Survivalists and preppers use many acronyms and terms that might not be familiar to beginners. Here are the most common:

  • Alpha Strategy: Storing extra supplies to use for trade or as a hedge against inflation in a survival scenario.
  • Ballistic Wampum: Extra ammunition stored to use for trade.
  • BOB: Bug-Out Bag. A bag with at least 72 hours worth of food and supplies in case you are stranded or need to evacuate your area.
  • BOL: Bug-Out Location. A place where you can retreat to in case of a societal collapse.
  • BOV: Bug-Out Vehicle. A vehicle you can use to get yourself out of town in case of a disaster.
  • Doomer: Someone who believes peak oil is coming and that it will result in a breakdown of social order.
  • EMP: Electro-magnetic pulse. It comes from a detonated nuke and ruins electronics.
  • EOTW: End of the world. Term used to describe a widespread disaster that will permanently alter society.
  • FAK: First Aid Kit.
  • Goblin: A criminal/looter in a survival situation.
  • Golden Horde: The horde of looters and refugees that will spill out of the city and into the country after the SHTF.
  • G.O.O.D: Get Out of Dodge. To flee the city in case of a major disaster.
  • G.O.O.D. Kit: Get Out of Dodge Kit. The same as a BOB.
  • INCH Bag: I’m Never Coming Home Bag. A bag with supplies needed to sustain oneself indefinitely in case returning home is impossible.
  • MRE: Meal ready to eat.
  • NBC: Nuclear, Biological, Chemical
  • Pollyanna or Polly: Someone in denial about the possibility of a major disaster.
  • Prepper: The same as “survivalist.” Someone who makes preparations so that emergencies will have a minimal impact on his or her lifestyle.
  • SHTF: Shit Hits the Fan. A term used to describe a widespread disaster.
  • TEOTWAWKI: The End of the World as We Know It. See “EOTW.”
  • TPTB: The Powers That Be. Generic term for the people who control the economy/government.
  • WTSHTF: When the Shit Hits the Fan. See “SHTF.”