Last month hordes of prepping enthusiasts and survivalists turned out for the Survival Expo in Richmond, Virginia. Vendors like Preparedness Essentials were present selling prepping products from long term food storage solutions to solar power to tactical gear. One of the vendors was Joe Fischer, a firefighter and air force veteran turned business owner who promotes survivalist training. His business USURVIVEALL also sells survival equipment like the Firestarter which retails at $25.00.
“Preparedness is a way of life.”
Joe is a strong advocate of versatile items in a grid down situation. The essentials in the trunk of his car include pouches of tuna, rice and beans and tea lights. But two key pieces are his bandana and some black tape. Why? They are versatile! A bandana can protect your face from bugs, act as a water filter and be used as a bag to carry berries or other food. Whereas, black tape can be used as a bandage, for repairs or lashing things together to make a shelter or some other construction.
Fischer doesn’t prep for civil unrest, economic collapse or the end of the world, he simply wants to be ready for a particularly bad storm, tornado or power outage. Versatility he believes is the key to surviving.
His top prepping priorities are:
- Fire – not only for heat and cooking, fire is an important resource for purifying water. It also has soothing abilities; anyone who’s sat by a crackling fire knows how calming it is. Therefore, it helps put you at ease, as Fischer points out, “every animal on earth is afraid of fire”.
- Knife – common sense prevails, this is an extremely important tool for any survival situation and can get you out of some sticky situations.
- Shelter and water – a product like a mylar blanket not only keeps you warm but can be set up as a shelter. It can also be used to collect water. Plus, it’s cheap and easy to pack, folding down into a small square for transport.
- Cordage – something that doesn’t cross everyone’s mind, but is just as important urges Fischer. Cord can help you string up a shelter or a rain tarp. Not to mention if you need to do some climbing (up or down) this can be the difference between life and death.
The next Expo coordinated by RK Prepper Shows is being held in Springfield, Montana on June 24th and June 25th. Tickets are priced between $12 – $14.50 for adults and $5 – $7.50 and can be purchased online.
Surviving societal collapse
Even though Fischer doesn’t believe in prepping for end-of-the-world scenarios, two South Carolina law makers have a different view. Josiah Magnuson and Jonathon Hill have set up the “Virtue Solution Project”, a group which aims to save America… or survive societal collapse. Based on a mix of religion, political organizing and disaster prepping, the group advocates their followers to form communities that do not rely on corporate America. Community preparedness centres will enable followers to learn about spiritual leadership, first aid, farming, renewable energy and tactical defence.
Magnuson is setting up the first prepping centre in a barn on an acre of land outside Campabello. Although it will start life as a coffee shop, it is hoped it will be developed further for the group. Apparently, other groups are planned for Pickens, Simpsonville, Charleston and over the border in Georgia.
Magnuson states, “there will come a point where there is a major disaster in our country…we need to be ready for that, and (prepping) will give us an opportunity to have a fresh beginning.”
The group is heavily based on religion, with a focus to reshape community ideas towards those of the Founding Fathers. However, Hill points out that the group is in its infancy and development of ideas is still taking place. “We’re not saying that everybody should go and pick up guns and go have a revolution.” Instead, he says prepping is about self-sufficiency and providing for your neighbours and community.
For a more in depth analysis of the group’s ideology, take a look at this article.