Another day, another interview. Today I’m excited to have Jim Cobb form SurvivalWeekly.com here for an interview. Jim has been a prepper for almost 30 years, and now he’s teaching it to other people through his articles and in-depth videos.
So let’s not waste anymore time and pick his brain!
1. What got you into prepping?
I started my preparedness journey at a rather young age. I just felt it was common sense to be prepared for emergencies. Spending some time in Scouts reinforced that, of course. Couple that with an interest in disaster fiction and end of the world stories and, well, here I am.
2. What’s the disaster or emergency you’re most afraid of? What keeps you up at night (if anything)?
Well, given how many hours a day I work, not much keeps me up at night, LOL. The disasters I’d be most concerned about happening would be grid failure due to solar activity or mass civil unrest.
3. What’s the worst disaster or emergency you have survived?
Not a lot, to be honest. A big part of preparedness, to my way of thinking, is threat avoidance. People often find themselves in bad situations because they made bad decisions. That said, blizzards, power outages, and job loss have all made appearances in my life.
4. What would you do differently to prepare if you were a newbie and had to start all over again?
I’d spend more time researching gear before purchasing, rather than being drawn to new shiny stuff I didn’t need.
5. What are the top 3 survival skills everyone should know?
Interpersonal conflict resolution, common sense, and creativity.
6. Top 3 pieces of gear most important for survival?
Assuming you’re talking about wilderness survival and you’re unable to get a cell signal to call for help, I’d say water filter, knife, and a good fire starter. In 99% of the most likely disasters or emergencies that will hit when you’re at home, a sufficient amount of cash or a good credit card will solve an awful lot of problems.
7. How do you deal with people who don’t approve of preparedness?
My job isn’t to convert people. I’m here as a resource for those who wish to learn more about disaster readiness. I’m not going to force it on anyone. If they show no interest after I bring up the subject, that’s on them, not me. I’ll tell you what, though. I’ve been at this for well over three decades now. I have never, not once ever, had someone ridicule me about preparedness.
8. Which do you think we should prep for first: everyday emergencies or SHTF-type disasters? Why?
Start with the most likely emergencies and work your way up from there. Trying to start your preparedness journey by prepping for a total societal meltdown isn’t likely to work out very well. You can’t do it all at once. It is a process.
I recommend that people plan to bug in unless they have a damn good reason not to do so. Everybody comes to the table with unique circumstances and situations, of course. As a general rule, though, sheltering in place at home is likely to be a better option than hitting the road.
10. What are some of the things you DON’T waste time doing? What are preppers doing that is robbing them of their time and resources?
Arguing and fighting with one another, particularly on social media, is a huge drain on people. What’s the best knife, the best handgun, the best caliber? They often get so bogged down in these meaningless arguments that they lose sight of the fact that it is a human being on the other side, not just a computer screen. It is just pointless to argue things like this. You’re not going to change minds, just alienate people.
11. Is prepping running your life? Should it?
It doesn’t run my life but it does influence some decisions. I’m very reluctant to travel outside the country, for example, as I don’t feel I can be well prepared for emergencies if I do so, given travel restrictions and such. By the same token, I encourage people to live their lives. Don’t let fear dictate what you can or cannot do.
12. Do you think having a republican president is a good reason to stop prepping? Please explain.
13. What’s the best way to teach your children and/or grandchildren about survival? How do you make sure they won’t start to lose interest as they grow older?
When they are young, make a game of it. Take them outside regularly and just play with them. See who can find the first animal track or the first water source. As they grow older, they probably will lose at least some interest in it. That’s normal and not something that should cause great concern.
How many times when you were a teenager did you remark to yourself or to friends at how insightful, intelligent, and cool your parents were? For most of us, that didn’t happen often. But, do what you can to encourage them to make good decisions, avoid risky behavior, and be there to answer questions. You can only do so much and if you push too hard, you’ll just push them away.
14. Are you an optimist or a pessimist about the future? Why?
I’m a realist. Nothing lasts forever. Mother Nature always wins in the end. Might be next week, might be 1,000 years from now.
15. What are some of the Amazon books and courses you’ve written that you’d recommend to the Survival Sullivan community?
You can find all of my books here on Amazon. I’m also Editor-in-Chief for Prepper Survival Guide magazine. In addition, I regularly contribute to American Survival Guide and Survivor’s Edge magazines.