After reading your novel [Patriots], I realize that I’ve lot to learn to get truly prepared. I’m especially worried about the Asian [Avian] flu. If a human-compatible form of it hits nationwide, I think that things are gonna come positively unglued in the big cities. (Just like the picture of the collapsing infrastructure that you painted in your novel.) We are living in a house of cards. The interdependencies are so far-reaching that they make the prospect of a collapse frightening. I’m getting my “beans bullets and band aids” lined up quickly, but what about training? What’s the most important class/course to take first? How about old timey farming knowledge? Thank you, H.L. in Knoxville
JWR Replies: I recommend that you take advantage of free local classes first. Take the American Red Cross First Aid and CPR classes. Don’t overlook free classes offered by your local ham radio club. The wealth of experience offered by those “Elmers” is phenomenal. Seek out other elders in your community for “old timey” skills like do-it-yourself canning. If you want to learn how to live through a depression or a banking panic, there is nothing quite like learning from someone that has already lived through one. Sadly, there are a lot of old folks that have been “warehoused” in retirement homes that would be happy to share what they know.
If you are worried about societal unrest and looting, then it essential to get top rate firearms training from a shooting school like Gunsite, Front Sight, or Thunder Ranch. (Even if you are prior military service, you’ll learn more in just a few days there than you learned from years of military service.)
Once you have acquired proficiency at your tactical skills, seek out some advanced medical training. If possible, make plans to attend one of the specialized Tactical Lifesaver Courses. The next will be held on April 15-16, 2006, in Douglas, Georgia. A Iraq war vet Physician’s Assistant (PA) will teach you a lot of skills that the American Red Cross doesn’t. (Such as: how to prep an intravenous infusion, how to insert and orthopharyngeal airway, wound debridement, suturing, how to treat a sucking chest wound, and much more.) Don’t neglect taking this course. See: http://www.survivalreportblog.com/Tactical_Lifesaver_Course.html