Scott Hunt is the owner of Practical Preppers and consultant to the National Geographic’s new show “Doomsday Preppers.” He joins the show to discuss what people can do to start prepping for extraordinary events. He specifically addresses what average “Joes” can do to prepare without going to extremes and what kind of emergencies we can expect. Hunt shares what he thinks is the most creative prep he’s encountered during the filming of Doomsday Preppers. He also discusses the the “Practical Preppers” Mobile App.
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Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Scott Hunt to the show. He is the owner of Practical Preppers and a consultant for National Geographic’s show Doomsday Preppers. Scott welcome. How are you?
Scott Hunt: I am doing great. Good to be with you, Jason.
Jason Hartman: Good, good. Hey, where are you located today?
Scott Hunt: Yeah, I’m in upstate South Carolina.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. Let’s talk about why prep, first. Because you do the show, and that has some different interesting profiles on that show, but just super quick, why prep? And then let’s go into what we’re prepping for.
Scott Hunt: Oh, I look at prepping just like you would look at home insurance, car insurance, it’s just an insurance program, insurance policy for your water, for your food, for your shelter, and we can just be looking at just the crazy weather we deal with whether it’s doubts or intense rains, hurricanes, depends on where you live of course. So there’s many reasons just on weather related issues that should motivate us to prepare.
Jason Hartman: And beyond that there’s all kinds of economic threats and potential military threats, Marshall law threat, all sorts of things. You look at what happened in Boston just several months ago, that city was under Marshall law basically for people who didn’t do anything wrong. They were just looking for two guys, so it’s crazy. But I always like to say that people can become a little bit prepared, which is a lot better than most are doing, for as low as maybe $200. Do you think that’s true?
Scott Hunt: That’s probably with the water and food if you’re saying 2-3 days of prep, maybe a week: yes. Just to have their water and food squared away, I agree with you. And maybe a little bit of extra fuel for their vehicles.
Jason Hartman: So maybe let’s look at three prepper profiles if we can. And let’s talk about the basic, most simple prep, the lowest cost prep. And then maybe a middle of the road plan, and then a big plan.
Scott Hunt: Okay. Yeah, the basic plan I would have for somebody would be just to have a bug-out bag or a get out of dodge bad ready to go that has water, food, minimal shelter, some communication, just have a bug-out bag in case you have to leave your area. And even if you don’t you can still use the contents if you stay sheltered in place. Then you can still use those contents to get you through a few days. And everyone in the family should have one.
Jason Hartman: And these are things you can buy for $50-$70 bucks for a basic bug-out bag. Is that about the right price?
Scott Hunt: Yes, again there’s extremes. That would be very bare minimum for me to have the ability to…I probably have 3, 4, 500 dollars into a bug-out bag, but that’s thinking more long term. But $70-100 is probably going to be a good baseline decent bug-out bag. And you can go sky’s the limit from there.
Jason Hartman: Sure. And so you’ve got the bug-out bag. Do you recommend that people keep the bug-out bag in the trunk of their car?
Scott Hunt: It depends on their lifestyle – how far they live away from home. I work out on the road quite a bit consulting so I keep mine with me. And my bug-out bag is really my get-home bag. If I’m found 100-200 miles away from home, I want to be able to get home. And I’m not going to be able to do that that easily without some help and without some supplies.
Jason Hartman: And what’s the next level up?
Scott Hunt: The next level up would be a family sheltering in place in their home, or it could be in LA or Manhattan. Just having enough supplies to stay in your home for a week-two weeks, to be able to weather any storm. It tell people, do not go out. If you don’t have to, stay in place. And you need water stored and food stored in order to do that. If you can stay warm or cool depending on where you live, and make a little bit of electricity to gather some intel, some information of what’s going on. That is very important to be able to figure out what just happened. People freak out if they don’t have information. So kind of a water, food, shelter, some basic electricity, and lighting and just be able to take care of themselves for say two weeks at a time.
Jason Hartman: And what’s the budget for the middle of the road prepper?
Scott Hunt: I would say a couple thousand dollars.
Jason Hartman: For how many people though? Family of four?
Scott Hunt: Family of four.
Jason Hartman: Okay. Alright. And what’s the next level up? And in that middle of the road prepper though, you didn’t mention communications. You mentioned make some electricity, like a hand crank radio you’re probably talking about, something like that to know what’s going on – a little bit of intel like you said. But how about outbound communications? I find that this is one area that’s being very much overlooked.
Scott Hunt: Well I just was in a meeting about it yesterday with High Frequency Ham, having a high frequency rig, which a good one’s going to cost you about a thousand dollars – being able to run it off of 12 volts, at least a 100 watt unit that you can, with a certain antenna you’re going to be able to get about 300 miles from your location easily. So long range communication is great, and having a network where you can relay to other folks without having to hit a repeater we think is very important. Because the power of the repeater will be down within a week or two. And then local communication – being able to use MURS, we like the multi-use radio service as a system for local communication within the neighborhood, within pretty much a ten mile radius we’re pretty good.
Jason Hartman: So tell us more about MURS.
Scott Hunt: MURS is multi-use radio system. There’s 5 channels or 5 watts which is twice what a CB radio is. And you can get those in handheld units that are programmable. We like a programmable radio where I can have MURS and FRMS, GRMS, all these marine radio bands and be able to use it as a scanner too to be able to check in with the police department, fire department, EMS, and it’s also weather radio. But it also is a two meter ham too, so you can hit the repeater for maybe that first week where the power is still at that repeater tower, you can also get out with that smaller unit. It’s only 5 watts.
Jason Hartman: Do you recommend that people go ahead and go out and get their ham radio license? Or that they just have the actual device and have some knowledge as to how to use it so they can use it in emergencies, and I should say that it is from what I understand, legal to use a radio that requires a license in an emergency situation without a license.
Scott Hunt: That is correct. I recommend everybody get their tech level license. It’s so much easier than it used to be: 300 questions. There’s people that just memorize it, take the test, get their tech license and then you can get on there. You can always get on. You can buy your rig now, and then you can be listening all the time. But a tech license isn’t a big investment in terms of time to figure out what you need to know. Of course a lot of preppers buy things and they don’t know how to use them, so we always practice your preps, learn how to use the radio, but if you don’t have a radio you’re done. So obviously the first thing I would tell somebody is get a radio – get a decent Yaesu 857D radio if you can afford it.
Jason Hartman: What’s the price of that one?
Scott Hunt: It’s close to a thousand dollars. But that is a very high quality unit, giving off the total battery and it has enough power to really reach out there and go across states.
Jason Hartman: I assume that’s not hand held.
Scott Hunt: No, but it is a portable. It’s not hand held but it is a portable. It’s not huge and you can definitely take it with you in a vehicle.
Jason Hartman: And what about insulating all this stuff from EMP threats?
Scott Hunt: It’s a great question. People that prepare for an EMP are the most prepared people, though it’s the hardest thing to prep for. Most people are familiar if they know EMP as you do that you need some sort of protection whether it’s nuclear, coronal mass injection, EMP weapon. And the faraday cage is the most useful building, equipment or a cage around your equipment to protect it.
I take a plug-in play approach. If you know what is going to fail or what could fail, then buy extra of those components, put them away. Maybe it’s an extra radio, an extra cellphone, a whatever – put them away in your cage. I tell people to nest their faraday cages. Put one inside another and you’re protection can go up exponentially. There’s a lot of arguments about grounding. You can actually bring the trouble to you if you ground your faraday cage incorrectly. So I’m a big fan of nesting – putting something within another, faraday cage inside a faraday cage and your level goes up tremendously.
Jason Hartman: Okay great. Great idea. And what are the costs of the faraday cages you recommend?
Scott Hunt: 25 dollars for a garbage can, a trash can that’s galvanized where the lid fits really tight and you can pick up the whole can with the handle. And then line it with cardboard and you can get one of those at Lowe’s or a hardware store, and it works pretty good. Again, nobody knows for sure. It depends on how close you are, if it’s a direct hit, the intensity of it from nuclear down to solar, it’s a guessing game on will your faraday cage handle the EMP? It’s a question of distance in the line of sight.
Jason Hartman: So that’s just one of those garbage cans, huh? One of those old fashioned garbage cans?
Scott Hunt: One of those medal garbage cans. Old fashioned galvanized garbage can is probably the cheapest faraday cage. And then there’s people buying copper, copper mesh. You don’t have to be solid. It can be a mesh, a wire screening, and people spend a lot of money on that. But it can be a soft medal, a galvanized aluminum, copper, makes a very nice faraday cage.
Jason Hartman: I bought some of these EMP covers, these bags on Amazon. And I’m just suspicious whether these will actually work. You can’t test this stuff until the disaster occurs – that’s the problem. But these are like these $20 bags and I just put some of my electronics in them.
Scott Hunt: Yes, we have them. They’re tech for tech bags. And I have chainsaw modules I put inside them, but they’re going in that inside of my faraday cage. So it’s another layer of protection. They’re built through a mil spec – the military puts some of their critical electronic devices… the military has to be able to perform in a nuclear war, and so that’s their standard practice is to protect, like their night vision in these type of bags. They’re electrostatic, electromagnetic pulse protection bags now. I’m skeptical too. They are layered mylar medal bags and they do provide some protection. If you put your cellphone in it and call it, it will not ever recognize that it got a call. I know that’s a simple test…
Jason Hartman: Well that is a good test. Good test. Let’s talk about the highest level up – the ultimate prepper.
Scott Hunt: Yeah, and I probably should have broken it down into five because my intermediate prepper would probably be up to 6 months, but the highest level prepper is a person that has enough supplies for him and his family and their community or their group to make it for about a year, but in the mean time they have also put into place many re-supply plans for their water, for food that what they’re going to do is live off of their resupply or augment or supplement what they stored so that they can make it long term. A lot of people try to get to the point where they are sustainable at their location. And so that’s a year+.
Jason Hartman: Okay so tell us more about what that person needs.
Scott Hunt: That person needs a wide variety of food stores from a short term dehydrated MREs up to the long term , the freeze dried 25 year type food. And a good variety of that, and supplements, the oils, these vitamins and minerals and things. So they have a balanced diet for a year. And water supplies, having water stored. Everybody has to have water stored. But also maybe they put in a well where they didn’t have one before so they have their own water there. They put in rain catchment. They buy a piece of property that is conducive to this. They might have a bug-out location, and that’s where everybody’s going to meet, that makes more sense in terms of their water supply or growing their own food. And putting in things that are kind of fun, aquaponics and all sorts of gardens, rabbits, chickens, goats… and being able to resupply.
And then learning how to preserve these foods, whether it’s canning, smoking, dehydration, vacuum sealing… just learning how to preserve these foods as people use to do not too long ago. And with water to kind of filter their water. Security – getting trained on their weapon systems. Standardizing their weapon systems, getting tactical training so they don’t shoot each other, that they know how to work together as a team. They practice, they meet regularly. They inform the neighborhood – they want to help other people. They’re not survivalists, they’re people that want everybody to do well if the crap hits the fan. Excuse my language.
So, long term preppers – I’ve had people put a quarter of a million dollars into it that I’ve worked with. Some people spend a lot of money. Because there’s property, there’s infrastructure, there’s battery backups, there’s backups to the backups, generators, fuels, propane, diesel. So there’s a lot that is never ending with that kind of person because they’re always thinking about and tweaking, and trying to balance out their system.
Jason Hartman: Yep, good points. Talk to us a little bit more about the community angle of prepping if you would. You mentioned an interesting thing before we started today, and we were talking about my background in real estate, on the real estate investing side, and you were saying that you were approached by people who are looking to build survivalist communities, prepper communities… just give us your thoughts on that and just the community component of prepping as well.
Scott Hunt: I believe in networking – we’ve done that in our area, that people shouldn’t network even if they don’t move or join a community that they’re in the community already and they’re preparing, and it’s nice to have a group of people working together at least to share information. If you’re in trouble, we can come help – that kind of thing. But there are people, there’s developers and people that they’re not selling real estate, they’re not investing in the golf courses anymore so they’ve approached me, and it’s like what can we do? And I keep telling them why don’t you turn that gold course into a sustainable village or a community? People would love to have their own food and their own water and not be so dependent upon the grid, or even a municipal water system.
So from Texas to Virginia I’ve gone to these sites and talked to them. It’s hard to get a bunch of people to go in on a project like that, but I think it’s a neat concept of developing a land, a piece of property or a community that would be sustainable for a large group of people.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, fantastic. Tell us a little bit about your involvement with the show and some of the consulting you’ve done for them. What do they ask you and what kind of advice do you give on how to make the show more successful?
Scott Hunt: Well I was on the pilot that was pitched to National Geographic, which picked it up and we were assessed by the production company out of Manhattan, and we kind of laughed and joked and were like, these people don’t know anything about prepping. And so when they came back to us and said do you want to be on season one? We said no, but we would be glad to participate in the assessing of the preppers, talking to them, giving you ideas on what you can do when you’re on site filming.
So we’ve been doing that for three seasons, and helping them, giving them ideas on what they can build. This season, which second episode’s tomorrow night at nine Eastern Standard time, is this whole season is about the build. They’re building things for the scenario that they’ve picked to prep for. And so I just consult and help, kind of talk to them, say hey did you consider? And do this to this vehicle, don’t use that, that’s not going to help, did you consider run flat tire and some run flat technology on a vehicle? That was the guy last week. So it’s been a lot of fun this season – actually talk to the prepper and work with him. And then I go through all their preps and I give them a score.
Jason Hartman: And how do they react to it? Do they always take your advice?
Scott Hunt: Some of them. If I get to talk to them and I actually spend the time, they do. When I am third party and I get third hand information, then it doesn’t go well. Then I’m getting third hand information and I can’t do a good evaluation of somebody’s preparations third hand. And so this season is much better.
Jason Hartman: I just wonder Scott, is there much conflict between the show biz, the Hollywood side of it and real prepping? Or is it pretty legit?
Scott Hunt: It’s TV and there are ratings, and there’s a little bit of sensationalism. There’s people that want to be on TV of course. And some of them don’t have their preps together. And it’s a lot of pressure if you’re building something like this season. And I have to give them credit because they’re starting a concept from scratch, being filmed, and making sure that it works within a three day time frame. So they do very well for starting something they’ve never done before. And build it on film and then it’s showed to the world. A lot of people don’t understand that they’re doing this for the first time in some of these things.
So they might look goofy or “I would never do that”. And then they get an update and they get to improve it. And for the gentleman in the last episode storing things in the ocean – that’s the first time he ever attempted to do it and he did a great job on film, but he’s improved it since they filmed. So there’s a lot of pressure for people who aren’t used to being on camera doing things, which I’ve seen people shoot their thumbs off. When you’re on camera you do things that you wouldn’t normally do.
Jason Hartman: Sure. Tell us about the guy storing stuff. I didn’t see that episode – storing stuff in the ocean. What do you mean?
Scott Hunt: He lives in Ketchikan, Alaska – he’s been prepping for a long time. He was on last week, and he’s probably the highest score ever given. And he had built these heavy welded together tubes that have some supplies in them where he could cast them out in the ocean. He also uses the ocean where he lives to pretty much, he can go down for about two hours and gather enough food for his family for a whole week out of the ocean, sea cucumbers and all of the things he pulls up on film. But he was actually hiding things because one of the things of a prepper is that you don’t put all your stuff in one place.
So he was actually casting things in the ocean and then he would go back and retrieve them if he had to. So he built a tankless scuba system that allows him to go down about 40-50 feet. And it was running off of a little compressor and a battery and solar.
Jason Hartman: Wow. And solar, wow that’s cool. That’s pretty impressive – very unique and very original. What are your thoughts on the state of America and around the world as to how prepared people are? Is this just going to be a really rude ugly awakening or are the preppers overdoing it? Is the threat not that big? I would assume places like the big cities, LA, Southern California is going to be a big disaster, New York City, Miami… places like that will just be a mess.
Scott Hunt: Anything along the coast can be very difficult for a lot of people. The majority of people are just not going to prepare. I wish they would, but they’re not and they’re going to suffer for it. So it’s kind of a race to get the word out, get as many people preparing just for a week – just do what FEMA says, what Ready.gov says, what Red Cross says. Just prepare to take care of your family. Otherwise you’re going to have to go out, you’re going to have to leave your location, you’re going to be vulnerable, and you could potentially be hurt. So it’s just common sense.
Jason Hartman: Scott, you may know as little about this as I do, what I’m about to ask, or you may know something about it. Because I just don’t know. But what’s the state of preparedness around the world? In other countries, do people do this stuff or are they just totally relying on the system?
Scott Hunt: Well I have a YouTube channel. I’ve had one for three years and people contact me from Malaysia, Norway, Australia… so there are people preparing all over the world. They see a global economy that’s going to affect them. They don’t know how it’s going to affect them but they don’t like where it’s heading. And so there’s people preparing all over the world. To what degree, I don’t know. I just do get contacted by people. And it’s great to be able to help them, and I learn from them as well. But people are preparing. And a lot of people are moving out of the country. There will be a gentleman the next couple of weeks – we went from Kansas to Costa Rica. And they’re there, it’s part of the show, is showing how they left the United States to go to Costa Rica. There’s people going to Belize. They just feel safer in a third world country where people aren’t as entitled to services as they are here.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, very interesting. I find it funny that people complain so much about the US government, including myself. And then they go to a place like Belize. I just had John MacAfee on the show and you may know that name, the famous software…
Scott Hunt: Yeah.
Jason Hartman: The anti-virus billionaire. And he moved to Belize for a while, and it’s like the cops there, his neighbor was murdered and he wasn’t a suspect but the police there were holding him for questioning. And they get to hold you there for 30 days and then renew it for 30, and renew it for 30, like indefinitely. At least here you get to go in front of a judge in three days, unless it’s under the NDAA. But I’ve got to tell you that I’m not impressed with Belize. I have been there twice.
Scott Hunt: I’m not impressed with going out of country, and I have many times. And I’m staying here and I don’t recommend it to anybody. People think the grass is greener and they find out quickly as you’re saying.
Jason Hartman: Well I will agree with them that the grass is getting a lot browner here. I think we’d all agree with that.
Scott Hunt: But that’s everywhere. I think that’s all world-wide.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, and I just think the US has a long way to fall before it’s time to go. There’s just a lot of challenges with expatriation, but it’s worth considering. At least we should have it in the back of our mind, just as a plan B. But good stuff. Well, hey. This has been very informative Scott. Again, Scott Hunt: practical preppers and consultant for Nat Geo’s Doomsday Preppers. Scott give out your website if you would.
Scott Hunt: Yes, it’s practicalpreppers.com.
Jason Hartman: And that’s a great website – a lot of good stuff there so go check out some of Scott’s products and be prepared. Scott, thanks for joining us.
Scott Hunt: Thank you and have a great day.
Narrator: Have you listened to the Creating Wealth series? I mean from the beginning. If not, you can go head and get book one, that’s shows 1-20, in digital download. These are advanced strategies for wealth creation. For more information go to JasonHartman.com.
Narrator: Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival Show. Protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to our Creating Wealth Show, which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search “Jason Hartman” on iTunes. This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own, and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.
Transcribed by Ralph
Guest: Scott Hunt
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