What Might Cause TEOTWAWKI?

Posted on: April 30, 2014

In many interviews, I’m asked some variation of the question — what do you think will bring about the end of the world as we know it?  Most preppers and survivalists have their own pet theory or theories.  After all, we spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about such things, don’t we?

I suppose it might be a good idea to define TEOTWAWKI with regards to this article.  For my purposes here, TEOTWAWKI is a scenario where there has been a societal breakdown and no outside assistance coming, possibly for years.  It is not a localized event, nor even regional, but nationwide.  As bad as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was, it was possible to leave the local area and find at least some degree of help outside the affected zone.

So, what might cause TEOTWAWKI?

Here’s my take on it, for whatever it might be worth to you.  First, the odds of a singular event causing a complete breakdown nationwide are pretty remote.  I’m not saying it couldn’t happen.  I’m just saying that the odds of it happening at any given time are incredibly long.

That said, if there was a single cause, I think it will be some sort of civil war.  The general public in the United States is growing increasingly frustrated with the ever-widening division between the Haves and the Have Nots.  If things keep going in the current direction, that conflict might very well light a fuse on the proverbial powder keg.  To be absolutely clear, I’m not in any way promoting this idea, nor am I encouraging anyone to take any sort of physical action along those lines.  I remain guardedly hopeful that other, peaceful, resolutions will come about.

But, I think it is far more likely that TEOTWAWKI would come about through a series of small events that build upon one another, sort of a domino effect.  Terrorist attacks coupled with natural disasters on top of an already stressed populace, that sort of thing.  As we have seen after recent natural disasters, assistance agencies (FEMA, Red Cross, etc.) can quickly become overwhelmed by a regional disaster.  If there were two or three of them within a short period of time, particularly if they were scattered in different parts of the country, the cumulative effect would be massive disruptions in supply chains from coast to coast.  That, coupled with an already stressed populace, will stretch authority resources very thin, possibly to the breaking point.

Honestly, I pray that all of our preps are never tested beyond perhaps a limited power outage or something.  I hope we never see a real TEOTWAWKI.  Personally, I like my Netflix, Mountain Dew, Doritos, and easy Internet access.

1 thought on “What Might Cause TEOTWAWKI?

  1. Personally I think the cause of a real TEOTWAWKI will be some sort of economic collapse causing a super inflation which will in turn causing rioting and things of that sort. Obviously areas with bigger populations will be worse off initially, but it will spread quickly throughout the country and those not prepared will have a difficult time surviving, unfortunately.

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