Tell Us How to Make It Better

Disaster Preparation Are You Ready to Help Yourself

May 10, 2022 George Siegal Season 1 Episode 37
Tell Us How to Make It Better
Disaster Preparation Are You Ready to Help Yourself
Show Notes Transcript

May 10, 2022
37. Disaster Preparation Are You Ready to Help Yourself

We need to do a better job proactively preparing for major disasters. Learn how from Nat The Preparedness Guy, an emergency manager who works from the bottom up, helping people help themselves so they can prepare for and manage disasters.

Here are some important moments with Nat in the podcast: 

At 8:01 What should our mindset be as we prepare for potential disasters? 

 At 12:36 Why do you think so many people living in disaster-prone areas don’t do what’s needed to be properly prepared?

At 19:27 Explain the combination of careers you have. On one hand, you are The Preparedness guy, on the other, you are an emergency manager who is often dealing with people who aren’t prepared?

You can follow Nat through the following links: 

 Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/thepreparednessguy/ 

 Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ThePreparednessGuyOfficial

 YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_sDGIcv9Wzje799JTstaUQ

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Nat Sellers:

Preparedness is mostly focused on your needs. You need food, water, shelter, communication, security, a whole list of things. Those are your needs. And then you identify what they are and how you can provide for them.

George Siegal:

So is the stigma, I mean, people think that it's some guy living on a compound in Montana with an underground bunker and the cammo outfit. And.

Nat Sellers:

You caught me.

George Siegal:

Yeah. Those are the guys that don't really want to piss off. That's why I'm not making fun of them, but that would, that would be the stereotype.

Nat Sellers:

Sure. And there's nothing wrong with that. Really. If that's what somebody thinks is, is what meets their needs. They're not hurting anybody as long as they're not hurting anybody. And then it's, it's their business.

George Siegal:

I'm George Siegal and this is the Tell Us How to Make It Better podcast. Every week, we introduce you to people who are working on real-world problems and providing actual solutions. Tell Us How to Make It Better is partnering with The Readiness Lab, the home for podcasts, webinars, and training in the field of emergency and disaster service. Hi everybody. Thank you for joining me on this week's Tell Us How to Make It Better podcast. If you've watched my documentary film, The Last House Standing, the one of the main themes in that film is being prepared and it's about how unprepared most people are, should a disaster strike. In fact, we all live like nothing's going to happen and we're just hoping that there won't be a disaster. Well, my guest today is a guy that is very prepared. In fact, he's Nat the preparedness guy and emergency manager who works from the bottom up, helping people help themselves be their own emergency managers. Nat welcome to the program.

Nat Sellers:

Thank you.

George Siegal:

Hey, now you and I met a few weeks ago in Orlando at the National Hurricane Conference, and it was, it was really a pleasure meeting you. I mean, there's so many things that you showed me about internet stuff that I was was ignorant to. So again, thanks for that, but I want to talk about you being the preparedness guy talk about the problem that you've identified and what you're doing to make it better?

Nat Sellers:

Well, the problem is that not enough people are prepared and it's it's pretty evident, but there's also some hesitation. People don't want to be too prepared or they think that somebody else is going to take care of it for them. And we have a wonderful system in the United States. If you call nine 11, you can trust that somebody is going to show up for your fire or medical need usually. And they work really hard to do that, but it can't take care of everybody all the time, especially if it's a large disaster. So whose responsibility is it? It's yours, right? It's your own responsibility. So that's, that's the problem is that there aren't enough people who are prepared. And we all went through the last couple of years we know that if you don't know it now, then I don't know what's going to, you know, wake you up to it. But you're at the end of the day, you're responsible for yourself.

George Siegal:

Now there is some stigma to being a quote prepper. You know, I, I looked up the name. It's a person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it. Typically by stockpiling food, ammunition and other supplies. There's no agreement among preppers about what disaster is most imminent .. What disaster is most imminent to the average prepper? Is there any?

Nat Sellers:

No, that's fine. That's a good question. Now as an emergency manager, we do all sorts of all sorts of things that help us identify the most likely hazards in our jurisdiction. So that's one of my goals is to help use those tools and teach people. So it really depends on where you, where you live. A lot of people do have kind of a pet disaster or something that, that they consider the thing that they're preparing for. And we don't, I don't have that focus. I think that if you are just focusing on what you're scared of or the, the current thing that worries you that you will get hyper-focused. Are you going to miss out on the more likely thing and, and your target will always be moving because once the pandemic hit, everybody was worried about a pandemic and we had some fuel shortage, which I, now we have some supply chain issues and inflation, and you keep focusing on whatever you're scared of the thing that, oh, this is the thing I'm preparing for. It's a moving target. Instead turn people away from the hyper-focus on disasters. Now it's important to understand the hazards, but preparedness is mostly focused on your needs. You need food, water, shelter, communication, security, a whole list of things. Those are your needs, and then you identify what they are and how you can provide for it.

George Siegal:

So is the stigma. I mean, people think that it's some guy living on a compound in Montana with an underground bunker and the cammo outfit and...

Nat Sellers:

You caught me.

George Siegal:

Yeah. Those are the guys that don't really want to piss off. That's why I'm not making fun of them, but that would, that would be the stereotype.

Nat Sellers:

Sure. And there's nothing wrong with that. Really. If that's what somebody thinks is, is what meets their needs. They're not hurting anybody as long as they're not hurting anybody. And then it's, it's their business. But the, yeah, the stigma is real. Now the definition you gave is somebody who's preparing for a catastrophic disaster. If we don't consider a two year pandemic and associated lockdowns as that, or a supply chain issues or, you know, war happening with, in Ukraine with Russia and the potential fallout from that fallout. And in multiple ways, we, we know bad things happen. Everybody knows bad things happen. So, so it's you look at that definition of a prepper? And it makes it kind of, it makes you look at the, the first part of it. Somebody who's, who thinks the catastrophic thing is, is going to happen. It makes you think that's the crazy part. Everybody knows that. So that's not a crazy thing. We know that. So the only thing different is that they prepare for it. And that's not crazy either.

George Siegal:

Okay. If you think about it, if a, if a major disaster did hit and it was just the tinfoil hat, people that were prepared, that's all that's going to be left. You know, it's like, there's a lot of people that I consider smart people that have no preparation or they're just living day to day thinking it's never going to happen to them. And as we learned in, in making my film, The Last House Standing it hits people and their lives change forever because they were not prepared.

Nat Sellers:

Yeah, totally. Just, it can come out of the blue. And if some people have asked, well, what if you prepare? And then you lose everything, your house burns down, or a hurricane hits it, or, you know, depending on where you're living. And yeah, that's a, that's a valid question, but it's not just the things that you store. It's the lifestyle you've, you've built. It's the skillset that you have, the mindset, all of those things play into it. So it's not just what you have stored in your basement. But because even then you still could lose, lose all of that unless you mitigate against all of those hazards really well. And that's where understanding hazards is really important. If you're living on a coastal region you really need to mitigate against hurricanes. That's a specific hazard that you need to take actions against for mitigation, and you need to know your response plan for that as well. But as far as the rest of the preparedness goes, meet your needs. Learn skills, develop a healthy mindset, a positive mindset that you are preparing for your needs and the things you love. Not against the things you fear.

George Siegal:

So walk me through how somebody would, would approach that. So, you know, it doesn't necessarily, like you said, we're not going to just prepare for hurricanes. Let's say I live in Oklahoma or Missouri or somewhere. What should my mindset be in? What are things I can start doing?

Nat Sellers:

So the first thing is to go to my website, preparedness guy.com and download a free emergency plan. So I have I have on there just some of the, the main hazards that you might face and immediate actions you would take in response. So understanding the hazards that are likely in your area, if you live in Oklahoma, tornadoes are more of an issue than than people living in an Idaho. So you know that that's an issue and you need to have a response plan because immediate action in response can save your life. But for, and, and, and having a tornado shelter is important. That's hazard specific mitigation. For preparedness you look at your needs, how everybody needs food, water, and so on. And there's, you could, we could list dozens of things. And which of those are most impacted by whatever situation could, could happen. Food and water you need right away. So, you know, any hazard could impact those. Shelter could be impacted transportation fuel your entertainment is it is one of the needs, your, your money finance that could all be impacted. So you look at the ones that you think you will need the most, the ones that are our most vulnerable, it could be impacted the most. And then you start preparing based on a timeline. You can do immediate, which is the moment of impact to up to three days of zero to three days. Short-term this is my timeframe, which I think works as some people have other definitions, but short term is up to two weeks. A midterm immediate range is after about three months and then long-term is a year and beyond. So three months to a year. And then however long you want to go.

George Siegal:

Yeah. It seems like there's some areas okay so one of the places we went to was Mexico Beach after hurricane Michael. And we went out to Malibu, California after the Woolsey fire. And it seems like it can be years for people to get their lives back together. I mean, in Mexico beach, this happened in 2018. They're there, they're not back together yet. So there's some things you just can't plan for, but, but planning will put you a lot better off than people that have no plan.

Nat Sellers:

That's right. There's a kind of a joke in the prepper community about cashing out your retirement savings and stockpiling food and, and everything else. But in reality, Having a retirement savings is a form of preparedness investing wisely, saving your money, having a budget. And I have a kind of five steps that, that I have as my, my foundations. These are the foundations it's personal responsibility, understanding your hazards understanding your needs and how to provide them. Financial preparedness and taking action. And that fourth step financial preparedness is essential. If you are just throwing money at the problem, trying to solve it, if you're going out and buying all the nice gear that you think is going to going to be the answer or emergency kits that you hope meet your needs, but you don't know. It's all. It's all potentially a waste. So you need to go through the process. And then before you take action and start buying things, have a budget set aside money specifically for preparedness. Make sure you're getting out of debt. All of that will help you as you are recovering after any disaster. If you, if you have insurance, if you have some savings, then you are in much better shape. Even if your house is gone, starting over. That house may not be coming back anytime soon, but you've got a little bit of money to live on. You have insurance working on it, trying to sort that all out and they can, they can deal with that while you go and continue with your life.

George Siegal:

Do you have any thoughts why people are like this? I know when we were in, in Moore, Oklahoma, the number of people that did not have a storm cellar was staggering to me. And I was like, I would think everybody there would see what happens every year and that would be a must have. Some people told me it was too expensive, but we talked to city managers and things, and there's ways you can finance those. So you're paying very low interest and they start at 3,500 bucks to have some kind of safe structure to run into, but people don't do it. And I, I can't even imagine. I can't even wrap my head around them. The mentality that would say, yeah, I think I'll go hiking. I'll go on a camping trip this year. I'll I'll take the kids to Europe. But I'm not putting a storm cellar in my, in my backyard.

Nat Sellers:

Right? My wife, my wife tells me that if we ever moved back to Oklahoma or anywhere in the Midwest, that's going to be the number one priority. It's it's a tornado shelter. And I really, you could, I mean, if you don't have a basement, you could dig out a, a shelter. You can find schematics online and do it so much cheap. You want to make it sturdy. You don't want something to collapse on you, but. Like there are, there are ways to do it. And just, just to do why people don't do it. A lot of reasons. One is the one thing that motivates people the most. And this is unfortunate. The one thing that motivates people the most to be prepared is fear. And it's unethical. If I want to motivate people to be prepared, to be like, well, if you don't do this, you're going to die. And I don't want, I don't want to be the fearmonger or the dread merchant as Bradley Garrett is he's author of the book bunker. And he taught a basically looked at how people are preparing for, for in times different bunker situations. But he called the people dread merchants who hype up the fears and then sell them their solution. And you know, that's, it's an unethical way to go about it, even though there is still plenty to be afraid of. So why people don't do it is usually they don't have the pressing need. They don't feel, oh, I need to do this. But even when they do like in Moore, Oklahoma, they just went through that. Like, holy smokes, this is. This is a big deal. Some people will take action, but then it, it wears off. They don't feel that long-term.

George Siegal:

Well, I would argue that the dread merchant is a lot bet. You'd be a lot better dealing with them than the caravan of, of lowlifes that come through right after a disaster and take advantage of people because at least the dread merchant, you're not vulnerable at the moment. So the guy riding in in the pickup truck with the blue tarp to put on your roof, All of a sudden $10,000 for something that maybe a few hundred bucks is, is a life savings for you as opposed to planning in advance. I mean, I think that's far worse.

Nat Sellers:

Yeah, totally. Taking advantage of a situation like that. Scamming people. That's the lowest of the low.

George Siegal:

And we could, we saw countless examples of that too. I mean, people would come in and get you to sign over your insurance benefits to them. And I interviewed some people who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance benefits because they signed them over to some crook who's now in jail, who is never going to do the work, but now he controls their insurance money. So it's like cockroaches coming out, you know, or you put a light on, in a field at night and all the bugs that come out. To me, that's what it's like after a disaster. So to me, it puts a lot more stock in what you're talking about. And, and, and shows just how important it is that that everybody should be doing something.

Nat Sellers:

Right. The number one foundational step is personal responsibility. You identify are you, you realize that you are the one who's ultimately responsible and you don't look for quick fixes. You don't look for for somebody else to solve your problems. And that kind of gives you a buffer against things like either the dread merchants or the scammers afterwards, because you get to figure out the solution based on your needs and it gives you, it gives you some breathing room, because if you can take a step back and be like, okay, I don't actually need them to do this right now. I have my basic needs met. I'm going to look at my options when you feel like you don't have any options, that's when you get taken advantage of.

George Siegal:

Yeah. And you know when I've talked to people about the things we found out in our film, it's nobody really calculates the cost of not doing something to be prepared. Because maybe you can't even put a price on that. Right. For what it costs, when you now lost your job, you've lost your house. You're starting over with nothing. Your kids don't have a school to go to. I don't know that there's a formula to calculate just how high that cost is.

Nat Sellers:

I don't think there is, but I mean, it would be different for every person on that. And that goes into the question of why people don't do it is because they can see the cost of what it would take to do a tornado shelter or store three months worth of food or more. They can see the cost of buying their emergency supplies or taking a class. Those are costs that are out there, but if they can't see the cost of not doing it, and there was a gamble they're taking a risk, well, maybe nothing will happen. Even in the worst part of the cold war. When the height of nuclear fears was up, something had, I don't remember the numbers, but it was somewhere between like two and 7% of the population had fallout shelters, maybe something that was very low and and that was probably partly because people think, well, if it hits my town you know, I, I don't know if I'm going to have enough warning anyway, but nuclear weapons are they're dependent on people's actions. And so there are a lot more variables. Tornadoes are going to happen. We know they happen. Yeah. And

George Siegal:

we have the visuals on a regular basis. I mean, in 1998, I was working in San Antonio, Texas, and I was sent up to Moore after a tornado and there were the foundations of houses. Everything was gone. It literally looked like new construction with just a slab there. And all you have to do is see that one time to go, wow, I'm putting something in my yard because I can't even imagine what would happen if I didn't get out of this house. Right. So it, but, so that's what is disheartening to me is when the obvious visual cues are there and people aren't following them, nuclear war. We're hoping cooler heads prevail is a zero sum game. Right. But this is different.

Nat Sellers:

Yeah, it is. You know, that's the part of understanding the hazards. The second foundational step that you understand the hazards and determine what's likely in your area, if you're in the Midwest, tornadoes and elsewhere, tornadoes are likely are you in a flood zone or close to. Do you have other other hazards hazardous materials or industrial plants near you? So understanding these hazards can help you plan for two things. One is, is response, immediate response. If something goes bad and then how to mitigate against it, and those that those are the reasons to look at the hazard and understand them. It's because there's something I can do when that becomes a problem. And there's something I can do now to make it less of a problem if it happens.

George Siegal:

Now, talk to me about how your two careers kind of, I don't want to say contradict each other, but you're the preparedness guy, but you're also an emergency manager whose job is, is, seems to revolve around people who weren't prepared and are now in trouble in an emergency.

Nat Sellers:

I would love, I would love to put myself out of a job. But the thing is, is that organizations and jurisdictions that do emergency management and emergency response, they tend to do something for people that they can't do for themselves. If your house is on fire hey, you, you can't put that out on your own. Maybe if you had a lot of money and install a sprinkler system and industrial fire, fire sprinklers, you've got a chance, but we have systems in place, infrastructure, hospitals emergency responders, police, fire, EMS. All of these things are working to benefit the whole community and do more than what the individuals typically can do for themselves. But there are two, there are two sides of this one is that the individual. Can become too reliant on the systems they call the call, an ambulance for a taxi ride into town, and you have, they say, oh, my foot hurts. I need a ride. And then they get to the hospital and they walk out the door and, and, you know, go shopping or whatever they needed to do. Or so it's, you know, it's not, it's not extremely common. Everyone in EMS probably has their stories about frequent flyers or being a taxi cab. It's not extremely common and, and it's a low enough number that it's still worth it to to be a part of that, that system. And, and we all want, we don't think, oh, I'm, I'm not going to practice fire safety because I can always call the fire department because we still don't want our house to catch fire, let alone burned down. So we still offer, you know, provide some restraint. But on the other side, is that our, the entire system that set up also can't do some things. So we're w we're meant to do what people can't do for themselves, but they're there's a threshold on the bottom of what things, the things people ought to be doing for themselves. And then there's a threshold on top of the things that we can no longer do for them. If a disaster gets to such a large scope that we can't get enough ambulances out there, that there aren't enough beds in a hospital that it's just overwhelming to the system that's in place, then people are on their own for whatever amount of time. And there are even situations like supply chain issues or inflation. That's completely out of the scope of, of what we're doing. If there's, if there's no food on the shelf, you're not going to call 9 1 1 and say, Hey, I need some, I need a loaf of bread. That's not the, that's not the role of, of emergency management or emergency response. It's, it's your responsibility. And then these issues that are just much bigger than all of us aren't things that we as emergency managers are going to solve for people.

George Siegal:

I always think it's an eerie feeling when a hurricane is coming or some type of disaster, it could be fire and people are told it's a mandatory evacuation and they say, they're not going to leave. And then you hear on the news, the emergency manager or the person in charge telling them, well, write your social security number on your arm. Or so we have some way of identifying you because nobody's coming during the disaster. We're not going to find you till afterwards, especially in storm surge. That's what FEMA was talking to us about. That's a pretty scary feeling and, and still that doesn't seem to get people's attention. I don't know that that makes everybody leave.

Nat Sellers:

A lot of people overestimate their abilities and that's that's one of the benefits of having an emergency management perspective is we train and exercise everything. We come up with a plan based on, on our, our capabilities needs the specific hazards and threats in our area. We come up with a plan on how we would respond to certain things, and then we practice it. We train everyone to do what they need to do and we practice it. So we do in the drills and exercises is as essential as the same thing applies for individuals. Like you should do a fire drill at your home and a tornado drill at your home and practice what to do in an earthquake. Your, your whole family should know how to use a fire extinguisher and how to treat minor wounds and put on a tourniquet. All of these things you can they're skills that you can practice. It helps you see what your capabilities are, but it also increases them. And then when you're in a tricky situation, you can look at it and say, okay, I know what I can handle. And this is, this is a little bit more than that. You know, we all, I sometimes get a little macho, like, ah, I've got this. But you have to, you have to make a good judgment call based on, on what you're responsible for. If you're responsible for your. And you're the only one who's, you know, who's going to suffer from those mistakes then, you know, it's, it's sad, but do it, do what you want. But if you've got a family, try to exercise a little bit more wisdom and just take the safe, the safer route.

George Siegal:

Yeah. I mean, I might have a lower, because you're an emergency manager you you're, you're doing something. I probably have a more cynical attitude about people in general, because I just, it's hard for me to believe what people will put themselves in the risks of, and then just hope somebody is going to save them or bail them out. And then they get mad if it doesn't go well, and nobody gets there quickly. And, and what happens is, you know, so they want to be on their own, but then they're mad that they're on their own. It's just a really. It's it's confusing.

Nat Sellers:

I mean, fortunately it is a very low number of people, any bad story that you hear out of a disaster, it's a very low number of people who make the wrong choice or do something violent or dangerous or are looting or whatever stories happen. And then they get over-exaggerated and it's abroad. You painted with a broad brush that statistically it's a low number. It still happens all of those things. So it's still a concern, but. Yeah. Like seeing people who make a poor choice and, and don't make the right decision to evacuate, that's gotta be just, just terrible. And evacuations don't happen an awful lot in most of the United States. So it would be weird if somebody tells me I have to leave my home, it's like, I've never had to evacuate from my home. So like, what is going on now? And that might make me want to leave more like, okay, because it doesn't happen as often it's an, it's a novel experience. I'm going to go ahead and leave or it might be like, well, nothing ever has ever happened. Maybe I ought to stay. So I guess it just depends on somebody's mindset.

George Siegal:

Well, the one that seems to be the most common when I was in the news media and I, and I still see it all the time now, as people trying to drive across a road that has water, low water crossing or high water crossing and they, they have their family in the car. And for some reason they think they still need to get to the other side of that crossing, or there's a really bad storm and they're out driving around for no apparent reason, maybe running to the convenience store or something. So people make bad choices that can cost them their lives and their family, their lives.

Nat Sellers:

Yeah, no, that's a, I'm going to be the one to make it through. So it takes very little water and you can't even see underneath, you don't know if the road's washed out below or any of that, but it takes very little water to wash your car downstream. And in that situation there might be more storms. There might be rain. The flood is the problem. Like why would you put yourself in the problem? That would be like an extreme example, a tornado's coming, I'm going to drive in the tornado, hoping that it flings me away from the tornado. It's like, oh, obviously that doesn't, that's ridiculous. But the flood is a hazard when you're in a flood, like you don't want to drive into the hazard, hoping to get away from the hazard. You're like, you're putting yourself in more harm, hoping to get out of it.

George Siegal:

I mean, I think one of the videos that we looked at when we were in Orlando, that the kid that was in the pickup truck in the tornado. Oh yeah. And it got turned on its side and then it blew up right. And he was able to drive on, I mean, that makes a great Tik TOK video, but he shouldn't have been out in that storm.

Nat Sellers:

I mean, he was headed to work and that's, that's another thing too, is how robust is the alerting system? What I mean. We've got the emergency alert system and it does the over the radio, as soon as the emergency broadcast network or whatever. And did it only goes to the radio that doesn't come through your phone app. Like if you're a, if you're listening to music on your phone, it's not going to override the music on your, your music app on Spotify or Pandora or any of that. You might get a text message and a lot of places are working on, on doing that as well. And we have a pretty good alerting system. If he's not looking at his phone, when he's driving, then he's not going to see the text message come through that says there's a tornado in the area. And I don't get an automatic alert that there's a tornado warning. I had to, I had to sign up for national weather service alerts, and I use the red cross emergency app. So I get those that let me know that a tornado is coming through.

George Siegal:

Yeah, it's amazing. I mean, there's, there are a lot of resources that people could be plugged into. You know, we have a NOAA weather radio, and then everyone in my house complains when it goes off in the middle of the night.

Nat Sellers:

A weekly test

George Siegal:

or that it wakes, it, wakes them up. And I said, well, maybe that's a good thing that it's waking us up. So our house blows away. We're not dead. So you know, you just can't please everybody, right?

Nat Sellers:

No, I, I, I have I have kids and during one tornado alert, one of them was terrified and didn't want to yeah, I didn't want anything to do with the tornado was, is scared of it. So we calmed him down with a movie and and some chocolate and we're like, oh, let's just go downstairs. Let's, let's hang out and watch the show. And then a couple of years later, one of my other kids, this is in the middle of the night he wakes up and he's just like, no, I just want to go back to bed. Like you can't just go back to bed. Like we have to go down. So, so it's like, Yeah, how they respond to it differently. So we, of course, we gave him a movie and chocolate too. That's kind of our, that's our go-to, but like even, even if we have the system in place, we get the alert, we wake up in the middle of the night. Sometimes it's like, nah, I'm good. I'm just going to risk it and stay in my bed. Sleepy. Yeah. You just have to practice and do your immediate response plan. So, if

George Siegal:

you had a thought about how we could possibly, and it's such a, it's a daunting task that there is no easy answer to this, but I'm going to ask you anyway, how do we go from being a reactive society to a proactive society? Because the cost of a reactive society we see every year it's it's, it's staggering and it's so damaging. How do we change the focus of how people think?

Nat Sellers:

That's a good question? I don't know. I think it starts with your needs and helping people understand that and even preparedness isn't isn't about just terrible tasting food. It's about the food you already eat. Like I'm not, I don't store anything and look at it and say, well, I'd eat that if I was starving, you know, I store things that I'm like, I would eat that today I'm just going to store more of it or I'm going to store, a long-term version of it. I store a lot of stuff in the freezer. I store some freeze dried foods and some just dry goods like rice, rice, rice goes a long way. We have dehydrated freeze, dried cans of food. Put some food in, in like my alarm bags. We just try to extend the timeline I talked about. Your short-term mid-term and long-term needs. You just look at the same thing, like water, you can, everyone can store three days worth of water. Most people can store two weeks worth of water. Then it gets a little harder than you starting to get over, like over a hundred gallons of water. And when are you going to do so? You have to find, find alternatives to it with food. It's a little bit simpler, but still you have to find space. Immediate needs? It should be like ready to eat food. Short-term that's the stuff you already eat. That's the stuff in your fridge and your pantry, midterm, your freezer and your pantry. Long-term your pantry and your basement. But if you store, if you have milk in your fridge and maybe have shelf stable milk in your pantry and maybe have milk, like dehydrated dried milk in your your pantry or your basement. So you have the same thing in different, different forms. It might taste a little different or have different texture, but you're providing for the same needs. So looking at that instead of, instead of just at the hazards, I think is how we get to be a little bit more proactive. I need food. I like food. Therefore I'm going to store more food.. That's that's it. It's not because I'm worried about such and such situation. I'm not, not worried about a collapse of society. It's just, I know bad things disrupt my needs. So I'm going to make sure I have my needs where I am. And that's it that's, that's the core of all the preparedness is I need these things. So I'm going to make sure I have those things. It's not, it's not, I, I think bad things are gonna happen and I'm going to try to respond to every, to react to every little, little bad thing that happens. I don't watch the news and think, well, this is happening. I need to change what I'm doing drastically because I'm already just focusing on my needs.

George Siegal:

All that Nutela and ramen noodles that my kids eat will become a lot more valuable to have around because the last forever that stuff will last a hundred years. You don't even have to do anything to preserve it. So if you had to give advice to people that, you know, one of the things I like to do is, is I, I see the problem you're trying to solve. There's a lot of people out there that see problems and want to do something about it. What would you say to give them a little boost or kickstart to take their idea and run with it?

Nat Sellers:

Just try it. Yeah, I have a lot of things. I know we all have the same issues in life. I don't have enough time or, or money or the right resources or the right connections and just chip away a little at a time and just stretch yourself a little bit more. Try it. It's just like it just like what I'm saying with training and exercises, you don't have to do it. You can even pretend to do it. See what it's like if what you want to do is open a restaurant host a dinner party. Like that's it, that's a small step. That's one night that's one night. And you, you get to have a small little exercise of the large scale, whatever it is.

George Siegal:

So tell me about your podcast. How's that going? Where are you at with.

Nat Sellers:

I've I've recorded an episode and trying to figure out all of the the software and, and details. So it was going to be master of the preparedness arts, but as we talked about, that's a mouthful. So it will be preparedness works just a little bit of a mouthful, but preparedness works and we'll be talking about all the ways that that preparedness has benefited people and what we can do, how we would respond in some situations how people's lives were improved because of what they did ahead of time.

George Siegal:

And what's the best way people can follow you and get in touch with you. I know you're all over Instagram, but how, how can people find you? I love your videos. What's the, what's the best way?. I'm most

Nat Sellers:

active on Instagram. That's at the preparedness guy you can go to my website it's www.preparednessguy.com and it's got links to all my social media and there's a contact page. You can email me and get a free emergency plan.

George Siegal:

Hey, I'm doing that. And I like to think I'm somewhat prepared, but it probably will expose the things that I haven't thought of yet.

Nat Sellers:

Just, just, just focus on your needs.

George Siegal:

I need a lot of stuff.. Yeah. Yeah,

Nat Sellers:

we all do.

George Siegal:

Some of the things I need might not be on that list, but darn it. I shouldn't let that stop me, Nat thank you so much for your time today. I appreciate you coming on and look forward to seeing your podcast just take off.

Nat Sellers:

Thank you, George.

George Siegal:

Thank you for joining me today on the, Tell Us How to Make It Better podcast. If you enjoyed what you were listening to please subscribe and become a regular listener. Leave a like on there as well. Share the link with your friends. And if you have any comments about anything you liked or didn't like about the podcast I welcome hearing that from you as well. Thanks again for listening. See you next time.