Episode-1667- Paul Martin on a Culture of Preparedness — 11 Comments

  1. As a career artist I get a fair ration of abuse from my fellow artists when I bring this subject up. Most artists are on the extreme end of the “Grasshopper Syndrome” and Jack’s recent post on FaceBook about getting flak for trying to help folks really rang a familiar chord. So much of the stereotypes about starving artists are true and I keep saying that basic survival stuff should be a required class in art school (don’t get me started on how useless an art education is, that’s a rant for another time) because an art career is one that is unlikely to earn an artist enough money to enable a comfortable lifestyle without having the skills described here on TSP. I mentioned taking free first aid safety classes for plein art painters once and I got “Don’t be absurd, focus on your art and the Universe will take care of you.” Those were the exact words I got. No artist showed up to the class. I can’t ever have debt because I never know when or how much art I will sell – and I’m one of the more successful ones. The examples of derision made here on this podcast are all ones I’ve gotten. Imagine that, hippy dippy artists spouting all this peace and tolerance fluff being spiteful and ridiculing so quickly when this subject comes up. It’s definitely put some space between me and others in the art community despite the fact that following this philosophy actually frees me up to better live off my art and not have to take a crap job to pay bills. Just like this interview, one of the better things I’ve done is widen my scope of personal contacts. The more diverse my friends and acquaintances are, the easier it is to spot the crazies too.

  2. Read the book. Interesting, well written, and focuses on developing a sustainable community. Very good as far as it goes. Food production did not get mentioned. I consider that a grave oversight. Perfect for getting the school kids involved. I agree that using positive forces as a base is better than negative rhetoric. Building versus tearing down sends a positive message. Well done.

    • Noticed that too but I don’t think it really matters. As I said in this episode, “if you get a person to take a step, they will keep taking them on their own”. Not all preppers become food producers, some just don’t want to and some logistically can’t.

  3. I’ve been doing this for years. The conversation usually goes something like this…

    “Person: Oh, you’re one of those doomsday preppers? What are you worried about, EMP or something?
    Me: No, not at all. I lost power in that last ice storm we had and needed to scramble to find a backup heat source. I never want that to happen again, so I’ve started learning. Now I’ve got backup heat for a few days and I don’t need to worry anymore. ”

    I may fib a bit as to the extent of my preps, but that’s how I maintain some level of opsec. In the instance above, I had a kerosene heater and 10 gallons of spare fuel, but they didn’t need to know that. I also target the conversation/scenario to something that I know they’ve experienced where possible.

    Another example conversation that I’ve had a few times…
    “Person: Well I know where I’m going when the X happens!
    Me: Well, I charge admission. You need to be able to take care of your family while you’re here, so bring enough to do that. I’ll be happy to help you get started if you want.”

    It’s a non-confrontational way to start the conversation while getting their “I’m coming over” fantasy derailed a bit.

    I do worry, though, about the tin foil hat brigade becoming Ambassadors. That could do more harm than good.

    • My response to “I know where I am going” is always this

      “Well that is great that you have a place to go, where is it, do you have a rich uncle or something who is going to take you in?”

      That usually makes the point, but if they say something like, “no I mean here”.

      I say let me tell you about the ant and the grasshopper, then I do, at the end I say so in this scenario which one do you think you are and do you really expect the ant to open the door for you?

      Is it a little grimmer than your approach, you bet but it does make the point. And they can be pissed at Aseop and whoever actually wrote Proverbs instead of me.

    • Living in Canada, it’s tough as nails to get a gun. And at 52 I’m getting older. I joke and reply ‘Ass, Gas or Grass’ , no one rides free..

  4. Jack,
    In this podcast you mentioned about a recipe to use in the solar oven. I lost what it was as far as I think a Pork Shoulder. Can you drop that nugget here again. I remember meat and apple. That was it.

  5. Great show today Jack — thanks for having Paul on. I especially liked him sharing his experiences working with his kids’ school. Our elementary school has a program called “Partners in Education” where it’s mixed-age classrooms, they have programs that involve older kids helping younger kids, and they actively work to bring parents into the classrooms. One of the great initiatives they have there is a school garden, and I’ve been heavily involved in it since my daughter started there (she’s now in 3rd grade). I’m always angling for ways to introduce permaculture into the curriculum or events they have at the school, with moderate success thus far. Paul’s experiences certainly helped me generate ideas to be even more effective with that in the future.

  6. I listened to this episode earlier this week. Last night my wife and I took our kids to a trick or treat function at her work. I quickly noticed that each of the hundreds of cubicles had a bright red “emergency go bag” hanging in it. When I asked my wife about it she said that they gave them out about a year ago and they each came with a water bottle, a pair of nitrite gloves, a dust mask, a mylar blanket, a cpr first aid instruction sheet, they were asked to place some protein bars / snacks to the bags. She also added an emergency egress map to her bag and a few other items. The company is AIG so at least someone in the big corp is promoting some level of preparation.

  7. The topic of preparedness has come up a few times recently and I feel like I’ve seen a bit more acceptance recently than in past years. Maybe it’s the start of a change in public perception, or maybe it’s something else.

    I just hope that it isn’t just people being reactionary after hearing the hype about the El Nino that is supposed to be coming this winter.