Here at Prep-Blog, we emphasize prepping for a wide range of disasters, common and uncommon, which might affect our lives short-term, long-term, or somewhere in-between. It makes good sense to prepare for the more common disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, power outages, etc. You will almost certainly have to face some of these types of disasters in the near future. On the other hand, more rare but more severe disasters do occur, for example: the 9/11 attacks, the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima, Katrina, a major world war, the great depression, etc.
By the term TEOTWAKI, we mean a disaster that affects many people for a long time in a severe manner. This is not literally The End Of The World, nor even The End Of The World As We Know It, but rather a severe disaster with strong long-term effects. Some recent TEOTWAKI blog posts on this topic:
The Shooter’s Log: What Will Happen December 21, 2012? — the answer to this question is almost certainly: nothing much. The Mayan calendar simply begins a new cycle on that day, just as our calendar begins a new century every 100 years, or a new millennium every 1000 years. Here is a post by a NASA scientist refuting some of the December 2012 disaster scenarios. But this post from Shooter’s Log does review a number of severe TEOTWAKI type scenarios: Coronal Mass Ejection, Asteroid Impact, Supervolcano, Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), Economic Collapse, Pandemic.
Which is disaster combines most likely with most devastating? See my answer here.
Tactical Intelligence has a great guest-post by a former police chief who was featured on the show Doomsday Preppers. He has a good perspective:
“I’ve had some pretty wild things flung at me for being on the show, (and as a cop) but one thing about age is the older you get, the less you care about what other people think. If TSHTF and I weren’t prepared, I couldn’t face my family.”
“If anyone saw the show and realized that they should invest in some basic prepping, that’s great and it was worth it. A family that has a one or two month’s supply of food and water will be less of a burden (and a threat) on an already over-taxed emergency response system. If they want to take it further, good for them.”
Over at “The” TEOTWAWKI blog, there is a good post on 5 TEOTWAWKI Professions. The idea here is that some long-term disaster severely disrupts the economy, or perhaps the disaster is a severe economic collapse. What, then, could you do for work? I would emphasize the first suggestion of the post: Food Production. In nations where most of the food is produced by small-scale manual labor, most of the population absolutely must work in the area of food production or there simply will not be enough food. Gardening skills and knowledge of agriculture are important skills to gain.
The blog Survival and Prosperity has a good assortment of posts on severe disaster scenarios, especially in the realm of economic collapse and war/terrorism. These types of scenarios are far more likely, in my view than some of the other long-term disasters.
The Survival Doctor™ has a good assortment of posts with the premise that some severe disaster is preventing you from accessing the medical resources of your community (physicians, hospitals, etc.). But I would suggest that you should start with a good advanced first aid course from the Red Cross or American Heart Association. Once you have that foundation, medical/survival posts will become much more useful.
Finally, here is a link to the R.E.M. song The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) that inspired the term: TEOTWAWKI.