TEOTWAWKI. Not a real word. Not a Native American tribe. Not a dish in Moroccan cooking.
It stands for "The End Of The World As We Know It".
It is a common survivalist term to designate the moment that society breaks down and chaos reigns. The moment that being prepared really matters. Until this point, those of us who planned for it are just a bunch of weirdos with a lot of canned food. Once it happens, we finally get to have our "I told you so!" moment.
Personally, I hope it never happens. I hope life is all rainbows and unicorns, forever and ever. But I cannot trust that will be the case.
What will happen? Well, let's take a look at a scenario and it's possible outcomes. I will include my personal approach in hopes that it creates some thought and discussion for anyone who reads it.
1. Terrorist Attack.
This could take many forms. With the heightened state of alert in America, a 9/11 style coordinated attack is a more remote possibility, but still exists. In my opinion, smaller scale, localized attacks are more likely. It baffles me why Al Quaeda (or whomever) has not targeted a school or shopping center with a car bomb. I think it will happen at some point, but unless it happens near me, the impact will be minimal to my family.
Scenario: Terrorists attack local landmark with a suicide bomb/dirty bomb.
Possible Outcomes: Direct injury if at blast site. Closed Roads. Heavy Traffic. Interruption of basic services (water, gas, electricity). Food hoarding. Heavy Federal presence. Air Quality hazard.
Personal Approach: Collect all family members as soon as possible and locate in primary residence. Establish contact with extended family. Avoid traveling. Distribute dust filter masks to family members, close and seal house as much as possible. Leave area only if directly effected by attack.
Items of use: Family Bug Out/Bug In plan. Cell phones with texting ability. Computer access, Twitter access (http://twitter.com/), dust masks, NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) masks, food and water. duct tape, plastic sheeting, extra A/C filters.
Barring a devastating attack that makes it impossible to stay in our home, the general plan is to get everybody inside, make the house safe and sit this one out. Food and water stores for "Bugging In" are optimized for a 3 week period for 4 people and one pet. Dust masks, sealing the doors, windows and chimney and frequently changing the Air Conditioner filter will help keep us healthy. Considering the phone lines (land and cell) will probably be jammed contacting loved ones will be difficult. Text messages might be possible, if not, I can access the web from my cell phone and leave an update on Twitter for anyone interested. The basic plan is to lay low until the danger passes, stay safe and healthy, then assess the situation to determine next steps.