Friday, August 17, 2007

Ready for TEOTWAWKI? 

In survivalist circles, TEOTWAWKI is the end of the world as we know it, a world where institutions and modern society have collapsed. In preparation for TEOTWAWKI, serious survivalists advocate acquiring and stocking a defensible survival retreat where a self-sustaining existence is possible.

Enter Survival Realty, the first internet site dedicated specifically to retreat-appropriate properties. Survival Realty is the creation of James Rawles, proprietor at the endlessly fascinating Survivalblog.

Whether you are actively preparing for a post-apocalyptic world, or just looking for an off-grid getaway, this promises to be an interesting site to monitor.


Each listing here has plenty of great details, my favorite being the "retreat analysis" offered for each. An excerpt:

The incredible feature about this property is that the road leading to it goes across a dry lake bed, and then makes almost a horseshoe turn while going up the side of the ridge making it perfect for an ambush of hostile groups along the way at almost any point. Then, when the road gets to the property it enters into a three sided bowl with 75-100 foot hills all around the entrance. One person can be at the OP/LP day or night and watch this entrance. If hostile forces somehow reach the top of the hill and try and enter the property a three sided ambush will be waiting for them, a kill-zone that is as beautiful as a beach sunset with no avenue of escape at all.


By Blogger GreenmanTim, at Fri Aug 17, 10:45:00 AM:

Location, location, location. Nothing like a killer view.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Fri Aug 17, 10:57:00 AM:

Interesting way train folks to protect their two month supply of canned goods and toilet paper from the marauding black-brown hordes (I didn't say yellow b/c they will likely be ruling such a re-worked world).

Frankly I just watch "Survivorman" with Les Stroud on Discovery. He's not as Hollywood as Bear Grylls but he gets th job done and you learn something. Besides, starting a fire is a much more important skill than murdering your neighbor. I figure apocalypse is an all or nothing deal. I don't mean like the 2004 Tsunami. I mean like Chixilub (the meteor that slammed into the Yucatan and hastened the demise of the dinosaurs...at leats those not evolving into birds). I don't really think sitting around a bunker for six months in the dark with NRA slogans and Dick Cheney icons on the wall's really going to help humanity. Indeed, I noticed something interesting after the Tsunami in communities decimated (and even cut off) in the disaster. Compassion. Cooperation. Even when the civil authorities broke down, some people rose above base and selfish and parochial motives and organized folks to survive with any bunker/kill em all mentality.

74000 years ago human beings were almost extinct. A huge volcano calle Toba in what's now Sumatra exploded. What homo sapiens who'd made the first trek out of Africa to populate the world were almost wiped out in the firestorms and climate change. There's even proof in our own mitochondrial DNA. But groups of stragglers survived in pockets, back where we started. They survived by cooperating, and then started the trek anew. Through Gibraltar, the straits of yemen, the Sinai. Some stayed. It didn't matter b/c those few left alive were the source of us all. They cooperated to save us a species. It was only later we learned to the short run utility of murdering another group to take it's resources or defend our own. Ironic, isn't it? More so because genetically we all cousins, all come from those survivors who helped, rather than killed each other. I'd say when the end happens, you might be surprised to see the survivors sharing, not establishing fields of fire or killing zones. But then again, you might be right. Where can I sign up?  

By Blogger Charlottesvillain, at Fri Aug 17, 11:10:00 AM:


I am inclined to agree (minus gratuitous Cheney dig). Having lived close to ground zero on 9/11 and through the most recent NYC blackout, I have great faith in our ability to pull together in tough times.

I tend to be a preparedness/sustainability/self reliance minded person and hence my interest in survivalblog and its breathren, but determining killing zones is not for me.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Aug 17, 11:56:00 AM:

Certainly worth knowing how to be self-sufficient, and prepared for shorter-termed emergencies, etc.

Example ... pandemic flu. Adequate food, water, meds. Other emergencies ... having a shootin' iron is a good idea for protecting against marauding persons of all stripes. And frankly, in a generalized situation that confined to one place, I'd agree that we can pull together, but if it's more widespread, I'd point to Katrina as how dependable the Guard, Gov't, Cops are to deal with this.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Fri Aug 17, 12:51:00 PM:

The essence of human conflict is competition for resources, whether it's money, women, land, minds, or whatever. If there are so few people that vital resources are plentiful, there's no incentive to fight one another and plenty of incentive to cooperate. As populations increase and relative availability of resources dwindle, competition becomes necessary to ensure one's own share and there is more incentive for struggle.

The assumption from the militant survivalist angle is that too many people will survive for what resources will remain. Or perhaps, too many people will not have the skills and equipment to survive without the aid of society and so will resort to theft or violence to get what they need, naturally targeting those who have the most. (i.e. people who are prepared for such a disaster... like survivalists) It's not illogical.

I consider the collective unity following a disaster to be a different phenomenon, rooted in common identity and simple compassion for others in trouble. (which, as was hinted at, is an evolutionary quirk; species which help one another in times of trouble are collectively more likely to survive and procreate)  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Fri Aug 17, 01:33:00 PM:

CC: I didn't say yellow"

That sounds like something from a Sax Rohmer novel.

CC: "marauding black-brown hordes"

Thanks for showing us Memory Lane. Now it is time for you to hop back into your time machine and return to the age of globalization, also known as the 21st century.  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Fri Aug 17, 02:02:00 PM:

There's certainly plenty of wall street and hedge fund types at the moment who think they are experiencing TEOTWAWKI.

There's that credit thing again...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Aug 17, 02:18:00 PM:

"Enter Survival Realty, the first internet site dedicated specifically to retreat-appropriate properties."

In all honesty, I think any realty agency in Eastern Oregon or Upper Michagan could make the same claim. :)

Okay, pardon me for being a wet blanket in this otherwise rosy scenario of death, doom and gloom, but I have a couple of questions.

"...a world where institutions and modern society have collapsed."

Okay, we presume you don't mean 'collapsed' literally, like from a global earthquake that breaks every continent into nine pieces, or, um, the repercussion from twenty-three thermonuclear devices being set off simultaneously worldwide?

Okay, how does an institution and/or modern society "collapse"? In lieu of a literal meaning, we can only assume it means monetarily. People can't afford to pay their employees so they don't come to work. People can't afford goods so they don't buy anything. The whole place runs amok in a fit to survive.

So, are you saying the concept of "money" is going to collapse?

I mean, it's been around for quite a while now, I think we'll all admit. And is the concept of "money" going to collapse on a worldwide scale, or is it just a national thing?

Isn't Zimbabwe living proof that money can be devalued to historic levels and everyone can just keep on grinding along? They use the word "inflationary" a lot in the press, but no one's yet said their monetary system -- or society -- has "collapsed."

And if not money, what then?

I suppose we could be talking about a major societal collapse where everyone spontaneously takes to the streets and starts fighting their neighbor and-

No, wait -- that was a Twilight Zone episode. Scratch that one from the list.

I suppose society could run amok if aliens came down from outer space with a big book titled "To Serve Man" and we found out it was actually a cook book and-

No, wait -- scratch that one, too.

Okay, if we've eliminated:

- Global earthquakes
- Thermonuclear devices
- Spontaneous combustion
- Hungry aliens

causing the 'collapse' of the aforementioned institutions and/or modern society, then what does that leave beside a monetary collapse?

"The first golden coins in history were coined by Lydian king Croesus, around 560 BC." - Wikipedia

That's an unbroken track record of two and a half millenia.

Gonna be a shame to see it go.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Aug 17, 02:45:00 PM:

Dr. Mercury

Take a look at the homes offered on the site. Most are in Idaho, which is pretty much a haven for white supremacists, seperatists, and kooks. These people are talking about the end of the world defined as "the revolution" ... they load up the AK's and go cowboy and indian, protecting their stash of weed, and the patch of veggies.

Their assumption obviously is that they're badder asses then the next crazy or hungry or desperate person, and they'll be able to stay hunkered down protecting their little patch of heaven.

I think the idea of preparedness and self sufficiency is a good one. As I stated earlier... an event like pandemic where you need to be able to stay away from others until the risk passes. Beyond that, I'll be conflicted watching the monkeys actually flying out of my arse or watching our government and societal institutions melt down. What to do, what to do...

Stock the fridge with beer, gas up the generator, load the humi and buy some canned goods.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 18, 01:01:00 AM:

Sounds like a good place to send all those enviromenatlists wackos  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 18, 03:15:00 AM:

I would agree that the survivalist nonsense can get out of hand with "kill zones" and the like.

But the available evidence suggests that Chris Chambers is as usual completely wrong.

During the Tsunami, there was widespread banditry and murder. Little reported on by the Western Press but there it was. More close to home, in the LA Riots there was essentially three-four days with no law enforcement whatsoever in much of the city. Rioters roamed with impunity. Taking whatever they wanted and torching the rest.

Korean shopkeepers were targeted by Blacks particularly and stood watch over their stores/homes (they were often both) with shotguns and rifles. To protect their families life savings.

This mind you from a political decision to let LA riot over a court decision involving the Rodney King cops.

Think of what an earthquake, tsunami, or other natural disaster would do in a city like LA where ethnic diversity brings low trust and cooperation. Putnam's research is what it is: diversity brings mistrust. Given the widespread gangs/militias that infest/control LA's South-Central, Westlake, and the Eastside, LA would be one giant looting/pillage/crime zone. Like a combo Sarajevo/Srbenica.

MS-13, Crips, Bloods, and Eme are hardly conducive to cooperation. Chambers is living in a dream world. What is needed is not a survivalists retreat but a solid plan for home and workplace and commute. A space blanket, candy bars, water and radio/flashlight in the trunk of the car. A plan to get out of the building, defend the home, etc.

Kobe (in the heart of the most organized nation on Earth, Japan, that is also the most homogenous and therefore high-trust) shows that in case of disaster, help will not come and must be self-organizing. The riots show that large multi-ethnic/racial cities are absent police control a disaster waiting to happen in and of themselves. Preparation but also swift action are needed.

Most of the people rescued out of houses in Katrina were rescued by their neighbors.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Aug 21, 02:32:00 AM:

You all sound like a bunch of cattle. Do you know what cattle do while in line in the slaughter house? They keep on following the leader...right to their demise.

Go ahead you city dwellers, take your twinkies, glow sticks and your bottles of water and see what happens when the poop hits the fan. Better put your rain gear on people, the storm is a comin'.

I'll be laughing with my AK on my lap, a cool beer in my hand and a years worth of food in my basement.


You know the old saying "Better to have and not need than to need and not have".  

By Blogger S~D, at Wed Aug 13, 10:52:00 PM:

Live together, die alone.... a saying made famous in the show "LOST"  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 29, 08:47:00 PM:

I have been preparing in the area of educating myself in all manner of alternative health methods. Actually, this is a good idea at any time because one, it saves a ton of money to be able to treat yourself and two, avoiding drugs with their side effects is always a good idea.

One thing I will always have in my medicine cabinet is miracle mineral supplement. Information on how to use it and what to use it for is listed at http://www.squidoo.com/miraclemineralsolution  

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