Expo to show emergency survival techniques

It never hurts to be prepared.

A Survivors Preppers Expo Saturday, March 2 at the National Sports Center in Blaine will disperse plenty of tips and gear that will get you ready for the aftermath of a long blizzard, tornado or losing your job.

The show is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Schwan Event Center.

Tickets are $10 in advance and can be purchased by visiting www.survivalpreppersexpo.com or you can purchase tickets at the door for $15. Kids under 12 get in free.

Nick Olson, who is organizing this expo with his wife Mary, said there will be about 50 vendors and educators talking about ham radios, self-defense, long-term food storage, water purification, generators, renewable energy, security systems, tactical gear and so on.

Olson said no guns are sold at this show. This show is about educating people on what they can do to survive and it does not always have to be a natural disaster, he said.

This is the second annual Survivors Preppers Expo that Nick and Mary Olson have organized. The first show was in Bloomington. With their concern about the economic downturn and the state of world affairs, they felt people needed to be more prepared than ever.

However, Nick Olson made it clear that this is a non-political event.

“Everyone eats. Everyone wants to stay warm,” he said.

When you go to the grocery store, spend an extra $5 or $10 on a non-perishable food item and store it for emergency use only, which could include you losing your job. People buy insurance for their homes, vehicles and their health, so there is nothing wrong with a little food insurance, Olson said.

Having plenty of flashlights, batteries and bottled water are other basic tips, he said.

It is equally important to know your neighbors so you can watch out for each other. Do not rely on cell phones because they can be rendered useless if the lines are overloaded. This happened when the I-35W bridge collapsed and in New York City on 9/11, for example.

Last summer in Monticello, someone accidentally hit a green utility box that serviced a cell phone tower, so people temporarily lost their coverage, Olson said.

Losing power can happen whether there is a bad storm or someone accidentally runs their vehicle into a transmission line. Olson once told a woman to shut off all her power on her circuit breaker to see how long she could go without power. It is not easy unless you are prepared. This is what people affected by hurricanes Katrina and Sandy had to deal with, according to Olson.

Minnesotans are generally well prepared because many have jumper cables and blankets in their vehicles, but Olson wants people to go beyond that, he said.

National Geographic Channel casting agents will be on-hand to find people with unique stories to share during the third season of “Doomsday Preppers.”

Olson said National Geographic has its place in the movement. It will sensationalize the extreme people, but there has been a lot of interest growing in disaster preparation, he said.

Although the television show, the economic downturn, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and large natural disasters may be making more people thinking about preparing for a disaster scenario, this concept, of course, is not new. Back during the Cold War, families and the government built underground shelters in case of nuclear war. One company at the expo will be talking about concrete bunkers, which could also be useful if a tornado warning is declared.

The event is sponsored by CC Military Surplus.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]