Jay Blevins Interview
This week we have a real treat. Jay Blevins (of Doomsday Preppers) agreed to give us an interview highlighting some of his best practices. Thanks to Jay for granting us this interview and be sure to check our his books and website.
Jay Blevins Bio
Jay Blevins is an author, speaker, prepper, father, husband, believer, and dreamer. Jay has appeared on National Geographic Channel’s hit series Doomsday Preppers, Access Hollywood Live, The Steve Harvey Show, The Today Show, and CNN Headline news’ Jane Velez-Mitchell show (see media tab for links). Jay has been interviewed on dozens of syndicated and major market radio and web programs, and has been covered by major domestic and international print media outlets to include the Washington Post, USA Today, and Agence France Press.
Jay is the author of the timely new book Survival and Emergency Preparedness Skills (SEPS): Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Readiness for Uncertain Times(OakTara 2012). His first novel, The Last Fall (OakTara 2010), was described as “life changing” by some readers.
Jay Blevins Interview
1) What advice would you have for a family just starting out in the world of prepping?
Jay Blevins : I recently started a Prepper consulting firm to help families reach their prepping goals. It’s based on both my book and some of the things we’ve learned as we set up our network. Normally, if a family has decided they want to begin prepping, we have them take a look at where they are, and then see where they want to be.
Some families only want to incorporate some of the things we suggest, while others want to take it all the way, to be fully prepared for ANY emergency. My advice is to have families do some research with credible resources (Red Cross, My book, etc.), take an inventory of where they are currently, and then set realistic goals. Start with the basics of water, food, shelter, and protection, and expand from there.
2) We at TheHomeForSurvival have discussed community building quite a bit. What are your feelings on building a community plan with neighbors? Top 5 advantages, Top 5 disadvantages?
Jay Blevins : I think community building, or prepper networking is important to survival. You have to have a certain “critical mass” in order to survive a true doomsday or catastrophic scenario. But you must build it with like minded people you can trust, starting with family and friends. We have 15 families and over 80 people in our network, and we still plan to grow to fill in all gaps for needs.
Top 5 advantages are safety in numbers, more people to work, greater expertise, pooling resources, and multiple locations/mutual assistance.
Top 5 disadvantages would be greater burden on supplies, challenges of maintaining order/leadership, greater difficulty going unnoticed (if the situation called for it), difficulty deciding how to “share” supplies not common to the group, and finding time to meet/train together with differing schedules.
3) Since you were featured on Doomsday Preppers focusing on bugging in, what are your feelings on bugging out?
Jay Blevins : You have to keep in mind that they filmed two days and nights worth of footage, but condensed it to 15 minutes. We actually filmed a bug out drill, there just wasn’t time to show it all. Our plan focuses BOTH on sheltering in place AND bugging out. We have multiple locations to meet and shelter, and multiple locations to bug out to.
If possible, sheltering in place makes the most sense as you have the home field advantage, supplies, and the comforts of home. That said, I believe you MUST be prepared to go mobile if the situation calls for it.
4) I know you testing your own homemade pepper spray. How is that going and do you recommend folks have some on-hand?
Jay Blevins : Protection is one of the 6 main aspects of prepping I discuss in my book. It’s important to have options for the use of force, and I think pepper spray is an important option (as is the ability to protect yourself with firearms).
Our home made pepper spray worked well, but we had to improve on the delivery system. We also have professional grade pepper spray to supplement what we’ve made.
5) For those starting out, what are 5 essentials things you would suggest to buy?
Jay Blevins : Wow, it’s hard to narrow it down to five things. But if I had to choose five, I’d say a good water filter, a good multi-tool, a good flint and steel, a good firearm, and a good pack.
6) You have 3 children, how would suggest approaching the prepping topic with children without scaring them?
Jay Blevins : Our kids are young, and though we want them to be prepared, we also want them to enjoy childhood. We try to make it fun by taking them hiking, camping, canoeing, and on those trips we teach them skills like navigation, starting fires, filtering water, etc. We try to worry about the more serious/heavy things for them.
That said, when tragedies like Sandy Hook take place, we take the time to walk them through it (on their level), and try to help them be prepared to survive situations like that.
7) Realistically, what event do you think will trigger the SHTF?
Jay Blevins : I still think social unrest brought on by an economic collapse is the most likely, however, I think a combination of events would be the most catastrophic. In ANY emergency situation, I think the thing that will make it worse is the people who aren’t prepared, those who take advantage of those situations to victimize others, and the lack of supplies.
It all makes for a perfect storm, and forgive the pun, but Hurricane Sandy was a great example of how quickly things can fall apart on a regional level. I larger SHTF catastrophe would just be hundreds of times worse.
8) How did you educate yourself on prepping?
Jay Blevins : I set aside time to research credible sources. I spent time with people, in vocations, and took training in order to learn important skills. I researched the goods and products hat would give me the best chances of survival. I volunteered at places that offered free training. I looked at realistic disasters that had already taken place. And I interviewed people who had lived through emergencies to see what they did to survive.
Learn that your mind is the most important tool, and the only one you really can’t live without.