During this installment of ask-a-prepper we speak with Survivor Jack, a two time “Doomsday Prepper” guest and pick his brain a little.
Any reason why you began prepping? A specific event?
15 Days after the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, while watching the rescue of “Miracle Girl” Darlene Etienne, I had a VISION. I invented a new rescue tool, realized my wife & I were totally unprepared for a Major Event and I saw myself promoting Universal 1st Aid and Survival Basics through Entertaining Education.
Do you live in an Urban setting or a rural one? If the time comes are you bugging out or in?
My wife is a “City Girl” and we live in a Denver, CO suburb. As we are in our 60s, we plan to Bug In —- IF possible. We are subject to Wildfires, Floods and Hazardous materials, like most communities. We might have to flee.
Has prepping changed your lifestyle?
Yes, and we’ve worked hard to maintain a balance toward Life. Some of my Prepper friends are too obsessed and don’t enjoy relaxing or play.
Do your preps include an underground shelter or bunker?
If times ever got tough would you work solo or with a support group?
No One survives alone forever. Community is the key. No one has every skill or manufacturing ability. What if you are injured accidentally when your alone away from home? Work in teams, family or community.
If you could give a new prepper some advice based on your past mistakes, what would they be?
Letter to my Children – Lessons from Haiti and Japan (8:30 – no ads) says it all.
Did your significant-other have a problem with your prepping? Did he/she back you?
My wife, Jacquie, is not a Prepper but she has backed my every decision. She did her “Doomsday Prepper” interviews and scenes after working all day. She was excused and never complained. Recently, she completed her 1st Bug Out bag.
Kids. If you have any are they incorporated? If so how? Were they hesitant on doing so?
Both of my sons are skeptical yet they are better prepared than most of their friends. My son, Ian, served in the Peace Corp and biked or hiked in Ireland, S. E. Asia and part of Africa. He understands and is better equipped than his brother.
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?
I’m a 68+ and on Social Security due to knee problems. IF a Major Disaster takes place, it will not Care about my problems or financial status. I’ve bought the Vast Majority of my gear at yard, garage, estate or Thrift Store sales. These are not cheap, crappy items. I upgrade somethings when I can afford better.
Mental Attitude is the Key. When I became a “Prepper”, I became more physically fit and relearned old skills. This increased my Confidence. The more I knew; the more I wanted to know. I now swim 4-5 days a week, approx one hour of continuous movement, and I work in the yard or take walks. I’ve lost nearly 100 pounds but more importantly, I have less pain in my knees than before.
Start with buying ‘one extra’ can or box of the items you like to eat. We use old bottles or jugs to store ‘Emergency Water’. We store cleaning materials and sanitation supplies. Take 1st Aid classes from the Red Cross, CERTS or others.
Doomsday Preppers. Has the show hurt or helped the prepping community?
Jacquie & I’ve appeared on two “Doomsday Prepper” shows. It’s where my “Survivor Jack” nickname came from. While the two series seemed to focus on some of the more extreme people, I learned a lot. The show highlighted many Don’ts, yet it also gave us a greater range of positive options to select. This was NatGeo #1 rated series ever and the increased awareness has brought more people into the beginning of Prepping. The more people better prepared before a Disaster, the less people we’ll have to deal with after.
Does your extended family or friends give you slack about prepping?
Yes, they have seen my Rescue Tool and my Commitment.
If nothing happens in your lifetime or children’s lifetime for that matter, would you feel that you wasted your time and money?
Smart people know that a disastrous accident could cripple them financial. Don’t we all want Home, Health, Vehicle and Life insurance, for example? I’m not upset IF I never collect on the Home and Vehicle insurance. Prepping is your Future Insurance. I’m wise enough to know I’d rather have something when I require it than to require something but not have it. The Confidence of knowing we’re ‘better prepared’ is worth every nickel.
Want to give some advice to a new prepper?
When a disaster strikes (car wreck to Major Event), Luck is the first deciding factor. IF you survive, your Most Important Survival Tool is Your Brain. Before that event, you must realize — in a Disaster, YOU are Your Doctor …. until help arrives. Your family should ALL be 1st Aid trained in case they are the closest uninjured person.
Assuming you are not too injured, you must deal with many situations in the aftermath of the Emergency. Your second ‘understanding’ has three parts: What-do-you-know, What-do-you-have-on-you or What-is-within-reach?
“The more you know, the less you need” is an old Survivor Axiom. IF you are trained in building shelter, using fire correctly, finding and purifying water, you can search for situations and improvise ways to achieve those goals.
Here is a fun question. If you had to pick one item to aid you on a deserted island… what would it be?
A Machete – cut branches or debris for shelter or water gathering, hunt in the shallows for fish or sea animals, crack open Coconuts for fluid and food, cut drift wood into fire starter like kindling and defense against threats.
Last words or thoughts you wish to share?
Develop a Survival Mindset – As I age, I notice ….
“Yesterday was the Last Easy Day.” Navy Seals
Why do You want to Survive? That is critically important. IF you suffer the “Worst” disaster, you want the Strongest Reason to Live. Carry a physical photo of your loved ones. IF electricity is down, or your phone is lost or damaged, at your worst moment, you will want to see their faces. When you need to put one foot in front to the other, your loved one’s smile can push you forward.
We thank SurvivorJack for his time and if you the reader feel inclined, please visit his wonderful website here.