|By Casey Phillips, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The organizers of the Sustainable Preparedness Expo, however, hope to show folks that planning for survival after a long- or short-term calamity isn't about hunkering down in a bunker. It's about proper training, planning and learning to make smart -- often common-sense -- decisions ahead of time.
"When you are doing something out of fear, you aren't prone to making the wisest decisions in the world," says
"We're just really trying to help folks make common-sense changes in their life ... in such a way that, in 20 years, they won't have any regrets."
P5 Preparedness, a prepper supply store that opened last August on
"It's about being independent from the system," he says.
According to a 2012 survey, many Americans could use the help.
The poll, which was conducted by the
The Meissners want to change those numbers, but they don't just preach sustainable preparedness. Since 1999, they have been living off-the-grid in the mountains of
After attracting about 1,800 people to its first run in the Scenic City last year, the Sustainable Preparedness Expo will return to the
Guests will be able to shop for supplies and seek advice from about twice as many vendors as last year. They also will have more than two dozen instructional courses from which to choose and covering topics such as gardening, food preservation, solar power systems and herbal medicine.
"We want attendees to walk away encouraged and inspired and motivated with the tools they need to take the first step and then the second step and to have a plan with goals in mind," says
Waller says the expo will offer him a chance to network with potential customers but also show them that, contrary to their depiction on shows such as
"Whether it be a zombie apocalypse or an earthquake or a tornado, you should be prepared, just like having life insurance," he says. "What we do here is no different from having life insurance," he says. "The difference is that, where you can't draw from most life insurance policies, I can. I can eat off my life insurance policy; I can power my home off my life insurance policy."
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