Mark Smith is Senior Consultant with Southern Plains Consulting. I heard about him from Wilson at Pantry Paratus. Mark served in the United States Marine Corps and Army Reserve. His education and training has given him the unique skill sets to effectively manage disasters, including wildland firefighting, hazardous material response, aviation incidents, earthquake safety evaluations, and crisis management.
He’s been a Red Cross instructor and an Emergency Medical Technician. He’s also been a firefighter and an emergency services manager. Living on a farm gives him another kind of self reliance experience. He’s also the author of Preparedness: The Basics and Beyond.
What does a preparedness consultant do?–Mark helps individuals, families and businesses plan for and carry out plans for being more self reliant. Most of his clients are families who want help getting started with preparedness. He lives in western Oklahoma and travels throughout his area giving seminars, lectures, and offering one on one consultations on a variety of preparedness matters.
Mark’s been helping people for many years, but he only formalized it into a business a couple of years ago. He got in at a good time, too, since there’s been a growing awareness of the need to be prepared for disaster and trouble.
Who’s a real prepper?–In our conversation Mark observed there’s a difference between stocking up and being a prepper. Genuine prepping involves a mindset geared for readiness.
What’s a good motivator?–Mark’s not a fear monger. He uses an analogy I’m sure many of us have heard a number of times. Prepping is like having insurance. So many haven’t thought through their needs when help is delayed after a disaster. Considering the possibilities can get people off the fence, so to speak.
What’s the biggest obstacle to prepping?–“It’s never gonna happen to me.”
It’s important to remember that disasters may happen in a given area, but the impact can have a widespread ripple effect. Mark gave some examples in our conversation.
Will the masses flee the cities?–Many will, but Mark says it depends on several factors, including the nature of the disaster event and the time of year. Cold weather may keep many people from venturing out.
What’s our greatest threat?–We talked about a few, but the state of the economy tops the list. The financial world is so interconnected that what happens in one place can have an impact on us all. We’ll really feel the pinch if the “hair cuts” which took place in Cyprus happen here. And, of course, Obamacare is already leaving its mark.
Will the lights go out?–Drills are scheduled among government agencies and some businesses for November 13th and 14th which will anticipate problems that may arise if the power grid fails. Some speculate these drills could be the cover for a real event made to happen. Mark doesn’t think so, but says readiness drills are useful for those who take part in them.
What about prepper burnout?–So many threats face us. And yet several predicted events have not come to pass in recent years. We can get burned out and apathetic. What’s the remedy?
Mark says you and I can’t do something prep related every day. That’s just how things go, and it’s OK. Prepping is a process, not a fad. Do what you can, but take a break now and then. Go to a movie. Enjoy a sunset. Live life.
What about Mark’s book?—Preparedness: The Basics and Beyond is mostly aimed at new preppers and is derived from his work and personal prepping experiences. He’ll tell you the mistakes he made so you don’t make them, too. He’ll help you put things in proper perspective. For example, consider your firearm as a tool, not necessarily your first and only solution.
Find out more–I think you’ll appreciate Mark’s common sense approach. Hear my conversation with him by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for November 7, 2013. (Right click to download.) Find out more about Mark’s services at www.southernplainsconsulting.com. Get Preparedness: The Basics and Beyond by clicking on its title in this post. A new window will open up to the page where it’s featured, and you can order from there.