Whether fantasy, or reality, we all have "collapse events" that we prepare for. Those who are not preppers still have their "collapse event". TEOTWAWKI could be loss of a job for which they maintain a rainy day fund. It could be damage to their home from storms, fire or vandals, for which they carry insurance. For the weakest among us, TEOTWAWKI could mean a zit on their chin before a big date for which they have makeup concealer.
For preppers, TEOTWAWKI may mean the zombie apocalypse as portrayed in The Walking Dead or the very real
possibility of the economic collapse of the US Dollar and the resulting societal unrest. Via our Twitter account @FreedomPreppers we have surveyed fellow preppers over the years and asked:
What is your TEOTWAWKI? Here are the top ten responses:
1. Economic Collapse
All empires end when they are defeated by a more vigorous empire ... or when their financing runs out.
Most Preppers' number one threat is economic collapse. Many of the other threats that we face would necessarily result in economic collapse. All great empires and societies have collapsed. There are no exceptions. Are Americans so arrogant that they don't think it can't happen to us? Or, are most Americans simply oblivious sheep unaware of the wolf (economic collapse) in their midst.
Simply put, a CyberAttack is a deliberate exploitation of computer systems. CyberAttacks are used to gain access to information but can also be used to alter computer code, insert malware or takeover the operations of a computer driven network.
One of the threats concerning preppers is the use of a CyberAttack to cause a grid down scenario. There are many bad actors on the international stage that could wreak havoc in the US by shutting down our power grid and enjoying the resulting chaos. No bombs. no bullets. No swordfights. Just a few keystrokes at the computer. And we're done.
3. ElectroMagnetic Pulse
An electromagnetic pulse, referred to as an EMP, is a high intensity burst of electromagnetic energy that can be delivered in the form of a nuclear weapon detonated above the earth's surface or by a sudden burst of solar charged particles in the form of a coronal mass ejection (discussed here). An EMP attack would decimate America's electrical and technological infrastructure sending our society back to the 19th century. It is estimated by a Congressional study that nine out of ten Americans would ultimately die as a result.
It is the grid down scenario resulting from the EMP attack that concerns many preppers. Further, many preppers realize that any rogue state or terrorist organization could obtain the technology to blast an EMP above the United States.
4. Coronal Mass Ejection
Like an Electromagnetic Pulse attack, a Space Weather event called a Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME, can cause serious problems for electrical systems on Earth. A CME produces a magnetic shockwave that extends billions of miles into space. If the Earth is in the path of this shockwave, our electrical systems can be overloaded causing massive damage to the power grid.
In 1859, a massive solar flare hit North America causing telegraph systems to meltdown. Known as the Carrington Event, a CME of this magnitude today could knock out the Power Grid throughout North America. In July 2012 the Earth narrowly missed a CME of this magnitude.
5. Natural Disaster
The earth’s weather is very mysterious. One day it is sunny the next it is raining. In fact, sometimes as you are driving down the road, you hit the “wall” between a sunny day and a severe thunderstorm. Man has spent years trying to predict weather patterns but it is still an inexact science.
Some of the most common occurring disasters of nature include hurricanes, tornadoes,
volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and
earthquakes. A Natural Disaster may not necessarily be a collapse event.
Size, in this case, matters.
Prepping for a SuperVolcano eruption, or an earthquake along the New Madrid Fault is beyond the normal preparations one may have for a hurricane. For one thing, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are difficult to predict.
Oh, Ebola. Is this the next big population reducing
pandemic like the Spanish Flu? A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region. Think ebola, cholera, smallpox and influenza to name a few. A big concern of scientists is the developing antibiotic resistance of some "superbugs".
Where will the next pandemic come from? It can be carried by an airline passenger. It could be brought into the United States by an illegal alien via our southern border. It could be delivered by a BioTerror attack.
Many will tell you that it’s not a matter of if, but when. I believe that the world is becoming increasingly more likely to see a major event. It’s a process that is highly predictable.
A pandemic outbreak in today’s world would likely travel much quicker, and could cause far more deaths than previous pandemics. Think that almost 100 years ago, when we had the 1918 pandemic, it could take months to circumnavigate the globe. Today, it can be accomplished in a day. With more individuals traveling than ever before, the opportunity for a pandemic strain to spread is greater than it has ever been.
“Could it not be contrived to send the Small Pox among those Disaffected Tribes of Indians?”
Amherst, July 1763
A bioterror attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs to cause illness or death. These germs are often found in nature. But they can sometimes be made more harmful by increasing their ability to cause disease, spread, or resist medical treatment.
The expectations of the general public regarding a BioTerror attack involve how should I be equipped in the form of apparel, masks, etc. Also people want to know whether they are infected and what drugs or vaccines are available to them to prevent, or treat, infection.
8. Near Earth Objects ~ NEO's
A Near Earth Object, NEO, is an asteroid, comet or large meteoroid whose orbit intersects the Earth's orbit and which may pose a collision danger. Throughout the Earth's history, NEO's have been responsible for extinction events, such as the demise of dinosaurs.
NASA tracks Near Earth Objects through its NEO program and it lists every known potential future Earth impact event. Depending upon the size and nature of the NEO, Planet Earth may be facing Armageddon. They call it an extinction event. I call it: We're F***d.
9. Nuclear War
It was just another day, then ...
Nuclear War, the exchange of nuclear weapons between two or more countries, is unthinkable. It can't happen. Right? Wrong! Most people believe that a conventional Nuclear War between say, the US and Russia, would result in mutual annihilation and destruction. Hence, that alone has a deterrent effect. However, there are new players on the nuclear stage, such as North Korea, Iran, China, Pakistan, India. Most of these countries don't like us very much. What if nuclear weapons fall into the hands of terrorists, who have nothing to lose?
Even a small exchange of nuclear warheads will create a global environmental catastrophe. A nuclear exchange in the northern hemisphere would result in TEOTWAWKI. Scientific models reveal that the Earth would suffer a 20 year long winter and worldwide famine.
10. Zombie Apocalypse
Fiction. Right? No need to prep for the Zombie Apocalypse. I thought the same thing until I saw video of the dude in Miami eating the other dude on the sidewalk.
That said, even the government has used the prospect of a zombie apocalypse to encourage Americans to be better prepared for disaster.
We believe that fear is a great motivator. If watching The Walking Dead encourages you to become a better Prepper, then we are all for it. What is your TEOTWAWKI?