The Arizona Survivalist/Prepper Expo will bring thousands of off grid enthusiasts, homesteading families, and preppers together in August for an educational and enlightening extravaganza. There are approximately three million American families which consider themselves preppers and who focus on the skills necessary to achieve a more self-reliant lifestyle.
The Inquisitr recently sat down with Lance Baker, one of the organizers of the Arizona Survivalist/Prepper Expo to discuss both the event and the survivalist movement in America.
IQ: Your first expo was in May and was a big success. What prompted you to plan a second event in August?
Lance: As you stated, it was a huge success with approximately 1,600 folks showing up and literally swamping the vendors that came to display and sell their products. No one had ever seen anything like it. We literally saved some small businesses that were struggling to find customers and we were the launching pad for several more. So as you can well see, we are having a huge impact on small Arizona businesses.
I used to host car shows and cruises here in Arizona, and grew tired of the hobby after 35 years. With the economy and everything else changing way too fast starting in 2007, I saw a need to get prepared, but was not sure where to get supplies, etc. Realizing that hosting a survivalist or prepper event would be no different [planning wise] than a car show, the idea was born. I will be brutally honest, I am not fond of the word prepper. It reminds me of “survivalist lite.” Make no bones about it, I consider myself a survivalist because I plan on surviving anything that this world, or our government, or world governments plan on throwing at me and my family.
IQ: Do you feel that having more residents from Arizona and adjacent states prepared will help curtail civil unrest should a large-scale natural or man-made disaster occur?
Lance: When everyone has the necessary resources in place to survive an event, no matter what kind of major event it is, then the whole of the community will be better off. Local governments will not have to expend as many resources to get aid to folks – assuming they even have the resources and money, and cities and towns, including business, will be able to get back on their feet faster. Normal life will return again much faster when more folks are prepared with the right equipment.
IQ: FEMA estimates about the death toll which would result from a downed power grid are extremely high. Approximately 85 percent of the American population could perish if the power grid was down for only a few weeks to a few months. What preparedness tips do you suggest or will be addressed at the expo for folks concerned about our antiquated electrical power system?
Lance: My only real concern though, is full out civil unrest. Make no mistake, we are living in perilous times and we are seeing change play out on the national and international stage like no time in history. I think that folks really do not understand how quickly our lives can change in the event of a major financial crisis. I’m talking “go to the store and there is nothing there on the shelves” crisis; or one where our good old American dollar is now deemed worthless.
IQ: What type of workshops will be offered at the Arizona Survivalist/Prepper Expo?
Lance: Our seminars are varied, but we have the typical gold and silver seminar, water purification, etc. However, I am now leaning towards only bringing in speakers that have a hands-on approach. Tactical defense training for instance, or hands-on medical life-saving training seminars, demonstrating one or two skills in the limited time they have.
Since I prefer the term “survivalist” more, I want my expos to have a heavy survival theme to them. Speakers getting up and talking about how bad our government is or the need to protect our Constitution, do little to give our attendees real survival skills. And they can hear any of those lectures on YouTube 24/7. I want our attendees to come away with the desire to go get signed up for some Israeli hand-to-hand combat training, or some serious weapons training, or even some in-depth medical or cooking skills using a solar oven, such as are offered by one of our many vendors.
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