As you may already know, I am the Host/Producer of a preparedness themed radio show called Practical Prepping. Period. on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network. I was recently asked to give an interview for a segment of the network’s monthly newsletter called the Authors on the Air Host Spotlight and was thrilled to participate. You can sign up to receive the newsletter HERE. Below is the full text of my interview.
1. Randy Powers, welcome to the spotlight! Please introduce yourself. You know the drill: name, profession, pets, GPS coordinates of your survival cache . . . anything you think the readers might enjoy.
Thank you, Terri. Let’s start with what’s most important. I’m daddy to a beautiful baby girl named Riley who will become a big sister later this year when we welcome her little sister to the family. I’ve been married to my best friend for 18 years and we’ve been working to create the world we want to live in, practicing a preparedness lifestyle on our north Georgia homestead for the last 15 years. I love, and am a student of, history, geology, and sociology. When it comes to preparedness, I have a particular interest in gaining a better understanding of the macro issues we face as a society going forward, including resource depletion and climate change.
I’m a graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and the University of Georgia. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a working journalist since graduating from UGA with a career spanning 20 years across all forms of media, including radio, print, digital and television. Since 1998, I’ve been working with an international broadcast media outlet with credits as an editor, producer, speaker, media manager, and trainer. I’ve seen a lot over the years on location and in the newsroom and have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a contributor on three projects that were awarded the prestigious Peabody Award in 2005, 2008 and 2010.
Using the skills I’ve acquired during my career as a journalist, I’ve widened my focus to include disaster preparedness, becoming an entrepreneur as the founder and Chief Managing Partner of Practical Tactical. From this new platform, I work as a personal preparedness strategist, consultant, public speaker and author.
I love to talk preparedness with anyone interested in the subject and I always reply to anyone that reaches out. I can be contacted directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.practicaltactical4you.com, and am very active on social media. You can find me on Facebook at the Practical Tactical page (https://www.facebook.com/practac4u/) and the Practical Prepping. Period. page (https://www.facebook.com/PracticalPreppingPeriod/) and onTwitter @PracTac4U (https://twitter.com/PracTac4U).
2. Tell us about your show “Practical Prepping.” When are you on? What are the topics of discussion? Who are some of the writers and other personalities that have appeared?
Practical Prepping. Period. is really the natural next step for me in spreading the good word about personal preparedness. Having already been practicing personal preparedness for more than a decade and learning most of what we knew through good old trial and error, in 2012 I was motivated to help others with their journey to preparedness with the hope of saving them a little time and effort as they took steps to better prepare their family. After blogging and making YouTube videos for a couple of years, and a lot of urging from author Steve Konkoly, I decided to publish the practical, straight forward guide to preparedness I had developed for my consulting business, Practical Tactical Quick Start Guide. Very soon thereafter, I co-authored a book with Steve on preparedness called Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required, a light-hearted, instructional look at practical readiness concepts that nearly ANYONE can embrace–without seriously interrupting your life or draining your bank account. The promotion for that book introduced me to Pam Stack, executive producer for the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network. After a few months of discussion, we decided to launch Practical Prepping. Period. for anyone interested in personal preparedness, regardless of their level of experience, as an alternative to the tsunami of websites and television programs out there that promote the idea that if you’re not prepared for the very worst catastrophe you can image and the post-apocalyptic scenarios that are sure to follow such an event, you may as well not even bother. We welcome everyone under our supersized preparedness tent and are truly interested in seeing what we can learn from one another.
The show airs live on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network on the first Wednesday of every month at 9 pm EST. Taking a whole-istic approach to preparedness, we talk about all aspects of the topic. This includes everything from wilderness survival to off-grid homesteading. I also like to provide a platform to explore the “bigger picture” factors involved in preparedness like resource depletion, climate change, energy, the environment, and the economy, in hopes of helping our listeners better understand the macro forces that are driving the impacts the each of us feel and experience on an individual level.Only July 6th we will celebrate one full year of shows, and I’m proud to say that this has been a very informative and entertaining year! We have managed to fill show after show with top tier names from the world of preparedness and social commentary, authors and even one Hollywood film producer! We have welcomed Survivor Jane, James Howard Kunstler, Thunder Levin, Richard Heinberg, Steve Konkoly, Alice Friedemann, Gail Tverberg, Prepper Nurse, Rick Austin, Sean T. Smith, Chris Martenson, Mat Stein, Mason Inman, and John Michael Greer to the show so far and we have no plans on stopping anytime soon!
3. Expand on the subject a little bit. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. What is prepping? Why is it important?
You’re right about that, “prepping” has attracted a bit of a stigma as it moved into the mainstream and there is a lot of misleading and down right bad information out there. As I said earlier, we don’t think of personal preparedness in exactly that way. We choose to practice a lifestyle of personal preparedness. By this I mean that we do not take action steps out of fear or as a direct response to the perceived threat of the moment. Instead, we take a long range view that focuses on constantly working to strengthen our overall resilience against any threat that may arise. Every decision we make is wrapped around the framework of this world view.
As a topic of discussion, “prepping” really should not carry a stigma because it is something that every one of us does every day already. Think about it for a moment. If you go to the grocery store and buy food for you home, you are preparing to feed yourself and your family for the next week. It’s the same if you put fuel in your vehicle so you can go to work next week. If you maintain your car insurance or home owner’s insurance, then you are taking steps to prepare for an eventuality that may happen just in case you ever need it. Everyone is a prepper already and most don’t even stop to realize it.The cold hard truth of preparedness on any level is that bad things happen to good people every day and there is nothing any of us can do to stop that. However, you can absolutely take steps to mitigate the impacts of any eventuality with just a little planning and focused preparation. The great news is everyone can do this and achieve the preparedness goals that are appropriate for themselves and their families. Regardless of what you may be preparing for, you will never be able to prep for perpetuity. No matter how deep your larder, those supplies will eventually run out. That is precisely why we promote the idea that there is more to personal preparation than collecting the preparedness “hardware” of stored food, supplies and gear. These things are great and often vital, but in order to give yourself and your family the best chance of making it through any upheaval, this “hardware” should be paired with the “software” of preparedness knowledge, skills and experience. As with most things in life, but especially in preparedness and homesteading, you can’t just talk about it. At some point you have to be about it. In our view, this symbiotic relationship between the “hardware” and “software” of preparedness is crucial to the ultimate viability of any complete personal preparedness plan.
4. What are you reading? Both for fun and for your show. Are there any books, fiction and non-fiction, that you’d recommend to someone who wanted to learn more about prepping.
Recently I have been reading The Oracle of Oil in preparation for my chat with Mason Inman on the show. Inman takes a look at the remarkable M. King Hubbert in what is a great example of how bringing the past alive can help us make sense of the future. For fun, I recently completed Dogs of War by Jonathan Maberry and I am anxiously awaiting the ZULU Virus Chronicles from my pal Steve Konkoly. As for recommendations, I have a few. Starting with non-fiction, anyone interested in homesteading should have a copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery on their bookshelf. It’s an amazing reference volume. The Foxfire Series is also a wonderful resource on this topic and many others. Mat Stein has a couple of fantastic volumes, When Technology Fails and When Disaster Strikes covers all the bases. I would also like to humbly suggest the book I co-authored with Steve Konkoly, Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required. And finally, a work that has been tremendously influential for me that has served as a road map for where we may be headed as a society is James Howard Kunstler’s The Long Emergency. When it comes to preparedness fiction there is a lot to choose from, but I’ll try to keep it manageable. My favorite in the post-apocalyptic genre is a true classic, Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. Others that are fantastic include Lights Out by David Crawford, Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, One Second After by William Forschten, the Borrowed World series by Franklin Horton, and a series that I consulted on where preparedness was involved, The Perseid Collapse series by Steven Konkoly.
5. The final question is always what I call “rat out a friend.” Tell us about an author that we should be reading (and if you have a story about the writer, well then, out with it.)
An author that you should be reading if you are interested in prepping or post-apocalyptic fiction that you may not have heard much about is D.J. Molles. The Remaining series is a wild, fast paced and hardcore sprint through a post-apocalyptic world from a perspective I would venture most of us have never considered.
As for a story, well I have a pretty good one, but it’s not about Mr. Molles. It’s about Steve Konkoly. A little over two years ago, Steve and I had just finished a call doing some promotion for Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required when my wife Alice popped her head into my office with some news. She was letting me know that she was going into labor with our first child, my baby girl Riley, and that it was time to go to the hospital. Steve and I were bantering when I stopped mid-sentence and relayed the info to Steve. His response was instant. Even though he was many miles away in Maine, it was as if I could feel him pushing me out of the room and on my way to what would turn out to be the greatest day of my life! He quickly said something like “Get out of here, man. Go! Good luck!” and we were soon on our way. Later when we talked about that moment, Steve just had to laugh saying, “I still can’t believe I was talking to you when you got the call. Awesome.” I think that tells you an awful lot about the kind of guy Steve really is. I’m very proud to call him my friend.
I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me and my show. If you’re on Facebook, please check us out and LIKE and FOLLOW the Practical Prepping. Period. page to keep up with everything we have going on, upcoming guests, and much more.