When There Is No FEMA – Interview with Richard Bryant

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Today we are fortunate to have an interview with Richard Bryant, author of a new book titled “When There Is No FEMA“. ‘When There is No FEMA’ is written as a non-fiction survivalist preparation and reference book intended to help the reader think clearly about preparedness to make their own decisions with their individual resource, experience and time constraints. I asked Richard a few questions so that you the reader would learn some insights into this book and we will also have a free book giveaway for one lucky reader at the end of this interview.

I received a copy of this book from Rich and was immediately impressed by its scope. At just over 500 pages, this is more of a resource manual that you would refer back to from time to time as opposed to a novel you read once and put down forever. It is obvious Rich has spent a considerable amount of time, energy and thought on this book and I look forward to reading it as time allows.

I’ll let Rich explain more of the book in the answers to the questions we posed to him but before that, I wanted to let you know about a special deal for readers of the Prepper Journal. For a short time, readers of The Prepper Journal can get a 15% discount on the purchase of this book by entering the coupon code ‘pjourn2014’ when placing a book order from the nofema.com web site. This is a great offer and don’t forget to take advantage of the contest below. Now, on to the interview.

Give us an overview of your book, When there is no FEMA. What is it about and who is this book for?

Well, as the subtitle implies (“Survival for Normal People During (Very) Abnormal Times”), this book is written “by a normal person for normal people”.  In this case by “normal person” I mean that I’m not any sort of ex-special forces type with special training.  I’m just a former Tennessee farm boy who grew up to become an engineer at NASA, and who eventually become passionate on the topic of disaster preparedness.

With regard to what this book is about – it has recently been described by one expert prepper (in this case, a person who was former special forces) as being “Encyclopedic”.  It covers virtually every aspect of prepping in great detail.  For example, while another book might suggest that you “raise rabbits for protein”, this book goes into detail on types of rabbits, sizes of cages, feeding rabbits, caring for sick rabbits and even the proper and humane way to kill and butcher rabbits.  It goes into similar details on such topics as home and community defense, emergency food and water, gardening, sanitation, communications, disaster planning, bugging in, bugging out, first aid, physical fitness, guns, booby traps, buying and selling of precious metals and a host of other topics.  One chapter provides step-by-step, detailed instructions for instantly organizing any community and/or small town to survive post-disaster (I call this my “life-saving chapter”).


What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

In 2008 I formed what was then one of the largest prepper groups in the country.  Within that group were a broad range of experts in the area of disaster preparedness.  Some members were EMT’s; others were former Special Forces, SWAT team members, farmers, hunters and solar energy experts.  Still others were just “regular people” who had already invested years (and fortunes) in becoming highly prepared.  I obtained a ton of information through countless into-the-night discussions with these group members, and then went beyond that to self-study by acquiring books and harvesting information from the web.


When there is no FEMA

When there is no FEMA

How long did it take to write?

I spent three long years working into the night to complete this book.  I wrote it using the same tools that are used to produce college textbooks, which is why I often refer to it as “textbook quality”.  This book was no hack-job, as anyone who thumbs through it will quickly discover.


What do you think is the most important thing that people forget when it comes to survival?

One important thing is something that they have probably never really known, which is that the people who benefit most from holding precious metals are those who are most in debt.  The day may come when a person might pay off an entire mortgage with a single ounce of gold!

Regarding the most important thing that people probably forget is that sanitation is every bit as important as having food.  EVERYBODY needs a sanitation plan.

Also, most people never take into account that the moment the grid goes down they will begin to physically adapt.  Prepping does not necessarily mean being able to provide for your family until normalcy returns – it means buying yourself the **time you need to adapt** to a new reality (for example, a reality without air conditioning).

How do you envision people using your book?

In my book I recommend that, after getting through the first couple of chapters, that reader scans the table of contents, identifies a topic they are interested in, and goes right to that section (I use the analogy of a bee moving from flower to flower in no particular order).  You’re probably not going to be too interested in first aid for bee strings, for example, until somebody gets stung.


Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I grew up as a farm boy in West Tennessee in the early 70’s, and went on to obtain my engineering degree and become a “corporate type” for several years.  During those years I spent time working at many interesting places (many I can’t really talk much about).  I can say that I’ve spent time walking the hallways of NASA and inside “cities within mountains”, and played a key role in developing many technologies that are so important to us today (the Internet, GPS, etc.).  Around year 2000 I started my own tech company, and I continue to be entrepreneurial in the tech world.  In 2008 I started one of the early prepper groups which has since spawned into multiple groups throughout Central Florida as I moved on to begin work on “When There is NO FEMA“.

In 1994 I wrote a book on computer security, and it received a *lot* of very valid criticism.  It was this harsh, much-deserved feedback on that book which has caused me to be a real perfectionist while authoring “When There is No FEMA“.  I can sincerely state that I put heart-and-soul into “WTINF” – with many chapters having to be scrapped and totally re-written before the 3-year effort was completed (I’m not sure I would wish that experience on my worst enemy!)


Do you have plans for another book?

In fact, I have started my next book, which is an offshoot of WTINF .. my new book will be entitled “Becoming the Wolf”, and it covers the topic of transforming oneself from a “sheep” to a “wolf”.  The thought is that if a person transforms themselves then they can get much more benefit from their preparations.  During the course of the past 18 months I’ve been modifying my own behaviors to transform myself, and I’ve been very happy with the results thus far (including losing 90 lbs and counting!).


Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

I would like to tell your readers that difficult times are absolutely inevitable.  That there is one huge difference between our current tough economic cycle and all that have come before – and that difference is that the US has “maxed out its credit card”.  The “rosiest” future that we’re facing now is World War III, and that’s not very rosy.


Where can people purchase your book?

My book is available for sale at its own web site, which is:  http://nofema.com/ Eventually we’ll offer other carefully selected preparedness-related items from that site as well (all hand-picked by me as if I were buying for my own preparations).

The Book Giveaway

Rich has been kind enough to offer a free copy of his book, When There Is No FEMA to one lucky reader who answers the following question in the comments below. We will take responses until Saturday evening (2/22/13) and at that point a single winner will be chosen.  The winner will be notified via the email they use for their comment.

Today’s question is this:

Where do you feel the most vulnerable in terms of your preps so far?

 Good luck on the contest!

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Freedom-loving American doing what I can to help prepare and inform others. Editor and creator of The Prepper Journal 2013-2017, 2020 -

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I feel most vulnerable when it comes to my children. I have a 3 yr old and a 3 month old and it’s very hard to pack extra clothes for them when they grow out of them faster than I can buy them. The fear of disease spreading if something were to happen would probably affect them first. I fear not having the right types of food for them for healthy growth. These are things that keep me up at night!


I am the most vulnerable in my lack of any specific trade skill in a world without computers. I am a computer programmer and a physical ailment makes is difficult for me to perform physical tasks for any length of time.

I think I would be able to fend well for myself, but the ability to provide productive work to a community such as carpentry, mechanical, or manual labor may limit my ability to trade, barter or be accepted.


I am most vulnerable because of my diabetes. I’m a type one diabetic and I require insulin to survive, without it my body starts eating itself from the inside. I can only store insulin for so long before it start degrading and becomes useless.


Biggest area I have is getting the family completely on board. My wife supports my efforts, but more like supporting a hobby.


My biggest concerns or vulnerability is getting my family on board and prepping for my daughter who has a wheat allergy.


I feel most vulnerable on the road. My job requires me to travel a lot, sometimes overnight. Even with a get home bag, some nights I am miles away in a town I might not be familiar with.


I feel the most vulnerable in my preps in that I do not own a piece of land of my own. No pantry (especially in an apartment type setting)can hold a lifetime’s worth of food and sustainable living. A few months is about as good as it gets for now.


This book sounds like a great resource! I feel most vulnerable when it comes to food. My hubbie has a myriad of allergies & I worry about having what he needs to be sustained.


I feel the most vulnerable in the fact that I don’t even know some of my neighbors much less know if they are prepared. If I approach them and they think I’m crazy then I’ve compromised portions of my OPSEC because they’ll come knocking when the shtf. If I don’t approach them I might miss the opportunity to have talked some of them in to preparing thus making a stronger community. This is a decision I wrestle with constantly.

Samantha Liggio

I feel most vulnerable in my knowledge base. If there is a disruption in the grid, a large amount of knowledge that I haven’t yet accessed, absorbed, or tested will be lost to me and others. Knowledge is probably (If not certainly) the most important prep you can have at hand in a survival situation -or in day to day life-, and losing any of it is not something that most would gleefully anticipate. I’m working on it right now, but if something were to happen tomorrow, such as the power going out for a month because of the dozen… Read more »


I feel most vulnerable because we are not in the home we want. Where we are now has no wood heat and no wood access. EKKKK.


I believe my biggest vulnerability comes from a lack of necessary medications. I’ve been trying to learn about homeopathic remedies but without guidance reading about it is not the same as hands on experience.


I would say right now i’m most vulnerable Psychologically, I have a family and I read and study all the pepper stuff and this scares the hell out of me, and I do not have support from family or have the money to do the necessary preperness, example very taff for me to even buy a good axe or water filter or, or, or,. So I have sleepless nights and this makes me crazy and right now at this moment today I would say this is my weakest point! Question for Richard Bryand,how to start or find preppers in my… Read more »


I feel most vulnerable in our sanitation preps. We’ve been trying to figure out the best waste disposal method for our budget.


The greatest point of vulnerability? Communications? Self protection? Knowledge? So much to learn, so much to do!


My greatest vulnerability is getting our neighbors on board with even minimally planning for rough times. We are a pretty close knit group for hunting, fishing, camping, etc. but when it comes to disaster planning or even a week long power outage, they deny that such things can even happen here. It always happens to someone else, right?!

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