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WTSHTF and TEOTWAWKI are just two of the written bits of shorthand used by those in survival preparedness

SHTF and TEOTWAWKI are two acronyms that are often seen on survival preparedness sites and survival groups. Often knowing these few abbreviations can help you better understand what you are reading.

You’ve probably also seen a number of abbreviations that you may have trouble figuring out. So here’s a quick list and explanation of the most common acronyms association with survival.


TEOTWAWKI – the end of the world as we know it
WTSHTF (TSHTF or SHTF) – when the stuff hits the fan
BOB – bug out bag
BOV – bug out vehicle
LGS - Local Gun Shop
MBR - Main Battle Rifle
CQC - Close Quarters Combat
CQB - Close Quarters Battle
CCP - Concealed Carry Permit
CCW - Concealed Carry Weapon
CWP - Concealed Weapons Permit
PSA - Personal Sidearm
LRG - Long Range Gun
LRW - Long Range Weapon
GOOD – get out of Dodge (i.e. good kit = BOB)
JIC – just in case
MRE – meals ready to eat
CONUS – continental United States
The Crunch – WTSHTF
WMD – weapons of mass destruction
Decon – decontamination
EMP – electromagnetic pulse
FAK – first aid kit
FIFO – first in first out (food rotation)
FWIW – for what it’s worth
GTG – good to go
LIA – little ice age
NBC – nuclear chemical biological warfare
POV – personally owned vehicle
POW – personally owned weapons
Prepper – one who practices preparedness, a survivalist

In addition to TEOTWAWKI and SHTF and the other acronyms listed above, there are several hundred others that you may run into. Most of them are the more common acronyms that are in everyday use. You will find many acronyms that you are familiar with, but many may have a completely different meaning when used in the context of survival. A good example would be FEMA, which normally refers to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but may sarcastically mean: “foolishly expecting meaningful aid.”

Whatever form the coming disaster takes, TEOTWAWKI and SHTF events can be prepared for to reduce the collateral damage on you and your loved ones.

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