet of dedicated wilderness campers: Whenever possible, items that you carry should have multiple possible uses. It's multi-tasking for inanimate objects. Example: "I always carry condoms because they're compact and you can use them to carry and purify water. Plus, um, you can use them for other stuff."
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency. This is the government's answer to disaster preparedness. The agency tries to educate people about how to be prepared for emergencies and disasters and steps in to coordinate aid and relief when such a thing occurs. Or is it? Some believe it's almost a shadow government—an agency with far reaching powers whose real purpose is to be ready to intern patriotic dissidents in concentration camps or "death camps." If your conspiracy theory involves martial law, FEMA is probably your favorite nemesis. Example: "Everyone knows that the REX 84 project, established by Reagan's Presidential Directive #54 established the precedent of FEMA guiding a military takeover of the country, complete with full suspension of the constitution. I mean, we could trust Reagan, but Obama is probably going to use it to imprison all the white people."
FIAT CURRENCY "Money" declared to be legal tender by a government despite its lack of intrinsic value. The US dollar was equivalent to 1/35th of a troy ounce of gold until 1971 when then-President Richard Nixon dismantled the system of international currency exchange as a way of managing the mounting costs of the Vietnam War. This allowed the US to simply print more money and began the rapid path to crooked bankers destroying the economy and the rise of whatever shadowy collective of politicians and power brokers is building the NWO. Example: "I collect dimes from before 1965 because they were 90% purse silver then. And silver is real currency, not government control cash."
BARTER Trade is widely expected to be the most common form of exchange of goods and services in a PAW, because the Fiat economy will have collapsed. The key to thinking about survival in a post-apocalyptic barter economy is to stock small, portable items that people can't turn around and kill you with and won't be crazy enough to kill you for. Example: "Ammo and liquor would be great trade items, but I don't want to be giving people something they can shoot me with or hoarding something that crazy people want. I plan to to stockpile single serve packets of salt."
CACHE A discreet or hidden storage area, often a five gallon bucket or a sealed PVC tube. Many things can be well preserved by packing them in airtight containers and burying them in the ground or otherwise hiding them. You might keep extra supply goods in the event that you're robbed or not able to make it to your original stash of preps. Example: "I keep some junk guns on hand to turn over to the FEMA shock troops after martial law is declared, but I have PVC caches of long rifles buried below the old sewer pipe, where even someone with a metal detector won't notice."
BOHICA, SNAFU, FUBAR, HSWRS In order: Bend Over, Here It Comes Again; Situation Normal: All Fucked Up; Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition; Holy Shit, We're Really Screwed. Classic acronyms for very bad situations. Example: "When my unit was sent into Detroit to kick out the Somalis, it was totally SNAFU, but once those bastards went urban guerrilla, things got totally FUBAR. I was like, HSWRS and when they started launching those makeshift mortars made from old car parts, it was all BOHICA."