Solar generators are often the go-to off grid energy system choice and are an extremely reliable source for power during a disaster. Once you have a doomsday ready power source and a stockpile of food and water you are set to ride out the end of the world as we know it right? Not necessarily, according to preparedness experts. Scott Hunt, owner of Practical Preppers LLC, to find out more about evaluating preparedness skills, gear, and necessary food and water stockpiling practices.
Although Scott Hunt and Practical Preppers LLC has garnered notoriety for the connection to the Doomsday Preppers series, the company remains very much focused on helping regular Americans with disaster preparedness. During retreat consultations, the folks from Practical Preppers have clients complete a survey to determine not only what type of scenario they are preparing for, but to gather information about the location itself. Hunt just released his first book, Practical Preppers Complete Guide to Disaster Preparedness.
About the book:
“The world we live in is an unstable one. From natural disasters of biblical proportions to concerns about the economic downturn and government shutdown, the hits just keep on coming. At the same time, the power grid is incredibly fragile. Our dependency on widely distributed long distance systems for power, medicine, and food makes our society susceptible to attack, whether by foreign or domestic enemies, or the weather. No matter the concern, the solutions are the same. Scott Hunt, the owner of Practical Preppers, and an experienced engineer, homesteader, and pastor, offers readers a complete and detailed guide to sustainable living. With this book, anyone can learn how to:
- Secure a water source—even in an urban area
- Grow and preserve food
- Set up an alternative energy supply
- Maintain a comfortable shelter –including alternative cooking and sanitation methods during a long power outage
- Bug out—what to include in your bug out bag and how to leave
- Prepare for medical issues
- Deal with security concerns
Preparing for disruption of services is a noble venture which gives peace of mind. This book will empower readers of all skill levels and resources to achieve an independent, sustainable lifestyle.”
Gauging how prepared you are for a man-made or natural disaster is not an easy task. Many off the grid living families and preppers believe that having backup for your backup is a must, but knowing when food shelves are full enough is an important question to have answered. Food and water are obviously a top priority, but, without basic survival skills, an off grid energy system, shelter, and medical supplies, a warehouse full of MREs will not keep you and your family alive for very long.
Hunt helped develop the prepper’s scoring system for National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers series. The hit prepping series will utilize an enhanced and more in-depth scoring system during the coming season, according to Hunt. Scott defines a retreat as a place where the client lives or plans to spent a significant amount of time, such as a bug out location. Typical Practical Preppers LLC retreat survey topics include questions about water, security, and energy systems, grid down cooking, bartering, medical, and communications plans.
What preppers retreat services does Practical Preppers offer?
Scott: We offer a wide range of proven solutions that allow the prepper to be ready now. We stress that systems, supplies etc. need to be put in place now so they are ready when an event happens. Many of our customers have gone partially off the grid with their critical infrastructure like water, hot water and heat.
You have an extensive background in a whole host of prepping and sustainable living realms. What prompted a man with a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering to leave a position as a product development engineer at Michelin Tire and focus on a career as a preparedness expert?
Scott: You never know where life will lead you! I so appreciate the opportunity I had to go to the school of my dreams, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, to get an awesome education followed by a really cool job at Michelin Tire. My education and hands on upbringing combine perfectly in the Preparedness world. Taking a systems approach to preparedness as opposed to buying stuff from off of a list will get you your desired outcome: Well prepared and confident! As an Engineer working for a large corporation you become highly specialized in an area but you rarely get to design “the big picture.”
My career now allows me to work on the coolest of projects ranging from biomass gasification to Solar battery backups, from Solar PV direct water systems delivery life sustaining water from great depths and distances, to extensive food plans, medical solutions, security solutions etc. It is an Engineers dream to be able to work on so many different aspects of what it takes to live sustainably in our world today.
As a sustainable living design engineer you have developed off the grid energy and water systems. What benefits do such systems offer for both preppers and folks who simply want to live a greener existence?
Scott: They offer just that – sustainable benefits. I design and install systems that aren’t for “rainy” days but that benefit the homesteader, farmer, and prepper every day. To have your own potable water source, food sources and backup energy systems makes for a very rewarding and peaceful lifestyle.
Have concerns about the fragility of our power grid, solar flares, and the possibility of an EMP attacked prompted more Americans to seek information about off the grid energy and water systems?
Scott: Absolutely – behind economic fears, EMP ranks number two on the list of what people are preparing for. An EMP event is even more likely in our day do to its many possible source, Nuclear, Solar, HEMP. Our grid is fragile and susceptible to an EMP event that is why many folks are trying to determine how to best get their own water and to make at least a minimum amount of electricity. A little electricity goes a long way! I teach a plug and play approach to EMP mitigation. What I mean by that is know what might fail in an EMP, buy an extra one or 2 and put them in a Faraday cage, and then replace them as needed.
Imagine being able to use readily available bio fuel instead of gas to power your generator. This alternative fuel system converts branches and other bio particles into a power source easily used to fuel most store bought generators already on the market.
As a consultant for National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers series, one of the duties you were tasked with was creating the ‘How prepped are you’ test. Please describe how the scores are factored.
Scott: The scores were developed with several ideas in mind. One of the challenges in developing a scoring system was to level the playing field so that an urban prepper could score just as well as a rural prepper. We believe that everyone should be prepping and we also believe that everyone can store water, food and supplies. No excuses! So we weighted storage very high for water and food. Some folks felt they didn’t need to store water and food to the levels we set and therefore they got “dinged” pretty hard even though they live in an area where they could grow a lot of food.
Some featured on the program feel that the time frame dictated by the constraints of the television show impacted their scores. If Practical Preppers was able to do an extensive on-site review, would the scores likely fluctuate?
Scott: Unhappiness makes for high rating on TV I suppose but that was not our goal. We were not able to travel to each prepper’s site for an in depth assessment as there wasn’t a budget for that. Therefore we relied on information sent to us via our checklist. Many times, vital information was not given. We understand that for OPSEC reasons, but it made for inaccurate assessments. This season I am interacting with the preppers, asking questions that a film crew wouldn’t think to ask and I am greatly enjoying that. The assessment this season will be accurate! Now if they are still unhappy – oh well! Our goal is not to make people unhappy but to motivate them to prepare!
As a former Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Pickens, does your faith influence your desire to be more self-reliant and educate others to become more prepared and respectful of the natural environment?
Scott: Absolutely! For a Christian, no matter what your specific eschatological belief is, there is a high probability that if you are here it could get rough! Jesus told the disciples what signs to look for in Matthew 24v4-7 and that is the main reason I am prepping. Those signs are here with a greater frequency and greater intensity than ever before.
I must say here that prepping should never be motivated by fear – 1 Tim 1v7. I would also like to mention that when you are prepping you can’t help but appreciate God’s creation and as an engineer I am in constant awe of His sustainable water and energy systems. So much here to ‘preach’ about!
What are your prepper goals and how has the decision to become more self-reliant impacted your overall outlook on life?
Scott: My goal right now is to get what I have learned out to a larger audience. What I have done has helped a lot of people get prepared but I know I am only scratching the surface. Prepping for me is extremely rewarding as I get to help people and spend a lot of time trying to figure things out. I also greatly enjoy the lifestyle that goes along with preparedness. Engineering, homesteading and pastoring have combined perfectly for me in the prepper lifestyle.