12 Basic Actions To Make It Through The First 12 Weeks of TEOTWAWKI – Part 1, by Michael X.

Is TEOTWAWKI imminent? I do not know. But things are slipping toward it happening soon. Will it be a violent, giant crash, like one involving many cars on the turnpike, or will it be a quiet breakdown along the side of a deserted country road?

For myself, at this point, I am not thinking it will be a catastrophic, instantaneous crash caused by nuclear war, an EMP, asteroids, or alien invasion. More likely, I think it could be a slow slide that will catch people off guard until it is finally too late to get the basics in place.

This could be caused by the slow boil of recession, inflation, unchecked illegal immigration, government oppression of freedom to buy what you want when you want, to go where you want, and own what you want. Your currently untraceable money replaced by electronic “money” that the government will monitor the use of. Cash could be useless. Use of barter will be outlawed to ensure that taxes are collected “for the greater good”. After a few weeks or month, many people could wake up and realize they are living as if they exist in the world described in the novel 1984. And the flexibility to control the situation will be gone. Many will panic.

This article addresses basic preparations for enduring, in a sound manner, the beginning three months or so of a steep slide into a depression of at least the 1930s magnitude. Imagine – prices are high, stores are open but supply chains are often disrupted, electricity is on but is suffering from occasional outages. While we can’t do much about the big things that are falling apart on a global or country-wide basis, we can control what we do locally….. Going back to basics and developing a plan to make it through the early stages…is a good place to start.

Life will be reduced to hard work with manual processes that can be done independently at home, or perhaps in a small local economy. By prepping this manner and being able to live independently, you can avoid the boiling of society as the unprepared start to suffer. You can stay a “gray man”. By learning now how to live like a pioneer, without modern “conveniences” you can avoid the pain of the learning curve when something does happen.

This requires living in the current, here and now, but living smarter, and simpler, and better, and healthier, and saner. This is what I have started.

What I describe is fairly easy to do and can be done by anyone. If you prep in this manner, and things somehow straighten out without a big problem, you are not out much, but are left with a collection of useful items, skills and new hobbies to use. And, if I am wrong and it is an Armageddon-level SHTF scenario, the items I outline will still be needed, regardless of whether it is slow or fast, easy or extreme. You will be much better positioned to survive the critical first few weeks and months until some societal recovery plans can be implemented. My plan is to be able to make it as comfortably as possible through the first three months of SHTF.

If you are already in your bunker, you may find this article amusing. If you are just starting out, you may find it useful. Absorb the relevant information and apply what you can to your situation.

Back To Basics – Or Else

I keep seeing reminders about how things have changed from 60 years or so ago. Back in the day there was much more self-production of the needed basics. People were not as dependent on the economy and stores/supply chain for their daily needs. I remember my parent’s huge garden, and having to work in it to weed and harvest. I remember my mother gardening, canning, sewing new clothes, patching clothes, hanging wet laundry on the clothesline. We almost never went out for a meal. She did have a part-time job helping my father at his dairy, and we got milk and cheese that my family produced from that business. But essentially she was a stay-at-home Mom.

Contrast that to the “stay-at-home Moms and Dads” of today. In the past few decades, we have learned to buy everything at the store, prepared by someone else. All foods are shipped in from God-knows-where. Many people often don’t even buy food to cook at home, especially if they have to prepare it. It is normal now to have instant food, frozen food, microwave foods, or order-in meals. Some current stay-at-home parents are the person that does little at home but drive the children to daycare, dance class, or soccer. And perhaps go to exercise class and out for coffee. The kids are taken care of by going to daycare or worse yet, to our government schools. Those who work outside the home also let their spare time be filled with meaningless activities.

The idea is to get back to basics of good living…a lifestyle that is a bit retro and a bit harder physically, but is more productive, and not dependent on an unstable system. It should also be more mentally and spiritually rewarding. I have outlined my key approaches to the basic, initial preparation below. Note, I live up north, in a very rural area. I guess I have already “bugged out” to live outside a village of 400. We have a lot of cold weather, and, as I cannot predict when SHTF will happen, I need to have preps ready for all seasons.

Starting now: I took my productive time back and restored my attention span! No More Media “Time Vampires”. Time is precious! Think of time vampires. Who doesn’t check their cell phones 20 times a day for texts, a new game, or the latest funny video on some social media site? Is this productive? Go to a restaurant and watch the other patrons. How many tables have people ignoring each other and playing on their phones?

One of the first things I did was to try to reclaim my time from my electronic masters – the phone, IPad, computer, television, and radio.

As much as I loved the background noise of talk radio, and music, a few months ago I stopped listening. I had reached the point where I had the XM playing even on my walks, and when fishing or working in the shop. I had found myself failing to concentrate on the tasks at hand. It was fun being angry day after day. Even though the hosts complained about a different topic from day to day, the end result was always anger and outrage and no solutions. Listening did inspire me to spend time preparing for whatever is coming, however.

Without the radio playing, and without spending time on games on the iPad, I find myself having a much better attention span and an improved ability to perform many quick errands efficiently. I no longer have the attention span of a gnat. I am not a slave to the next screen. I do occasionally miss the current, important news information, though. I confess I still go on “news” sites on the computer, as I need to know the big picture of what is going on.

The problem is sifting through the left-wing and right-wing slants, to get to the truth. I haven’t figured that out yet. Even many of my most trusted sites do not have the full old-fashioned news story format that tells what is actually happening. We will turn on some television news channels like Newsmax occasionally. I spend my time on prepping sites like SurvivalBlog. I also use the news aggregator sites. I read several, but I seldom get the same story slant twice….I am sure SurvivalBlog readers can help in recommending other good sites, but I don’t want to turn this issue into an Internet argument.

I also will not have to go through withdrawal from being online when “IT” finally happens. I am not dependent on these “tools” to keep me mentally satisfied.

I decided to keep my mind agile, by reading good fiction, instructional books, the Bible, playing old-fashioned hard-copy games, and doing crafts and other basic activities.

So, my new lifestyle of staying off media gives me time, and it gives me focus and peace of mind. NOTE: I am not saying everyone should do this. And there are degrees of going off the communications grid. Find the minimized involvement in radio and social media that is right for you and helps you proceed in a clear-headed manner.

Food Preps

There will be a time when there is a run on the stores, and basic needs will be in short supply. The supply chains will break down. This was foreshadowed during the Covid experience.

I want to be able to stay out of stores for months. My wonderful wife tolerates my prepping mindset and actually supports the concept. We and several of our neighbors have started to do more long-term food preparation and storage. We really don’t talk a lot about why we are doing it other than because it is fun and we get a sense of accomplishment, and that it may come in handy someday. But I have noticed many people in our rural area are doing more food preparation and production. There are several new stands along the local roads selling vegetables, fruit, and bread. Farmer’s markets are thriving. As for ourselves, within the last few months we have canned or put in long-term storage many foods, including apples from our trees, blueberries, grapes from our friends, and many foods from our garden; carrots, zucchini, beans, tomatoes, squash, and potatoes. We bought additional blueberry bushes and apple trees and planted them. We know we need much more but it’s a start.

We have put aside long-term storage for food. We have some of the survival food buckets, and several food grade five gallon buckets with rice and beans. We have many canned goods set aside. I have marked each item with a use-by date as well as the purchase date. We use the food as it ages out. It is now normal to pick up a few extra cans of food or a bag of rice. We have stored salt, baking soda, vinegar and honey. Buying ahead in small amounts is not noticeable on the grocery bill.
As far as protein goes, we live on a great fishing lake so we have fresh and frozen fish for many meals. I made a lot of venison jerky from venison that I got from my brother. I bought a deer hunting license last year but never saw one during the season. Deer are plentiful here this year so maybe….
We must all continue to find, develop and grow local food sources, as well as stock prudently. If the time comes when there is extra, it should be shared.


We live on a lake, as I mentioned. We have a good quality shallow (30 foot deep) well but it needs 230 Volt power. During our power outage last winter I carried buckets up from the lake to use for toilets. I can also do that for drinking water but need to treat it. I have a Berkey for purifying the water. I have also stored some water-sanitizing chemicals.

We have many clean water storage vessels ready for when needed. I have also started to check out other means of manually getting water up and out of the well.

We will use the age-old process of getting water from the lake if we have to, but we will use our well as long as we can. I will use the big generator to run the well pump as long as I can.
Any plan needs to have a clean water supply and sanitizing process.

(To be concluded tomorrow, in Part 2.)