The world of prepping seems to have its own language, or at least its own terminology. Once, I mentioned to my sister that their cabin would be a great bug-out location for them and she didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. The term conjured up a hotel for bugs in her mind!
Below is a list of terms and acronyms that are familiar to survivalists and Preppers. The descriptions are general in nature, so if you want more information, Google the terms to get a broader understanding of what they mean.
BIB: A bag of essential items for when you’re riding out an emergency situation at home.
BOB: Bug Out Bag – Possibly the most popular term on Prepper and survival websites. Basically, they’re bags (often backpacks or duffle bags) that hold survival essentials that you can “grab and go” or keep in your car should an emergency quickly develop. The items might include: water, portable food, extra cash, Mylar blanket, etc. No two bags are necessarily filled with the same items. Each will be packed according to the needs of the user. Bug Out Bags can also be referred to as “72-hour Bags”, “Go-Bags”, “Get-Home-Bags”, “Get-out-of-Dodge” bags, etc.
BOL: This stands for Bug-Out Location. It’s a predetermined location that’s considered safe and usually stocked with necessities for survival; a place where you plan to go during an emergency or if you need to evacuate quickly.
BOV: Known as a Bug-Out Vehicle; transportation that you plan to use during a “Get-out-of-Dodge” scenario. These can include anything from an ATV, bike, or even an RV or a fully loaded off-road vehicle. I would even imagine there will be many who own horses and use them as their mode of “transportation.”
Bug Out / Bugging Out: A military term that means to leave a place in a hurry.
C-RATION: Combat ration. The U.S. Army canned field rations that were replaced by MREs in the mid-1980s.
Doomsday Prepper: Simply, someone who prepares for potential natural and/or human-caused disasters and calamities. Many prepare for “end-of-the-world” scenarios. The term was made popular by a recent TV program and the difference between ordinary Preppers and Doomsday Preppers is the level of extremeness.
EDC: Every Day Carry = items that you should carry with you all the time.
EMP: Electromagnetic Pulse. A gigantic burst of atmospheric electricity which produces magnetic fields that can induce ground currents intense enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment. An EMP can naturally occur from certain activity on the surface of the sun. It can also be created via nuclear explosions. The effects are that a brief but extremely high voltage spike will occur, rendering much of the electronics worthless, including vehicles, computers, etc.
Farady Cage: A shielding enclosure to protect electronics from EMP attacks or a Solar Flare.
FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency.
FIFO: A practice used for food storage rotation – “first in, first out.”
Genny: Slang for generator.
Get Out of Dodge (G.O.O.D.): a quick exit out of your area; evacuation. A good Prepper will have an evacuation plan in place “just in case.”
Ham Radio: also known as Amateur Radio, is a service where licensed operators use radio technology to operate on radio frequencies. Ham Radio Operators are often the only line of communication during a disaster, particularly if the grid goes down.
INCH: I’m Never Coming Home (An “Inch kit” is the gear that you would take in the event of a worst case scenario – a one-way ticket driving, walking, or however.
ISOLATE RETREAT: A privately owned stronghold designed to be almost entirely self-sufficient and self-contained. (Remote Retreat)
JMHO: Just My Humble Opinion.
JUNK SILVER: 1964 or earlier mint date circulated – silver dimes, quarters, or half dollars with little or no numismatic value. These coins have a silver content of 90%.
KINDLING / Tinder: Small dry twigs and sticks used to build a fire. Fine flammable material that will easily catch a spark. Tinder ignites easily when exposed to an ember. Small cotton fibers or the inner bark from a cedar tree work well, as do regular cotton balls coated with Vaseline.
KISS or K.I.S.S. Keep it Simple Sweetie!
MOE: Measure Of Effectiveness
MOLLE: Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment
MRE: Meal ready to eat, freeze-dried survival food kits. (U.S. Army field rations)
NAIS: National Animal Identification System. Uses RFID biochips.
NINJA: No Income No Job or Assets
Pollyanna: Someone who is in denial that TEOTWAWKI could happen and /or remains cheerfully optimistic, even when the evidence is to the contrary.
Potable: Water suitable for human consumption.
Prep: To prepare. Preps: Slang for a Prepper’s preparations.
Prepper: A person who actively prepares for all kinds of catastrophic events, disasters, and more. Their methods for getting ready might include stockpiling food and water, basic necessities and other emergency supplies. Preppers and survivalists are not necessarily the same as survivalists go well beyond just prepping. (see below)
Sheeple: Combination of Sheep and People. They think that when an emergency or disaster occurs, the government will provide and will mindlessly give up their rights to those who they perceive to be in authority. Few questions are asked about the legitimacy of the requests or the trustworthiness of the authority figures leading the sheeple.
Shelf Life: The safe lifespan of any product, particularly food (or items with an expiration date) that you store for an emergency situation. The period of time that a processed food can be stored before changes in color, flavor, texture or the number of micro-organisms make it unacceptable for consumption. The period of time that a battery can be stored and still have at least 85% of its original charge.
Shelter in Place: (the opposite of bugging-out) is used to describe a situation where staying in your home is the best option during any emergency.
SHTF: events that are temporary but catastrophic in nature where everything has spiraled out of control. SHTF stands for Sh*t Hits the Fan.
SOP or S.O.P. Standard Operating Procedure(s)
Survivalist: a person who actively prepares for SHTF situations. They go beyond “ordinary” preppers by training themselves in self-defense, urban and wilderness survival, and a variety of other survival skills.
SWOT Analysis: A simple but useful method of truly understanding your strengths and weaknesses, particularly as you identify potential threats you might face in a survival situation. It’s a great to determine how prepared you really are.
TEOTWAWKI: Simply put, The End of the World as we Know It. It describes a catastrophic event or disaster beyond anything the world has ever known, such as and EMP attack, global pandemic, a total economic or political collapse, or a cyber attack on our infrastructure. For many, it conveys a significant, permanent, life-changing event such as the collapse of a nation’s infrastructure / economy or a nuclear strike on our soil.
WROL: Without Rule of Law. A time of anarchy and disregard for the law and normal codes of behavior.
YOYO: You’re on Your Own! When government ceases to provide essential services (such as fire and/or police department protection) and when utilities no longer provide water, sanitation, electricity and phone service.
Zombie: Not as you see in the movies, but an unprepared and often aggressive, desperate person who wants to take your supplies.