Please wel­come Prep­per Jim as a guest blog­ger… He will be pro­vid­ing some great infor­ma­tion from time to time, and I look for­ward to his posts here… So with­out fur­ther hes­i­ta­tion, please let me intro­duce, “Prep­per Jim.”

Hi every­one. Please allow me to intro­duce myself. My “han­dle” out there on the anony­mous Inter­webs is Prep­per­Jim. I am in my ear­ly for­ties, mar­ried with no chil­dren. For the last 20 years, I have worked, lived and played in the Unit­ed State’s fourth largest city — Hous­ton, Texas.

As an urban dweller, my prep­per sit­u­a­tion is far dif­fer­ent than the stan­dard, mod­ern-day sur­vival­ist. In fact, my prep­ping real­ly began in the last three years when I met my wife, expe­ri­ence Ike with her while we were dat­ing, got mar­ried and then pur­chase our first home togeth­er. My wife and I did not know each oth­er in 2005 and she got trapped by the mass exo­dus out of Hous­ton dur­ing Rita while I got lucky and got out through a lucky traf­fic detour out of town. I did learn from Rita to have extra, full gas cans in the car in case we were trapped in traf­fic. In addi­tion to the extra gas cans, I only had min­i­mal preps — food, water, flash­lights, bat­ter­ies and first aid kits. I did not heed the lessons enough to pre­pare ply­wood for all the house win­dows or have the abil­i­ty to camp at the side of the road if we got stuck in traf­fic. My future wife and I evac­u­at­ed to Dal­las and I remem­ber say­ing good­bye to my house and telling it that I loved it. I real­ly thought my house would not exist after sus­tain­ing a direct hit. The day we evac­u­at­ed, I told my wife I loved her for the first time. We packed two SUV’s and head­ed to Dal­las. Thank­ful­ly, the city learned the lesson’s of Rita and the evac­u­a­tion up High­way 45 went smooth­ly.

After Ike struck Hous­ton, I con­tin­ued to be lucky as my house escaped major dam­age oth­er than a downed tree and fence and 100 square feet of shin­gles — all eas­i­ly repaired. My wife’s con­do was out of pow­er for 4 weeks. The pow­er was back on at my house with­in 24 hours at my house. If the pow­er was not on and the city was dev­as­tat­ed, I had no plans and no idea what I would do oth­er than get back in the city and assess the sit­u­a­tion. After Ike, I still did not turn into a major prep­per. Like a dum­my, I did not buy a gen­er­a­tor, mas­sive­ly increase my food, fuel, and water sup­ply or even gen­er­ate alter­nate evac­u­a­tion plans. I found out after the qui­et 2010 hur­ri­cane sea­son that all my stored food had expired. If some­thing had hap­pened, we would have been in a bad way.
Times were just too busy to prep.
I spent the first six months of 2009 get­ting the courage to ask my wife to mar­ry me, then the next 15 months get­ting ready to be mar­ried. Dur­ing the time we were dat­ing, the finan­cial cri­sis hit and we both took some big loss­es in our 401(k) plans. Luck was on my side such that we both had cash to get mar­ried, take a nice hon­ey­moon and start our life togeth­er. We sold both our homes and bought a house togeth­er. That is when it was time for me to “man-up” and start get­ting seri­ous about being pre­pared. Even then, it was all about being pre­pared from June 1st through Novem­ber 30th for hur­ri­canes. So what real­ly turned me into a prep­per? Nas­sim Taleb and his book The Black Swan change the way that I saw the world, not just finan­cial­ly but in gen­er­al.
I began to see the world through the lens of small prob­a­bil­i­ty events that had huge impacts. In Prep­per terms, a neg­a­tive Black Swan is when the SHTF — a black­out, finan­cial cri­sis, pan­dem­ic, or oth­er high impact event. The finan­cial cri­sis of 2008/2009 was a Black Swan. Kat­ri­na, Rita, Ike, the Queens­land earth­quake, and the ongo­ing Japan­ese Tsuna­mi dis­as­ter are all exam­ples of Black Swans. I want­ed my wife and my life to be high­ly resis­tant to Black Swans so I became a Prep­per before I knew what a Prep­per was.
So now you know what turned me into a Prep­per,  My Prep­per odyssey is the sub­ject of future posts.
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