I am almost 40 years old…a mother to 5 children and 4 Pitbulls…a small business owner (2 of them) so I work for myself from home…a prepper and very much a survivalist as I have survived some pretty ugly, life threatening and definately life changing situations in my life. I am very aware of just how quickly things can change in a heartbeat, either through my own decisions and choices (or lack there of) or by someone close to me or through the actions and decisions by others who are virtual strangers to me. So the question is what exactly is SHTF and TEOTWAWKI?

To start with, SHTF is $hit hitting the fan…or all hell breaking loose or really bad things happening that spiral out of control and where it stops nobody knows. It can be a matter of large or small, but in generally accepted terms and circumstances it means really, really bad things are happening that you are unable to control or stop. On a more personal level it could mean an ugly divorce, the loss of a job or unemployment benefits or even the car breaking down…A SHTF senario can happen on a world or country level, such as we saw when the banks almost collapsed across the global a few years ago, or the collapse of Argentina’s economy and Greece’s pending implosion or the world trade center terrorist attacks or the housing bubble and subsequent bank meltdowns for which they then asked for a handout. These are the root CAUSE of SHTF, but it’s the aftermath of the cause of the crap hitting the fan that concerns most. Many times the situation of the crap hitting the fan starts at the top until it reaches the individual where it is transmuted into higher gas prices, job losses, family members going off to fight a war, food prices going up and up and well, any number of things.  For many it can be a series of events beyond their control that turns their life into a living nightmare of nothing but problems with little, few or no good solutions that can leave one feeling helpless, confused and scared to death.

It is my personal belief that SHTF is happening right now and we are just beginning to smell it and just beginning to see it. SHTF changes lives and the way we do business and how we live…it is happening right now and it is snowballing into a TEOTWAWKI…(the end of the world as we know it which is the very bad end to SHTF).

Most of the media and others would have you believe that SHTF is some cataclysmic occurance and that TEOTWAWKI is something that will happen quickly. But that isn’t necessarily true…stop and think about it for a minute…for many of us, things are just harder and changing how we live though we grew up knowing mostly nothing but good times (but I remember the gas lines of the 70’s and listening to my parent lament about rising food prices at the same time). Growth into the McMansion era, good jobs and salaries were for the most part easy to come by, credit was easy to get for many things and in many ways. Food and gas prices until the recent past were stable and fairly reasonable for the basics. Home prices kept going up along with the stock market and investments…things were great in general, even after 9/11, though it came to our collective consciousness at that point that there were other in the world that hated us because we were Americans. I believe that that single occurance, 9/11 ushered in the first wafts of SHTF on a massive scale and that 9/11 was definately a TEOTWAWKI event that morphed our world into the current wave of SHTF that we are now experiencing because the policies that implimented in the 9/11 aftermath are primarily responsible for the state of the union and world that we now face head on with no escape and no good answers. (But not completely responsible, just the catalyst).

With record unemployment, (and the numbers the media uses ‘adjusted’ so that the truth is obscured), expodentially rising costs of fuel and food and housing, banks going under in record numbers, other countries going under even with ‘loans’, the weather events of the past few years, medical help becoming further and further out of reach as we need help and environmental concerns rising, can you honestly deny that we are in a SHTF senario that is TEOTWAWKI? This is what I am trying to survive through so that I may come out on the otherside alive with my family and friends alive too. I see the signs and you can too if you care to look…while it’s certainly possible that a comet may hit us, or some 2012 movie scene may happen or a dirty bomb will explode, I am not betting my last dollar on that nor do I worry overly much about things like that either. In the real world its the day to day grind and small things that add up to TEOTWAWKI on slow boil. Most certainly along the way big bad things will happen like Katrina (and if you didn’t get THAT message loud and clear that you are on your own please do so now) or the quake in Japan that caused several meltdowns to happen at one time, but again, I emphasize that SHTF, in reality, in the moment, is the series of small things beyond our control that in the end cost us big and make us change our life and lifestyle. We are in the midst of SHTF and witnessing TEOWAWKI. And I am sure, that coming up in the future that there will BIG sprays from the fan and leaps and bounds on the front of TEOWAWKI.

Do I sound like a doomie or someone who is paranoid? I don’t think so, I have just lived through my own personal versions of SHTF and TEOTWAWKI more times than I care to admit and I am a good student of history and human behavior…I am feeling a haunting deja vu but on a much bigger scale than in my own life. I see that we are all so very connected and that what happens ‘over there’ has a direct impact ‘over here’. I know for a fact that those who feel they are loosing power tend to exert it even more and do their darnest to take away freedoms in the name of ‘safety’ (this smacks of domestic violence). I know for a fact that when gangs of people feel free enough to walk into a store and take what they want and leave that something is very wrong. I know for a fact that when someone is half-beaten to death over an ipod on the open street that something is very wrong. And I know something is definately wrong when our Constitutional and Civil rights are thrown by the wayside in the name of making things better and safer.

Its really not that hard to miss or understand what SHTF is or that the result is TEOTWAWKI when you see it this way. Are you prepared and ready to survive? I am working on it, how about you? I am hedging against TEOWAWKI by gathering food, water and other essential items I and my family will need until the crap stops flowing. All you can do in a SHTF situation and in this very moment is to hold on for the ride and do your best to be prepared for what may come during and after the worst of the SHTF. And when you get to the otherside of TEOWAWKI and are in the reality of the flip side, I hope and pray that you got yourself ready as much as you could because I really want to see you there, whole and healthy. SHTF happens and TEOWAWKI happens, but that doesn’t have to mean you can’t survive it.