The Godfather of Preparedness: James Rawles Talks Survival

by | Mar 25, 2010 | Emergency Preparedness | 6 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    In a rare interview, well known family preparedness guru and author of the books Patriots and How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, James Rawles, joins Coast to Coast AM to discuss preparedness strategies and tactics. (Interview follows excerpts and commentary)

    On Getting Prepared:

    I’m helping to guide along a lot of people to family preparedness. I try to encourage people to get squared away on what I refer to as beans, bullets and bandaids. Essentially everything people would need for a major disaster so that their families can pull through, hopefully, unscathed. Where you have enough food storage on hand, or the means to purify water, and the means to defend yourself, first aid equipment, and so on, so that you can basically be independent of the system. If there’s a major crisis, anticipate that normal commerce will be disrupted and people will have to rely on themselves.

    …Every family that gets squared away represents one less that will be rushing to the grocery at the eleventh hour and cleaning out the shelves.

    That what it all really boils down to, folks. In the event of a Katrina-like event, where the system as we know it essentially grinds to a halt, help may not come for quite some time. There will be no food, no access to clean water, no electricity, and no emergency response.

    On What’s Coming in the Next Decade:

    Unfortunately what I see ahead is a continuation of the current economic recession that turns into an economic depression that could last ten to fifteen years. It could be literally worse than the depression of the 1930’s.

    I think it’s most likely that we’ll see the recession continue. We’ll see the government attempted bailout after bailout after bailout – I refer to it all collectively as the mother of all bailouts – it’s just never stop. And extension after extension after extension of unemployment benefits. And, the economy is just going to continue to ratchet down as global credit is stifled.

    As the global economy grinds to a halt, you’re going to see more and more people out of work. You’re going to see more and more unrest in the cities. Eventually you’re going to see full scale rioting – looting. And, unfortunately, with the massive overspending that’s going on, you’re going to see the destruction of the dollar as a currency unit.

    If you think things are bad with the Euro, just wait a couple years. We’re going to see monetization of the US Dollar and mass inflation. So, we’re going to go from the current period of deflation, very rapidly click over into hyperinflation, and it’s just going to whipsaw the America people. They won’t know what happened.

    We’ve discussed the hyperinflationary depression scenario before, and if this is our eventual end game, then buckle up. We often discuss Germany’s Weimar hyperinflation or Zimbabwe. Those events, although severe within their specific regional sphere, will be nothing compared to what would happen in the USA in such a scenario. Germany of the 1930’s was capable of producing it’s own food , as much of the world was still agrarian at the time, not to mention the population was well versed in surviving during times of crisis as the monetary crisis came on the heels of World War I. Zimbabwe has been in shambles for years, thus hyperinflation of its currency did not lead to a collapse – the country was more or less already there.

    But take the United States. We’ve grown accustomed to just-in-time grocery delivery systems, always-on internet access, immediate access to cash via ATM’s, plenty of gas at your local station, and all of the conveniences that come with a society that runs on excessive credit expansion.

    In a hyperinflationary scenario it would become almost impossible to properly price goods, as value could literally change from day-to-day or minute-to-minute. Not only would consumers and business have a hard time exchanging goods in the US dollar currency, but foreign nations would not be able to accept our currency for trade because of severely volatile swings in value. This could very quickly lead to a complete breakdown in the world as we know it today.

    Let’s hope that the politicians in Washington and those in charge at the Treasury Dept. and the Federal Reserve get monetary and fiscal policy under control, because if they don’t, then hyperinflation is exactly the scenario in which we’ll find ourselves. Given our history up to this point, we’d suggest you start preparing for the worst.

    On Government Response to Crisis:

    Perhaps a regional disaster, they can handle. But even with those, typically they’re weather related or an earthquake, and it’s just a matter of picking through the rubble.

    But if you had a nationwide crisis, there’s no way our government could tend to everyone’s needs. It’s just not going to happen. You’re not even going to be able to pick up the phone dial 9-1-1 and have any reasonable expectation of response.

    It’s what I call yo-yo time. You’re On You’re Own.

    It took FEMA three days to get water to the Super Dome. To evacuate Houston prior to Hurricanes Rita and Ike, what was normally a three and a half hour drive to Dallas turned into a twelve to fifteen hour ordeal with no gas, food or water along the route.

    In a real emergency, a nationwide emergency, that affects not thousands but multiple millions of people, the chance that local, state and federal government will have the means to effectively manage the crisis is zero, especially in the first several days or weeks of onset. If you have not taken responsibility for yourself and your family, no one else will.

    Listen to the entire James Rawles Interview:

    *The following interview is approximately 2 hours and has been formatted as a playlist for convenient listening. Sit back, relax, and listen to Jim Rawles,  one of the foremost experts in preparedness, discuss his views on the subject.

    View the Jim Rawles Interview Playlist and Episodes at Youtube

    Visit James Rawles’ Survival Blog

    Books by James Rawles

    Hat tip Willie Wonka and Gypsy for alerting us to this interview


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      1. I listened to this interview when he was on the show a week or so ago.  Fantastic interview!  I highly recommend it!

      2. can someone figure a way to post this somewhere as an mp3 so I can listen at 2x on my iPhone/iPod??? 🙂

      3. Patrick,
        You can convert YouTube videos to mp3 files for free at a web-site named DIRPY (

      4. The biggest difference between Zimbabwe, Weimar, and the modern US is that they printed physical money, while our “printing” money is not in the same manner.

        There are consequences.  Will it be hyper-inflation?  WIll it be worse, or better?  One thing is sure.  We are treading on new and quite thin ice.  When we fall through, who knows what we’ll find underneath before hypothermia sets is and we drown.

        Enjoy the ride, friends, and remember that one of the best investments, for survival AND return is copper coated lead.  Bullets are a good investment.  I recently found a box of 9mm I bought a few years back for less than half of what they’re running now.  Plus, you can’t have fun with gold and silver.



      5. I have read the Rawles book “Surviving The End Of The World As We Know It” and I highly recommend it! A wise and articulate author sent me a copy. In fact, I’m in the process of re-reading it. It gives you a perspective of how much it takes to keep you up and running.

        Copper coated lead is certainly worth more than gold when you need it. But, don’t over do it. You can’t eat that ammo, however, they can help you get something to eat. They can also help you keep what you already have to eat.

        I prefer to simply keep components. I just loaded a batch of 30-06 rounds with 70 year old powder and 70 year old primers and 40 year old bullets. Thats some pretty old stuff and it probably works just as good as the day it was bought.

        But! I keep a little gold and a little silver around too!

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