On today’s Off the Grid Radio, Bill Heid interviews James Talmage Stevens, the bestselling author of the leading book on family preparedness, “Making the Best of Basics-Family Preparedness Handbook”. Mr. Stevens has spent the last 35 years in the family preparedness industry and shares personal experiences on how anyone, regardless of experience, can put together an effective plan for preparedness.
Off The Grid Radio
Released: September 24, 2010
Welcome to Off the Grid Radio, better ideas to bust you and your family out of today’s global control grid. Now, here is today’s show.
Bill: Welcome everybody its Bill Heid, welcome to all of our Off the Grid Radio fans. Today we are going to be talking about survialism, preparedness, and self-reliance. Kind of a run the ball up the middle subjects if you were to use a football metaphor. And I have, I guess I have kind of the Vince Lombardi of preparation, I have, or whoever would be your favorite you know grand old man as it were. I have with me James Talmadge Stevens and James, or Jim is known as Dr. Preper and I just want to say James thank you so much for being with us today.
James: It’s a great pleasure. Thanks for having me Bill.
Bill: You bet it’s great to have you here and I want to talk a little bit about, and you’ve been at this a long time. For the listeners that don’t know James, he, Dr. Preper, he has sold 760,000 of his books, Making the Best of Basics, the Family Preparation Handbook, and I can tell you I have one with me. It is the best book you can buy. We sell a lot of stuff I’d like to sell you. We have products that Solutions From Science that we think are great products, but this really is a foundational document that you ought to have, because there is so many reference points in it.
People call us up and say what should I do? I live in an apartment, I can’t do this, I can’t do that. Start by buying Jim’s book, Making the Best of Basics, the Family Preparation Handbook, Family Preparedness Handbook. It’s fabulous, you’ve been doing this for how long James?
James: I wrote the book originally in April of 1974. Got really lucky Bill, in June the first gas crisis happened. Guess what that did?
Bill: That made people interested, you bet.
James: All of a sudden and nobody had ever written a book, actually this was the first of its yarer of being what we call being a horizontal book. It kind of goes across the basis of all preparedness issues, not all of them, but enough of them to get you going. It was about basics and it was a life style book, and nobody had ever written a book about several different items. There were books on dried foods, books on this kind of salt and sugar, and honey and all kinds of, and wheat. But there was no book that covered the wide range and so I covered seventeen items on a horizontal basis with just enough information vertically to get people started. My job was to introduce the concept of living a basics lifestyle. It was it did well. When that gas crisis hit it was just like Katie bar the door.
Bill: Well, I always like to talk about you know sort of laying the foundations and I like to talk about context, so this book didn’t spring out of nothing. You had a lifestyle that you grew up in Jim, and tell us a little bit about that before we go into some of these basic preparation ideas. Tell us what prepared you to prepare. I guess what prepared you to be in the preparation side, right?
James: Absolutely, I was born before the Second World War. My father, having five kids was not sent to war, but they send him to Newport News, Virginia. We lived in North Carolina and it was about a two hundred mile drive. And he and five other locals would drive up in their old, I think it was a ’39 Chevy, as I recall, and they would drive up and work all week long. And my father was a carpenter, excellent carpenter, and he was in charge of building the what do you call them, the ramps around the steel ships so that the riveters, the welders and the others could get to the plates, the external plates of the ship.
And my father specialized in outside scaffolding for the workers and that was his job. He was a superintendent and he would come home every two weeks with his paycheck and I remember that very, very much. And my mother worked in the Mojud, Mock Judson Boehringer, and they made hose, hose and socks for the military. And I remember my mother coming home with her hands stained the color of the dye being used that day. And it was, so I grew up with tokens, and the little green, red and black tokens you got for meat and milk and other kinds of things that were in short supply. I remember standing in line holding proudly my little token to hand up to the butcher or the baker or whomever we were dealing with, I remember those days.
So after my father, so after the Second World War was over about 1945, 46 or so we were out growing our home so we moved in with my grandparents who had a huge house and 40 some acres and they lived on the farm, they earned their living from the farm, it was their lifestyle, it was their income. And my dad still a carpenter, my mother helped on the farm, she quit the factory and worked on the farm. And I remember not having a bathroom at that time, not having a refrigerator. I remember the Iceman would come and would bring ice for our icebox. And we were wealthy compared to a lot of people because we had a real icebox and I remember all of those things. And outside the back porch was our victory garden if you will or what we call a porch garden and it’s just outside the back door. It was about a quarter of an acre we grew enough to feed the seven of us, five kids mom dad and the two of them, nine people and uncle Jimmy, which made now ten who lived in the house.
It was an interesting – we grew up taking care of the cows, we go out and milk the cows, we could bridle a horse and we put the feed out for the animals. And we had chickens and we had to be there when mom and dad would kill a chicken, that was kind of traumatic but we learned how to do that and take the pig that we call now by a nickname and we had to turn him into bacon. And I went through all that so I learned how to utilize everything that was normal for the agricultural mindset and having that experience until I was about 11 years old. Then we moved, then my father was making enough money that he could start our home and he built our home what seemed like 15 miles away, what seemed like forever, we used to pack a lunch to go see grandmother.
I went back with my wife some years later to show her my home, it was 4 1/2 miles when we watched the speedometer the back in those days it seemed like forever. So it’s just everything has its relationship and mine was to the farm, the dirt, I grew up walking barefoot plowing, tobacco, we did all kinds of things, you know trying to eek a living out of the ground and my grandfather was one of the first – he was the first owner of a Gulf filling station, we call them in our day and because we gave a lot of credit, it was a jot them down store. He also had a lot of things, I remember drink machines and all the kinds of equipment that he had. And the jars with the lids that had candy in it and it was a tough living because until the people in the area who were also agriculturally oriented got their money for their crops, he kind of had to foot the bill for the community and I remember we had to farm to eat, there was no cash to buy anything with.
And that was my heritage up until 12 years old pretty much most of my youth was spent on the form being a part of picking and canning. Bill, I actually thought that veggies grew in quart jars in the basement. They would say get out and get some squash and I would go down in the dark dank basement in there and I would bring back a squash and I felt that was where he grew until one summer when I was about eight years old mother said okay Jimmy you’re old enough now to help and so after we picked it I got to go in and cut it, slice it, dice it, and cram it in the jars and I watched and helped lifting and carrying the things. And I learned how to can and things like that, you know by the time I was 10 years old, I knew more about that than most people do today.
Bill: So it really came second nature as a byproduct, the culture that you lived in, you know you and I have talked before and one of the things that always scares me and I think it scares others as well is the culture at hand today is so far removed from the land that is just not part of their second nature. That we would have skills that we have to relearn how to live in order to make this thing, in order to make our existence possible we’ll have to totally reshape our paradigm don’t you think?
James: Absolutely, in fact, you know our forefathers were self-reliant. My grandfather was self-reliant, and he was able, you know to build an empire. He died unfortunately, he died in the barn where he always wanted to be. He loved the barn and the animals.
Bill: A great place to die.
James: He died milking a cow and it was really interesting that he left us though that legacy that we could take care of ourselves and emulating that today is really important for us because, you know the land brings us all of our treasure. If we do not know how to work the land how can people make it today if they cannot grow some of their groceries. As things get tougher what are we going to do when that that 10:15:0 system breaks down.
Bill: Jim, let’s talk about that – hey Jim we’ve got to take a little break. Let’s talk about that on the other side. We’re here with the author again of, Making the Best of Basics, James Talmadge Stevens, Dr. Preper, we’ll be right back.
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Off the Grid News because you want a different paradigm.
Bill: Thank you again for joining us. It is Bill Heid and I’m here with Dr. Preper, were talking about hard times and some of the adjustments that modern-day Americans are going to have to make if we go through the hard times that I think, I don’t know about Jim, that I think kind of – we spent more money that we’ve got. We’ve got a little bit of a bubble that’s going to burst and the question is what are we going to do, how are we going to adjust ourselves, our lives, our framework for thinking, our paradigm because it’s a very different world than it was when James was a young boy canning and growing vegetables during that period of time as part of his life. Is just a part, he didn’t know any different life, wouldn’t you agree James?
James: Absolutely, that’s the way it was and by the way, the neighbors also were very much aligned with that . Even though our homes were close together I mean you could throw a rock and hit the other house but the back 40 was humongous, I mean we could go for – walk for a mile or so or two to the railroad tracks and that was the end of our property. And I remember some days I could take off in the early morning on those days when I didn’t have anything to do until daddy came home and I could be gone – I’d be craw fishing and noon and it would take me until noon to get the creek after crawfish there all day, you know for a couple of hours and then come back home with crawfish in a bag so those are great memories I have of things I was able to do as a young man.
Bill: Great memories and a great legacy illustrating a way of life but why today should a family start to think about self-reliance?
James: Independence, to be able to do what you want to do, to have control of your own life. What’s more important than that? To have the emotional strength to overcome and to be able to deal with things that normally you wouldn’t be able to. Our parents, remember our forefathers were self-reliant, it’s a great ideal for us also to be able to do that.
Today we’ve segmented our population into those who clerk and those who make administrative decisions, those who put widgets together, those the hock them, and those who deliver them. So we’ve become so segmented, so well-organized that the system is dependent on all the cogs meeting and with just enough oil to prevent friction and that’s what we would call the just-in-time delivery system. If any part of that, if any cogs breaks we’re in deep trouble because we will have slippage in the gears and as a result for example when you have bad weather like they did in Washington, that’s snow what was it last year, it goes so fast – remember the people couldn’t get out and they couldn’t get to the stores, yet the stores were stripped in just hours.
Bill: You bet.
James: And if everybody had been able to get the store, it would not have lasted but a few minutes and I’ve stood around in a parking lot watching. I don’t go shopping when he gets tough, I don’t want to get hurt and our party done my shopping, I do it religiously my way but on the other hand, I stood there in water up to – over my socks watching people rushing in and out trying to get – and the milk was gone and in the cash register stopped and then they got really angry – the policeman closed the door and stood in front of it armed to keep people from, I meet with a heavy-duty – you know with a 30 inch long weapon to keep people from trying to crash to the door. That was uncomfortable for me just to see it, I did even want to be there so I did leave. That’s the kind of thing that creates serious, serious problems.
So anyway, when we understand what a disaster emergency is and how we can deal with them we become strong, we become able to take care of ourselves and so self-reliance means not only rely on yourself but you have the safe confidence, knowledge and ability to rely on others. That’s also important, self-reliance is not just you, it’s relying on other people whom you know and trust and I don’t think many people understand that, they think it’s just being in charge of yourself but very few of us are only in charge of ourselves. If you have a family, extended family and those people are important to you and they should be important to all of us.
Bill: That’s a great example. Let me stop you there Jim because I think you hit upon something that it’s easy – if you just simply can’t some foods for yourself, if you just simply by the hydrated food, whatever it is and you’re acting autonomously as an individual and you forget to see community, you’re missing a big part of Jim’s message because what Jim is telling you is you better start to build an infrastructure because when he was little the neighbors helped each other, they knew each other, they work with each other, and today neighbors live by neighbors for 10 years and have never met that neighbor. So again, that’s a dangerous, dangerous paradigm, a dangerous situation to be in to not know your neighbors wouldn’t you think Jim?
James: You have to have a preparedness community whether it’s a few people living around you, cousins, extended family, whatever. It could be your church group, it could be your grange, it to be a women’s group, you’re reading club – you need some people you can trust so that there is some interaction when the poop hits the propeller as we say. You need to have some friends you can trust because there so little of that in our community because we’re not bound together, there is nothing common anymore, you know unless you happen to be in a car pool and by the way that can make a good community for you.
Bill: That’s not a bad community at all. I mean it’s also good to know the people living right next door to you. I heard, you know the last time we went through this, we went through it with Gary North telling us things in Y2K and I’m sure your book sold well then.
James: Gary was a strong advocate of mine.
Bill: Yeah, one of the things that Gary told people, look you don’t have to have a big comprehensive plan, start by taking your neighbor some brownies and saying hi Bill, I live across the street from you. What a sophisticated plan but it’s better than not doing anything.
James: People you trust and understand if you’re prepared in your neighbors aren’t, they’re going to be partly prepared because they’re coming to get part of your stuff.
Bill: That’s pretty profound James.
James: We are all survivalists.
Bill: We are, we are. What are some reasons – let’s talk about there’s you know there’s emergencies, there’s disasters – do you want to talk about just – how do you define an emergency?
James: Well, and emergency basically is something that happens suddenly, it’s a crisis event any can be life-threatening and mostly it deals with us as individuals. You know, it’s an emergency when your house blows away but that’s a disaster but it is an emergency if you’re cut and bleeding or if you’re in the house when a blows. That makes it something because it’s life-threatening you know, I think that’s the difference. You need usually urgent medical attention is part of an emergency and that’s why we call it EMT, emergency medical treatment or emergency ambulance or whatever.
People should know that it’s really simple to know what the problems are, there’s only three things that can happen to you. There’s the natural disasters and those, we have no control of those whatsoever from whatever it is you know, from heavy rain to tsunamis, from strong winds to hurricanes, all those kinds of things can affect us and we have no control over them. They happen because I guess you could say they are God ordained, we are not in charge of that and they are tremendous forces and when they choose to act up we are at their mercy.
The second thing of course our man caused or people caused kinds of things and they are people caused because your boss, your company fails or your boss fires you or your I guess you could call it other kinds of things. Your car gets hit by a bus or those are the man caused kinds of things and it has to do with layoffs, cutbacks, terrorism by the way is people caused, people hurting people.
And then the third kind are the personal disasters. You lose a member of your family, your car engine blows up and all of a sudden you have to deal with all of those. Those are personal disasters but they all put a hitch in your get along as my mother would have said. All of a sudden you’re without – you’re going to have to alternate resources – you’re going to have to take some from here and put them over there and that is why being out of debt is going to be important as part of your structure for getting ready or becoming prepared.
So if people can realize there are only three kinds of disasters, it makes it easier for them to plan and I think that’s the important thing but death and divorce, certainly illnesses, house fire those things are personal. And what’s interesting is there’s always a cascading effect. In Florida for example when there’s a freeze and we lose 25% of our orange crops that affects the owner dramatically. For those of us who drink orange juice regularly well, you know they will have to get it from another source or other countries or Southern California will supply it, Texas has some, northern Mexico has juice – we can get it because our money will buy it but the thing is, so that’s not really so personal but it did become personal – but what’s really personal is the kid that was expecting to inherit his father’s estate and now his orange Grove is devastated and he loses the estate and his son has nothing. Now that’s really personal, do you see what I’m saying?
Bill: You bet I do and Jim let’s take another short break here and we’ll be back in we’ll start to dig down into some of the details about when it is get personal, when it does start to hit you close, what do you need to do. We’ll be right back.
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Welcome back to Off the Grid Radio, better ideas for off the grid living.
Bill: We are back and were talking about making the best of basic. We’re talking with Jim Stevens and Jim water some additional reasons that folks need to be prepared and then let’s dig into food and then some other things that we need to think about how and why.
James: Well my grandmother was an advocate of Billy Graham, she thought he walked on water and I grew up when he was – I went to one of his first ever tent meetings so I had a long life around with Billy Graham as an example. And he told once the story – the parable of the 10 virgins, how half were 0:29:12.6 and half were not and that always, that made an impression on me. One other thing also made an impression that he said, he said, you can’t do in a big church what you can do in a small church and I thought about that for years and now I understand what he meant. And I think of course he got so big but on the other hand that’s what makes a community important is in a small group you can do things that a large group can’t do.
And you need a group in order to have a sharing of responsibilities and also of assets and resources. And you know, you’re always prudent and wise to be prepared because providential things happen when you have the resources to deal with whatever life is giving you. And then as a hint of a family it’s a patriarchal and of course in this country with half the people, half the married couples divorced it’s a matriarchal duty also and the responsibility to take care of our family.
First we take care of ourselves so we can take care of the others and that’s really important. I think food storage gets a bad rap. In fact right now we’re finding out that even though the federal government is storing food for the leaders of the country and in a big way we all know about that, we read about it. If you store, if you’re a survivalists your note good because you’re against whatever the government is doing. Why? Because if you don’t have to beg for food you’re in charge of your own life, if you want to see how food is utilized to control people just look at Third World countries where we send food all the time. But what happens to it? It gets warehoused by the government and for the military, it doesn’t get to the people. So there’s stronger, the military because they can eat. Literally they can drive you into the bush and keep on eating while you’re trying to, you know catch a squirrel or whatever they have – animal they can eat in those kinds of countries.
Bill: You know Jim I was thinking, I was thinking as you said that, that’s the part in Black Hawk Down at the beginning where the American choppers flying over the area and the UN is delivering food and all of a sudden the guy comes up in a Jeep and he starts spraying the crowd with automatic weapons fire and he says this food is the property of General Aideed.
James: Yep, and it is true that was just an example – it probably shocked us so we need to become self-reliant so we can I guess live providentially regardless of the external conditions around us and so when a storm is over and you have the devastation such as we had in Katrina in New Orleans and other places you can still get by. Obviously there are some things people should have done like get out of town when they were told to but they trusted on the 0:31:48.2 instead of on the direction of the guy from the federal government and apparently they didn’t have enough strength in the arm to sustain them.
But self-reliance is a matter of having the ability to keep on going when things around you are falling apart. Dave Ramsey said it best, he says it if you listen to his money show – he says live now like no one else so in the future you can live like no one else. That’s good advice, if you set the standard now and build to it then when things kind of go awry you have the opportunity to keep on doing what you always did. That’s strength, that’s self-reliance, that’s the power so I would urge people to always try to have enough on hand to tide them over during tough times.
How long are tough times? Oh it depends on how important your job is or how important you are to the community. The more you have the more it’s going to take to keep your lifestyle to the level at which you became accustomed.
Bill: Well those are great points. When it comes to the lifestyle do you think he could be done incrementally Jim, I mean so often people, you know there used to getting a Tony Robbins, you know this is going to change your life completely after you take this course. Should we sort of the admonishing the listeners to just make small incremental changes in order to come to the preparedness lifestyle, in order to get there. I think sometimes if we try to do too much it overwhelms us and we don’t do anything.
James: I do consulting for people privately, I can’t tell you their names but they are people who spent over $1 million that ask me what can I do to get prepared, prepare me. I said first of all you’ve got to decide what are your greatest threats, what’s the greatest natural disaster that can happen here? If you live in Idaho, you don’t have to worry too much about tsunamis or hurricanes, is just a little far away from where hurricanes happen but a tornado to happen. They don’t normally or maybe an earthquake or if you live along the Gulf Coast there are some other things – I live in the red zone, I live within 100 miles of the Gulf Coast.
I moved here because it’s the safest place I could think of and for 18 years I thought it was, well 28 years I thought it’s been a great place then all of a sudden, wow. It’s not the safest place, it’s in the middle of the red zone and we don’t know what’s going to happen as a result of what occurred in the Gulf. So it’s hard to know exactly what the future may bring but where you live you should prepare for the worst case scenario. If you do whatever else happens is merely a minor inconvenience in your life.
Bill: That’s a great point and I think Americans, to echo what you are saying, I think Americans generally are existentialists. What I mean is they would call Jim up and say here’s my credit card, prepare me. And that’s not what this is about. This is a way of thinking that’s far different than an 800 call that you can make or a check that you can write. Instant doesn’t work although you should have some instant milk on hand, instant doesn’t work in this case. It needs to be a worldview change, it needs to be a lifestyle change.
James: It has to be seasoned, it is seasoned knowledge. There’s no sense of buying a propane stove and even having propane readily available unless you know how to cook on it. There’s no sense in buying dehydrated food when you don’t know how to rehydrate it. There’s no sense doing any of that if you aren’t familiar with how to use it. So you have to educate yourself. The first decision of course is spiritual. Is it worth my time? Should I indeed do this? Is it the proper thing to do? That’s a spiritual decision. It comes from within and it doesn’t matter what religion or what you have none at all and total atheist. It’s still a spiritual decision. And that’s the thing because it’s me, within your spirit.
And then you have to take responsibility for your actions and fulfilling what you consider to be your spiritual responsibility. And then you have to have the freedom to do it and we keep seeing those freedoms shrink. That scares me more than anything right now. And then you have to become educated as I said. There’s no sense having gear which you do not know how to use. If you don’t have extra batteries, you’re going to have some problems or maybe solar is a great way. You can’t improve yourself without education.
The other is that you need to be developing alternative skills and talents because who knows if there is an economic collapse. I’m not forecasting it but it can happen. That’s the kind of thing for me that is important that I be able to learn new skill. I’m still learning new things all the time and it keeps you alive. Hopefully, it’s fighting away Alzheimer’s.
Bill: You bet it does.
Jim: I feel like I have half-heimer’s but all of it hadn’t come yet and I think developing additional skills, you may have to barter your ability to do things or learn how to trade things you have with other people who don’t have because they have something you want. Those are the things you’ve got to learn. I think you have to learn the manage your finances and the other resources better and you mention incremental. Very few people can just plunk down the cash and say, make me whole, make me prepared.
First of all if you do that, it’s a waste of some of the resources. They’re going to have a lot of money invested but maybe no knowledge on how to use it and you know, you can cure stupid. It doesn’t matter what you do. Then you’ve got to learn how not only much food to store, what you need, study your diet, learn what’s nutritional and healthy but you also have to be able to fix it and utilize it and then you have to learn to replace it, replenish it because there’s something else you need, you need sustainability.
And then you’ve got to have good health. If you are in good health, disasters are very hard on you and sometimes disasters cause ill health. But then, the last thing that I see on the list was the charitability. You’ve got to learn to share with others. You’ve got to learn to share with others community. Whether it’s your stuff or whether it’s your intelligence and your knowledge that you gained by doing it, then you get to share others. For example, you and your kids, I with my kids, we can help them by showing them by example. So if we get those attributes firmly in our lives and firmly in place, we become self-reliant and that quality of life is you can share with others by example 1 and 2 by helping them achieve it.
Bill: That’s a great point, Jim. We’re going to go to a break here. When we get back, I want to talk a little bit about one of the reasons why we need to be charitable. One of the reasons why we need to prepare and that is we need to get ready for folks and we need to have a charitable hand for folks who may be indifferent to this now but whose mindset will change. We’ll be right back.
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Welcome back to Off The Grid radio. Getting you ready to prepare for the worst.
Bill: We are back with the author of Making the Best of Basics, James Stevens. And James, right before we were switched to the break, we were talking about indifference and charity and you know, there’s a lot of folks now that I think we are going to have to have a open hand. We look at them now and their either call you a fear-monger or they have other equally polite verbiage for you if you do take any kind of preparation at all but I think we’ve got to have a forgiving, the same way we would want God to forgive us. We going to have to have a forgiving spirit when they do. This book The Tipping Point really is an important concept at some point there will be a tipping point and those folks will fall in line. So let’s not judge them now just because they have a harsh perspective but why so much indifference?
James: Well people just don’t get it. That’s a nice way of saying it. What they really say is I don’t care, it doesn’t matter to me or I’ll steal for somebody – I have heard that. I’ve heard a lot of people tell me, well James, I know where you live. I’ll just come over your place. You know, that’s fine and maybe I will help and always have that attitude that I would help but on the other hand I’d give them a job to do. They’re going to have to help keep it safe for those of us who are safe.
So again, I want to make sure that people understand that you can’t be ostrich-like. You got to look at the thing and look at the situation in today’s world and decide whether you’re going to try to do something. You know, it doesn’t take a whole lot to start but the beauty of overcoming indifference is once you start, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You begin to take pride on what you’re doing. You begin to see I’m making headway. I’m actually using my resources to build a future and oh, the nice thing about storing food is if you make a mistake, you can eat your way out of it. That’s what I like about it.
Bill: That’s a great perspective. Then what’s – again, there’s a lot of banter on the internet, other places, talk radio. What’s survivalism and what’s a survivalist in your book?
James: In my book, survivalist, well I consider all of us, we’re all survivalist. It’s the strongest urge that we have. It’s not only survival, procreate those things drive us in our life and they’re God-given. So as a result, I don’t look at them as negative all. Have you ever seen a politician that didn’t want to survive by being reelected. I mean come on guys.
Bill: I was thinking about Joe Biden as a survivalist and I was thinking exactly, he is a survivalist.
James: Yeah. You know what I mean. You’ll call me a name and yet he’s doing the very same thing just on a different environment. So anyway, you know, it’s just unfortunate, that’s become an indicator of our political belief whether we are survivalist or not but I’m proud to say I am one, always had them and I do want to live. I’m 71 and I will live to be 100. My grandmother almost made it. My dad came very close and I like to, you know, out strip them both but we’ll see how that goes.
Bill: I think you will do that.
James: We’ll see, but then we go, you see you move from indifference to survivalism and that’s not a hard jump to make when you realize indifferent people, and by the way, there are very few truly indifferent people. Most of them just don’t care because they don’t have the means but when you can realize that you start doing something and you start making headway, you become a survivalist because now you realize you want to live.
The next step up is to being prepared, not just to survive, not just to be part of a very few people left, but preparedness is more about gaining enough stuff if you will to be able to help others, to begin to start, to feel comfortable with what you’re doing. And again, as you start that, it becomes, it pushes itself. You get tickled that you’re doing thing. You learn stuff, you feel good about yourself, that’s what’s so important about preparedness is that you become a different person actually.
Bill, I’ve seen people change from just not caring about anything to becoming they realize literally, they were not only saving their lives but the lives of their kids and their grandkids and others and I’ve see people turn over totally in their attitude simply because they began, they got past the name calling and the thing and being recognized or being called something to moving on to actually making headway. When you get past preparedness and we’re all preppers by the way. Do you have automobile insurance, Bill?
Bill: Of course.
James: Do you have health insurance?
Bill: Of course.
James: Do you have a life insurance?
Bill: Of course.
James: I mean, do you get up in the morning and shave and go to work? You’re prepared to get a paycheck, aren’t you?
Bill: You prepare on so many different levels, exactly.
James: We prepare without thinking. We just don’t put it in, we just don’t use the paradigm changes so to speak. We don’t think of ourselves as preparing. We don’t think of ourselves as ants putting things away but we do. We’re just like them, we just don’t see it. Again, think of the ten virgins, 5 were good and 5 were not and some of us are.
By the way, the government says about 40% of the people are prepared for the future and I’m thinking, I don’t know who they’re canvassing. It must be the heads of their own departments because I don’t think there’s 10% of the country that could live more than 90 days without having to do something serious, rob a bank or whatever to get the money to buy the food and stuff that won’t be available. So self-reliance becomes a matter, it’s the next step up and that’s where you are able to be dependent upon yourself and your circle of friends or your community.
And when you can do that, your talents, your skills, your abilities, your mind, your education all kicks in so that you can make do with what you have whatever it is and that means you’re going to take your seeds and plant them, you know, you better start doing that now. Practice now, don’t wait until it’s a crisis situation, then think you’re going to go out and pick up the yard because it ain’t that easy. Growing a crop is not easy. Many people have failed it at the first year, the second year and the third year. Learn now, start in some pots. You can grow, even in the winter, you can grow in pots in front of the windows.
There are lots of things you can do to have food growing. You can sprout. What a great simple way to always have fresh veggies that are vitamin rich, enzyme rich and tremendous health by sprouting. You can sprout everything but maters and taters and it tastes just like what you’re sprouting. It’s amazing how good that food is. And if you, by the way, those pinto beans that you got stored that give you gas, if you sprout them before you cook them, they will cook about twice as fast. The enzymes prevent the gas so it’s a real great thing. You learn this by doing it by the way. Well there’s one 0:49:20.7 about that which people, we hear people use it. It’s a misuse of the word. They say that their self-sufficient. I’m planting some tomatoes so I can be self-sufficient. Excuse me honey, self-sufficient means having enough. Now, Bill I don’t know how much you have but do you have enough?
Bill: I can never have enough because I’d always want to give some away.
James: That’s right because once you have some you can help, you can be charitable, you can sustain other people, you can do the things that a person would do under normal circumstances if there were no pressure, additional pressures. So I think self-sufficiency is one of those absolute terms, you either is or you ain’t, whereas preparedness is a long range of things. But rather than just prepared, think of a lifestyle, live now like no one else. Put it away, squirrel it away, get ready for the future so that when the poop hits the propeller you could just keep on doing what you always did with just minor inconveniences. That’s a really important paradigm to get going.
Bill: It’s a great one and let me plug the book just a little bit again. In making the Best of Basics there is a great section on sprouts, Jim we’ve got 3 minutes, we’ve got to cover the paradigm shift, what paradigm shift are we talking about?
James: We need to go from being dependent on others to where we can – there are four things you need to do. This is what we decided for ourselves, you can use whatever paradigm you want. We determined to bloom what we’re planting, what we have is what we’ve created from the knowledge and skills and talents that we have and we would leave here, the last thing we were going to do is leave our home because it is where we have our wealth, where we have our food stored, where we have our water, all our stuff is in our home. And our love for each other and everything else is part of our home.
So the second thing is that we turn our home into a personal convenience store. It has all of the stuff that we could live on for a period of time in our home stored away where we can find it in order. And it’s available for us, it’s just stuff that we would want and so that’s comfortable, we keep on doing what we always did.
Third is that we’ll be able to camp out within our home whether we have electricity, gas, telephone matters not, we’ll just keep on going. Our home will become a camp, a safe place that we can stay in and we’ll be able to have a picnic while, you know when other people aren’t prepared we’ll have a picnic and also be able to help them Bill that’s the important part.
Bill: You bet.
James: But we can only do that for the fourth reason and that is that we had to be determined to get out of debt. Once we made that determination and we got out of debt we were able – we pay cash for our home and again it’s our largest possession and our most expensive investment so as a result we wanted to make sure that we stayed out of debt so that we can continue to buy it back from the government every year without having to make other payments. So we’ve been able to live basically for nine years on our Social Security income and that’s pretty tough to do unless you own things and so that is why I encourage people to do that, to determine to make it where they are – everybody cannot move to Arkansas, we’ve got to do it where we are and our home becomes a place where we have all of our wealth stored as it were, which is food. Food is always valuable, more valuable time and you can trade it for virtually anything. Remember if you have food, they can control you and make sure you can camp out within your home and you can only do that if you get out of debt. And I did that twice for reason, hopefully that people will find some resonance in that and do it.
Bill: It’s a great point, I remember reading in the Bible where Moses is getting the people of Israel ready to go into the promised land and he says, you be the lenders of money, don’t go there and get under bondage. So he gave them sort of a command about you know, you go ahead and loan some money out and but don’t get caught on that cycle because it will eat you alive. Good advice then good advice now, anything else Jim?
James: Yeah, my daddy told me something you really like.
James: He said to me there’s only two kinds of people, them what earns interest and them what pays interest and that has been my motivator to get out of debt. He also said you’ll never be wealthy until you’re able to sort out the difference of what you want and what you need. Those are good paradigms to have in your head too.
Bill: Those are great paradigms. You can get Jim’s book at our website atoffthegridnews.com. We have it featured there because it is such a powerful book, its comprehensive, it is the starting point for a preparedness, self-sufficiency lifestyle. Is there any other websites you’d like to take them to?
James: Yeah, yours go there because our new electronic version comes out later this week in celebration of the national preparedness month which this is, the third annual I believe from FEMA and there will be an electronic no wait, no freight version with a year’s update that they can get right off of your website.
Bill: Stay tuned for that, we will make that available to our listeners and our customers and our readers at off the Grid News. Jim again thank you so much for your time, it has been a pleasure speaking with you.
James: Thanks for being so gracious and having me on your show.
Bill: It has been a pleasure. And as always thanks for listening to Off the Grid Radio, it is our pleasure to be with you. If you’ve got any comments we would love to hear them at [email protected], you can find us on Facebook at solutionsfromscience and where on Twitter at offgridradio. Thanks again for listening to Off the Grid News the radio version, I’m Bill Heid.