A friend of mine recently suggested I check out Jack Spirko and The Survival Podcast (www.thesurvivalpodcast.com). I listened to a few of his podcasts and then took the additional steps of subscribing via iTunes and registering on his forums.
I have been learning a ton from Jack – re-learning, actually – on a number of topics:
Living a sustainable lifestyle. This means learning how to create an environment within and around our home that can sustain us during a crisis of some sort. For example, we had a tornado come through here a couple of years ago that missed us by less than a mile. Had that tornado some close to us, we would likely have been physically OK, because we were in the basement. However, I had no plan for what to do afterward. Where would we have gone? Where was the phone number for my insurance agent? Who would I have called to help clear the debris? What would I need to purchase so that I could get to work? The preparation questions become endless.
Learn skills useful to the life I want to lead. My wife and I want to live “off the grid” somewhere. I’m a pretty good project manager and I know my way around technology pretty well. I used to be adept at what I used to call my Boy Scout skills, but those are pretty rusty. I need to learn more about the nuts and bolts of taking care of a home – I can change out an outlet or a faucet, and I can paint pretty slowly and terribly, but my basic carpentry skills are limited to writing a check. I want to learn how to garden and plant a few berry bushes at the back of our property.
Get out of debt. Yeah, I know – the easiest way to make this happen is to not get there in the first place. Since I have already blown past that exit on the highway of life, the digging in begins now.
Jack’s topics and approach aren’t for everyone. He has a tendency to get riled up when he thinks people in various places in government do stupid things (yeah, that’s pretty often). He is decidedly a Libertarian, so he has very few leftist sympathies. He is also pro-gun. I am OK with all of those, though he hammers away at some topics a bit too often for me. The good thing about collecting the information via podcast in iTunes is that I can see the topics and listen only to those I want to listen to.
The forums are very valuable for garnering information on any topic related to, as Jack’s tagline states, “Helping you live the life you want, if times get tough, or even if they don’t.”
If you hit the right podcast, you may think Jack is a “survivalist” in the worst definition of the term – hiding out in the woods, shooting at anyone who reeks of authority, having a lot in common with white supremacists. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Please give him a listen over the course of a couple weeks’ worth of podcasts so you can develop a sense of where he is coming from before jumping to conclusions.
The key topic Jack discusses is planning for the worst. I have done quite a bit of consulting over the years with companies on Business Continuity Planning – Jack takes that idea and applies it to individuals and families. The things that can happen to individuals and families are both similar to (weather, civil unrest, economic collapse, etc.) and quite different (job loss, death of a family member, etc.) from those that a corporation will encounter. However, the approach to remediating the problem is exactly the same – what do I need to do to prepare for something happening? What plans do I need to make now so that I can survive that “something?”
I’ll be moving forward in these areas more as the year progresses.
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