Emergency Preparedness Tips From An Industry Pro - Interview with Robert Richardson
When we first started Game Plan Experts, we scoured the web looking for all the latest and greatest emergency preparedness tips we could find.
Finding these tips was pretty easy, but knowing which ones to take seriously was very, very tricky.
At the time, it seemed like every other blog had conflicting information. Even government websites were giving different pieces of advice from each other.
Not to mention, a lot of the survivalist blogs out there were talking about preparing for things like an asteroid hitting the earth, a nuclear bomb going off, and all of these other doomsday scenarios.
(See below for a good example)
I don’t know about you, but I want real advice on real scenarios that I can actually be prepared for.
Floods, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes - all of these disasters are actually possible (and much more likely) for you and I to experience.
This is why I am very excited to share with you a guest interview we had the privilege of conducting just the other day.
Robert Richardson is the brains behind OFFGRID SURVIVAL, a survival blog that helps people learn realistic ways to prepare for various real-life scenarios.
He’s got some awesome advice and was very generous with his time and knowledge. Check out the full interview below.
1) How did you get started in this field?
When I first got started I wrote about things like hunting, fishing, and wilderness topics; I quickly realized that the space was littered with books and so-called experts who just regurgitated the same old information – a lot of it coming directly from old Army Field manuals.
That wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I decided to take my weird experiences and start a website that talked about practical survival; the kind of things everyone at some point in their life was going to face.
I knew a lot about wilderness topics since I grew up hiking and fishing, but I also moved around a lot when I was younger, grew up in some pretty rough neighborhoods, and had a lot of stories I could share on dealing with some pretty nasty people and issues.
So that’s kind of how OFFGRID Survival got started. I wanted to focus on real-life survival issues and talk about the threats that people were most likely to face – not crashing in some remote part of the world and having to backpack out.
Realistically, how many people are going to experience an event like that?
2) What concerns you most about living in today’s society?
The general nastiness of people. We live in a society where it seems like there are a lot of ticking time bombs just waiting to go off.
From the recent riots in places like Ferguson and Baltimore to the wackos who hit the streets every time we experience a natural disaster, it’s people who I believe are the most significant threats to our safety.
3) What topics do your followers seem to be most concerned about?
Lately, I’ve been focused on things like civil unrest, crime, and urban survival topics.
These are the things that a lot of people overlook; unfortunately, they are also the things that are most likely to affect everyone.
As far as the people who follow my site, I think a lot of people are concerned with where society is heading, and some are starting to come around to the fact that social unrest is a real threat.
4) What advice would you have for someone just getting started in this area?
Ignore the really far out there stuff. Asteroids slamming into the earth make for good Hollywood movies, but it’s a foolish thing to prepare for.
Make a list of the most likely threats you will face based on your location and your situation, then start building out from there.
5) What should readers expect to get from your book, The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide?
First, it’s not a wilderness survival guide. You’re not going to find information on what to do if your raft flips over and you’re stuck in the middle of the Andes or some other weird situation that 99% of people will never encounter.
I wrote the book to give people real-world advice on how to survive the very real dangers present in today’s society.
From surviving natural disasters, man-made disasters and disease outbreaks, to essential tactics and step-by-step instructions for surviving urban disasters, crime, social unrest, and criminal/terrorist attacks, readers will learn the self-reliance strategies they need to survive in just about any situation.
6) Given that preparedness is a never-ending activity, what areas to do you (personally) continue to work on and improve?
I try to do most of the things I write about.
I’ve been an amateur radio operator for over 20 years now, so I take part in field days, make sure I use my equipment out on the road, and try to keep those skills fresh.
I also fish, hike and keep up on those type of skills at least a couple of times a week – I run a fishing website called Country Hookers, so it’s pretty easy for me to find an excuse to get out there.
7) What do you feel the government’s role should be in helping citizens prepare for emergencies and disasters?
This is a touchy topic for me.
I’ve been to a lot of emergency management seminars and tradeshows, and across the board, I’ve found that most people in government are useless. They spend their time at these events talking about PR and how to do damage control when they inevitably make the situation worse.
I always tell people that if you are waiting for the government to help or issue an evacuation order, you waited too long. People need to take their preparedness into their own hands.
8) What is the key to off-grid survival? (i.e., What should our readers know to effectively prepare to survive off-grid?)
The key to surviving off-grid, or anywhere else for that matter, is to have a good foundation of skills to build off of. I’ve talked to a lot of people that think they are just going to bug out into the wilderness during a disaster.
Unfortunately, these are usually the same people who’ve never even camped out in a national park, let alone somewhere out in the actual wilderness.
Start slow, start to build your skills, and plan weekends where you disconnect from everything and really start to test yourself in the “real-world.”
9) What are some of your favorite off-grid tools? (i.e., What are your “go-to” tools in any off-grid situation?)
I’m not sure that these qualify as off-grid tools, but I can tell you that on a daily basis I don’t leave the house without a good fixed-blade knife, a multi-tool, and a lighter.
I also usually have some sort of Go bag in my vehicle that has a spare of everything I carry in my pockets, plus communication gear, self-defense tools, water, and everything I need to survive if I have to get the hell out of Dodge.
I also have a collapsible fly rod in the vehicle, but to be honest that one is more for fun – if I come across a new body of water or stream and don’t have fishing gear with me I consider that a mini-emergency.
10) What is your favorite preparedness/survival book or website and why?
In general, I try to stay away from most survival books and instead focus on subjects I’m either interested in or areas where I know I need help.
I stock up on emergency communication manuals, instruction manuals and technical guides on equipment I own, books on electronics, growing food, and things like that.
Emergency preparedness tips from an Off-Grid Pro.
For more, feel free to check out Robert’s Book and offgridsurvival.com.