PRESCOTT VALLEY - A storm is coming and Lance and Lisa Baker want you to be ready. So much so that they began the Arizona Survivalist and Prepper Expos drawing together demonstrations of various emergency supplies in one location.
In an interview with Off The Grid News, Lance explained:
I used to host car shows and cruises here in Arizona, and grew tired of the hobby after 35 years. With the economy and everything else changing way too fast starting in 2007, I saw a need to get prepared, but was not sure where to get supplies, etc.Realizing that hosting a “survivalist / prepper” event would be no different than a car show, the idea was born. I have always had an excellent working relationship with the Commemorative Air Force Museum here in Mesa, Arizona—home of the famous WWII bomber Sentimental Journey. And since it is where I hosted many car shows, this was the perfect venue, and a great fund raising mechanism for the “all volunteer” museum. They have a huge hanger that we use and the back drop of the planes is phenomenal.
He started these expositions in May of 2012 and the show at Tim’s Toyota Center represents his seventh; the second in Prescott Valley.
His expos are among others featured in the episode Selling Survival of the National Geographic series Doomsday Preppers. Episode 8 at the link features a segment on the Prescott Valley expo.
Lance told us in an interview that the show actually brought many of the vendors to national prominence. It actually helped their businesses flourish to the point where they have actually hired people to assist. Particularly Gear Up in Scottsdale.
Lance is an unabashed survivalist and wants to be ready for any man-made or natural disaster—including civil unrest. He wants to bring that ability to other citizens of Arizona. “It is good that people are preparing for disaster,” he said. “But that does not necessarily mean that they know what to have or how to use the items. That is what our shows are about.”
In addition to the vendor displays, there will be lectures on the use of the items and survival techniques.
The expositions are not all about making money, though. The commitment of the Bakers to making Arizona families aware of disaster preparation is shown in the pricing. The cost of the expo is $10 with children under 12 free. While other shows charge the entry fee for each day, the $10 wrist band gets you in for both days. The low cost he charges his vendors has attracted about 174 potential vendors from the initial 58 that appeared at his original show. His shows have expanded to two days because at his initial one-day show, people were asking if they could get in with the wristband on the second-day. His site includes quite a few links including one to an interesting site called USA Emergency Broadcast network.
“These vendors are committed to the Arizona market and work to keep prices low,” Lance said. “While we have vendors from other States, such as Utah, California and Florida, about 98% of the 174 vendors I have are Arizona businesses.”
Much of the negative specter surrounding the word “survivalist” comes from government propaganda concerning conspiracies. Take into consideration, though, the many people who depended on the federal government in the Katrina disaster which was seen as an epic failure and waste of money. Even FEMA has a web site which covers basic supplies they feel might be necessary for you to have in a natural or man-made disaster.
What you store and how you do it, however, depends largely on your budget, abilities and personal needs. It also depends on what you feel might be a disaster looming in your area. In northern Arizona with the lack of snow this winter, a fire could be sparked by almost anything which might cause you to have to “bug out.”
Expositions such as this not only give you an idea of what is available to help you get through a disaster, but some of the items might be useful for simple camping, hunting, and even fishing trips—such as solar power panels and water filtration.