Do We Have What It Takes to Survive TEOTWAWKI?

surviving post teotwawki

“If things really fall apart as you say, and I don’t think they will, I’ll just live off the land. You know hunt and gather. Who knows, it’ll probably even be fun. You know, getting back to the way things once were. It’ll certainly be better than my 9 to 5 job.”

It’s in Our Genes

America was founded by visionaries willing to take a chance. From the earliest pilgrams that crossed the Atlantic Ocean to settle a new and mysterious land to the settlers and cowboys that headed west into a harsh and untamed land to make a new life, Americans have historically had a great resolve and an indomitable spirit.

Maybe there’s something in our genes that was passed down from generations past?

Many would argue that the same spirit may be found in many of us today. We still have entrepreneurs willing to form business upstarts and take risks in order to receive a potential reward. Many small business owners work into the wee hours of the morning building their clientele, refining their business plans, and taking care of the small odds and ends that nobody notices but that are required to succeed.

But is that the same go-get-’em attitude required to survive the end of the world as we know it? Can we pull ourselves up by the boot straps and make a go of it, facing the challenges of the new reality in much the same way our ancestors did as they boarded the vessel to cross the Atlantic?

The Grand Ole Days

The grand ole days were not quite as grand as we tend to think. Maybe it’s a result of Hollywood movies where the good guys seldom die. Maybe it’s a result of a sanitized school curriculum that glosses over the ugliness of death and destruction in our nation’s history. We remember the plump turkeys and beautiful pumpkins of Thanksgiving rather than the harsh and deadly winters when food was scarce.

Whatever the reason, many have a highly romanticized view of the past. But that’s not necessarily an accurate view.

If you recall from history class, the bitterly cold and unforgiving winter of 1609-1610 at the early settlement of Jamestown claimed the lives of most of the men, women and children. Only 60 of the 214 colonist survived; the rest perished in a slow and unpleasant death. They were sweet sisters and loving mothers, cute baby boys and rugged fathers. By spring, every survivor had lost at least one person in their family or someone who was dear to them.

The Jamestown settlers were people who were used to tough times. Sure, they had some misguided ideas about what would be needed and how they could survive in the New World, but generally speaking they were accustomed to a more basic and primitive lifestyle. Yet only one in three survived. That’s an ugly scene to be sure.

Are we better prepared? Are we at least as tough?

Greater Challenges

Some may argue that we have the same American spirit as days gone by, that with a little prodding and put in the right scenario, we can be every bit as remarkable and skilled at survival as Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett. The spirit has changed a bit, they claim, but it’s still there and will carry us through dark and trying times.

Maybe, but I’m not so sure.

Today, our society has drifted from our origins. We may have far better supplies available to us than our predecessors but that’s no guarantee for survival. Compared to those who have gone before us, we as a society, are largely ill equipped in three required areas for survival: supplies, knowledge, and toughness (I’ll write more on these in another post).

If we are steadily moving toward the event horizon of a national or global TEOTWAWKI event, it will indeed be dire. Will history repeat itself and one in three Americans perish in their unpreparedness? Or can we fair better than our long departed relatives at Jamestown?

What do you think?

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43 Comments on “Do We Have What It Takes to Survive TEOTWAWKI?”

  1. secret creek Says:

    I afraid most people in our nation have little idea of how much effort and time will go into survival if an event happens to bring about TEOTWAWKI. It’s a world of consumers not producers anymore. America is a wonderful place, but her population has become become soft and ignorant. To take a quote from the Old Testament; “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. Most people don’t really want to get a little dirt under their nails….it’ll mess up their manicure. Most people don’t have footwear made to get muddy, footwear sewn not glued that will last for years. Most people don’t know how, or don’t have the gear to dress for winter weather in the event there is no forced air heat from a furnace. Most people dress for vanity not purpose, so you hear: “I hate hats, they mess up my hair and I have to style it all over again.”. Most people have never been taught, nor have the tools or resources to chop wood and have the knowledge how to build a fire, and by that I mean without lighter fluid, or those starter logs from the grocery store. Most people have never planted, raised, eaten from their own gardens or livestock barns. “What’s canning?” Their meat comes on little trays, and their eggs have “EB” stamped upon them. They pay $1.50 a bottle to drink Vitamin Water, because the evening dinner of McDonald’s combo meals don’t have a lot of veggie content to them. The youth don’t run around and play outside anymore. I’ve joked recently, but really…how long until American bodies shrink in overall core muscle, but develop huge thumbs from video gaming and texting? I hate to be so bleak- but if you think a disaster would be a terrible thing to behold, just wait! *(NO do not wait!) About three days ~after~ that disaster, the shock’ll wear off and real panic, hunger,and thirst kick in for the first time for the unprepared. Some might sit and wait for the Government to come and rescue them, and they’ll probably die quickly. But, others will start looting and taking what they can, however they can. Many of those will die from fighting each other. We all know how greedy shoppers behave at Christmas…that’ll be nothing compared to a dire life threatening disaster SHTF scenario…NOTHING.

    Okay I gotta stop. I need to be able to function well today and this makes me upset. Ignorance isn’t/won’t be bliss.

    -secret creek


  2. David Nash Says:

    I agree its in our genes, I was reading a book the other day that argued that one of the reason’s we have a higher rate of ADD and ADHD was because all the hunter/adventurer types could not be held back from coming to America to settle, while most of the steady types were content in Europe. Not to bash steady folks, of course, but there is a lot to be said for our willingness to try new things and rock the boat a little… As always, I really enjoy getting your daily digest in the mail. Keep up the excellent work.


    • secret creek Says:

      David, I told my husband once that I figured California was a bit whacky because of all the “adventurous folk”( ADD/ADHD …and I am one) who were willing enough to leave the east for something exciting and hopeful and those genetics still exist out there. Sometimes restless, impulsive folk are the folks who go big and make it into the history books and once in a while they take themselves out of the food chain …


  3. The Messenger Says:

    You think your guns and resolve can save you? Do you really believe that you are strong enough to fend off what is coming? Are you so proud to assume that you can make it on your own? Do you honestly think that all your canned food, surplus russian ammunition, bowie knives, and water purification tablets can save you from the seven seals, seven bowls, and seven trumpets? You are all wrong. Many of you claim to trust God! If you do, then you should know! Daniel’s seventieth week is near! It is the calamity you have all been waiting for but you can’t escape “the man of lawlessness” if you are left behind. Will your ammunition and canned food last seven years? Do you want to escape the coming night and not have to worry about it? Put your trust not in your weapons and your earthly goods that will rust and be devoured by Satan, but in the One who laid the cornerstone of the earth, He who loved you before you knew of Him, the One who alone has the power to breath life and bring death to men.

    You are but a vapor in eternity. Here for a moment and gone the next. Can all of your worry and planning add a single moment to your ordained life? Your pride is an abomination to the Lord. He will grant possession of the earth to the meek.

    I tell you the truth. It is far better to enter his eternal kingdom than to scratch your living from rocks for seven more years. Repent and be saved from the coming night!


    • Joe Says:

      Hi Messenger –

      Thanks so much for your comment! I appreciate your fervor about this topic. You make some good and interesting points for the Christian believer and the non-believer alike.

      For those following this thread, I’d like to provide some additional thoughts along these lines. I’m also going to draft a new post to address some of these issues so a broader audience can see them.

      Let me first say that like many preppers, Laura and I are firm believers and followers of Christ. We recognize that not everyone is and that’s ok. God wishes that none should perish, but he gave us all free to believe or not.

      Given that, I would encourage you to consider these points.

      1. Jesus told us through the Bible that none will know the hour of his return. We are assured of his return but we do not know when. There are various theories about when the rapture will take place in relation to the tribulation – pre-tribulation, post-tribulattion, mid-tribulation, or pre-wrath. Given that, it only makes sense to prepare for rough times just as Joseph prepared for 7 years of famine in Egypt.

      2. We are commanded by God through his word to care for the widows and orphans. In the trying days to come, we cannot do that if we ourselves are unprepared.

      3. Laura and I are “right with God” and have no fear of meeting him when our time comes. However, until our work here on earth is completed, we will continue to care and provide for our children and loved ones in the best way we know how. That includes, for us as least, preparing for the future. David did this for Solomon when he paved the way for Solomon to build the Temple.

      4. All people struggle with pride and selfishness to some degree. Trusting solely in possessions and worldly items falls into that category. We trust God and only God. We are using the blessing that he has provided to prepare for the future as best we can. We do not want to squander his bountiful blessings. Rather we strive to use his blessings in a way that may put us in a position to glorify him under difficult circumstances.

      5. PreppingToSurvive is an extension of what we feel God has called us to do – to share our knowledge and experience with others so that they can better prepare. We don’t promote violence against others or advocate rebellion against the government. Those are contrary to our Biblical beliefs.

      6. Just as in our daily walk, we strive to glorify God through PreppingToSurvive. We may not explicitly mention our Christian beliefs in every post, but we do try to glorify him with our demeanor and perspective on life. As Francis of Assisi is often credited with saying: “Witness for Christ each day, and if necessary use words.”

      I invite you to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider our perspective on these points and reply with your thoughts.

      Thanks again for your comment, Messenger.



  4. Tom Rice Says:

    I think that most people are going to be screwed, they live under a rock and believe that the lights will always be on, that food is as close as the corner supermarket or starbucks and that the government will take care of them no matter what. I feel that most people are ill prepared to survive anything beyond the ocasional winter storm or power outage that lasts a day or two at most and will most likely flip out when their credit cards and cell phones are just more junk that does nothing. So many are not even ready to protect themselves from violent agressors and that most of the violent ones are not capable of truly surviving beyond stealing what they need. I feel we are headed for a scarry new chapter in our existence that will someday be spoken about as a series of events that caused over half of the entire population to either be killed off or die off.


    • Joe Says:

      We’ve had a number of wake up calls in the past decade – from Katrina and Sandy to 9/11 to Tsunami’s in other countries, to earthquakes both here and abroad. Yet many disbelieve that it can/will happen to them.


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