Have you ever considered being featured on National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers show? Are you at all curious how you would score against the Preppers rating system?
This week we’re pleased to feature Steve Vanesse on Off the Grid Radio, one of the featured guests on this season’s Doomsday Preppers series, alongside his friend, Tom Perez. Vanesse lives near Houston, Texas and is particularly concerned with the aftereffects of hurricanes or from a “dirty bomb” attack. A prepper since the mid 1990s, Vanesse felt he was prepared for any eventualities.
Please join hosts Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy as they speak with Steve Vanesse about his experiences behind the scenes with the Doomsday Preppers production crew and how he looks at his preparation tactics now.
Off The Grid Radio
Release Date November 29, 2012
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Off The Grid News—the radio version of OffTheGridNews.com. I am Brian Brawdy, as always here with Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, how are you sir?
Bill: Brian, I have never been better in my life. I watched an amazing episode of Doomsday Preppers last night and it was really something to see and we’ve got one of the guys that was on the episode here on the show with us, surprisingly—Steven Vanesse—our good friend Steven Vanesse. Steven, welcome.
Steven: Thank you Brian and Bill. Great to hear you as well too.
Bill: You know, you did a great job last night and I really enjoyed the show thoroughly. Why don’t you tell…? I mean I could give a little bit of a backdrop. You and your buddy have got some land that you’re working on and how many acres is that farm?
Steven: 700 acres in South Texas, near the border.
Bill: 700 acres. And so this is the premise. This is the theme of last night’s show and you can… I think you can go back on the site and re-watch it if you haven’t watched it. And so the premise is you and your friend are… sort of have teamed up because you have different skillsets and you have both got sort of places out on this ranch and you went through the story and what was interesting is you had some of our stuff, some of our gear. Why don’t you give us a little bit of background? When did you guys start thinking about taking the measures that you took that actually warranted a show like this?
Steven: Well, Tom and I actually met in mortuary school. We’re both morticians and undertakers. He is a doctor. I am a lawyer. My wife is a doctor as well too. So we had so much in common and we just hit it off right off the bat and we’re best of friends.
Bill: And what was your thinking? What is the mindset behind…? I know you’ve been one of our customers from way back and you’ve sort of bought into this idea that “Hey, maybe things won’t always go so well. Maybe even there will be something cataclysmic or apocalyptic”—whatever. How long ago did you first start thinking about that?
Steven: Well, it probably goes back to the mid-‘90s. I remember the initial bans on weaponry and that’s when I really started thinking about “Well, what might happen?” Of course living in the Gulf Coast too, we’re subject to hurricanes and other natural disasters so I mean your products just fit perfectly in with that scenario. I mean we have great sun so we have great access to solar energy and just your products are my preferred prepper provisions.
Bill: Well, thank you for that. And you had some of those products on their last night. I was privileged to see the seed bank a number of times and I was interested to see the solar oven and of course the solar generator—the Power Source 1800—you had prominently displayed in your stash area.
Steven: They are my go-to provisions, as I say. I’d probably trade in my guns before I’d trade in those three.
Bill: Well, yeah. That’s cool. Last night the show—tell us a little bit about just how you got ready to do the show itself because I want Brian to kind of chirp in here. Brian’s had some unusual experiences with the Nat—and folks need to know this is not National Geographic that comes and does this—these are production teams that come and film this stuff and so you kind of don’t know what you get. You talk about having a prepper experience—you probably were unprepared for what happened behind the scenes as… That’s part of now your prepper experience, is it not?
Steven: Exactly. It was quite an enlightening experience. I know my daughter, whenever she watches a movie—right now she’s saying, “Well, I know what happened there. Well, I understand where they’re coming from there.” So she is a little director in the making.
Bill: Well Brian, why don’t you guys talk a little bit about—together—about your mutual experiences? Steven, we have been talking a little bit about this the last couple podcasts that we’ve put out about just what life is like because Brian had some unusual experiences with these guys. Why don’t you guys just go back and forth a little bit about what’s your experience? Brian’s saying, “Well you know, so much of this is scripted—almost all this is scripted” and then I felt like with Tom’s injury and you… I didn’t really understand… You’re shooting and then all of a sudden Tom is down and then that had to have all been kind of just obviously recreated or was that something that really happened?
Steven: I am still bound by some contractual relations but I am just darned grateful that the other two people in the stand were not injured and didn’t experience any injury whatsoever. So I am grateful that Tom recovered in the way he recovered.
Bill: Well, good. Good. Brian, do you have any comments about or any questions for Steven about his…? It’s… Obviously he has to be a little bit tightlipped about this but…
Brian: Sure. Well, and I would say Steve, if you have to—I really have to because mine hasn’t even aired yet—so to the degree that you have to be a little tightlipped… Well, it was most certainly an education, Bill. As we have discussed, it was absolutely eye-opening and as I went into it and continue to remain today, I’d like to try to do it so that us preppers—the people that are listening here, people that are on the show and I think the people that are thinking about becoming preppers—that we’re not held in a bad light. Steve, what did you think?
Steven: My reactions were genuine. My emotions were genuine. The adrenaline was definitely genuine. They… We were put in positions where we really had… We really drew on our own emotions so I felt that part was definitely real.
Bill: So did you think that—about the times—you actually sort of put yourself mentally in a situation where your family, Steven, was really at risk and you really felt you were able to capture what it’s like to be in a situation that you have been preparing for?
Steven: The emotions are genuine, Bill.
Bill: That is really, really cool and all of the family members as well—I thought you guys all did a great job and with Tom’s family and everything, with the wives buying into it and everything. How was your wife? Because I think a lot of people have spousal problems with respect to sort of buying into something like this. Most people… A lot of men buy into it. A lot of men are hunters. A lot of men sort of naturally are gravitated towards having insurance policies for their wives and having a gun around or whatever. How did your wife come around in that whole… the process of thinking these things through?
Steven: Well, I know Gabrielle is a doctor and she went through a whole epidemic of Dengue Fever and she ended up succumbing to that, as did Victoria. So they are well aware of the dangers of—biological dangers—so yes, they are all with the program. They really came through for me. I am so proud of both of them.
Bill: Yeah, they did great. And you’re also a… What is your profession? And I think people don’t realize that you have some experience in radiation as well, do you not?
Steven: Correct. Correct. I am the corporate radiation safety officer for EPDI. It’s Enviroklean. It’s a company that does radiation detection and decontamination in the oil fields in West Texas and then also in South Texas.
Bill: Well, being someone that has that kind of background, you’ll find it interesting… Years ago—probably two years ago—we wrote a book about dirty bomb survival and that book is at DirtyBombSurvival.com but the premise was your premise—what can happen if someone puts some of these ingredients together and detonates this in a place like Houston? And do you want to go through that for us? Because that’s really what the premise of the show is about but what do you think really would happen?
Steven: Well, I agree and the means and the contaminants—the radionuclides—are so easy to access. There is an amount of control over those but yes—access to radionuclides like cesium and strontium can be gained at hospitals, construction sites. My gosh, sitting here on my desk I have a device that has cesium in it. Those can be mixed with just regular detonation devices and exploded and depending on wind currents and weather, it can have a broad effect—maybe four to six miles. So what we try to do is just practice evading that blast in the initial area of impact.
Bill: I think one of the dangers as well—and you can let me know how you feel about this—but one of the dangers really is… I mean you live in a place… If this happened in New York City, you would obviously have the fear factor that would take over. You wipe out some small area and it’s… The danger to greater New York City probably wouldn’t be as much but you wipe out the financial district and I think the fear issue alone, which is something that obviously guys like Bin Laden and terrorists want to do, it’s not so much the event but it’s the cascading events that come from the event—more lockdowns from security. And that’s what… The action is the reaction. It’s almost like an Alinsky issue, right? With the terrorists and with Al Qaeda types—they want the reaction. But you live in an area Steven, where I’ve had people on this show before—intelligence experts—about folks coming across the border down there with dirty bomb ingredients and that’s something that I think that the FBI is highly concerned about.
Steven: Absolutely. I know there will be extensive periods of decontamination because those radionuclides would be immersed into the buildings and it would be extensive lockdown—that was a good choice of words—as well as the cancer risks and the developing health risks that would develop from that.
Bill: And what do you think people would have to do? I mean do you want to just give a short run about what it would take to be prepared for a dirty bomb scenario? Obviously you guys have a get-out-of-town but let’s say for example in Houston; you can’t get out of town. Let’s say there is… The roads are shut off and there is a lockdown. What would your secondary choices be in terms of being prepared for something like that?
Steven: Stay inside. Block the vents. Don’t turn on the AC. Just avoid being exposed to any fallout. And so that would be a lockdown for at least a couple weeks.
Bill: So you have to figure out a way to stay inside your house for a couple weeks for sure. And it’s pretty hard not to get any air in and outside of your house. I mean have you guys discussed any kind of air exchange?
Steven: I know we do maintain the SCBA—Self Contained Breathing Apparatus—in-house but we can only use those for only… Those tanks will only last for a short period of time.
Bill: And with the… Go ahead Brian.
Brian: I was going to say in the aftermath of September 11th I remember… At the time I think it was Tommy Thompson who came on TV and I believe he was the director of Health and Human Services and at the time said, “You need to get as much duct tape and plastic sheeting as you can. And it was only Steve, about 24 hours after that that they realized that if you could effectively seal the outside world with duct tape and plastic sheeting, that minus that additional breathing apparatus, you pretty much were creating an airtight chamber that you wouldn’t be able to breath in after too long. Do you find that to be the case?
Steven: I hadn’t been acquainted with Tommy Thompson’s recommendation. I know I definitely plan to shut off the vents with duct tape and seal off the area but as far as having air available in the air exchange—difficult call.
Bill: So what’s the dissipation rate? Let’s say a dirty bomb goes off and we’re picking on Houston here but that’s the premise of the show so a dirty bomb is detonated and as a radiation guy, you’ve got high levels for—and of course no one can predict the size of something but some kind of suitcase device or something, we could say—how long before something—the radiation—would start to dissipate?
Steven: I believe… I believe that my house, just out on the edge of the blast zone and so much of that would be dependent on dew points, on wind patterns but it shouldn’t… I would anticipate it dissipating fairly quickly but if it just is absorbed into the buildings and absorbed into the roofs and things like that, that’s the after effect. But the immediate effect, the fallout would dissipate fairly quickly—within the week. Is that your understanding, Bill?
Bill: Well, that would be my understanding as well but I… Again, this is not my field and I don’t have that many situations where people could call on for—“Yeah, this is what happened there.” Somebody almost should… I think the government or somebody should almost detonate a dirty bomb someplace just to measure the reaction so that… I mean I think on Doomsday Preppers they always put the bar on there that says, “This is unlikely to happen” and it’s probably not going to happen but the point of prepping is that it could happen so people need to be prepared. If you’re going to start preparing for things, you would also be prepared for something like that—some sort of radiation program that you would have at your house. How about in terms of devices? What are you recommending that people…? I noticed you had some gear that you use to detect radiation, Steven, last night. What do you recommend folks get for gear for that?
Steven: We use a Ludlum Scintillator and then also a Geiger Mueller Probe. The Scintillator measures general gamma rays and then the Geiger Mueller Probe is used for frisk-outs—checking people’s levels.
Bill: And that was a cool scene where you had… where they were sort of… where you were going over somebody’s body with one of these to see if there was any radiation. Where can you buy that item?
Steven: I… We purchase our items from Ludlum Instruments in Sweetwater Texas.
Bill: Ludlum Instruments—okay. Very cool. So talk about some other stuff. Talk about the perimeter issues. I noticed one of the things you guys did is okay, there is a call for trouble and then you’ve got to protect your perimeter somehow and you guys have a program for that. You have a blind up, almost like a deer blind, do you not?
Steven: Correct. And we set up… Actually, I’m kind of going through… On the dirty bomb scenario there are some articles that analyze the risk and economic analysis in dirty bomb attacks in Los Angeles and Long Beach. I was looking over that study. That was a 2007 study. But yes, we set up those Tannerite…
Bill: Well, let’s go back. Let’s go back to that study real quick. I mean you got some more comments from that study that you think are [inaudible 0:17:05.0] for people to pay attention to, obviously we need to learn what we can, wherever we can.
Steven: And I definitely want to pick up your research too. Would you repeat your… the location for the dirty bomb analysis?
Bill: Sure it’s… The website was DirtyBombSurvival.com. And it was a pretty well researched book that we put out. We spent a lot of time. I think it took us about a year to put that out. So I’d love to get you to get your… I’ll tell you what I’ll do for you is I’ll send you one if you’d be kind enough to give me a review and let me know your thoughts about it.
Steven: Your products have always been extremely positive and useful for me. I really appreciate your company very much and I really want to highly recommend Solutions From Science.
Bill: Well, thanks Steven. I appreciate that greatly. So we’ll get a copy of that down to you and then you and I can have a conversation afterwards about that—maybe even do a little bit of a follow-up on it. Let’s go to the blinds now then and talk a little bit about just… You had set up blinds—almost like deer blinds, is the way—it looked like a deer blind to me. And how do you see that fitting into protecting your perimeter?
Steven: From those blinds we have an extensive view of—360-degree view—of the whole ranch. We can see any approach. Then those blinds are set up throughout the ranch. We also have camouflage blinds and other observation posts. So we do bounding. So we do bounding, we do… We set up perimeter watches and just keeping on the go.
Bill: And how often do you guys get out to the ranch to sort of have this mutual practice where both families are working at this?
Steven: At least once a month because we also have to maintain the ranch as well too. I know—speaking of nuclear—I know EPDI here, we also have an affiliation with the University of Texas Nuclear Science Department and there is an… We do an extensive amount of research with the university—Dr. Sheldon Landsberger.
Bill: Okay, cool. What else did you take from… in terms of…? After they go through, they give you a score and you have to sort of assimilate that. Were you happy with the score or did you think you guys deserved a higher score or what was your take from that?
Steven: Gabrielle’s medical skills were not necessarily reviewed and her expertise. Other than that, I couldn’t really comment.
Bill: Okay. Did you learn anything from the experience? In other words, after you got the score, what steps did you take to sort of bolster up any weaknesses that the experts identified?
Steven: Well, I know we have barred and fortified our Houston location so if that’s an example of measures we’ve taken—but the bars are internal rather than external so they can’t be pulled off.
Bill: Okay, so you got internal bars. So you’re beefing up security—just the general security.
Steven: Yeah—in the event that we do actually have to survive in place.
Bill: And what…? What sort of things have you done in your community to…? One of the things Brian and I talk a lot about on this show is sort of getting people together in the event of problems because sometimes it is difficult if you’ve got neighbors that really aren’t on the same page. Do you have…? What’s it like locally for you? Do you have any luck trying to convince people that there are dangers out there?
Steven: Well, the remarkable thing about Houston and living on the Gulf Coast is that everybody recognizes that danger of natural disasters so having things like our solar devices and our generators and our ovens is just a natural part of living on the Gulf Coast. So it doesn’t have to be a terrorist attack. It can be just nature having her wrath on us and we fall back on our… The nice thing about your products is they’re silent so… I know after Ike, everybody was running their generators—loud—and there was humming, where your products are silent and below the radar. People won’t necessarily know that we have electricity.
Brian: And Steve, you know I got my start in this in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I was sent by CBS down there to cover it and I interviewed people who were robbed because people could hear their generators going. They would have cars of people driving down the different surface areas—the different surface streets and the like—so you raise a very valid point. The fact that it’s quiet, you kind of get to go undercover with it and no one would ever know that you have an electrical source.
Bill: But that was a part… Steven, they didn’t really show… You did a little bit of a segment but they… That wasn’t on the show last night. I watched for it and I didn’t really see that because I was actually looking for it. So that was interesting to me that that wasn’t on there.
Steven: I realize and I know last week’s episode did have a focus on solar so I don’t know if there was an executive decision made not to proceed with more solar work but it’s unfortunate because I do value your products.
Bill: Yeah, and behind the scenes it sounds like you actually did do some filming of it so that is unfortunate but maybe we’ll see that… Maybe Brian… Maybe we’ll see that in your… in some of your footage.
Brian: Well, you know I’m on the site now and Steve has—at least if I’m reading it correctly—the highest total score of anyone tested so far with a 77. So I think he’s got it right. I think that… And sometimes too, you just don’t want to tip your bling. That was one of the things Steve, that we focus on a lot is that you don’t necessarily want to show your entire hand because that’s what… That’s not what prepping is about—to have all the bling. But it’s to be able to survive no matter whether it’s manmade or Mother Nature. Whatever challenge is thrown at you, it’s about being prepared to survive that challenge.
Steven: And Tom Perez is quite the poker player so yeah, he was pretty clear that we haven’t played our whole hand.
Bill: Good for you guys. Yeah. Anything else Steven that you’d like to talk about that you think that was valuable, just…? I mean having them do a show—number one—because you really do… Even though you may have a few cards held back, I mean you really do put yourself out in front of everybody, not only just the exposure-wise as you guys were just talking about but just at your preparation level. Anything else that you want to say or that you think people should do?
Steven: Well, I know it was a very positive experience and I thought we were portrayed fairly. And we had conversations with our daughter. For one thing, her name is out there, our names are out there—stranger—just alerting her to stranger dangers.
Bill: Sure. Sure. Any other ideas that you want to give people? Like if you were to grab somebody that—let’s say that they lived in an area of the country that maybe didn’t get hit with natural disasters, maybe they live in an area that… Maybe it’s in the Midwest and maybe they’ve never been hit by a tornado or something. We lose our power every once in a while but we really don’t get the coastal disasters that a lot of other places get. How would you convince somebody? What would you say to somebody or how would you convince them that “You know what? Maybe there are things you should be ready for that you’re not”? Because I find that just so many people think that the government is going to help them no matter what and Brian and I are sort of small government guys to begin with. Then in defense of the government guys that are left—first responders—there are just not enough of them to really make a difference in a crisis. So what would you say if somebody gave you a minute or two just to convince them that there could be problems?
Steven: You make an excellent point and I know during other natural—again, I’m bringing up natural disasters—but the citizens respond, the citizens coalesce and come together because the government can’t do it all. But they don’t have the resources. So it’s people like us that can step up to the plate, get behind the wheel, deliver medical supplies to outlying areas—just do what needs to be done to help bring the community back together again.
Bill: Let me ask you another… sort of a penetrating, personal question—and how you answer, it’s up to you—maybe you just say, “I’m contractually bound to not answer that, Bill.” But what kind of spiritual preparation do you have? I find that people… It’s one of the easier things is to go online and if they go get a solar generator from us like you did or seed banks or any of those things—that’s good and it makes you feel good and those are products you need—but the spiritual side of it… What’s the spiritual side that you and Tom have?
Steven: We are strong, strong believers—strong Christian believers—and it does… We pray often together. It’s a real basis and a real fortification for us.
Brian: Very cool.
Bill: I think that’s great advice and I really… Again, it’s something we talk about all the time but you can’t just buy stuff. There has to be something deeper than this that binds us and girds us up and Steven, my assumption is you guys pray—part of your prayers are that in addition to your own family being sort of prepared for events, that you would be put in a position that you could help others in a crisis, right?
Steven: And my religious belief is something I would draw upon.
Bill: Draw upon to do that—good. All right. Is there anything else Brian that you’ve got for Steven or…?
Brian: No, I wish him luck. I love the idea of the acreage. I love the idea of the preparation he’s put into it and that I hope everything he did brings him continued success. I think it’s… I was very impressed with everything I’m reading about him.
Steven: Brian, I wish you luck on your show and your program too. I highly look forward to seeing you.
Brian: Well, thank you my friend. I think for me it’s just… One of the things I said early on is that I wanted to make sure that whatever we did didn’t highlight you and I in a bad light. You know what I mean? And just saying that preppers aren’t crazy. We… Other people have an insurance plan and this is our insurance plan. So thank you for that and I’m looking forward to seeing the feedback from—not only from what you’ve done—but from the entire prepper community has done in this show to make sure that it’s always not about anything extreme. It’s just an insurance policy no matter what the future holds for us.
Bill: And Steven, just on my behalf I’d like to say thanks to you for not only being a good customer of ours but also just for putting—you and Tom—putting yourself out there as good examples of people who are prepared, people that aren’t crazy, people that aren’t wearing tinfoil—that are out there just getting ready for something, as Brian said. So thanks so much for being with us today. We really appreciate it.
Steven: Thank you both for the opportunity.
Bill: All right. Take care.
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Off The Grid News—the radio version of OffTheGridNews.com. That is our mantra—getting you ready to prepare for the worst. We don’t hope for it. We’re not anticipating it. We hope that it never happens. But if it does, if that’s our future, if that’s our fate, we want to do the best for ourselves, our families, our friends, most certainly our extended friends and family to make sure that we are prepared for the worst. So Bill, what did you think?
Bill: I thought it was a really good show last night and I thought Steven’s emotions and I thought Steven and Tom really were genuine in how that whole thing came down. And you know, I could sort of feel their pain just in some of the situations and just… It’s great to have people out there, as I said to him as we closed that segment—it’s great to have people who aren’t afraid to put themselves out there—which I know you’ve done as well because you set yourself up for a lot of things that could happen and they’re not all good, right? And you know what? Vince Lombardi used to have a little phrase about throwing a forward pass. It’s like there are a bunch of things that can happen to a forward pass and only one of them are good. So…
Brian: That’s right.
Bill: So you can get in trouble a little bit. They can make you a buffoon. They could… Boy, they can… People… You know people have edited both you and I and the things that we have said out of context and made us look like something that we’re not so my hat’s off to these guys. I think they did a wonderful job. And I think it’s cool that they’ve sort of been our customers for years. I think Steven has been a customer and Tom since we opened up and started doing a lot of our preparation stuff and our solar generators and all that kind of stuff. So these are guys that have been with us and sort of… bought a lot of our products for a long, long time. And it’s interesting that they end up getting on the air with what is a really cool story.
Brian: Well, that shows us Bill, that this concept of being a prepper isn’t all that far out of the mainstream. And I said it after Hurricane Katrina and I said it after Hurricane Sandy and I made reference to it in a radio spot—you may not be a prepper now but you will be. It’s not insanity. It’s not craziness. It’s an insurance policy. I ask people all the time—“Do you put your seatbelt on when you get behind the wheel of your car? You’re a prepper. Do you have homeowner’s insurance? You’re a prepper. Do you have medical insurance? You’re a prepper. Are you saving for your kid’s college fund? You’re a prepper.” It doesn’t make us weird. It doesn’t make us extreme. It just means we have an insurance policy in case other insurance policies don’t go the way we had hoped.
Bill: Yeah, and…
Brian: We’ve got backup insurance policies.
Bill: Yeah, do you think Brian too, that maybe doctors and lawyers get this better than other people? In other words, as a doctor and as a lawyer you are constantly expecting the unexpected. So it might be built into the paradigms that are in the brains of those two types of people generally. I know not every doctor, not every lawyer thinks this way—that something bad could happen outside their normal world—but I’m just saying really… He talked about his wife experiencing… getting the fever and you could be treating a patient and you can get sick yourself. I mean that… Cases of that are just legion so… I think it’s… It was really a good episode and again, like I said, I can’t say enough. I think they did fabulous.
I was disappointed… I know he was a little disappointed because we had talked before where they had actually filmed a segment on the solar generator, which if you heard him talk, he said he’d trade his guns for his solar generator. So they did a segment on that and then didn’t run it. And editing—we do a lot of editing here and things have to be cut out—so it’s just one of those things that got cut out. But that was a little disappointing for me. Otherwise, I thought the whole thing was pretty cool.
Brian: Well, I would say that remember too—it’s like if you watch Gold Rush, right? And they’re using… The guy is searching for gold up in Alaska and they’re using the backhoes or they’re using these big, massive tractors to move dirt. And in post—post-edit, right—after you shoot it and it goes… before it goes live, they blur out the logo. In the end, it’s still business, right? And they’re still going to be sensitive to what they view as a commercial. But the best commercial for the Power Source 1800 is the number of people that use it.
I see more and more… I was driving the other day and I saw one of our solar panels out in the yard and I recognized the cable right away. I think the best commercial for us is that it is clean, quiet, dependable power tapping a ubiquitous source—most days, unless you live in Maine in February where you don’t see the sun for a little while—but even then the solar generator works. So I think our best commercials are the people that use the product. And I can tell you if you had one prior to Hurricane Sandy and you’re in the New York area, you’re not one of the ones worried about power.
Bill: Can I ask you a question?
Bill: Do they…? Does Gold Rush—because I don’t watch Gold Rush—a lot of my friends watch that show. Do they blur out the logos? Because those guys wanted one of our units—our Power Hubs—and we just didn’t get it down to getting them the unit and it just… The season started and we had things going on and so we just didn’t get to it. But would they have actually…? Do you think they would have blurred my… our logo off there?
Brian: I suspect so because if you look at some of the biggest earth hauling pieces of equipment, it’s… To me—and this is what’s a little disconcerting to me—but let me say Bill, just before I slam someone else… Let me say the same thing happens in Major League Baseball. If there is a sponsor who is paid to be on the scoreboard but it isn’t a part of the contract with the broadcast agency doing it, you’ll see it blurred out. Or if you ever watched like… Let’s say you’re watching a game where they use green screens now to put up the logos.
Brian: Notice when there is a batter at home plate and all you see is a green screen? Well, there’s no green screen there. There is an actual logo there if you’re at the field. So there is… For me, it’s just a question of truth in advertising and when you blur a logo it’s kind of like not reporting what actually happens, right? Or am I being a bit too nitpicky?
Bill: No, I think money really… I mean—all kidding aside—I think money drives things and if you don’t pay, you don’t… You know, it is the “Show me the money” thing—for the most part—not everything. The Doomsday Prepper show showed our logos and showed our stuff on there last night so kudos to them for that and we appreciate that. We didn’t have to pay them anything to get it on the show, which was nice. But yeah, I think that the world really—and you’ve said this before about your experience with Doomsday Preppers and we don’t need to go… It was a little bit different than Steven’s. But you don’t always… Let’s face it. If they covered Steven’s world—his normal world—most of our lives… I know my life is too boring to ever make into a TV show, unless you’d want to make it a comedy with all of my sort of buffoonery that goes on—the stupid things that I do.
You know you have to sort of look for moments that are highlights and run those highlights. And the question Brian—is that dishonest? If you ran a Michael Jordan highlights film and you didn’t show the dunks that he missed, is it a true Michael Jordan highlight film? Well, all I’m saying is people really don’t want to see Michael Jordan mess it—when he used to dunk—miss one. They’d rather see him make a bunch of them as part of that highlight reel and I think we’re all a little bit like that. And you know what happens with Doomsday Preppers? They’ve got a lot of advertisers and our friends at Weiss Foods, among other places but people will tune out if it’s not exciting enough, if Steven was… you got part of him sleeping or something—people would just say, “Ah yeah, I don’t know. I think I’ll go watch Two and a Half Men or something.”
Brian: I’m with you. Yeah, and my overall experience with everyone involved has been—after everything was said and done—was pretty good, you know? Ultimately we’re still trying to communicate a message and like you say, it has to be in an entertaining and a fun way. We’re still trying to communicate a message that… You know what I mean? That is one of preparedness and doing the right thing for yourself, your family and your friends. So overall for me, it’ll turn out to be a great experience so I’m just…
Bill: But don’t you think Brian, don’t you think the quality of show has gotten a lot better? I mean when they first did it, remember we joked about the guy… they wanted him to kill his cat and he was going to teach his kids to listen to the birds sing differently as the intruders came through? And I thought that sounded kind of tinfoil and I don’t think you and I sort of think that way when we do our preparation work and so I think the way they portrayed these guys last night was to me pretty honest and it seemed like they gave them and showed them in a pretty good light.
Brian: Oh good. Then I’m very glad to see it and I’m glad that Steve felt the same way about that experience. I think that the truth always works. Even if it isn’t glitzy, the truth always works so I’m very happy he had a great experience with it.
Bill: Yeah. Anything else that… on this week’s show? That’s pretty exciting to have a national event—one of our customers gets pulled out and sort of had a spotlight put on him. Any other concepts or ideas or anything going on in your life you want to cover before we…?
Brian: I would just say that he is an attorney. His partner is a doctor. His wife is a doctor. These are people that are smart, intelligent people and they are crafting a plan. And as I always fall back on, look—if you take vitamins in the morning you’re a prepper. If you take medication that your doctor has prescribed for you, you are a prepper, right? If you do anything that hedges the bet against a future action, you are a prepper.
Bill: Can I say one more thing?
Brian: Sure. Please.
Bill: I think that—in terms of being prepared—I think that there are a lot of scenarios and a lot of those things can happen but I don’t have a statistical representation. I can’t say, “Well, this dirty bomb has this happening.” Can I tell you one thing that I think can happen for sure?
Bill: You can’t spend more money than you have. You will go bankrupt and it leads to craziness and it leads to social unrest. We’re in the midst of this fiscal cliff talk—going of the fiscal cliff. If anything people should be preparing for it’s some of the unwinding that could happen by spending more money than you don’t have. Listen, no civilization has ever, ever, ever—go in the history books—spent more money than they have had and done it with the bravado and arrogance that we do. I love this country. You know that Brian. But I’m just saying that’s why I do say that is because I do love this country and because I see where it’s going. I have grandchildren. We are going off the cliff but if you will listen to the debate on it, they don’t… They want to put… Imagine having… saying our country is in jeopardy, we’ve got these debts we can never pay off but we’re going to take some things off that we won’t even talk about.
Bill: I just can’t figure out how someone could think that way and say, “Well look, we’re not going to talk about Medicare or Social Security. We’re not…” That’s not part of the talks. Well, why not…? Can’t the other side then say, “Well, we’re not going to talk about defense. We’re not going to talk about…”? I mean don’t we have to talk about everything? Aren’t we in trouble? Aren’t we as a nation really, really in trouble, Brian?
Brian: But I would say to you my friend not only we are—I would also say to you that the election proved that you take care of your own. And by that I mean Democrats are going to take care of their electorate. Republicans are going to attempt to take care of their electorate. So when you see these dividing lines come down, as we’ve seen time and time again, we’re going to find out that hey look, that’s… That’s the way they’re going to go. So it doesn’t surprise me that Senator Durbin stands up and says, “Social Security is off the table.” Doesn’t surprise me that another senator will stand up and say, “Military defense cuts are absolutely off the table.” And you look at their constituencies and they’ve learned. That’s what the election has taught us is that you move towards your base, right? You move towards the people that are going to keep you in power.
Bill: And you have to promise them things to acquire their loyalty. And herein is the demise of our country. Right and wrong no longer make a difference. What makes a difference is can you get to your base and will they support you for this most current existential election? Everything is “Me now.” Everything is “Now for the moment.” But you can’t take… What it proves to me is—historically—you can’t take… I thought a republic was the most powerful, stabilizing force in terms of a government. As we democratize our republic and make it more of a 51%– everybody votes and everyone wants their free stuff—and when 47% or 67%, whatever number it is say, “I want my free stuff,” it just rolls over.
And it’s proof that a republic that’s become democratized is not bullet proof. You can have tyranny. You can have bankruptcy. You can have social chaos and disorder and riots from the government that we have because Brian, this is a hearts of man issue. This isn’t about things on the periphery. My dad and I were talking on the way back from the hospital last night about these problems. We were talking about the issues that you and I always discuss and I always say to him “Dad, this stuff that you hear on TV—they’re only talking about the peripheral issues.”
Spending more money isn’t the thing. It’s a periphery thing. This is a spiritual thing. There is something deeper that’s the real cause. How would you like to go to a doctor that all he did was just every time you said, “Hey, I’ve got this pain in my stomach” and he gave you some Oxycontin and Vicodin and that’s all he’d ever do for you? Well, turn on the TV, folks.
Bill: Watch the news. Watch Fox. Watch CNN. All you get is Oxycontin—social Oxycontin—and political Vicodin. You don’t get anything that’s going to solve the problem because the problem is a spiritual problem. There’s my little sermon, right?
Brian: And that’s a great term—political Vicodin.
Bill: Well, I just… Maybe I just coined that. But you know that’s just the way I see it and I don’t see us solving these problems governmentally. I see… I see guys like Steven and Tom solving the problems by each individual doing things, doing what they can do and I think that’s where the action is—out amongst the people and us getting ready to help each other when the crisis comes from spending more money than you have. And that’s the point I made. I meandered a little bit. But the point I made was you can’t do that without trouble. So that trouble is coming and it’s not an “if”—it’s just a “when.” And people need to know that.
Brian: Yeah, and again, that’s why I’m so fired up about the service that I hope we provide to our listeners is that just have a plan. Left over from my days in the wilderness, if you panic you perish. So all we’re trying to do with our show—all you’re trying to do with the various companies—is to offer people an alternative to panic, right? I mean if you get down to the brass tax of it, we don’t want people to panic because time and time again we realize when you do, you’re not operating at your optimal level.
Bill: Yeah, you’re just not going to make good decisions. That’s totally correct, Brian. You’ve seen it as a law enforcement officer. You’re going to make bad decisions. At least guys like Steven—they’re out there trying to get into a situation where if something bad happens they’re not going to be panicking and better yet, they’re going to be at a position to help those that are.
Brian: Absolutely. And I think that’s the benefit of shows like that and shows that just encourage people… I mean I have friends that call me all the time and say, “Hey, you know what? I… It was funny. It was this. It was that. But I learned a lot.” I have people that say to me every time they watched that show they learned a lot. So that I think overall is going to be the benefit of that show and others like it that I hope come down the pike just to be able to say, “Hey look, it’s all good. Have a plan and you’ll survive.”
Bill: That’s all we’re saying.
Brian: All right. Ladies and… Bill—anything else before I go ahead and talk?
Bill: No, no, no. We’re good. I think we covered a lot today, Brian.
Brian: Very cool. Ladies and gentlemen, as always thank you so much. We love getting your emails, your Facebooks, your Tweets—keep sending them to us. We take a lot of content from there and we hope we answer some of those questions and most certainly it helps direct the focus of our show. So thank you so very much for reaching out. And as always, we know an hour is a very huge chunk of your day. It really is an honor to be able to spend that hour with you and hopefully building a plan for you in the future. On behalf of everyone at Solutions From Science and Mr. Bill Heid, I’m Brian Brawdy.