By Sgt Prepper2
How do you pronounce what we are preparing for? Have you tried pronouncing SHTF…TEOTWAKI or how about WROL? Is that pronounced Shee-thft or War Rol or Ra-ol? Is the ‘W’ silent?
How about Te-ot-wakii. That one seems easier although it sounds like a Native American word. I don’t want to be having a serious conversation with another Prepper and then stumble with the words and just give up, relinquishing with an “Oh well—you know. The Big E…The Big Event.” For novices, SHTF means when the Sh*t Hits The Fan while TEOTWAWKI means The Ends of The World As We Know It. WROL is Without Rules Of Law.
We often use SHTF and TEOTWAWKI as if they are the same. But, technically, they are not the same thing.
Quoting Captain Bart of SurvivalCache.com, “For the first week or two, they may be almost identical. Law enforcement may still be in place well into the TEOTWAWKI event. In many scenarios we won’t know if it is TEOTWAWKI for weeks or months. This causes difficulty in preparations. Get it wrong and you could be in trouble.”
He went on to say, “My SHTF moment may be your TEOTWAWKI event. When Hurricane Ike hit Houston, I shared food, firearms and ammo with neighbors. It was a SHTF and not even a Black Swan event. The problem with this, of course, is that now my neighbors know I’m prepared. If you lived on Bolivar Peninsular near Galveston, Texas, Hurricane Ike was a TEOTWAWKI event. This Cat II hurricane had a storm surge like a Cat IV storm and in parts of Bolivar not even the foundations are left. The point of this is that not only is one man’s SHTF another man’s TEOTWAWKI. One event can morph into the other. How you prepare for one event effects how you deal with the other type event. If you have only prepared for TEOTWAWKI and that plan is basically taking your fully tricked out assault rifle and scrounging what you need from your neighbor’s deserted homes, then you may find yourself in real trouble when the SHTF but it isn’t TEOTWAWKI. SHTF and even ‘Black Swan’ events happen to all of us to varying degrees with surprising regularity although we often don’t recognize it.”
His reference to the “Black Swan” theory refers only to unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history. A case in point could be Katrina. Black Swan events were characterized by Nassim Taleb in his book The Black Swan. Taleb regards almost all major scientific discoveries, historical events, and artistic accomplishments as “Black Swans”, undirected and unexpected. He gives the rise of the Internet, the personal computer, World War I, and the September 11 attacks as examples of Black Swan Events. They do not always apply to a catastrophic event, just unexpected ones.
I believe that WROL or TEOTWAWKI are the more serious of events. That implies the breakdown of societal order. The Thin Blue Line (law enforcement) may be extremely fragmented or not functioning at all. Law enforcement will, in all likelihood, be confined to more densely populated portions of cities and heavy commercial areas as opposed to residential or rural areas. The governing bodies may be weak or non-existent. This could be triggered by a major pandemic or extreme event like a catastrophic EMP event, international financial collapse or major terrorist event.
I would like to propose an easier word to use that most extreme case. I propose CLADIS, which stands for Critical Life-Altering Disaster Impacting Society. I chose that word, primarily, because Cladis means disaster or catastrophe in Latin. In other words, I am purchasing a retreat to offer a safe haven and a means to homestead to families of relatives and friends because we are preparing for a Cladis-event.
So, I realize there are many acronyms out there hovering over the Prepper movement, but would like to suggest this one for the ultimate Bug-0ut motivation. Besides, that one rolls off the tongue.