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A Doomsday Prepper Explains How to Solve the Philippines' Typhoon Crisis

We interviewed Tim Ralston, owner of Gear Up, a company that sells survival gear and firearms, about the crisis in the Philippines, but we also got an earful about how the Boston Marathon bombing was a conspiracy.

United States Marines assist displaced citizens in Manila, Philippines. Photo via Flickr User DVIDSHUB

Typhoon Haiyan has devastated large swaths of the Philippines this week, leaving 2 million people in dire need of food and assistance. According to CNN, 300,000 of them are pregnant women or new mothers. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has said the death projection currently sits at between 2,000 and 2,500.


In short, the situation is dire. So when I received the following press release from this company I was relieved. Finally, someone has some answers about what should be done!

The tragedy in the Philippines are leaving many without food, water or shelter. Surviving during and after these disasters is what Tim Ralston specializes in.

Tim Ralston, international spokesman and recurring featured survival expert on NatGeo's #1 rated program DOOMSDAY PREPPERS. Tim is also the founder of Gear Up, a brand that provides cutting edge survival, preparedness and outdoor gear. Tim integrated his lifelong love of the outdoors and adventure into founding GEAR UP, an industry leader in developing, manufacturing, and acquiring cutting-edge outdoor adventure and self-reliance gear. With a heavy emphasis on branding American Made products, Gear Up strives to bring the best possible gear to market while creating American jobs. Tim's inventions the Crovel multitool shovel line, The NAX Knife/Axe and the X Caliber Shotgun Gauge Adapter System have received worldwide attention as some of the best self-reliance/survival multi-tools in the industry worldwide.

I called Ralston to see exactly how his company could solve the massive humanitarian crisis with a few of his patented products. We got some conspiracy theories for our trouble.

VICE: Your press release mentions the typhoon tragedy in the Philippines. Which of your products do you think would be most useful for people in the Philippines to survive? The floating motorcycle? The shotgun gauge adaptor?
Tim Ralston: In those kind of scenarios, you have to go way back to the basics. I watched some TV that had just come out, some iPhone footage, and there are people who are afraid now past the disaster stage [and] in the recovery stage [who are vulnerable to] looting and gangs coming in and stealing all their possessions. So some kind of protection would be prudent. But that’s not the most important thing. I think at this point people need the most important thing in life, and that’s water. So, some of our water purifying systems are probably the most important thing.


We have a product here, it’s called a 3S2P. A company out of Chicago that has been around for about 105 years, they put together a system for me—they came and said, "Hey I have these military-grade water-purifying systems, but they were way too expensive." They finally came up with one that is portable, lightweight, able to do some significant water purifying. This one 35-pound case can purify 2,400 gallons per day and kill basically everything in the water. A system like that would be invaluable in any survival situation like that, because water is the most important thing. So that would be the number one product that needs to be there, along with of course food and some shelter situations [that] are really in need right now.

Do you do a lot of business in disaster areas like the Philippines, or other places that might have natural disasters?
No, I actually don’t. I haven’t gotten involved with a lot of rescue work as of late; most of our business comes from the prepping community here in the United States. I’ve got to take that back, it’s now gone global—ever since Nat Geo came into the picture, I’ve been selling Crovels really all over the world. That tells you that there’s a lot of people outside the United States that have the same concerns that we have in the US, and that’s protecting our loved ones and knowing that the government’s not always going to be Johnny-on-the-spot to take care of us.


What situations would you get into where you would need to, let’s say, trade for ammunition?
I look at it this way: in any really big natural disaster where you’re afraid for your life, from Katrina to Sandy—I’ve talked to survivors there—after two or three days, at that point the law of man kind of goes out the door, that’s when they try to enforce martial law, but sometimes you’re not even able to get that enforced. When it all breaks down—when society, and I’m saying if—if that were to happen, at that point, money is no good, that buys you nothing. Because in three days everything is off the shelves, there’s nothing there, so the next thing is food. Food, water, and then protection. At that point if you don’t have enough ammunition, ammunition will be a barter tool.

When that happens and society breaks down, [bullets] become a very, very valuable commodity. It's worth more than gold, a good piece of ammunition. And it takes a while for society to get back to a level of normalcy, to where money means something, it. When there was an ammo crisis here a few months back, I had guys that really wanted more food and more stuff and at that point, I needed more ammunition, so I traded with guys who wanted lots of 25-year-shelf-life food.

What was the cause of the ammunition shortage?
The cause of the ammunition shortage was fear of Obama coming in and potentially taking away our Second Amendment rights… People started to hoard [bullets] because they figured, If they’re going to try to take it away I’m going to get as much as I can. Because without [guns], to me it’s not a good future, if you’re trying to defend yourself and your kids. When you’re trying to threaten a gang of people that want to take your food, you’re going to have to have something to back that up. And the government wound up taking a lot of the ammunition too, they bought a lot of ammo for whatever reason, that goes from A to Z in conspiracy theories, all of that starts popping up as to why the government bought 2 billion rounds of 40-caliber hollow-point bullets, what is that about?


Do you personally think that there’s going to be some sort of limitation on the right to bear arms? Do you think people should be stocking up on ammo now?
I think eventually, depending on the powers that be, they’re going to continue to try to stomp on our Second Amendment rights. And I think there’ll be a continual onslaught of false flags and anything that could happen to try to take that away, but there are way too many patriotic Americans that are out there who have relatives who got or who themselves have gotten injured or died in the military to protect our Second Amendment rights. I think they’ll keep trying but I don’t think they’ll ever be successful.

For our readers who may not know what a "false flag" is, could you give a recent example of a false flag in your mind?
When you look at a false flag, I think it leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Everyone is going to have their own opinion of what happens, and it all comes down, unfortunately, to what information is out there. Mainstream media is only going to give you a little bit of the truth, and it will only be the truth that the government or the powers that be want you to know. If you are going to be that type of guy that listens to CNN and says, "Hey, they’re telling me the truth," then you’re in for it. If you start to research and look for alternative sources, you might get a little bit closer to the truth.


The Boston [Marathon] massacre, in my opinion, was a false flag. I think there are way too many holes in the scenario that happened… that really was a big push to see how far they could push martial law and stomp on our rights as citizens, to order us around to find one 19-year-old kid. In South Phoenix there are shootings every night, and they don’t lock down our entire city to try to find a few gangbangers. And they said it’s a weapon of mass destruction; it was a pipe bomb at best, so it’s not even close to that. I think it was just a way for them to see how far they could push it to take away our rights. To me, that was a false flag—[they wanted] to see how far they could push things to make it a big catastrophic disaster so that Americans would be more fearful and would say, Please help us, and give away more of our freedoms so the government could step in and say, Hey, we can be the guys to protect you. I disagree with that. We don’t need that kind of protection.

Do you think that things like the Boston bombing or the LAX shooting would have been better dealt with if more citizens were carrying firearms and were able to handle the situations themselves?
Definitely. I think that that goes into the big argument of civilians carrying guns and having conceal and carry permits—the states that do have it have less shootings. The problem is, Americans have this normalcy bias that is ridiculous. They never think it will happen to them, no matter what it is, whether it’s a natural disaster or getting attacked with a weapon or a carjacking or whatever. So they think it will never happen to them so they don’t have to prepare or worry about it, and they keep going along in their bubble. But the first time it happens it opens their eyes, and they see, Hey I’m not invincible, there could be things that could happen. The prudent thing is to prepare for those worst-case scenarios so you have a better chance of fighting a natural disaster or a shooting in a public arena. You’ll be able to fire back and possibly save other lives.



More on disasters, both natural and man-made:

I Spoke to the Hurricane Sandy Meme Model

These Nuclear Physicists Think David Suzuki is Exaggerating about Fukushima

Trying to Report on the Sandy Hook Shooting