I have been lucky enough to have Tom Linden as part of my survival and preparedness network for the last few years. Tom’s knowledge is immense and not only that, he is an all round nice guy too! He has a weekly radio show ‘The UK Preppers and Survivalists Radio Show’ which is well worth a listen.
Tom Linden was kind enough to let The Real Survivalists interview him and here is part 1 of 2.
What is your background in Survival and Preparedness?
Tom Linden: I was an N.C.O. instructor with the Royal Observer Corps for 12 years specialising in the Effects of Nuclear Weapons. Royal Observer Corps, I was given exemption from the entry exam due to my level of experience and became a member of the Institute of Civil defence giving me the appellation M.I.C.D. I remained a member between 1987 and 1992.
For 4 years I was a North Yorkshire County Council Community Defense Adviser and helped to provide the countries first ever emergency survey of a town to provide an action plan for that community, that town was Harrogate.
I ran my own survival school in North Yorkshire in the 80’s as well as a survival club for local kids.
I also tested kit for the UK’s first major survival related magazine SURVIVAL WEAPONRY AND TECHNIQUES or S.W.A.T. as it became known, way back in 1987.
I now host the UK Preppers and Survivalist Radio Show with listeners in 130 countries and instruct at bug-out/survival and bushcraft events across the UK.
You’ve recently written a book about surviving nuclear attacks – do you think nuclear warfare is a real possibility?
Tom Linden : Well we have a very poor track record, as soon as we knew we could make it work we dropped it on two cities.
I suspect that there are many of you who would wish to be able to protect their families should our enemies decide to explode a ‘dirty bomb’ on British soil for example.
We would I believe be extremely foolish to discount the potential for another Chernobyl or a Fuchishima type incident to occur affecting us here in the UK, Or to suffer our very own British nuclear accident as our nuclear plants grow ever older.
This is not forgetting the dangers posed by the now developed long range nuclear weapons held by Iran and Syria, N. Korea, Israel, not forgetting of course the USA and Russia and China. All of which I consider to be rogue states.
Experiencing a nuclear event is almost impossible for us to contemplate for obvious reasons, as it would be the end of the world. But would it?
We as a world have had 2,000 nuclear test explosions and we are still here, the world has not ended, life goes on does it not? The question is if you survived the initial effects of a nuclear explosion would you have the knowledge and the skills to survive the residual effects?
That is where my Complete Nuclear Survival Guide comes in, (Being re-written).
By keeping it with you in your bug-out-bag, you will not only know where to find it but if you have to bug-out, it means that this invaluable survival information will be available for you to read later, I actually recommend bugging-in.
And that is the most important question for any prepper to answer, then plan for. Bugging-in or bugging-out?
In your opinion, what is the most important piece of equipment everyone should have in their survival kit?
Tom Linden: Perhaps not in your survival kit OK, but between your ears for sure. Knowledge and Experience as the more you know the less you have to carry.
In your survival kit it would be a water purification system/water filter bottle.
What advice would you give someone new into the world of preparedness to help get them started?
Tom Linden:One step at a time is best, learn to walk before you run.
I would go as far to suggest that everyone is a prepper to some extent already. I mean, do you have an umbrella, first-aid-kit, spare tyre, fire alarm, wet weather clothes, warm weather clothes, spare batteries, bulbs and fuses? Of course you do and what is wrong with that?
However a “prepper” just takes it a little further that is all, and what is wrong with that?
Preppers plan for the man-made disasters like: job loss, industrial accidents, power-cuts, terrorism, civil unrest, economic collapse, yes and even war.
Preppers plan for natural disasters too like: extreme weather, flooding, earth quakes, volcanoes, Yes and even meteors and asteroids on an earth trajectory.
So prepping is an individual choice, as is what you prep for, so there is a place for you. If you’re the kind of person who’s concerned about emergency preparation, a large emergency food supply is true wealth. Just imagine a hurricane, flood, or earthquake that disrupts the infrastructure for several weeks. While the sheeple panic because the supermarket shelves are
bare, you’re sitting pretty on a year’s supply of food.
How does it feel? Why, it feels like opulence and abundance — wealth. You know It’s Never Too Late To Build Up Food Stocks I’m addressing a situation in which you’re basically hunkered down in your home, or else you’ve reached your bugout location. A foundation element of any emergency preparedness plan is the food stock. OK, your neighbour has a four-year stock, but it’s never too late for you to start. In fact, you probably have a three-day supply in your pantry, but we’ll get to that. But before you build up your food stock, a few tips to keep in mind:
Make sure your selections are shelf stable. Canned and dry goods are best. In case of power cuts, the freezer will keep your food for only two or three days.
Don’t turn your nose up at processed foods; they tend to store longer, and while processed food is not as good for you as whole foods, it’s better than starving.
Remember to stock food you will want to eat. You should Stock dry and canned goods in a cool, dry, dark environment. Darkness is especially important if any of your canning is done in glass jars, because the light breaks down vitamins and protein in the food.
Remember variety is important. It prevents monotony and balances your diet.
Don’t shun convenience. Particularly for the short-term stocks (three days to two weeks), it’ll lift a great burden off your shoulders if you can just open a can and heat your meal, or eat something that’s good cold.
Small containers have a higher unit cost, but prevent waste (which is in itself costly).
Don’t make it too complicated. You certainly can go deep and calculate precise calorie and nutritional requirements, but if uncertainty is stopping you from getting something in the cupboard, then just simplify.
Use an ancient, tried-and-tested method — trial and error.
I think that beginners to prepping can build their Emergency Food Stock in Six Months. Building up a year-long food supply is a big endeavor, but you can do it by tackling this in three steps:
Week 1, build up a three-day supply
Week 2, build up a one-month supply
During the next five months, build up your one-year supply
Week 1 (right now!) – Get your three day supply:
Most power cuts are short, and a three day supply of dry and canned goods will get you through most bad weather-induced power cuts. Now check your cupboards. You might well have a supply that will get your through three days without power or transportation. If not, a single trip to your local supermarket will get you up and running. Here’s a suggested 3-day list (per person):
Muesli mix – 8-ounce serving
Crackers – 1 box (8-ounces or larger)
Peanut butter – 1
Canned juice – 1 6-pack of 6-ounce containers
Peaches – 1 (8-ounce) can
Fruit cocktail – 2 (8-ounce) cans
Beans – 1 (8-ounce) can
Corn – 1 (8-ounce) can
Tuna – 1 (3 1/4-ounce) can
Beef stew or Chili – 2 small cans
Tomato or other soup – 1 can
Raisins or dried prunes – 2 12-ounce package
Mixed nuts – 1
package or jar
Tea and coffee – 1 box with 16 bags or 1(2-ounce) jar
Water – 1 gallon
Of course, if you have more than one person to stock for, combine quantities in larger containers to save on the unit cost
That is, buy a big jar of peanut butter instead of several small ones. However small quantities can still be useful, like small drink servings. You don’t waste as much. Also, there is a convenience factor here — you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get an emergency stock. Save the heavy calculations for your long-term survival stock. I have found that with dry goods such as whole wheat, beans and rice. I freeze them for two weeks to kill parasites before sealing in plastic buckets.
Build up your one-month supply. There are too many differences from one household to the next to make a precise grocery list. But don’t worry; figuring what you need is fairly straight forward. Just see how much food you need to prepare a meal for your entire family, and multiply that by three to cover three meals a day. Remember, it’s possible to get extremely precise about how many calories and what kind of foods you need, and by all means do so if you like. But if you don’t go to all this trouble, you still need something to eat, right? Here are some suggestions— add your own, of course:
Pasta, Spaghetti, macaroni, are a great source of carbs, and everybody loves them. It’s not huge on vitamins, but that’s what canned fruit is for. Canned fish. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, kippered herring. All these make great survival foods. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and flavour.
Dried beans and rice. Yes, there are lots of Y2K jokes about this, and I bet some of you still have some, twelve years later. But if you store them properly they will keep literally for decades. One interesting thing about beans and rice — together they make a “complete protein.” Rice has some of the amino acids that make up protein, and beans have the rest of them. Together, it’s great food. Get a variety of beans (black, pinto, navy, kidney, and lima),vegetables (tomato, corn, and your favourite greens), and fruit (peaches, pears, apple sauce, or just a cocktail). These few items will cover nearly the entire gamut of vitamins, minerals, and fibre you’ll need long term, all while providing all the variety you’ll need to maintain morale.
How about a Special canned produce, for an occasional treat, say a few cans of blueberries, summer fruits, pineapple, capers, olives, or whatever your favourite canned goods might be. Staples like olive oil, flour, sugar, and salt. Buy them in
bulk keep flour safe from mice and moths A long-term supply should go beyond basic survival — a balanced diet and occasional treats are good for health and morale.
Month 2 through 6
Build up your one-year supply. Now that you have a one-month supply, buy another two-month supply for each of the next
four months, and a three-month supply the last month. When all is said and done, you’ll have everything you need to keep your family fed for a year.
How close do you think we really are to a world changing event?
Tom Linden: Good question. Did you know that the ominous hands of the “Doomsday Clock” have been fixed at 5 minutes to midnight for the past three years. But they could move tomorrow.
The clock is a visual metaphor that was created nearly 70 years ago by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Each year, the magazine’s board assesses threats to humanity — with special attention to nuclear warheads and climate change — to decide whether the Doomsday Clock needs an adjustment. The closer the hands are to midnight, the closer the world is to a potentially civilization-ending catastrophe.
So you see the experts feel a SHTF event is closer than ever before.
I agree, what with N.Korea threatening a nuclear attack, the tensions between the USA and Russia, Islamic terrorism and their aim to use a WMD, with old leaking nuclear power stations and as world governments are intent to drag us into a NWO the possibility of civil unrest or even civil war is not too far away.
I must not forget the cyber attacks aimed western power generation and infrastructure.
The second part of The Real Survivalist’s interview with Tom Linden will be published in a few days time so make sure you come back as Tom shares even more knowledge, experience and tips to help you get prepared.