Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Time of Re-consolidation

We are back after a hiatus from blogging. We are keenly aware that we all get too much spam, too many newsletters and have to choose discriminately when it comes to our internet reading for the sake of time and sanity. For these reasons we have set our sights on other endeavors over the past months. 

So what have we been doing? 

We have completely reinvented our company, Personal Readiness Education Programs, LLC ( We have been blessed with such great trust and acceptance from our clients and friends that we have found a solid path to expansion. It hasn't come easy, and working to define any endeavor, especially a small business, presents some major challenges. Anyone who says, "You didn't build that" has clearly never tried to run a business. It takes more than the requisite tenacity and determination you always read about on those small business websites. 

Today we are rolling out our new website and for the first time ever, publishing our classes for all to see. Previously, we worked close to the vest consulting with private clients and offering some of our classes throughout the state of Florida. In our travels we found some very disconcerting themes.  Because of this, we've evolved and grown, and made decisions on how best to approach the idea of "prepping", and what we feel the future requires if the prepping movement hopes to survive. We have been in the lab like mad scientists tearing the old image of the "Prepper" apart to find out what is really important, and building this new image from the ground up. No longer are you limited to finding some group of strangers that meet out in a park hoping that they know what they are talking about. 

We learned from so many people that found us that they had been happy, even thrilled, to find like-minded friends that cheerfully accepted them into a group. They felt like their prayers had been answered. Tired and discouraged from endless attempts to convince friends and neighbors to join in prepping only to face the looks of crazy and ridicule. Often the only reward they would receive was the spine chilling words of, "If it gets bad, I'm just coming to your house. You've got everything!" We've all heard it. 

So these people stumble onto a group and in similar joy to the broken toy finding Misfit Island, they feel as if they have found their new home... Only to feel unsatisfied later and even very uncomfortable that they had so cheerfully shared their secrets to these strangers. Feeling exposed and unsafe they often asked our opinions on the information they "learned" from these groups. So often we were distressed to hear the outlandish answers to simple tasks such as water purification, food storage, Bug-Out bags and other prepper "essentials".   Often times, they were given expensive lists of equipment and just blindly told to buy all the items on the list and they'd be prepared for anything.  It didn't matter that they had no idea how to use the items, just buy them and you'll be fine.  We were completely flabbergasted and horrified that these individuals were sent on this dangerous path.

There is a theme that runs rampant in the prepping community. It's called hype and commercialism. We began to ask some questions and found that there was little to no depth in most people's plan. 

I can't tell you how many times during a public roundtable event I've had seasoned preppers say their bug out plan was to "head to the hills".  They had no destination, little planning for family, few skills and just expected to "live on the land." (These are not usually the Grizzly Adams types, if you know what I mean). So the question is why would they consider joining the Golden Horde? Why hadn't they considered the family and their limitations? 

The answer is almost always, "Well, isn't that what I'm supposed to do? Doesn't everyone say that you have to bug out? I'm just doing what I've been told!". Seriously. Little planning, few rarely practiced skills, yet off they go. This wasn't just limited to the bug out scenario, these unsafe ideas spread like a virus to every area of people's survival planning, or lack of planning.  

Something had to change, as we could no longer stand on the sidelines and listen to another sweet grandmother or soccer mom who just wanted safe solid information for their family. So over the last year we have worked tirelessly and sacrificed much to come up with some answers that revealed the information that these individuals needed. Solid research and extensive validation of survival information resulted in each of the 7 main survival categories. Here at PREP, we don't just give you the first introductory level, we get into issues of redundancy, best planning practices, connecting the dots and actual exercises to demonstrate where you fit in the big picture. We help our clients create plans and solid solutions by taking an all hazard approach to preparedness. 

You wouldn't paint a rusty bicycle without prepping the metal, why would you think you could survive in a time where instant accurate decisions and situational awareness may be critical to your own personal survival? How can consider yourself "prepared" without at least a general plan? 

For these reasons, we are introducing our Micro-Series and Comprehensive Class Series. Many of these classes are brand new. You won't find them anywhere else at the level of information we present. Spoiler alert! They are not all glamorous. We understand that. When you put things in perspective and it all becomes clear as to how you are affected in the big picture, you will feel empowered, we guarantee it. 

We aren't new at this, we've been living and teaching survival for years. We don't teach rubbing sticks together for fire, we teach you how to not find yourself in a place where you are rubbing sticks together for a fire. We don't promote buying your sense of security, we give you the knowledge to be secure.

Through a combination of several genres: Urban/Wilderness Survival, Homesteading, Pioneering,  Tactical and others, we help you root out your personal needs and give you the skills, confidence and sometimes the equipment that will best serve you. Never will we approach you as a clone of your neighbor. There are no generic shopping lists, no one size fits all approaches in what we do. This is all about you. We cater to every scenario (trust me, we've heard them all) nothing bothers us except making sure you are better prepared starting now. We offer personal and group training at our facilities or yours, wherever you are. 

Check us out. Contact us to see if we are a fit for you. Most of all, watch from now on how the future of prepping is about to change industry wide. It has to.

For more information on this and training, contact us  at:

                                                                                                     Charley Hogwood

Chief Instructor and Executive DirectorEmail:
Phone: 561-767-6208
Twitter - @Shoestringprep

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rise of the Patriot Movement

"Along with all the natural disasters that we prepare for, the crime from gangs, the general thuggery and family economic hardship issues out there, another sector of the community gaining notoriety. The Patriot Movement. While I'm sure that many clubs and groups on the following list are peace loving, law abiding citizens, there are always those that like to push the envelope". 

Yes, I think I speak for everyone when I say we are Patriots. The word itself was born out of conflict. That doesn't mean we are always looking for a fight. We are just proud to be citizens in this great Country. Better to love your Country than be an enemy. We have made every effort here to not be labeled with fringe status. I believe the growing prepper movement that consists of so many soccer moms and families that wish to become a little more self reliant, just as our grandparents were, validates our safe and legal activities. Nonetheless, we must redouble our efforts with extreme care to never give anyone the impression that we are a militia or any other type of subversive organization. We simply do what was recommended by, "Make a plan and get a kit" and be ready for the next disaster.

I strongly urge you, as you read the following list to remember that we prepare for disasters and any other disruptions to our families, as a proactive solution to potentially reactive situations. By preparing our families, we are better able to help our communities in times of need. The Patriot list makes no differentiation between good and bad groups. Unfortunately in todays world, good intentions mean little in the public eye. 

This is a list of so called "Patriot Groups" from the Southern Poverty Law Center.


These guys aren't helping the situation...


I added this map since it was on the same thread. I solely disagree with the alleged association.


Hopefully, there are plenty of other groups on the attached lists more deserving of attention than us. Stay safe and stay legal.