Today we are fortunate to have an interview with Richard Bryant, author of a new book titled “When There Is No FEMA“. ‘When There is No FEMA’ is written as a non-fiction survivalist preparation and reference book intended to help the reader think clearly about preparedness to make their own decisions with their individual resource, experience and time constraints. I asked Richard a few questions so that you the reader would learn some insights into this book and we will also have a free book giveaway for one lucky reader at the end of this interview.
I received a copy of this book from Rich and was immediately impressed by its scope. At just over 500 pages, this is more of a resource manual that you would refer back to from time to time as opposed to a novel you read once and put down forever. It is obvious Rich has spent a considerable amount of time, energy and thought on this book and I look forward to reading it as time allows.
I’ll let Rich explain more of the book in the answers to the questions we posed to him but before that, I wanted to let you know about a special deal for readers of the Prepper Journal. For a short time, readers of The Prepper Journal can get a 15% discount on the purchase of this book by entering the coupon code ‘pjourn2014’ when placing a book order from the nofema.com web site. This is a great offer and don’t forget to take advantage of the contest below. Now, on to the interview.
Give us an overview of your book, When there is no FEMA. What is it about and who is this book for?
Well, as the subtitle implies (“Survival for Normal People During (Very) Abnormal Times”), this book is written “by a normal person for normal people”. In this case by “normal person” I mean that I’m not any sort of ex-special forces type with special training. I’m just a former Tennessee farm boy who grew up to become an engineer at NASA, and who eventually become passionate on the topic of disaster preparedness.
With regard to what this book is about – it has recently been described by one expert prepper (in this case, a person who was former special forces) as being “Encyclopedic”. It covers virtually every aspect of prepping in great detail. For example, while another book might suggest that you “raise rabbits for protein”, this book goes into detail on types of rabbits, sizes of cages, feeding rabbits, caring for sick rabbits and even the proper and humane way to kill and butcher rabbits. It goes into similar details on such topics as home and community defense, emergency food and water, gardening, sanitation, communications, disaster planning, bugging in, bugging out, first aid, physical fitness, guns, booby traps, buying and selling of precious metals and a host of other topics. One chapter provides step-by-step, detailed instructions for instantly organizing any community and/or small town to survive post-disaster (I call this my “life-saving chapter”).
What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?
In 2008 I formed what was then one of the largest prepper groups in the country. Within that group were a broad range of experts in the area of disaster preparedness. Some members were EMT’s; others were former Special Forces, SWAT team members, farmers, hunters and solar energy experts. Still others were just “regular people” who had already invested years (and fortunes) in becoming highly prepared. I obtained a ton of information through countless into-the-night discussions with these group members, and then went beyond that to self-study by acquiring books and harvesting information from the web.
How long did it take to write?
I spent three long years working into the night to complete this book. I wrote it using the same tools that are used to produce college textbooks, which is why I often refer to it as “textbook quality”. This book was no hack-job, as anyone who thumbs through it will quickly discover.
What do you think is the most important thing that people forget when it comes to survival?
One important thing is something that they have probably never really known, which is that the people who benefit most from holding precious metals are those who are most in debt. The day may come when a person might pay off an entire mortgage with a single ounce of gold!
Regarding the most important thing that people probably forget is that sanitation is every bit as important as having food. EVERYBODY needs a sanitation plan.
Also, most people never take into account that the moment the grid goes down they will begin to physically adapt. Prepping does not necessarily mean being able to provide for your family until normalcy returns – it means buying yourself the **time you need to adapt** to a new reality (for example, a reality without air conditioning).
How do you envision people using your book?
In my book I recommend that, after getting through the first couple of chapters, that reader scans the table of contents, identifies a topic they are interested in, and goes right to that section (I use the analogy of a bee moving from flower to flower in no particular order). You’re probably not going to be too interested in first aid for bee strings, for example, until somebody gets stung.
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I grew up as a farm boy in West Tennessee in the early 70’s, and went on to obtain my engineering degree and become a “corporate type” for several years. During those years I spent time working at many interesting places (many I can’t really talk much about). I can say that I’ve spent time walking the hallways of NASA and inside “cities within mountains”, and played a key role in developing many technologies that are so important to us today (the Internet, GPS, etc.). Around year 2000 I started my own tech company, and I continue to be entrepreneurial in the tech world. In 2008 I started one of the early prepper groups which has since spawned into multiple groups throughout Central Florida as I moved on to begin work on “When There is NO FEMA“.
In 1994 I wrote a book on computer security, and it received a *lot* of very valid criticism. It was this harsh, much-deserved feedback on that book which has caused me to be a real perfectionist while authoring “When There is No FEMA“. I can sincerely state that I put heart-and-soul into “WTINF” – with many chapters having to be scrapped and totally re-written before the 3-year effort was completed (I’m not sure I would wish that experience on my worst enemy!)
Do you have plans for another book?
In fact, I have started my next book, which is an offshoot of WTINF .. my new book will be entitled “Becoming the Wolf”, and it covers the topic of transforming oneself from a “sheep” to a “wolf”. The thought is that if a person transforms themselves then they can get much more benefit from their preparations. During the course of the past 18 months I’ve been modifying my own behaviors to transform myself, and I’ve been very happy with the results thus far (including losing 90 lbs and counting!).
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
I would like to tell your readers that difficult times are absolutely inevitable. That there is one huge difference between our current tough economic cycle and all that have come before – and that difference is that the US has “maxed out its credit card”. The “rosiest” future that we’re facing now is World War III, and that’s not very rosy.
Where can people purchase your book?
My book is available for sale at its own web site, which is: http://nofema.com/ Eventually we’ll offer other carefully selected preparedness-related items from that site as well (all hand-picked by me as if I were buying for my own preparations).
The Book Giveaway
Rich has been kind enough to offer a free copy of his book, When There Is No FEMA to one lucky reader who answers the following question in the comments below. We will take responses until Saturday evening (2/22/13) and at that point a single winner will be chosen. The winner will be notified via the email they use for their comment.
Today’s question is this:
Where do you feel the most vulnerable in terms of your preps so far?
Good luck on the contest!