SurvivalRing is a set of websites with a common interest – to educate and inform individuals who might want to learn more about the events that shape the world around us and how to react or prepare for those events- specifically those events that we as individuals have NO control over in any way, shape, or form.
Events such as natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis’, earthquakes, blizzards, flooding, etc.), man-made disasters (nuclear plant leaks or explosions, nuclear attacks, dam breaks, chemical leaks, bio-hazardous material, etc), or even terrorist activity (bombings, nuclear threats, poisoning, nerve gas attacks, bio-toxin attacks like anthrax or VX, etc.) can affect anyone within the range of areas of these events.
How we react to these events, how we prepare for them, and how we survive, live, and pass through these events is what our SurvivalRing is about. We do not have any grand plans about saving the world — just ideas and thoughts about how we can deal with what life gives us and make the best of what we have been dealt. We each have specific areas that we may be most familiar with in preparing…..physical training, spiritual meditation, thoughtful study and research, or open and equal discussion with folks with the same interests and goals.
NEVER pass a chance by that might allow you to increase your knowledge in needed areas. Keep your ears perked, your eyes open, your mouth quiet, your heart soft, and your mind ready. Pay attention to your surroundings….the weather….the climate, both political and social…your workplace….your family. Disaster can strike at any time, in any place, for any reason. In a heartbeat, or in a long expected run up to a foreseeable event, what happens before, during, and after such things, is what makes us all human…and survivors…or victims.
As it has been said, “No man knows the time or nor the place…only the season.” REMEMBER THAT. As was recorded in the Bible,
“…But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.But as the days of No-e were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that No-e entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24: 36-39)
This quote speaks of the eventual return of the Son of man. But, the principals of preparing for that eventuality also apply to your everyday life of being in the world, and not of the world.
Having the fortitude…the courage…even the bravery, to take care of your own loved ones in any circumstance is where the return to the foundations of Freedom and Liberty will be the difference in gladness…or sorrow.
You must decide. You must act. We will help you to follow through, once you take that first step, as you have, by coming to this website.
Where did the SurvivalRing come from? What are its roots?
The SurvivalRing started out as a single page on my original website on AOL called The Blast Shelter. AOL killed all AOL member homepages as of October 31, 2008. Millions of websites, including those that had been hosted since the earliest days of the internet, and AOL itself, were summarily deleted, with just a few weeks notice. Yes, even my original website was one that AOL killed. You can view my replacement website at www.theblastshelter.com. I’ve still got many, many things to update on the new site, but rest assured that everything that existed on AOL has been safely backed up in numerous places on many hard drives, in preparation for eventual return, with updates.
My first very first web pages appeared on the web in 1996. By 1999, the SurvivalRing Web ring homepage was far and above getting multitudes more traffic than any other page, and my efforts during that time focused on filling that need. Because of this, I took my content, design, and web efforts, and put my attention to SurvivalRing.org. That effort has paid off with traffic now in the tens of millions of hits a year, from all over the world.
SurvivalRing is one of the longest lasting, most continuously updated (new forums, new downloads, new chat room, new web pages)survival and preparedness websites on the internet, and we’ve published new tangible products of CDs and DVDs, with sets of thousands and thousands of individual digital ebooks on EVERY area of preparedness and survival. We’ve sold over 11,000 sets in the since 2002. What is rare on the web, but the focus of my business enterprise, is that EVERY file on EVERY CD is available FOR FREE on my website in multiple download areas, AND available with custom programming on CD and DVD that makes accessing every file easily and quickly, with any computer that uses a CD or DVD drive.
I have thousands of original hard copy documents I’ve been collecting and purchasing for years, of the very same public domain, government produced, survival and preparedness materials, still waiting to be digitized and put online…again…for free, as time allows. I’ve invested thousands of new dollars in brand new high power computers, disk duplicators, high speed printers, and sheet feed scanner hardware, as well as the latest web and design software, to support the continued creation of NEW materials in all media formats for you, the SurvivalRing visitor.
Starting in 2003, I returned to college after a 23 year absence, and earned three college degrees, in web development, broadcasting, and general education, to gather cutting edge, state of the art skills to continue to share into the long term future. At Central Wyoming College, I focused on leadership, responsibility, and action in my studies, and my extracurricular activities. In 2006, I won two national academic scholarships for my hard work and efforts…the New Century Scholar for Wyoming, and a place on the All-USA Academic Team for Community Colleges, as one of the top 40 community college students in the United States.
Even as a non-traditional student, I served on the college student senate, and served as the Student body president for a semester. I also won an International Telly Award for a series of video public safety announcements I produced for our community with support of the college, the high school, and the Riverton, Wyoming Police Department. Again, every possible effort in all these endeavors was to focus on supporting the COMMUNITY where I live.
In 2005 I became a founding member of our county’s CERT group, and currently work as a state employee within our state’s Department of Corrections, where I deal everyday with not only criminals of every kind, but law enforcement, legal agencies, and even the federal government in several areas. I truly walk the walk, and talk the talk, of someone getting involved in HELPING the COMMUNITY where we live.
I’m not special…I’m just an average guy who cares for those people around me, whether it’s family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers. I do what needs to be done, because I can. And, if I can do all that, and this website too, well, there is no reason you can’t take care of yourself, your family, and YOUR community, with every waking moment, every free minute, and every opportunity.
What kind of person uses the SurvivalRing network of websites?
The SurvivalRing Project, founded by my wife and I, focus on helping the individual, the family, the community, and the nation…in that order. This nation was founded on the principle of freedom, as stated in the Declaration of Independence…
Freedom cannot happen for the individual, unless that individual takes full responsibility for his own actions. The foundation of this freedom is knowledge…the knowledge of the law, the knowledge of right and wrong, the knowledge of justice and courage, the knowledge of survival, and the absolute knowledge that life itself is earned, not given. Knowing how to deal with people, events, places, and problems are the keys to successful living.
Look at the roots of our nation…men and women took life changing actions, and traveled to frontier after frontier as our nation stretched from the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific. Living off the land, using any and all primitive means, in the worst of conditions, with only what they could carry, pull, or push, is where we started as a nation. In this ever changing world of international politics, corrupt and self-serving politicians, a disastrous economic situation, and growing unemployment, crime rates, and unfunded mandates, the individual once must again take control of his or her life, and take real action to deal with all things being shoved down our throats.
Look at the recent disasters of Katrina, Sumatra, and even 9/11. Our own US government, who the “average” citizen has come to depend on, proved it was unable to protect Americans, here or anywhere. Even the post-event response was too little, too late. Absolute safety is fleeting, but personal preparedness is growing, as Americans learn that it is we that must take care of ourselves…all over again.
When you first realize that you, as an individual, can lessen the impact of things, such as natural disasters, by educating yourself in the root causes of them, you’re practicing the very basic rights of freedom. You know you need to learn something, you begin to understand what creates these disasters in your areas (flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.), and you then find tools, techniques, and skills to avoid the pain and anguish that would result if you DIDN’T prepare for those inevitable events. The ease of use of technology such as the internet to educate yourself creates astounding opportunities to learn more than you ever thought possible, in a short amount of time.
Once aware of these threats to your safe home life from nature, technology, and bad guys, you MUST take action to get the supplies, tools, and skills that you can apply to your life. Take that and apply to your family, your community, and everything in your life, and peace of mind becomes a daily part of your existence, instead of a fleeting hope and dream to someday be able to share in.
What kind of website joins the SurvivalRing Web Ring?
Each member of this SurvivalRing webring MUST have unique and thoughtful ideas, suggestions, and /or solutions to provide to any and all visitors to the ring. Sites and pages should be ORIGINAL, clean cut, and prepared for ALL audiences. This webring is aimed at helping FAMILIES of ANY age to grow and learn together, and the Ringmaster respectfully requests that this be kept at the forefront of the potential SurvivalRing member’s mind.
Adult material, off-color remarks, racist or bigoted statements, and information for illegal or immoral acts WILL NOT be tolerated here.
As mentioned above, the main purpose of this webring is TO EDUCATE AND UPLIFT all visitors. This can be done with stories about personal experiences, links to useful information, information of historical nature, and all commentary that provides personal insight to problems that we all face (hopefully with great suggestions or solutions on how to deal with those problems). Keep in mind that ANY site submitted MUST have topics that INCLUDE Survival, Preparedness, or Self Reliance issues. These areas do not have to be the main topic of your site, but they must play a major role. I lean heavily in favor of sites that really have original content that visitors can use and learn with. Also, commercial sites that offer tools, supplies, books, training, and the like are welcome here, as long as the products deal with some facet of preparedness and survival.
The info below came from my application for a documentary project for The Learning Channel (TLC). Thought it might give you a better picture of why I do what I do. Probably a lot more than you want to know, but its all true, and I have nothing to hide. I believe in what I do, and have a passion for making this world a better place for ALL that cross my path.
First and Last name? Rich Fleetwood
Age ? 52
What’s your current or was your occupation?
Office Support Specialist 1 for Wyoming Department of Corrections for Wyoming Honor Farm
I also have a home based business – SurvivalRing Unlimited (www.survivalring.org), with which I offer thousands of downloads of preparedness related info, produce multimedia projects on preparedness, and web development and local computer services. My archives of data go back to 1942.
See the massive amount of downloads in just one section of my site here…
Where do you currently live?
Riverton, Wyoming (Central Wyoming area)
Married 31 years this coming June, we returned to college together in 2003, with all three of our children, and have 8 degrees between us. THAT took REAL survival skills, and we lived just about at poverty level…frugally as possible, to attend classes full time, and earned scholarships, national academic awards, and several other college certificates during this time. After all these years, my wife and I are the only couple, out of every single living relative we each have, that stayed together since our marriage. We devote a lot of faith, love, encouragement, and time to each other in this very hectic world.
How does your significant other feel about our survival and prepping skills? Are they supportive?
My spouse has been a huge support and foundation for all things preparedness. She believes in what we do, supports (and has supported) life changes for the better, including career goals, educational challenges, and moving across the country to a simpler lifestyle. In the past, we have gardened, canned, picked fruit at local farms, done home repair together (replumbing a 90 year old house in the crawlspace together while I recovered from a back injury). She is my rock. Although disabled, she and I still take care of each other and work together to help others whenever possible. While sometimes I lack common sense on big issues, or immediate needs, she helps me to focus on the real tasks needed, and jumps in to help solve crises whenever needed.
Any other family members preppers? How do they feel about your prepping believes?
Parents have passed on in the last few years. Dad was an engineer, and mom was a customer support specialist at Sears for many years.
Brother is retired military, now Military Contractor spending part of his year “in country”, hence has all his ducks in a row. Lives in the Florida panhandle and has dealt with a few hurricanes.
Sister also former military, and recently retired from VA Hospital Administrator position, having helped develop training in Medical Disaster Response Teams for her facility and region in Texas, whose group was one that helped respond to the earthquake in Haiti. She recently remarried, earned her CDL, and is now a truck driver with her husband. She also believes in having the basics, no matter where you are.
I have three grown children, and all three lived the life we live now, including 10 years of homeschooling. Two are college graduates, while the other has earned several certifications in the automotive industry, including diesel mechanics.
Oldest is my daughter, who is married with our second grandson born May of 2011. She works at a new plumbing supply business with her husband CJ, and does the bookkeeping and all other tasks as needed, while keeping little Charley happy and busy at the office.. She loves cooking, has started doing her own repairs, and is not afraid to tackle any issue head on.
Oldest son is a mechanic and father with three small children (9,5,3). He is living the tough part of his life right now. He, his wife, and their three children have lived with us since summer 2011. He’s developing lifelong skills and we see the grand kids everyday. Like myself, he attacks problems head on and is a problem solver. Having some helf issues, including potential surgery in a few weeks.
Youngest son is a an up and coming musician who started a new band called Farewell Fighter in Nashville after flying out there with just a guitar and backpack a couple of years ago. He’s just released his third CD. His band has twice won regional and national band competitions and has a huge following. His and his band mates spent the entire year of 2011 on the road, playing 160 concerts, doing every stop on the Van’s Warped Music tour, including a featured set in Cincinnati, and will be playing a huge music festival in Texas in March, the Never Say Never Concert weekend, with thousands and thousands of paying music lovers. I would say he’s really applied his survival and adaption skills and is thriving in his environment. He has been approached by several professionals in the music industry on several projects, and should get signed on with a record label this year.
Do you run drills or case scenarios with your family or closest friends? If so, who/what’s their name?
No drills. Our closest neighbors also live the lifestyle we do. We do real life, including driving half way across the state when we have an emergency to help one another, including towing broken down cars, 100 miles of more.
Do you have a root cellar? A underground bunker?
No, but we do plan to add on secure and safe areas to our home in the future. Potential underground shelter is planned, and already designed.
What’s in your underground shelter?
Nothing Yet. It’s above ground. Planned underground storage will be accessible (wife is disabled), used for storm shelter, supplies, environmentally controlled, and could be used for living space during dangerous times. Design includes two 40 foot containers buried, but sitting on a cement slab, with cinder block walls, and slab roof. We have several natural sandstone rocky outcroppings just yards from the house that would provide excellent above ground diversions from the shelter only feet away when done.
What sort of things do you store?
Food, obviously. Two freezers for corn fed beef we buy a half or whole cow at a time, from a local rancher. We share with our kids when they need it. We also buy canned food, prepared boxed food, and other items by the case, when case lots sales occur at local stores. Setting up an indoor and outdoor container garden system this spring, and will move into hydroponics and sprouting this year, both of which provide food year round.
Tools and maintenance supplies for all vehicles and household repairs. I am capable of anything from bolt on accessories, to swapping engines, to paint and body, and even custom fiberglass work and upholstery.
Lots of entertainment for off grid times (thousands of books, hundreds of videos, etc).
Communications Computer parts and tools, cabling, networking stuff. Also have shortwave radios, scanner, CB, FRS radio, and cell phone signal amplifier systems.
Bikes and parts, for those times when gas just might be unavailable. Potential conversion of one bike into an electric powered motorized bike (could be recharged thru solar cells easily). 50 mile range.
Heating sources such as a pallet of pellets for our pellet stove, or 600 gallons of propane for our furnace..
Camping supplies. Tents, cooking ovens and stoves, fuel, and all the other needed items for living comfortable away from home.
Vehicles. I own an Xterra 4×4 for my normal year round driver, an older conversion van for backup (and potential living should we ever have to evacuate), and a Kawasaki Voyager 1300cc cruising motorcycle for summer commuting and trips. Each has a specific need and use, and each back up the other two when repairs or downtime is needed.
Security includes wireless web camera, very plain yard with nothing of notice (power toys, tools, etc), and handguns for personal protection. We do have a 100 yard range set up in our front yard for target practice. Our landlords/future neighbors are black powder enthusiasts who set up the range and do their own gunsmithing, traveling year round for black powder events.
Do you have any survival skills if so what type of activities do you do on a day to day basis to prepare?
- Yes, I do have skills, having taken training and classes, and put into practice everyday situational awareness, short term prep tools (72 hour kit, CERT response backpack, etc.) as needed. Experience in outdoor survival/wilderness through years as a hunter and fisherman.
- I keep first aid and basic rescue tools in my vehicles, having been first on scene for several car accidents over the years, including one incident where the victim was trapped in a car not visible from the road, where I had to call for help and emergency response.
- I have a lifelong passion for hunting and fishing, camping and hiking, and wilderness skills.
- I have a hundred yard shooting range in my front yard, and earned ROTC sharpshooter awards in high school.
- I’ve done my own car repairs for 35 years, including mechanical, paint and body, electrical, and vehicle conversion/customization (won several awards in car shows)…and these skills come in handy for my own needs, as well as being barterable skills in the future.
What type of classes have you taken?
- Red Cross certified First Aid/CPR cards – all current
- FEMA – Certificate – Radiological Emergency Response
- FEMA – Certificate – Emergency Response Manager
- Civil Air Patrol, Senior Member (1997–2000)
- FEMA CERT – Citizens Emergency Response Team – Fremont County, Wyoming (2005 – current)
- FBI InfraGard Member since 2006
- Self Defense Training NRCT training – provided by WDOC
- National Weather Service Storm Spotter
- Applied Science Degrees in Broadcasting (TV/Radio/Web) and Web Development – For Emergency communications off line and over the air.
- Scuba – PADI Certified at age 18 (though I haven’t dived for years though, I intend to re-certify)
Planned future training includes HAM radio, EMT, and CCW permit, although effective June 1st in Wyoming, any Wyoming citizen may carry concealed without CCW (we’re the 4th state in the US to do so)
What’s your emergency strategy for a major catastrophe?
Shelter in Place. We moved from the big city 11 years ago to avoid issues in large scale disaster response, and I do take part in local county emergency training, having attended many LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Committee) meetings in our county, which includes all public safety departments, energy representatives, and law enforcement units. Through research, I’ve learned that our area of Wyoming would be a host area in a true state wide or national emergency. During true meltdown scenarios, things like the Watts and Rodney Kind riots may occur nationwide.
When was the catalyst point that made you decide it was time to start prepping for the protection of yourself, friends and family?
My wife and I grew up in North Texas, in the Dallas area, the bottom part of Tornado Alley. We saw a few storms but never suffered any real damage from them. We moved to Alabama (job transfer) in 1993, and immediately having to live with tornado threats every year, two hurricanes, flooding, a lightning strike on our home, and neighborhood crime issues. We had family get hurt and lose their home in the F5 Tornado on April 8th, 1998 that killed dozens in Jefferson County, Alabama. Also in 1993, two weeks after we moved there, the 1993 storm of the century, plunged us in the dark ages, trapping us in our home for 5 days, with no power, and a LOT of snow, causing tens of thousands of downed trees throughout the area.
Read about the F5 tornado story here…
In dealing with these storms, I saw a family need for many items, food, tools, backup communications (1993 snow storm that affected the entire east coast killed our power for 6 days, and travel was impossible because of downed trees on ALL local roads in the rural area we lived in). With the tornado threats several times a year every year, I began my search for shelter plans, and that was the start of my website project, sharing those plans, and my ideas and thoughts with a global audience.
Are the closest people around you supportive or do they fight your way of thinking? If so have you tried to educate them on your views?
Most of my coworkers know what I do in my off time and I have not heard a negative word about my work, home business, community involvement, or political views (constitutional conservative). I do try to help my friends and coworkers whenever they ask of me, and do computer repairs (spyware and virus cleaning) for anyone that needs help. I’m also part of the Employee Association a work, a “staff helping staff” program that we just started to make our work family a more cohesive and thoughtful group.
What do you like to do for fun?
Spend time with my grandkids, travel around the state (Yellowstone and Jackson Hole are less than 3 hours away), camp, fish, photography (normally nature oriented), ride my motorcycle, do computer programming and web development, yard work (4 acres of mowing), vehicle upgrades and repair, woodwork, electronics…and this is the short list. I enjoy playing volleyball at work twice a week for wellness activities, among other things.
What do you with your friends and/or family for fun?
Camping, cookouts, movie nights, travel together, and many of the things just above.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
In years past, going all the way back to before Y2k, I have had hundreds of media contact requests very similar to yours, and actually created a page on my old Blast Shelter website (now restoring online at (www.theblastshelter.com ) connecting media requests with site visitors and via email lists.
As you might already be aware, connecting with “preppers” and “survivalists” is always an interesting proposition, with those who worry about the biggest disasters, catastrophes, and other things, and actually have bunkers to be ready. They do NOT want to give away any info, unless absolutely anonymous. Those that do offer to share their work oftentimes have something else to market to help support their “bunker system”. Others stay secure by obscurity, yet are well known such as James Rawles of http://www.survivalblog.com .
Over the years I have made many connections, and do have contacts with several bunker/ shelter/ hardened home manufacturers. I’ve offered plans on my websites for well over a decade on how to build your own shelters, and have answered hundreds of emails on those kinds of topics.
Personally, I’ve made huge lifestyle changes in the last 15 years, and have a career with the State of Wyoming, as well as a home based business focused on sharing digital multimedia freely on the web, or at cost for CDs and DVDs of my materials.
I’m not a bunker owner, but have a few acres in central Wyoming, in the foothills of the Rockies, running on well water, with property that literally is on the other side of the fence from a wildlife habitat state game preserve. Our home is 1000 feet up a hill from a 13,000 acre lake. Million dollar views, serene country sounds, privacy, and expandability of our home are what drew us here. Having deer, pheasants, rabbits, and foxes feed in our yard, and having tens of thousands of geese, ducks and sandhill cranes pass over our home during migration helps too.
Being far away from The Golden Horde (the kinds of people that loot, pillage, kill, and otherwise go shit-crazy (looting TVs, tennis shoes, and anything else they could during Katrina ) was the biggest reason of wanting to find a location like we have.
Sometimes, the best protection from the effects of natural disaster, civil unrest, technological hazards, and all the things that can happen in our world (from Katrina to Bhopal, from Andrew to huge quakes in Seattle)…is to find a place that is safe, secure, and statistically the lowest threat for most problems.
I have since specialized in helping all website and personal contacts start thinking in that mode, and offer several maps of national and natural hazard areas of the US on my website.
That’s what we did, and found the home where we are now. The fact that we are also 150 miles from the nearest interstate highway is very comforting, with only four highways coming into our area, three of which are mountain passes easily controlled if needed. The fourth road is 120 miles of desert.
I consider myself a preparedness expert, and have been publishing web content since 1996, and multimedia since 2002 on all areas. I also offer gigabytes of downloadable survival and preparedness data, and have had 1.7 terabytes of data downloaded JUST from my website in the last 12 months.
I know people around the world who share the same passions I do. And, I can put the word out about your project on my blogs, social sites, and email lists if you’d like.
I’d be glad to help you in any way I can, but I just wanted to give you a heads up on the genre you’re investigating and what I’ve seen occur over the years.
Check the links below my signature for more info about me and some of my projects.