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Apocalypse now? Prepare now as cataclysm looms, preppers forewarned
Thursday, 04 May 2017 13:08
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WAYNESVILLE — Two speakers warned that there is no time like the present to prepare for possible catastrophes during their speeches at Heritage Life Skills VI Weekend on the evening of April 21 at the Folkmoot Center.

“Hundreds” attended the April 21-23 program, making it the best-attended in its history, according to event organizer Jan Starrett, who declined to be more specific. She  co-owns, with her husband Bill, Carolina Readiness Supply, which sponsored the weekend program.

The event featured about 30 classes in a variety prepper interest areas, ranging from suturing to tactical radio communications. On April 22, the evening’s program included a musical performance by Spencer Two Dogs and a talk focusing on the North Korea crisis by Dr. William Forstchen, a Montreat College history professor who  perhaps is best-known as the author of the New York Times bestseller “One Second After.” 

“Enemies, an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse), economic collapse, natural disasters, even our government” going rogue — all could happen and pose threats to American’s way of life, one of the speakers, SouthernPrepper1, told a crowd of about 200 people in the center’s auditorium.

However, those who are prepared will tremendously increase their chances of survival, especially in the case of “a grid-down situation,” said SouthernPrepper1.

He spoke on the topic of “Protect Your Home” for more than an hour. (SouthernPrepper1 uses only his YouTube name, professes the motto of “Don’t be scared — be prepared” and is based near Pickens, S.C.) 

Southern1Prepper1 also spoke of the importance of having as many “trigger-pullers” of guns in one’s prepper group as possible, as those lacking food and supplies — and morals — inevitably will attack the group and must be repelled.

“In a worse-case event, we need every trigger-puller we can get,” he said. “Ladies are just as capable of doing what a guy can do” with a gun. If they (the enemy) take me out, the next one (left) is my wife…. We need to start training you women to be very proficient” with guns.

Women need “to be just as equipped (as men), with the best gear possible” to help a group survive, SouthernPrepper1 asserted.

He said that the “most important prepping matter” is “what you eat— what you put in your body... Get in shape. The better fit you are, the easier it is to teach you. We all have physical abilities, but we all can do better. The biggest prepping thing is taking care of yourself.”

SouthernPrepper1 added, “My philosophy here is: stock that food and try to recruit young people... If you’ve got the financial ability, put food back and recruit a strong back.”

He then asked, “What is our security mission?”

“It’s not to shoot people or have a violent confrontation,” SouthernPrepper1 said. “Show that you mean business, but use force only as a last resort.

“In a worst-case situation, you need a warrior mindset. People have a hard-time dealing with this. They’re in denial — or they just don’t know what to do.”

He spoke of two approaches to retreat security, including what is called “the grey man,” where one blends in” and does not show his strengths. “Problem is, people may think you’re an easy mark” with that approach, SouthernPrepper1 noted.

The black-and-blue approach is a second alternative, where one shows “you’re strong and mean business.”

What’s more, SouthernPrepper1 said, “Do not equip the bad guys...  If you take the average little street gang, if your items fall into the wrong hands, you will not want to be the guy” who has to face that challenge.

In a major disaster, he urged surivors to take the following steps:

• Account for all of one’s family members.

 • Notify one’s neighbors of the situation.

• Fill up all water containers.

• Monitor emergency frequencies and news.

• Contact friends with affirmative communication

Prior to a cataclysm, he recommended, “Have a written plan, keep people doing something profitable to give them less time to worry, protect children from emotional trauma and protect the emotional well-being of aduls “who are tender.”

Ultimately in survival, as in real estate, the key is “location, location, location,” SouthernPrepper1 said. “Your location will be the biggest factor in your survival chances.”

He noted that the “best way to survive in the suburbs is to form a Community Watch — from there, you’ll find out who’s interested in going a bit further. He also recommended organizing one’s neighborhood in general and starting preplanning.

The motto in the suburbs during a major disaster, he said, must be: “You loot, we shoot. Communities do it every day....”

As for defense tactics, SouthernPrepper1 said, “If you put every guy and girl as a trigger-puller on your perimeter, that’s a problem. You have to have a reserve force so that you can send them to the problem area. Leave a few people back — and they’re going to go to the problem side.”

Meanwhile, the night’s other speaker, Forrest Garvin, addressed “Building Prepper Groups” and said that forming a prepper group — of one has not already done it — is wise because in the case of a cataclysm, having others around provides “strength in numbers,” “skills you need but don’t have” and the force-multiplier and morale-booster of “loved ones and friends.

“And so, if you’re not in a group, you will die” — if a major and prolonged disaster strikes, Garvin said. (Garvin owns the Carolina Survival & Preparedness Academy in Charlotte, created the Carolina Preppers Network, which claims more than 1,600 members in the Carolinas and is part of a two-man team with an Internet radio show on prepping.)

“The end goal of everyone is to be in a survival group. If not, you need to change your ways. You’ve got to have a group of people” to be able to survive.

Regarding the likelihood of people on their own dying in a major disaster, Garvin asked, “Who disagrees with me there?”

No one in the crowd voiced disagreement.

“If you’re in a group, it will change your life,” Garvin said. Specifically, he said “it becomes your new family, your friends will change, your activities will change, you will spend more money (plus you will help make the rules and you have to be prepared mentally. We help the less fortunate in our group.”

However, he warned that one “must be motivated and, if you’re not motivated to do the work and spend the money, it’s not going to work out for you.”

Garvin also urged those looking for a group to join to know what kind of group they are seeking. Prepper groups commonly are based on militia, religion, organization style, group rules, group’s size (“I like a bigger size, with a minimum of 25 men, he said, rather than smaller size”), family members, pets and social.

He said he knows of “two (prepper) groups in the last three months (that) have broken up because of religion.”

Regarding his own group, Garvin asserted, “Please don’t hate me. Pets are not allowed at our retreat.”

After a pause, he added, “So know what you’re getting into. Know the rules.”

Regarding what he then termed “survival groups,” Garvin said. “This is a journey of relationships — seeking out people with whom we trust the lives of our family is a task not taken lightly.”

He also addressed the “personal security dilemma,” wherein, “If you don’ talk, no one will hear — and if no one else hears, no one else will know.”

Further, Garvin said, “The day you say you want to be in a group, it’s going to take you a couple of years to get into a group or to start a group.

He then reviewed a group of things to avoid doing, including don’t be desperate, share too much, be needy, ask too many questions, push friendships or be impatient.

Garvin also urged those who know about preppers to say, even jokingly, “‘I’ll just go to your place’” for help if disaster hits.

“I’m honest,” Garvin added. “I tell them, ‘If I ever find you (at his place), I’ll shoot you’… Hey, if you have no skills, you absolutely have no value. 

“If you come to our retreat (in a disaster) and come to the gate and say you need food, we’ll either choose to keep you or send you on your way. Be valuable. No skills equal no value.

“If you come (to the gate), we will give you food for a week or two per person, but we’ll tell you to go find a place because if you come back here, it’s not going to be good for you. We’ll be in ‘protect mode’… We have barrels and barrels of deer corn and rice — and people will eat that.”



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