Insider Interview: James Wesley Rawles

September 1, 2013

Since September is national “Preparedness Month,” I wanted to interview one of the country’s top experts in the preparedness field, James Wesley, Rawles. Jim is a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer, and current preparedness author and blogger.

I have said that Jim is “an amazingly gifted author who has singlehandedly reignited the post-apocalyptic thriller” and I mean it.

One of my favorite novels is Jim’s PATRIOTS – SURVIVING THE COMING COLLAPSE which helps readers to understand, from a fictional point of view, the importance of preparing for if and when our infrastructure is compromised (through a bad storm, electrical outage, epidemic, financial collapse, etc). 

It is an honor for me that Jim agreed to sit down and discuss preparedness with us this month.

BRAD: Why should people be prepared?

JIM: I believe that family preparedness is both a Biblical mandate (per Proverbs 22:3) and an outgrowth of rational self-interest. So it makes sense for both people who are coming from the Judeo-Christian perspective, and for those who are secular. We live in a very fragile world with huge dependence on the power grids and very long chains of supply that now go beyond continents.  First World societies are getting more complex and more interdependent with every passing day. At this stage, anyone who does not recognize the manifold threats is either ignorant or delusional.

BRAD: What’s the biggest mistake people make when it comes to preparedness?

JIM: They tend to concentrate in one portion of preparedness, at the expense of others. Amateur radio people look at prepping as an excuse to buy more radios. Shooters look at prepping as an excuse to buy more guns. Often, these folks have just marginal food storage. Balance is the key. Balanced prepping is also a sign of mental balance and rational thought, in reaction to legitimately-perceived threats to societal order.

BRAD: What’s the best way for people to get started being  prepared?

JIM: In essence, you need to sit down and write yourself a “list of lists” that is tailored to your particular needs, your locale, and your stage in life. I have a page on my blog dedicated to that here.

BRAD: Why are people who choose to be prepared maligned?

JIM: I believe that a large part of that is a deep-seated feeling of guilt, when non-preppers realize that they have frittered away their resources and have left their families at the mercy of their environment. Instead of doing the right thing–namely getting on board and getting prepared–they lash out at preppers, and try to demean us in many ways, either subtly or overtly.

BRAD: You have written some terrific thrillers centered on post-collapse America. What made you decide to write fiction and where do you think our nation is headed?

JIM: I realized that few people would sit down and read a 300-page survival manual. But they are often eager to read an exciting piece of fiction of that length. By weaving a lot of practical, tactical tips into a fictional storyline, I accomplish my mission. Many people tell me that they read my novels twice–once for fun and then a second time with highlighting marker and a notepad close at hand.

I believe that our nation is headed for ruin. The out-of-control National Debt just by itself makes an economic collapse almost inevitable within the next 20 years. So t is prudent to train, stock up, and team up. Get ready, folks!

BRAD: Thank you for a great interview, Jim. Best of luck with your excellent blog and your next thriller, EXPATRIATES, which will be out in just a couple of weeks.  I encourage all of my readers to check out all things James Wesley Rawles. He’s a great writer, a great expert, and a great American.


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