Guide to Preparedness Now - Prepper Acronyms & Commonly Used Terms


This list is by-no-means complete.  If you come across as an acronym that it not list, then GOOGLE it.  It will be defined somewhere on the World Wide Web.


550 Cord - Paracord

72 Hour Kit - Kit full of emergency supplies to help one person survive for a period of 72 hours either in your home or in a shelter.  This could be your BOB (Bug out Bag) or a BIB (Bug in Bag).

ABAO - All Bets Are Off

ABC - Atomic, Bacteriological, Chemical or Airway, Breathing, Circulation

ALICE - All purpose lightweight individual carrying equipment

ARC - American Red Cross

BIB - Bug in Bag.  A kit of essentials designed for "hunkering down", in place

BIL - Bug In Location.  The location you plan on staying in case a bad event occurs. Could be your home or an away location.

BOB - Bug Out Bag.  Pre-packed bag you plan on grabbing before you leave/Bug Out. This is your emergency bag (EBAG) that you would grab should you be forced to evacuate your house quickly.  It carries enough essential life preserving supplies to survive for at least 72 hours - Usually includes such items as water, water purification means, fire starters, food, extra clothing, first aid supplies, rope/paracord, emergency blanket, personal papers, a knife, and similar contents.

BOL - Bug Out Location.  Location you plan to go to in case a bad event occurs. The place where family members have agreed to meet in case of evacuation.  Itís normally pre-stocked with goods/preps you deem necessary for survival.

BOR - Bug Out Route

BOV - Bug Out Vest or Bug Out Vehicle

BOWB - Bug Out Web Belt

BSTS - Better Safe Than Sorry

CACHE - Supply Stockpile

Carrington Event - A natural EMP type of event, caused by a large coronal mass ejection (CME) of the sun.

CB - Citizens Band Radio

CBRNchemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear

CBW - Chemical Biological Warfare

CCP - Concealed Carry Permit

CCW - Concealed Carry Weapon

CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CFR - Certified first responder

CM - Compressed Meals (The U.S. Army' new alternative to MREs, with a freeze dried entree. These are about 2/3s the size and weight of an MRE. 

CME - Coronal Mass Ejection. (Solar flares.)

C-Ration - Combat ration.  The U.S. Army canned field rations that were replaced by MREs in the mid1980s.

Crunch - A general term for a major, long term disaster.

CWP - Concealed Weapons Permit

CYA - Cover Your Ass or Cover Your Assets

DFO - Disaster field offices

DHS - Department of Homeland Security

DLP - Defense of Life & Property

DOD - Department of Defense

Doomsday - This is a common term that many preppers use when referring to the day when a major breakdown in civilized society occurs which is brought on by any number of events.

Doomsday Prepper - Someone who spends time preparing for a major event that results in TEOTWAWKI.

Doomstead - Synonymous with a survival retreat.

EARS - Emergency Animal Response Services

EAS - Emergency Alert System

EBS - Emergency Broadcast System

EDC - Every Day Carry, (meaning the things that a prepper carries with them on a day to day basis -

EMFH -  Every Man for Himself

EMP (electromagnetic pulse) - Electromagnetic Pulse.  A type of weapon that could be used to bring down the U.S. electrical grid. Usually appears as EMP attack.  An extreme level of electromagnetic energy sufficient to burn out computer chips that may be caused by solar flares or by atmospheric nuclear explosions. Such an event would disable the Internet, telephones, computers, and devices that rely on computer controls, including automobiles, the electrical grid, and household appliances. 

EMS - Emergency Management Systems

EMT - Emergency Medical Technician

EOTW - End Of The World  Not the literal end of planet earth, but the end of a government, a nation, or a particular way of life.

ESP - Extended Stay Pack

FAK - First Aid Kit

Faraday Cage - A shielding enclosure to protect electronics from electromagnetic pulses.

FD - Fire department

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEP - Family Emergency Plan

FIFO - First In, First Outóused for food storage rotation.

FUBAR - Fíd up beyond all recognition.  Military term that means something is really messed up.

FUD - Fear, Uncertainly & Doubt

FWIW - For What Its Worth

GH - Golden Horde.  Describes the enormous mass of refugees that flow from large urban areas when a disaster hits. Typically described as a desperate swarm of mostly helpless, unprepared individuals searching for water, food, and shelter.

GHB - Get Home Bag. A pre-packed bag you carry in your car or take everywhere that you plan on using to get home or to your bug out location from someplace besides your home. Example-From work/store/friendís house TO home/bug out location/safe place.

Ginny or Genset - Slang term used to refer to a generator.

GMO - Genetically Modified Organism

GO Bag - Synonymous with Bug Out Bag.

Golden Horde - Golden Horde.  Describes the enormous mass of refugees that flow from large urban areas when a disaster hits. Typically described as a desperate swarm of mostly helpless, unprepared individuals searching for water, food, and shelter.

GOOD or G.O.O.D. - Get Out Of Dodge. Describes a situation where the best choice is to leave the area (usually a city) immediately.

GOOD Kit - Get Out of Dodge Kit. Synonymous with (BOB).

GTG - Good to Go

Ham Radio - Home Amateur Radio, is a service where licensed operators can use radio technology to operate on radio frequencies known as the Amateur Bands. HAM Radio operators are often the only line of communication in the initial stages of a disaster. Their ability to communicate when the grid goes down is one of the major reasons that I highly advise our readers to look into HAM Radio.

Hard Money - Currency that is either redeemable in precious metals, or issued in the form of precious metals.

Heirloom Seeds - Non-GMO seeds that can be planted and replanted after every harvest.

HEMP - High altitude electromagnetic pulse

IFAK - Individual First Aid Kit

INCH Bag or Kit - Iím never coming home bag. Designed to support the life of its owner indefinitely, as opposed to other BOBs which are oriented toward gaining short term advantage and sustaining life for a fixed length of time.

Junk Silver - 1964 or earlier mint date circulated U.S. silver dimes, quarters, or half dollars with little or no numismatic value. These coin have a silver content of 90%.

KFS - Knife, Fork, Spoon

Looters - People who havenít prepared for emergencies and steal from others who have prepared.  Looter also steal from stores, business, vehicles, or other buildings.  Looters are also called Zombies or Mauraders.

LOS - Line of Sight. Many communications technologies require an unobstructed path between transmitter and receiver, as in microwave radio, satellite communications, and laser/infrared optical communications links.

LRW - Long Range Weapon

LTFS - Long Term Food Storage

LTS - Long Term Survival or Long Term Shelter

Marauders - Synonymous with looters & zombies.  These are people who take from those who have supplies.

Martial Law - According to imposition of the highest-ranking military officer as the military governor or as the head of the government, thus removing all power from the previous executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

MILSPEC - Military Specification. Something made to military standards

MILSURP - Military Surplus.

MOLLE - Modular Lightweight Load {pronounced molly} used by the armed forces.  Small bags attach to the outside of a pack via Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS).

MOLON LABE - Greek for Come and Take It

MRE - Meal, Ready to Eat (U.S. Army field rations). A military ration that is self contained and used to provide a single high calorie meal for a soldier in the field. Often contains extras like a heat source, beverage, snack, gum, coffee, and a wet wipe. Typically sealed in a very heavy plastic bag with a multi-year shelf life. Many non-military MRE meals are now marketed to civilians that sometimes are lower quality than their military spec counterparts.

Mylar Bags - Food grade bags made out of space age aluminum material which are used for long term food storage with the addition of oxygen absorbers or desiccants.

NAIS - National Animal Identification System using RFID biochips

NBC - Nuclear, Bacteriological & Chemical

NEMA - National Emergency Management Association

NINJA - No income no job or assets

NVD - Night Vision Device

NWO - New World Order.  Refers to the emergence of a totalitarian world government.

OPSEC - Operational Security. A military term used to define the need to keep details of your activities unknown to common observers.

OTG - Off The Grid

OTGE - Off the Grid Event

PALS - Pouch Attachment Ladder System used with MOLLE (Small bags attached to the PALS)

PAW - Post Apocalyptic World

PD - Police department

PDW - Personal Defense Weapon

PEK - Personal Escape Kit

PERK - Personal Emergency Relocation Kit

PMA - Positive Mental Attitude

POCSIE - Planning, Ordering, Controlling, Supporting, Informing, Evaluating

POI - Point Of Impact

Pollyanna or Polly - Someone who is in denial that TEOTWAWKI could actually occur and yet they remain unusually optimistic, even when presented with compelling evidence to the contrary.

POPO - Slang For The Police

POV - Personally Owned Vehicle

POW - Personally Owned Weapons

Power Grid - The infrastructure that is built and maintained by local power companies for the purpose of delivering electricity to homes and businesses.

Prepper - Prepared Individual. A person who prepares for disasters or hard times. A prepper is someone who keeps extra food, water and an alternative heat source in case of earthquake, tornado or blizzard. Preppers make plans for self reliance.

Prepping - Taking steps to prepare for emergencies.

Preps - This is slang for the things that preppers have stockpiled or things preppers have done to prepare to be able to survive a major catastrophe.

PSA - Personal Sidearm

PSK - Personal Survival Kit

PSP - Personal Survival Plan

Rations - Supplies that people will need and have access to on a daily basis such as food and water.

RCS - Rainwater Collection System

Retreat - A place of refuge that is prepared in advance by preppers. Usually in lightly populated rural areas. Sometimes referred to as bug out locations.

SAK - Swiss Army Knife

SAR - Search and Rescue

SCARE - Social Chaos and Response Emergency

Seed Bank - A stockpile of seeds to be used after a doomsday scenario takes place.

SERE - Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape or Survival, Escape, Resistance, Evasion

SF - Solar Flare

SFWF - Shelter, Fire, Water, Food

SHEEPLE - Sheep People. Normally referring to people who donít think for themselves or those that just follow what everyone else is doing.

SHTF - S*** Hits the Fan.  Usually used to define a situation or event that is local to the person, but well beyond what is considered a normal emergency.  It describe catastrophic events, disasters and scenarios where everything has spiraled out of control. SHTF events are usually temporary events.

SIP - Shelter in Place is basically the opposite of bugging out. Itís used to describe a situation where hunkering down in your home is the best option during an emergency situation.

SNAFU - Situation Normal, All Fíd Up.  Closely related to FUBAR. Military term that means everything that can go wrong is going wrong.

SOL - Simply Out of Luck or Sh*t  Out of Luck or or Sorry, Out of Luck

Solar Flares - Similar to CME-an ejection of sun particles in the form of radiation.

Solar Heater - A device that is designed to heat a room or heat water by harnessing the power of the sun.

Solar Oven - A solar cooker is constructed of a highly reflective surface to harness the energy of the sun for the purpose of cooking or warming food.

SOP or S.O.P. - Standard Operating Procedure

Survival Cache - A hidden supply of emergency supplies-often stored in an air-tight and waterproof container.

Survival Seeds - Also known as heirloom or non-GMO seeds.

Survivalist - Someone who has taken the time to develop the skills and acquire the knowledge necessary to live through a survival situation.  Survivalists often go beyond preppers by training themselves in self-defense, urban and wilderness survival, and a variety of other survival skills.

Sustainable Living - A lifestyle where people do things to avoid relying on supplies from the outside world. This usually includes things like gardening, raising animals to provide food, hunting, fishing, and foraging.

SWAT - Special Weapons and Tactics

SWF - Short Wave Radio

SWOT Analysis - A SWOT Analysis is a simple but useful method of really understanding your Strengths and Weaknesses. It will also help you identify Opportunities that you can exploit, and Threats that you might face in a survival situation. Performing a SWOT Analysis on yourself and your capabilities is a great way to determine how prepared you really are.

TEOTWAWKI - The End Of The World As We Know It. A world changing disaster that ends the way of life for whole countries. Sometimes used in place of SHTF, but generally accepted to more global in scale.

TPTB - The Powers That Be.  A reference to the known (and unknown) people who control the nation, its money supply, and its citizens. Sometimes shortened to ďthe PTB.

TV - Travel Vest

WMD - Weapons Mass Destruction

WROL - Without Rule Of Law.

WROL - Without Rule of Law. Describes a potential lawless state of society.

WTSHTF - When the Sh*t Hits the Fan. A term used generically by survivalists to describe disaster situations.

YOYO - Youíre On Your Own. The idea that you cannot depend on anybody else when the SHTF.  When government ceases to provide essential services such as fire department and police department protection, and when utilities no longer provide water, sanitation, electricity and phone service.

ZA - Zombie Apocalypse. Used by some preppers as a tongue in cheek to refer to the chaos that people (non-preppers) who havenít prepared for a major catastrophe or natural disaster will cause.

Zombie - Non Preppers, the unprepared.  The name for the unprepared and often aggressive masses who will look to take what you have painstakingly prepared.


Did I miss an acronyms that should be added to this list, please let me know.   Thanks.

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