In today's episode of the Practical Prepper Podcast, Joe is joined by Jordan from Valley Food Storage to talk about what we just went through in 2020 and how prepping has become the new normal for most people.
Check it out below!
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Joe: Hey guys, it's Joe here with the practical prepper podcast. And we're back. I think you heard a little bit of our podcasts from last week. We talked a little bit about cyber terrorism, everything that's going on and we're trying to get back into the role of things. Now that we're hitting what everybody's talking about as the new normal. I've got my friend Jordan here with me today, too. Jordan, how you doing?
Jordan: I'm doing well. How about yourself Joe?
Joe: I'm good, man. We thought it's been a while since we put out new content and we apologize for that. We wanted to describe a little bit about what happened and where things went. My friend Jordan here works at Valley Foods as a connection you guys know that we have had for a long time here with the podcast, and they've been a great sponsor.
Before jumping into anything else, I need to give them a little bit of a plug. Valley Food Storage is the food that I keep and I prepare with for me and my family. It provides very clean and nutritious long-term food storage. It's a great thing to have in case of anything really. All the things that we're talking about today, lean back to how do we become a little bit more prepared. They are a great investments to be able to guard against uncertain times. I would encourage you to check out our website. If you go to valleyfoodstorage.com forward slash practical prepper, you can unlock a 25% discount. That's a pretty good deal.
Joe: Right. If you've ever make a major purchase, that adds up pretty quick. And even for a small purchase, like a sampler or something that they get started, it's still going to help you along the way.
So definitely check that out. I will say, thank you and apologize to those who are audio phobes or hear about some of the background noise. We've got a really cool place, a really cool location. If you're watching this on the video, you're going to see we are in the middle of our Shea's brewery right here in Akron, Ohio today. That's where we find ourselves. It's a really awesome brewery. They've got a few of them. If you ever find yourself in Akron, check it out. They've got a terrific menu and a terrific beer selection, but I want to say thank you to them for let us use the space today and hopefully we'll use it more in the future as well, but we'll thanks to our Shea's today, it's been a year since. The last time we did some podcasts that weren't kind of prerecorded was right around February 2020 and February of 2020 had some stuff that happened.
I'm going to break it down into a few categories and work through it to really reiterate what went down for folks like us. We got pulled into other careers and other things that really drove us in as essential employees to help provide mostly services around food supply and food chain. That's kind of the reason that we had a little gap there, but what happened in the world, let's start with just natural disasters. Natural disasters are always things that are on my preparation plan. And I'll start with the fires, which were wicked last year.
We'll get to the elephant in the room here in a minute, but in the areas where I live or areas where you grew up in adjacent states and stuff like that, they're not as prevalent. For those of folks that live on the west coast, we had fires that destroyed 2.3 million acres of land, dozens of people dead, 10,000 people displaced couldn't be in their home. So all the things that we talked about next week, we were talking about bug out vehicles. When we think through 10,000 people having to bug out, that's a lot of people that bug out at one time, 10,000 people.
Jordan: Especially when we're talking about the west coast like California, for example, 10,000 people moving at the same time, trying to bug out that can become very troublesome if everybody's moving in the same area. So I'm excited to talk about that topic as well.
Joe: What's a cool thing to have Jordan on here is at Valley Food, kind of in your background, you get to talk to all the customers. When you call in to valley food. You are the guy that's going to pick up the phone. To hear those stories, as we go through understanding, these are real people, these are, it's not just like, oh, there's 10,000 people that had to leave their house. This is 10,000 people. What do you do with 10,000 people? Where do they go? Definitely that's a huge thing. $20 billion in damages is a lot of damages. And we think about how that upsets the market, how that upsets everything from all the businesses that were there, all the things that they did to supply things to the rest of the world.
I had a problem getting wine for the first time in a long time. All of a sudden the wine shelves are empty. What does COVID do? California is on fire. So it trickles down into what are some of our basic needs. Maybe not our basic needs.
At the same time on the other side of the world, we've got Australia on fire and Australia's is 10 times worse. They're at 27 million acres on fire it is hard to conceptually imagine how big that is. That's a little smaller than the size of the entire state of New York. It is bigger than Ireland. Imagine Ireland completely torched from one end to the other from top to bottom.
That's how much is lost. It's not a small piece of property. And that much like what we saw with the wildfires in California, where the smoke is reaching New York city those kinds of plumes and stuff is going to affect everyone no matter where you're at. Even on a tiny little island in... not a tiny little island, even on an island like Australia, we are going to see that it affects all over the continent there of the smoke and its damages and what it's doing to people and wildlife. The lives that are lost, the homes that are destroyed, all that stuff.
When we start to think about the preparation piece that goes into that, the lessons that we learn from events like wildfires and I'll lump hurricanes in there too. These are things that you can kind of see coming and you can react to, you know, when a wildfire is starting to shift there, you're usually getting hours to days worth of notice to move. There are occasions where you get minutes, that's it. Those are the ones that tend when there's large wind changes, tend to resolve larger losses of life. For the most part, hurricanes and wildfires, we got a little bit of a background into the stuff's going to, it is coming. It's time for us to move. What are those thoughts that when you are talking to folks are going through their heads and how they're preparing to move. It is time to leave? What did I get?
Jordan: So definitely a lot of stories when people call into Valley Food Storage, some of those people may have a previous experience or they may see that coming. Obviously preparing before that situation happens is definitely important. You were talking about getting a few days, heads up, we really try to get out your order as soon as possible but if you have a two day heads up, you're probably not able to talk to me and it'd be right on your doorstep. So I'm always thinking that ahead. If you are in one of those troublesome areas it is definitely something that everybody should consider. I think that we've all learned over the last year or so. So definitely, depending on where they are at geographically, different situations that could arise. I talked to people all over the U.S. And it's definitely exciting to hear their stories and really put a purpose behind what we do and just providing that security for them.
Joe: My family's disaster preparedness plan, we have plans for, if there are fires that come through, if there are tornadoes that come through and our responses to those and our meetup places, and then our bug out locations and our bug out locations for the most part immediately, are other friends and family's houses. Those are our rally points locally. And our destinations that we drive to, to get out of the immediate zone, I've started to get to the point where I've also started to set up preparedness. My preps or whatever you want to call it at their locations saying, I'm going to send you a bucket of food keep that there for me. When I show up, I don't want to show up empty handed, I have no idea what the supply chain is going to be like. Like we saw with the recent cyber attacks.
I don't know if they're just stuck in the house, cause we can't have gas because pipeline shut down or what's going to have to happen. Are we going to have to get there? We got out of this disaster, do we have to shelter in place there? What did I show up with? Am I there as a burden or am I there to seek that Haven and preparing ahead of time for some of those things. So when you say, Hey, we are not always able to get you something in your particular instance, it's food and I'll be able to get you food or water to your doorstep then, but in five days I can definitely get it to where we are going. It's never too late to start to prep or start to think from a parent standpoint, however, I would urge everyone to prepare earlier than later. That is the whole idea of preparedness when you think about it. Right?
Joe: We get past the hurricanes. There's a ton of storms that happened this last year. Really weird stuff, tornadoes, all kinds of stuff, $47 million in damage done throughout the mid U.S. Then the elephant in the room, the WHO says, Hey, there might be this novel Corona virus thing that we should start to pay attention to and shit goes downhill from there. How did that affect the stuff that you were seeing and people you were talking to, around March when we started to see those shutdowns and that kind of realm. Did people see it coming where the people in January, they started to call going, Hey, I think there's something going on in China and I want to prepare for it. Or was it really more reactive once shutdown started happening in the states?
Jordan: As far as being busy, it definitely started January, February, but by the time that March hit, I think a lot of new people started joining that same mentality of prepping. In a sense it was kind of late, but as we saw 2020 was a super long year, so there was plenty of time to continue growing on that. Just pure panic. We got slammed with a lot of sales, a lot of orders, big orders as people were just unsure, which is fair. We didn't know where we'd be at. So just trying to get that food as soon as possible is the common theme that I saw right around March. To even some point.
Joe: Even some of your supply lines were starting to dry up too, like just trying to source the buckets that you need to get in to feel full of food. It became hard.
Jordan: At one point we were on a six to 10 week shipping delay and people were absolutely fine with that they understood. A lot of the other companies in the industry they weren't answering the phone or they were not able to ship anything. They kind of just went to shut it down, we'll get out what we can. We thought it was very important to answer to our customers. We want to give them some peace of mind. We hired more people. We got the warehouse staffed up, we got more customer service reps. When you called, we were there for you to at least talk to you and tell you what's going on, give you a little inside look and kind of set up the path of when we could get that out to you.
Joe: Absolutely. I remember you telling a story once about a doctor. I cannot remember where the doctor was, but the concerns that happen at that point around are my nurses just going to stay home and not show up. I think that doctor went so far as to say I'll buy every one of my nurses, a one-year can of food, just to make sure that they are essential people who need to get their heads aimed at that particular moment in time in the medical field. The last thing you can have them doing is worrying about where's our next meal going to come from at home?
Jordan: That was an awesome scenario. That guy was super generous. Definitely. As you said just bought for the whole practice there and gave everybody peace of mind. That's pretty awesome. We saw that a lot throughout just family to family. Like you said, sending something to a location, your bug out location. So that you're an asset rather than a burden. There was a lot of that, people that maybe had the prepper mentality and that used to be a somewhat offensive term. Now everybody's a prepper, even if they didn't want to. Moms buying for their sons, their grown children and saying, Hey, if you don't want to buy it, I'm going to buy it for you. And a lot of different, and I'd get calls all the time. Like, Hey, this just showed up at my door, but I didn't buy it. Then I'd have to figure out, you know, which family member decided to send it to them. That was really cool. Lots of different scenarios. That was a pretty awesome to be a part of.
Joe: I bet you get those situations where if it was a year ago and somebody said, Hey Jordan, by the way, I'm going to go send a two buckets food to your house. Is that cool? You'd be like, this dude is tinfoil hat crazy. Then all of a sudden come April, March, somebody is like, Hey, I want you to be safe in case I can't see you, but I'm also going to send you something ahead of time in case I need to get there, all of a sudden it became more of a gift that you're trusting me and bestowing upon me, the have some of this preparedness and you are kind of covering my ass at the same time. It became a very kind of cool symbiotic relationship that happened between people and families like you mentioning or in workplaces with the central employees, like the doctor's office and the practice you were talking about.
All that stuff's happening. We have got to postpone the Olympics. This massive global recession hits. Everything goes off the rails. We have got organizations that like The Boy Scouts of America who have been around for 110 years, they're now going bankrupt, all kinds of these social clubs and organizations that have been the glue of our society are now being torn apart because of this global recession, the inability to meet together, shortage of all the goods around everybody. I would have assumed the first thing when we heard about coronavirus that everybody heard it must give you the shits because everybody went out and got toilet paper, as much as they possibly could that day, they were just carrying it out. Couldn't find it for months. So this is what we're dealing with in early 2020. It wasn't as if it got a lot better, real fast.
We start taking a look at politics. We've got Great Britain breaking away from the EU. That's upsetting some of the economics that are happening. We have to do all new trade agreements and bring those in from EU and from Great Britain. That took a little bit of a chunk out of everything that was happening at the same time. And then we've got crazy politics, impeachments and acquittals and new presidents and the largest voter turnout ever. All these things that are happening combined with a whole slew of riots and this social and racial turmoil, that is happening. Then crazy accidents like we saw in Beirut, or we are seeing fertilizer plants just explode and killing hundreds of people. All that kind of stuff, I mean it was like the sampler platter, the sizzler of shit that just could go wrong. Were there any other things that people were calling in about that there are things that maybe I'm not touching on that there are things they were more concerned about.
Jordan: I think with the Texas incident definitely talked to a few people and heard some touching stories of them being stuck having no heat, almost freezing to death. So definitely important to have those plans in place have alternate sources of heat. Then she just became a huge fan of our food and definitely preparing for the next thing. We see trends every decade that something's going to happen. We don't know what it is. So just preparing for that is going to be the most important thing. I think as well, people that just job loss, right? So it doesn't always have to be preparing for a situation that happens to everyone, emergency food, having that set aside while things are good. If things do go south with a job, then at least you have that security for your family. If you've got a family of four, how are you going to support them? If you were paycheck to paycheck before? Most of the nation is so definitely just investing in that, investing in your future and preparing for the worst and hope for the best.
Joe: That's right and I want to talk a little bit about, for people who are now part of the new normal, who were not preppers before, but want to become prepared individuals. So the podcast here is really focused on the practical side of preparedness. That's what I want to talk a little bit about here for just a minute. We have written a lot about this. We have had other podcasts on it, but the things to prepare for the most, the things that will happen. One of the two households will have someone who loses a job. That is the Stat in the United States. It's going to happen and maybe not your house, but your neighbor's house, maybe not your house, but your cousin, your brother, your sister, someone's going to happen to, as you mentioned, a very wise words stock up now so that you have it in those bad times.
That's not a prepared thing. Like I want to make sure that I have a taser gun in case aliens, come down, it's going to happen to you or someone and having that little stash is going to go a long way. It's definitely going to help with peace of mind. When you need to now start figuring out I lost my job and now I need to figure out, do I pay for my prescription that I need for a medication that I need? Or do I buy food? If you have prepared for it, this is a decision you will have to make. Valley Food Storage we talked about from your perspective, long-term food storage is a great piece to do it, but let me also talk just for a minute about what are the things I can do today?
If I'm not ready to make that leap yet, that make me a more prepared person. The easiest takeaway I would give to anybody who's not prepared today is make your grocery list. You go to the store right now. You get your stuff. I get cans of soup. I get all that stuff. When you go to buy the things that you eat, buy one more. That's it. You are now a prepper. It is the right way to do it. To start to build your pantry at home with things that you eat today. I think that's a big one for me. The same goes for medical supplies. The same goes for understanding prescriptions that you can get on 90 days instead of 30 days, try to work through those plans from a practical standpoint, it says, you know what?
It's an extra can of soup and it's in my pantry. Doesn't take up that much space. It now gets me ahead. When you get to that point where I don't want to buy a new can of soup every month, I can buy a bag of soup that lasts for 25 years. That's where you are going to help out and come in and help out with long-term planning. I would say take that first step and buy one more case of ramen, buy one, whatever it is that you eat in your house on a regular basis. Then extend that to water, extend that to medical supplies, figure out how to kind of build that kit of things that you are always going to use.
That is the biggest takeaway that I want to give people who have lived through 2020 and are now like that was crazy. What do I do? Well start planning. If you were in, if you were one of 10,000 people that were displaced by wildfires, this is probably the right time to keep an extra five gallon canister of gas next to you. If you were in Atlanta last week and you brought a garbage bag to the gas pump, this is the right time to buy a gas can. What are the things that we've illustrated are things you're always going to use. You use it in your lawn mower if you don't need it for the car. Does it hurt to have it there?
Put in place those things that are important, become a prepared self-reliant individual. Don't assume that the government is always going to be there that day to bail you back out because it's not going to happen. They're going to help where they can, but it is not, they're not going to be right there at your doorstep when you run out of gas. Just think through those things, if you are a prepared individual, what are those next steps to stay the course? Let's say I have that food pantry built up. I have a basic medical kit. Or I have in my car, although I FAQ for things like that, that I want to keep, what are the next steps to becoming a truly peace of mind, prepared individual, given all the events we saw looking forward to 2021, what are things you would do?
Jordan: After you have those plans in place and you're covered for small emergencies, definitely getting the freeze dried food. We buy that now it's good for 25 years, even when I'm selling those kits, I make sure to let my customers understand that that shouldn't take up the bulk of it, give you the most peace of mind, but continue to rotating pantry. If you're into gardening, plant a garden so that you can continue to get the fruits from that. Give me a call. I'm going to go ahead and work with you. If you can't afford it, now we do have different plans in place. You can pay on that monthly and get it all now or you can do a subscribe and save option, which is great. So if you could afford one bucket every month for a year and you want to eventually have 12 buckets on hand and that's going to be nice, you set it up.
Everybody is used to auto billing now. So we do that for you. Every 30 days, we'll send you out a kit and you can continue to stack that bucket. And every month know that you're growing towards your end goal. So a good peace of mind there, but definitely urge you to start small, do the rotating pantry. It's easy to grab an additional can. As you mentioned, my mindset wasn't there until this year as well. I wasn't in the prepper category, but I think everybody should be prepared now. So we're all preppers and it's easy to get started. If you have any questions at all, then you can always give us a call and I'm down to give you some advice not just be a salesperson.
Joe: I get emails all the time from people and I try to respond to those, but you have an actual phone number. If they want to talk to someone, to help them through, you are going to consult with them. It is not just about you have valley food, obviously you're going to help him with that, but you'll help them through the whole process of starting to become more prepared as an individual, how do they get ahold of you?
Jordan: You can call me anytime, Monday through Friday from nine till five we're on Eastern time, but definitely call me it's +1 800-403-8182. And my extension zero zero eight. Most of the time, you won't be prompted for that. Cause I'm going to go ahead and answer that for you right away. If you prefer emailing and I know that's pretty popular now. You can just email me directly at Jordan, J-O-R-D-A-Nemail@example.com.
Joe: I appreciate you coming on this podcast. I'm going to have you on for one more for sure. Coming up and then we'll continue going on from there. The next one is actually going to be around bug out vehicles. If you've heard a bunch of these before this, one's going to be slightly different. We are going to take a look at what we think is the kind of ultimate bug out vehicle. I'll share. Save that one for the end of what I think is the best, but as we tease that one up. We are also going to look at just some prepper porn of really cool bug on vehicles that do water and everything else and solar panels and why not? Right? Let's check it all out.
Jordan: It's exciting.
Joe: We'll look at all those things, but stay tuned next time for a little bit more about that. I leave you guys with one thing, Thank you for sticking with us throughout the pandemic. Sorry, it's been so long since we've talked and take those next steps forward. Plant the garden. It's the time of the year to do that and make sure you get some seeds in the ground and start to just build up a little bit on that food stash and a medical stash now a little bit helps. It goes a long way. You're going to use it.
I always say I pay my house insurance and I spend, you know, a couple of 100 bucks a month on car insurance and house insurance. I hope I'll never use it. And if I don't need it or call on it, it's completely wasted cash. I'll never waste money by buying food and medical supplies because my kids are always going to skin their knees. I'm always going to eat and my kids love Mac and cheese. So it's never a waste of cash. It's truly just a piece of mind peace. Start to prepare in your own way and let us know how we can help back here. Thanks again to our Shea's and to Valley Food Storage for the sponsorship and keeping us going.