2017 Preparedness Conference AAR

On January 7th, KR Training, in collaboration with Paul Martin, hosted the 5th annual Preparedness Conference.  Each year we’ve presented a series of speakers on preparedness topics. This year we were able to bring in a national level speaker, Dr. Omar Hamada, to speak about medical and personal preparedness, as well as some returning and new local experts.

Dr. Hamada is an emergency room physician and U.S. Army veteran who oversaw 30 Special Forces medics during his military service.  He discussed how to create a medical plan for the grid down environment, including supplies you should have on hand, managing prescription medications during supply shortages, and medical skills you and your family need to learn.

Paul Martin spoke on Interacting with Emergency Responders, discussing challenges in being the true “first responder”, managing the incident, others at the scene, and interacting with uniformed responders. Paul’s recent experience giving CPR to a family member, coordinating that effort and communicating with EMS, as well as other accounts of first responder interactions in critical incidents from other attendees at the conference enhanced this presentation.  As part of the presentation, Paul played the audio of the 911 call that he made during the CPR effort, and analyzed what went well and what did not, both from his and his family’s perspective, as well as observations about the 911 dispatcher’s interactions with him during the call.

During the lunch break, I gave a short presentation providing detail about upcoming courses, specifically the Unthinkable class with Caleb Causey & Dr. William Aprill, the Cecil Burch unarmed courses, the Ben Stoeger pistol class, the Craig Douglas Extreme Close Quarters Concepts class, and both parts of the upcoming Massad Ayoob MAG-40 classes.

After lunch, Tarek Saab, Chief Operating Officer of Texas Precious Metals, spoke about  Basics of Gold And Silver Investing For Preppers.  Tarek is the Chief Operating Officer of Texas Precious Metals and a co-founder of the company. In 2006 he was a finalist on NBC’s television show, The Apprentice.

Mike Legatt, Ph.D., C.P.T., CEO and Founder of ResilientGrid, Inc., presented on Human Resiliency When The Lights Go Out. Mike has spent the past 10 years as ERCOT’s Principal Human Factors Engineer and will share his thoughts on what preppers need to know about the grid, what to expect, and what to do if the lights go out.

KR Training assistant instructor Kelli Kochan provided insight into Strategies for Getting the Reluctant Spouse Into Prepping.  Kelli is an NRA Refuse To Be A Victim instructor, and a research associate for animal breeding and genetics at Texas A&M.  She will share her story on how she went from reluctant spouse to prepper and offer tips on getting hesitant spouses on board.   Kelli will be expanding this presentation into a series of blog posts here at Notes From KR, to address not only prepping but self-defense training.

Texas Law Shield provided a speaker that covered their Active Shooter Response material.  That lecture presentation is a seminar that is being taught at multiple locations statewide.

Finally, Paul Martin discussed the year ahead:  the political, economic, social and individual factors he recommends people prioritize over the next year.  His key points:

  1.  Solidify preparedness for high frequency events.  Identify the biggest risks you may face in the next year, and make sure you have plans, equipment, organization and training in place to be ready for them.  Run an exercise with your family to make sure you have everything you need — before the event.  Those risks could be individual (personal health/financial, loss of property due to theft, fire or other weather), local (weather, civil unrest, power down), or larger in scope (stock market/financial, political).  If the scope of getting ready seems too large, identify small steps you can take and take those.  Don’t let the size of the project overwhelm you into doing nothing.
  2. Get yourself in shape.  As KR Training assistant instructor John “Hsoi” Daub recently blogged, good fitness is self defense.  KR Training recently affiliated with Mike Seeklander’s American Warrior Society.  Mike, in collaboration with Atomic Athlete (based in Austin) now offers the Warrior One program, which outlines a 6 week sequence of bodyweight only exercises, dry fire and live fire to improve fitness and firearms skills.  This online training program is excellent, and all the exercises and dry fire work can be done at home.  I’ve been an Atomic Athlete customer since November 2016, and their online coaching for fitness has helped me improve my fitness.
  3. Identify easy opportunities to prepare for high
    severity events.  This ties back to #1.  Small steps forward are still steps forward.
  4. Talk about preparedness at home, work, school,
    church, civic club – whenever you have a good
    opportunity to do so.  In an emergency, having  a good team around you, capable of assisting, is far more valuable than everyone looking at you to solve all the problems because you prepared and they did not.  The DHS “Ready” program is an excellent resource.
  5. Start making preparedness a means to improve
    yourself.  Being prepared builds confidence and reduces stress, particularly in the high stress situations most preparedness efforts focus on. 

Paul and I polled the participants of this year’s conference, as well as those that attended previous conferences, to assess our own way ahead promoting preparedness.  Based on responses we will likely shift our focus from the conference format (or least a preparedness specific conference) to offering some short courses in specific preparedness skills, including hands-on training, in the 2nd half of 2017.  Some of the courses already on the spring KR Training schedule, specifically the Unthinkable, Dynamic First Aid, and unarmed self defense classes, fall into the “general preparedness” category.