It is difficult to go a single day without reading or watching a news broadcast that mentions EMP attack threats by North Korea or fluctuating solar flare predictions. One of the most prepared men in America, Ron Foster, sat down with The Inquisitr to discuss survival tactics and the possibility of civil unrest after a disaster occurs. Ron Foster is a post-apocalyptic author who specializes in electromagnetic pulse and survival fiction.
He is an emergency manager and author of the Prepper Trilogy. Foster has a plethora of both academic credentials and real-life experience in managing disasters. He holds seven graduates certificates. Foster’s training courses include, Global Security and Terrorism Studies, Administrative Science, Emergency Management Administration, Law and Public Safety, Displaced Persons, School Security and Safety Administration, and Non-Profit Organization.
IQ – Concerns about solar flares and an EMP attack from North Korea continue to make headlines. Food shortages and long-term storage are always among the top priorities for preppers, survivalists, and homesteading families. As a supporter of the “it takes a community” preparedness mindset, what suggestions can you give for not becoming a victim should such a natural or man-made tragedy occur?
RF – I think that far too many preppers are fixated upon “prep secrecy or OPSEC” because they believe that telling anyone, anything about your food stores or views on preparedness is a huge mistake. Now I am totally in favor of applying basic common sense OPSEC, but the fact remains that it is also extremely important to begin building a like-minded community before a disaster strikes.
Let’s look at it another way, most disasters will not result in a total break down of society. It takes grains and legumes for even a minimalist diet for an impoverished country of folks to survive after the preps run out. You better be thinking on whose land you are going to plant that can of wheat you have stored, as well as how many people it will take to contribute labor to the effort rather than how you’re going to shoot the first person that tries to take it. Organize to protect the field and granary the community will need to survive after you donated that can of wheat to jump start the effort back to recovery.
IQ – Instead of going through a mid-life crisis, you basically went through a massive mid-life career change. After earning a living as a gemologist, serving our country as both an Air Force Airman and as an Army soldier, you earned a Bachelor of Science degree with an emergency management specialty at the age of 50. All of this in addition to a Master of Administration Science and a Master of Human Services. Given your extensive military and emergency management background, what advice would you give folks concerned about civil unrest after a disaster?
RF– I am glad you asked this question. I have researched this subject academically for six years as well as had plenty of boots on the ground experience responding to hurricanes. Having had experiences with hurricanes both as a victim and a responder, I am much more optimistic about the true state of peoples mental health after a occurrence than my reading and understanding any lessons in a college lead me to consider. Let me clarify this statement by repeating what hopefully all the readers of this article know as a fact by now about the media hype of Katrina and the dome etc. The rapes, murders, and violence was nothing more than hype and spin to sensationalize an incident.
They didn’t happen for the most part. Now I could write whole papers on why this out right lying by the media will continue to influence the uneducated or unaware psychological response to future devastation, but we are to focus for this discussion, on how the occurrence should truly affect those that experienced the event.
I submit my opinion not as one in this particular situation but who has experience with similar events and hopefully can add some insight into human nature as a more positive and nurturing reality, versus a reverting to uncivilized or psycho traumatized rationalization. Statistic research will show you that the vast majority of people, somewhere around 97 percent, help their fellow man after a disaster. Yet, for some reason, the countless acts of selflessness or heroism never made it to our papers.
The average person in these environments relates to their nature or nurture response on how they view the expectation of another occurrence of the same tragedy. Many people will put on a tough front that belittles those who have legitimate or like fears and others will use the event as a crutch that supports other underlying tendencies.
IQ – NOAA and NASA scientists agree that the Sun is nearing the end of its 11-year cycle, but differ greatly in opinion when it comes to predicting when the peak, or double-peak will actually occur. What are your thoughts about the potential for a significant solar flare this year?
RF – Until recently, most researchers had been predicting that solar maximum would probably occur sometime around May. That is according to the latest data I have been following, but this is just one of the many evolving scientific models that has caused me concern. I have ultimately decided the scientists and mystics can only warn us of a “Not if but when” event and any potential for a significant solar flare this year on my part, is sheer speculation. I admit I do prep more for this type of event, but I also did the same last year. The insurance companies are freaking out at such a possibility. This peak in solar activity comes in accordance with the sun’s 11-year cycle so yes, I feel there is a significant threat to prepare for just like I know there will be hurricanes this year.
IQ – The last sizeable solar flare occurred on March 15, it took two days to travel to Earth and gave us just a mild glancing blow. Even with the new detection capabilities the telescope in Australia offers, tracking and predicting sun spot activity is far from a scientific process. What type of warning time do you think people will have should an Earth-directed solar flare maximum actually occur?
RF – Scientists keep saying that they were surprised about some of the new things the sun has been doing. The power grids are debating a two-hour notice to shut down or divert power to minimize damage so based on this I say one-hour at best. Even if they turn the satellites away and portions of the grid are shut down for safety or maintenance there is no guarantee about what the damage of an unknown super CME will cause, or its duration, or repetition. It’s a crap shoot. If we get warning, great! I will be busy disconnecting my car battery and hanging a chain off the bumper to ground it. If not, I hope my little fictional scenario in my book Preppers Road March has thousands of people in a better mindset to hoof it home and have gained a few survival skills so they will not stress as bad about it.
IQ– What prompted you to begin writing prepper fiction?
RF – I guess, to be honest, it was money. Money to buy more preps and get paid for the legacy of knowledge I have, that I wish I could of bought before I went to the expense and physical hardships to obtain personally. Value is an arbitrary term. I got paid, well not me personally mostly, for my opinion as a gemologist at the rate of $190 an hour to do a insurance appraisal on jewelry or a legal dispute on a gemstone because of a credential. This was before I lost a great deal of vision doing it and applied my mind and experiences to more mundane and practical things in order to feed myself and put a roof over my head without the benefit of medical, retirement, unemployment or other corporate items my life lacked.
I wrote Rural Ranger in 2003 to get paid for my opinions and time in military survival schools, as well as being a Southern “good Ol boy” who knew a few things about the woods. I needed preps, I still need preps, this is my job. I ask the price of a beer or two to relate decades of knowledge and it’s worth the price.
IQ – How does the post-apocalyptic genre differ from traditional science fiction?
RF – My books deal with real day people, not Rambo or financially blessed survivalists. I try to give hope and advice that is not just combat orientated,
Are you concerned about civil unrest after a natural or man-made disaster?