Realistic Expectations for TEOTWAWKI

Realistic Expectations

I remember when I first started with the fire department in 1968. Believe it or not, as young trainees, we all wanted a fire to occur! After we went to a few real fires, though, we discovered that, while it might seem exciting to us, it could be a devastating event for the victims. As we matured, while we still enjoyed being firefighters, we began to think more about the victims and less about ourselves. We had expected the fires to be exciting and put our skills to the test. What we didn’t expect was for the reality to hit us in the gut.

The same thing occurred later in my career as I became involved with the law enforcement side of public safety. We didn’t always have realistic expectations. Now today when I talk with certain preppers, it seems they want TEOTWAWKI to happen. They look forward to the disruptions and violence they think will occur. Maybe they believe it will be exciting, just like the last prepper novel they read. Maybe they want to finally get the chance to put their preps in action. I can guarantee that if or when everything hits the fan, the majority of them will wish for normality. It will not be an easy time for anyone.

Here’s what I think you can expect

Having good food storage and being prepared are both vital aspects of being prepared to survive. They can make the difference between living and dying, but it won’t make life easy. The point of this blog is to give advice for preparing for the worst, but there are a few areas in which I feel very few of us have realistic expectations. I have talked to people who have ideas of living in an idyllic countryside, eating venison steaks and leading an easy life. During and after a TEOTWAWKI event!

That’s nuts.

Today’s world is very different from the one in which I grew up. In my childhood home, we had a bathtub and no shower; we took a bath once a week and washed up in the sink the other 6 days. The other day I saw a post from a prepper who wanted to plan for 9 gallons of water a day for each person to wash with. This may work for a few people, those capable of building elite bug out locations, but for most preppers, you need to have realistic expectations. Regarding water storage and usage, you won’t have the time to carry and heat that much water every day! You will be lucky to have the time to take a bath once a week.

We are used to packaged convenience foods and the availability of fresh food all the time. That will change. The variety of foods you have to eat will drop dramatically. Preparing and cooking meals will take much longer. Laundry will become a full day’s work by the time you carry and heat the water, wash, rinse and hang it up. Your workday won’t be 8 hours; it will last until the work is finished, you run out of daylight, or you just physically collapse.

See also  10 Last Minute Things to Do Before TEOTWAWKI

Talk to some of the older people about what life was like 50 or 60 years ago. They didn’t have a dishwasher, not much in the way of packaged foods, and used wringers on an old-time washer. Money was tight. You darned your socks, repaired your clothes, and passed them down to your younger siblings.

Each day is going to be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Dig your garden by hand with no power equipment. Walk or bike everywhere you go. Try standing watch most of the night and then do a full hard day’s work the next day. Do this day after day, week after week, knowing that if you fail at either task, watching for danger or working to keep your family surviving, your days are numbered. This book provides a good manual for the skills you’ll need to acquire for long-term survival in a post-TEOTWAWKI world.

Now, I have lived in houses with outdoor toilets, wood heat, and we had to cook all our food from scratch. I believe that the majority of preppers will have it worse because their lifestyles haven’t ever come close to this. Even camping trips, while great as an introduction to a rugged lifestyle, quickly come to an end and we return to our electronics and modern conveniences. Life after TEOTWAWKI will be very hard for most of us.

You will have to watch your neighbors, friends and family members die from starvation, lack of medicines, sepsis caused by a simple infection, and very possibly violence. Now would be a good time to learn more about basic medical treatment and care with a handbook like this one.

Now, I am not trying to discourage you, but many people need to understand that an event like an economic collapse, war, the loss of our power grid, and other TEOTWAWKI events are not something for which we should wish. Life will become unbearably and unimaginably hard, possibly violent, and many of us may not live through it. You need to have realistic expectations so that you can prepare yourselves mentally to face the coming problems. I wrote about why many, who have the gear and supplies, fail to survive. The people who are mentally prepared will have the best chance of survival.  The people who live in a fantasy world will die. Don’t wish for something you may regret.


Updated by Noah, 9/30/16.

A Must Read
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

15 thoughts on “Realistic Expectations for TEOTWAWKI”

  1. Taxedn2poverty

    Nothing would sadden me more than to watch thrifty, hard working, law abiding people from all walks of life suffer and die during teotwawki. However, nothing would make me more happy than to be an eye witness to the suffering and dying of the deadbeat criminals and lazy lowlifes that refuse to work even when times are good as they are now. That is the left and the right of how I feel towards my fellow human beings.

    1. Lowlifes will die sooner, but so will thier children who had nothing to do with their parents life choices and so will a lot of good people who simply failed to prepare. I see no joy in this.

      1. Frank Potoshnick

        I suppose it wont take long for the smart ones to figure out they will have to do something to save their children, otherwise it just gets darwin from there.

  2. Its not whether or not we want it to happen… Its going to happen. My worst case scenario is for the collapse to take years or even decades, which would allow the sociopaths in charge to continue to extract our lifes blood to serve their evil purposes. Better by far would be a quick but societally devastating event that would free the people to take whatever actions they thought would further their odds of survival without having to worry that .gov would show up in force to complete their subjugation.

    1. Gryffin: I have been informed for decades, people in the late 70’s were getting ready then (there was no internet)with speaking conferences, dehydrated foods bought from the Mormons, books, newsletters, which were only way to keep up then, and people swapped info., books, etc. over many years. Then shortwave talk shows in the 90’s exposing gov. corruption, warning people to prepare. Now the internet: 1999 came, y2k, people bought prep supplies, food, wood stoves, etc. After nothing happened, 2001 me and friends sold or donated everything and haven’t done much since. We have supplies for storms (hurricanes in my area), like a gas grill we use several times a month. We are retired and have seen friends die off since, leaving their heirs to dump or sell their preps. It has been almost forty years since I became aware but it is wise to do some prepping. A mass die off would happen in a melt down situation, several weeks pass, people would band together and hopefully get their communities to work together. But a civil war could also go on for years which would make life not much worth living. Meantime the elite scum would be in hiding waiting to emerge after the civil war fizzles out (mass die off) to take control of whoever is still alive.

  3. I concur with Gryffn. The current state of affairs is untenable and the longer it endures the further into tryanny we will descend. Likewise any drawn out collapse will mean a pretext for those in power to further impoverish and undermine our ability to survive free from and without the government.

    I am one of those who pray for TEOTWAWKI, not because I am under any delusion that it will be easy or idilic, but because I believe suffering and struggle beget virtue and character. At least if one survives it! Our nation, and our word, needs tgat reset, with all that entails.

  4. I have quit looking at several prepper websites because I felt, like you say, they “wanted” TEOTWAWKI to happen. Like you I believe they don’t have a clue how life will really be. Being prepared is like having fire insurance on your home, having your home burn to the ground is the last thing any of us want but knowing we have insurance gives some small piece of mind that we can survive.

  5. Excellent points, Howard. As much as I feel we need a reset, I’d prefer it happens without mass casualties, without violence, and without losing our humanity in the process. Many of my early years were spent without modern conveniences, living primitively, so my knowledge came from doing it not hearing about it or reading about it. My battle experience came the same way. Everyone starts out with a fantasy of how they will come through a battle or other dangerous situation but it rarely matches reality afterward. However much you’ve prepared or how smart you are or how good you can handle a weapon, or even if you’ve had plenty of previous experience, luck always plays a big part in how you get through it. A twisted ankle, grit in your eye, a jammed weapon can all mean disaster. You can be sidelined by your own injuries or caring for others in your own group, equipment repairs, or mother nature. Few things go as you’ve imagined or planned.
    Let’s say your rabbit’s foot is working perfectly. Let’s also say you have no reservations watching those less prepared suffer or in killing those trying to harm you. Does that also apply to their children or to innocent human shields they may use? How much collateral damage is acceptable to you? How well will you deal with the inevitable nightmares or survivor’s guilt afterwards? In one way or another nobody with a shred of humanity comes out undamaged. Give that some thought before rushing into battle or hoping for society to collapse.

  6. Yes back in the 70’s some of us started to prepare and it was from books and letters and word of mouth. now I’m in my 50’s and have started to learn how to live by the old ways, I use wood heat only, I am learning canning (caned 25 cases last year, going to try and can meat this year) I have a outhouse, I also bought a propane stove to help if the lights go out. I live in the country away from the city. (I lived and worked in the city(s) for years) I have a great garden for the last 5 years.
    The one thing I see is so many people laugh at you for doing things the old way. We live in a A.d.d society with a I want it now and it’s all about me. they are the people that will have the hardest time when SHTF.
    I have been buying old school tools and machines (tractors, skidsteers, garden tractors.) yes gas will run out sometime and yes the machines will become lawn oddments someday but until then I maybe able to make fuel from corn or something. people need to learn the old ways to make it if SHTF

  7. There have been ‘resets’ in other countries through the years. Probably the most notable was the default of Russia in the early 90’s. It wasn’t pretty and they are still struggling. The life expectancy of a Russian male dropped to age 53 or so. They just drank themselves to death.

    I’ve read articles by Dimitry Orlov on what happened in Russia during that time. The Russians endured and survived, but only because they did not have far to fall. Their standard of living was nowhere near as high as the U.S. I’m sure if the U.S. encounters anything close to what Russia had to endure, we will have much farther to fall.

  8. I am preparing for an event I pray NEVER happens, it’s that simple, hubby and I are now just into our 60s, no guns for protection here in Australia, only the criminals will have guns, we will not stand a chance

  9. As i see it and as sad as it sounds the world needs a cleansing, our great world is in the worst turmoil of the human race on every part of the globe, from war, poverty, drugs, violence, crime, genocide, corrupt governments who only care about putting $$ in thier pockets and not about the population, environmentally destroying our world, selfish people who would rather watch you suffer and not lend any kind of help, mothers who starve and abuse their children….I could go on and on,,and like stated above there will be a lot of “good” people caught up it this as well but people need to pull their heads up out of the sand and look around them and start to prepare.

  10. Well, I agree with hound dog and fox, reality of the social reset is way way harsher than most people expect, they think it will like camping out. Reality is you are exhausted from just doing the basic things, so I do hope it never happens in my lifetime, but I grew up in the old ways, so I am teaching my 3 year old granddaughter the old ways so that she may have a chance in her lifetime. By the way, Hounddog, hope you have a pressure canner for canning meat, there is not enough acid in meat to protect you against botulism, so rather than luck, depend on the pressure canner, they work fine on wood stoves or a grill over an outside fire.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top