Surviving a Disaster When FEMA Isn’t There–Part 2

DestinySurvival Radio featured the conclusion of my two part conversation with Richard Bryant, author of When There is No FEMA. Rich’s book is meant to provide comprehensive, detailed information to help us as preppers survive a disaster when FEMA isn’t there.

What if something major comes along that dwarfs Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy? What do we do when FEMA isn’t going to be there for days or weeks? Or what if they’re not going to be there at all?

In our previous episode…

View the post about part one of my conversation with Richard Bryant here. That’s where you’ll find a link to last week’s show, info about Rich and a broader overview of the book.

But to review briefly, When There is No FEMA is a large reference guide of just over 500 pages for preppers and survivalists. It’s arranged in such a way to make it easy to find the information you’re looking for.

As I stated previously, when you get your copy , I recommend reading the Preface, the first three chapters and chapter 15 at the end. You’ll know best how to make best use of the book from there for your specific needs and interests.


When There is No FEMA


Is there a contradiction?

Rich cautioned against trying to subsist on nature. If we all had to become hunters and gatherers of our food, he said 99% of us would die. Yet he included info about hunting, fishing and foraging. I asked him about this seeming contradiction.

He explained that foraging might become necessary, but it will take our bodies a while to adapt to eating new foods. Also, it’s possible to spend more energy getting that food than the food will provide.

Be careful you’re not tresspassing on someone’s land or in someone’s hunting territory. You could end up in unwanted conflict, to put it mildly.

One important tip–know the nuts that grow in your area. You know, the edible kind, like pecans. Nuts have protein and the good kind of fats.

When it comes to relying on nature for food, the operative word is caution.

What about sickness and death?

Disaster is inevitable. It remains to be seen what the scope and resulting damage will be. It will likely be beyond the realm of our experience.

People will die. And we’ll have to become accustomed to that. The chapter about sanitation concludes wwith a section on properly disposing of dead bodies.

However, Rich said the greater threat is from those who are living and spreading germs or viruses. Thus, a detailed chapter on sanitation, which includes info about threats like diarrhea, cholera, influenza and other diseases. Naturally, you’ll find guidance there on good hygiene practices.

What about being mentally prepared?

Rather than mental preparation, Rich believes in being spiritually prepared. However, he said the closest he gets to religion is the old addage, “God helps those who help themselves.” Spiritual preparedness entails self understanding and awareness.

In the face of disaster we will each evolve and adapt. The thing is to start doing that now with regard to key areas like behavior and personal health. For example, Rich thought he was addicted to diet soda pop, until he stopped drinking it.

Then there’s other stuff

Communications–We touched briefly on the chapter on communications, which includes material on disinformation and obfuscation. Yes, it’s necessary at times to practice deception to save ourselves. On the other hand, it’s important to know who to trust with “need to know” information. This gets into the area of Op Sec (Operational Security).

Defense and security–An appendix has distilled info about firearms. As with other parts of the book, it’s designed to help readers know how to talk with experts to get the knowledge appropriate for their particular situation. Chapter 14 looks at defense more broadly for community needs.

Nuclear radiation–According to Rich, there are greater and more numerous threats than radiation from Fukushima.

Is there icing on this prepper cake?

We spent a few minutes near the end of our conversation talking about the benefits to prepping. Yes, there’s a cost, but good things come forth.

Rich said as you engage in prepping, you’ll prefer the person you’ve become over the person you are now. He shared key examples from areas of his own life.

  • Development of meaningful friendships
  • Improved health
  • Rekindling of previously learned skills
  • Change of perspective on management of money and resources
  • Thoughtfully made plans for relocation

Find out more

As always, I can only touch on highlights in these posts, so I invite you to hear the second part of my conversation with Rich Bryant when you listen to DestinySurvival Radio for March 27, 2014. (Right click to download.)

Because Rich’s book is so large, it wasn’t possible to cover everything about it during our conversation. But if you really want to go deeper, preview When There is No FEMA and order your own copy from

Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.