How long have you been prepping for?
That all depends on what you mean by prepping. I grew up in the woods of Central Pennsylvania so I learned about hunting, fishing, camping, and being outdoors early. Plus I was in the cub scouts, boy scouts and webelo’s, and then joined the Colorado Civil Air Patrol when I was 14, which taught me search and rescue. I joined the Army at 17 and have been with them off and on now for 30 years. The whole Army deployment and exercise system is prepping. I consider prepping as just being ready for life when life isn’t normal and calm – and then being able to make it normal and calm even if everyone else is having a hard time.
Any reason why you began prepping? A specific event?
Nope. See the previous question.
Do you live in an Urban setting or a rural one?
If the time comes are you bugging out or in?
What “time” do you mean? If it’s time to bug out, then I bug out. If it’s time to bug in, then I bug in. Besides, if you bug out to a location to stay, you’re now bugging in. In 99% of cases, you should stay home. Bugging out during a disaster is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If you absolutely can’t stay home, then you bug out as a last resort.
Has prepping changed your lifestyle?
Do your preps include an underground shelter or bunker?
If times ever got tough would you work solo or with a support group?
You have to have a group in some of the worst scenarios or you won’t survive. The worse the scenario is, the more people you need.
If you could give a new prepper some advice based on your past mistakes, what would they be?
Go use everything that you have. Go camping. Shut off your power for a weekend. Go pull over in the middle of nowhere and stay for a few days. Most people buy things to have them in case something happens. Try actually carrying all that stuff once and then living out of it for a bit. An emergency isn’t the time to figure out your batteries are dead. Make friends who think like you do and build a friendship. Get to know your neighbors and find out their capabilities so you know who you can go to in case of emergency.
Did your significant other have a problem with your prepping? Did he/she back you?
Been deployed too much in the past 10 years to have a significant other. My “prepping” is a common-sense lifestyle. Once she would understand how life really is, she’d be an idiot if she didn’t back it, which means she wouldn’t be my significant other – she’d just be an ‘other.’
Kids. If you have any are they incorporated? If so how? Were they hesitant on doing so?
My son is on his second tour in Afghanistan. He’s well-prepared.
Can you share any tips for the elderly or low income families who wish to prep but are unsure of how to start based on said age or income level?
You have to make yourself valuable to a group for them to devote time and other resources to you in a long-term emergency where they have to make hard choices. Everything has its cost and benefit. You have to show that you’re a benefit to the group other than the good feeling they get from being nice. Every meal they give you is a meal their kids don’t eat. Learn skills that you can do and you can teach. Most people don’t learn and practice anything anymore; they just buy stuff and store it. Be the one who has the answers – at least in one important subject. Ham radio, gardening, and medicine are just a few things that don’t require a lot of money to get started in or a lot of physical capability.
Doomsday Preppers. Has the show hurt or helped the prepping community?
Both. They purposely made people look like idiots so they could get their ratings up. Some people now won’t listen when you start telling them about real threats that are out there that you could take common-sense measures to mitigate threats because they associate those actions with loonies. It has gotten people talking though, so those that were preparing in silence now know they aren’t alone.
Does your extended family or friends give you slack about prepping?
If nothing happens in your lifetime or children’s lifetime for that matter, would you feel that you wasted your time and money?
“Nothing?” So there’s a chance that I may spend the rest of my life and not ever get a flat tire, or break down on the side of the road, or have a power outage for a few days, or ever have to go to a third-world country again? Boy, wouldn’t that be great.
Want to give some advice to a new prepper?
Get it completely out of your freaking head that “prepping” is about surviving the end of the world – IT ISN’T. It’s about taking a look at the risks that possible threats in the world pose to you and taking appropriate action to mitigate those threats. Stop listening to people who say things like, “Why are you carrying electronics? There won’t be any electricity when SHTF!” Those people are idiots. They have tunnel vision and haven’t looked at the real world. They need to stop watching movies and get out there in the real world.
Here is a fun question. If you had to pick one item to aid you on an deserted island… what would it be?
Last words or thoughts you wish to share?
Stop thinking and acting like prepping is a fringe activity. If you’re spending $150,000 to bury a bunker and you don’t have a spare tire in your car or given your family a basic communications plan to get a hold of people in an emergency then you have your priorities completely out of whack. Prepare for the 99% of lesser and more likely emergencies before you start buying radiation suits.
We thank Scott very much for his time and if you the reader feel inclined please visit his website here and gain some more knowledge on this wonderful lifestyle over there.