Aug. 5, 2022

Be Ready America! – with Dran Reese – [Ep. 131]

Be Ready America! – with Dran Reese – [Ep. 131]

Being prepared for unexpected emergencies is important. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires threaten safety, especially for the ill or disabled. However, natural disasters are not the only things that can impact health and safety. Elections...


Being prepared for unexpected emergencies is important. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires threaten safety, especially for the ill or disabled. However, natural disasters are not the only things that can impact health and safety. Elections have consequences and policy matters. Energy shortages, supply chain issues, empty store shelves, and inflationary high prices for food and fuel have caused many people to consider preparedness plans. Linda interviews Dran Reese, Founder of Ready America, and inventor of the famous QuakeHOLD! product. Dran is a visionary leader who has led the way for innovation and excellence in emergency preparedness and disaster relief for governments, businesses, and individuals. Start your preparedness plan by listening today!

© Copyright 2022, Prosperity 101, LLC

 
 
The opinions expressed by guests on this podcast do not necessarily represent those held or promoted by Linda J. Hansen or Prosperity 101, LLC.
 
Transcript

Linda J. Hansen:  Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen. Your host and the author of Prosperity 101 - Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics online course. The book, the course, and the entire podcast library can be found on Prosperity101.com. I seek to connect boardroom to breakroom and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs.

 

My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement, and retention and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit Prosperity101.com.

 

Thank you for listening today. As I’ve said before, there are many choices in Podcast Land and it is an honor and privilege to have you as a listener today. I believe this episode will be especially helpful for you no matter where you live or what you do, whether you are an employer, employee, or simply an individual caring for yourself or your family. Being prepared for unexpected emergencies is something we all often think about doing but easily procrastinate about actually doing. However, if you have ever been in a natural disaster, like a flood, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or wildfire, you know firsthand how important it is to be prepared. If you have gone without water, power, refrigeration, heating, or cooling for extended times, you know how challenging it can be, especially for those who may be infants, elderly, ill, or disabled.

 

Natural disasters are not the only things that can challenge our health and safety. Elections have consequences and policy matters. People around the globe have felt the negative impacts of war, energy redistribution and shortages, food and manufacturing supply chain shortages, transportation challenges, and so much more. Empty store shelves and inflationary high prices for food and fuel have caused many people to realize they may need to do more to think ahead and to reconsider their preparedness plans.

 

With me today is a remarkable woman and visionary leader who has led the way for innovation and excellence in emergency preparedness and disaster relief for governments, businesses, and individuals. Dran Reese is a product inventor and founder of the company, Ready America. Her signature product, QuakeHOLD!, was considered one of the top 100 products of the millennium, according to the Los Angeles Times. Dran was also featured in the book Women Invent, among many of the stories written on her past entrepreneurial success.

 

In addition to founding Ready America, Dran is the founder and president of the 501(c)(3) non-profit ministry: The Salt & Light Council. Dran has agreed to do another interview about her work with the Salt & Light Council, but today’s focus is on Ready America and the tools and resources available to educate and empower people to be prepared for any disaster or emergency. Thank you, Dran, for making time for this interview. Welcome.

 

Dran Reese:  Thank you so much, Linda. It’s a pleasure to be here.

 

Linda J. Hansen:  Well, your story just is so fascinating to me and I’m sure it will be to the listeners. Not only fascinating but very inspirational. What led you to start Ready America?

 

Dran Reese:  Well, that was many years ago. By now I think we’re in business 36 years, which is amazing. It’s hard to believe that we have a company that’s 36 years old. That means I’m 38. [Laughter] Oh my gosh, it’s crazy. But I was thinking of ideas. I was actually a fit model in the garment industry and I was thinking, you know, these days are going to come to an end at some point. And so, I would think of ideas as I was driving from one account to another, and I started putting these ideas in an idea box.

 

And one day when it came time and I got married and I got pregnant, was out of that job, I flipped this box over and I started sorting out the different ideas. And this one idea kept sticking out to me because in the 1987 earthquake, I sprinted to my living room to hold on to this what they call a doctor’s doll on the mantel of my fireplace rather than care about myself during an earthquake. And when I was standing there holding that in place and the earthquake subsided, I thought, “Well, that was dumb. [Laughs] That’s really dumb.” But why do I care more about that than myself [laughs]? 

 

And that really got me thinking. And so, this one product was eventually developed. That was our signature product called QuakeHOLD! and it’s a putty that you stick underneath your antiques and collectibles, so they don’t fall off shelves. And I did everything you’re supposed to do before you invent a product. I did my marketing research. I looked at other products out there. And I became an entrepreneur and I figured out how to be able to produce this one product, and was able to do that. And it is – it launched our entire company. 

 

Linda J. Hansen:  That is so exciting. So, QuakeHOLD!, I understand that it is still available to this day. Where can people purchase this product? 

 

Dran Reese:  It’s available at all the major retailers, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace, True Value, mostly on the West Coast because it’s an earthquake product. But we’ve also renamed it into different products and now have a whole line of products of putty wax in a gel. They’re all temporary adhesives. You can put it underneath something and then you can remove it without any damage. So, we have – all of those are available under different names, Museum Putty, Museum Wax, Museum Gel, and a lot of Museums. And people who own antiquities will purchase this product. So, it’s pretty much everywhere.

 

Linda J. Hansen:  Oh, that is just fascinating and exciting. And I think it might be great for cruise lines as well. 

 

Dran Reese:  Oh, sure. They use – definitely, they use it. Pretty much anybody who’s anybody that has things that are in motion or in a disaster area, even for, you know, high winds. I mean, people have been known to lose quite a lot of valuable objects, the things that – you know, that you adore and love. These are the things that are oftentimes most at risk, even with children and family members running through the house or pets or dogs. You know, if the – if something is that valuable to you, this is a perfect product to just stick right underneath. It is our signature product. It led to thousands of other products that we also sell and distribute for the purpose of having a safe environment in which to live.

 

Linda J. Hansen:  Well, that does lead us to the next question I have. Like, can you give us just an overview of some of the other products and things that you provide for people? I know if people go to the website for Ready America, they can download your catalog. They can see the story. There’s more information than a normal person can take in in one visit because it’s just so exciting and so far-reaching. But you have helped governments, businesses, individuals, families, you know, medical operations that are in disaster relief areas. There’s so much that you offer. It’s so much more than this one product. So, can you tell us a little more about how you got into, say, the disaster relief and emergency preparedness aspect of this industry?

 

Dran Reese:  Well, it’s kind of like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. First, you start with one and then you want another. Okay, so we started with this one product. And then because we’re in a disaster zone here in California and the West Coast, we have earthquakes, it really all started with that. Now we’re in all disasters, but you have to start somewhere. And so, we put together, you know, as a homeowner, as a woman, as a mother, it started with me. 

 

I mean, I was looking at my environment around my home thinking, “All this stuff is going to fall on fall if we have an earthquake. So, what are we going to do about it? So, there was nothing available in the market, there were some products for it. And of course, the Office of Emergency Services and other people were recommending different ways to do this. But I said, “There has to be a better way.” 

 

And so, that’s when I sat down as a mother, as, you know, someone who doesn’t want to put hardware on all my antique furniture and do all this – you know, make my houses like a warzone, we came up with an entire line of products for the house to secure large furniture from falling over that’s removable and reusable and for television sets. You know, when we first got started in this big TVs, you know, giant back, you know, ends to it, that could – you know, as a matter of fact, there’s like 30% of the injuries to children are by large objects falling on them. Them crawling up furniture and it falling over. 

 

So, we solved a lot of problems right away just by focusing on the one industry, the disaster preparedness for earthquakes. So, we secured all that. So, California became our – basically, our petri dish for all of the products. So, many – we actually wrote the standards in the book called Putting Down Roots, which was put out by the Office of Emergency Services and Red Cross and others in this area. And so, what we do is we just basically provide an all – an opportunity for homeowners and individuals to do a very nice job to secure their home against earthquakes. And that’s where 65% of the injuries and damage occur.

 

But out of that, of course, you know, the – securing all the objects around your house from flying and hitting you is obviously, you know, a very key component to surviving an earthquake. You want to be able to duck and cover, but then other things happen after that. Power lines go down. You have gas ruptures. You would have – you know, you might not have access to water or food. So, then it started to transition us into a broader category at which we are now into almost all of it, from first aid to food to water, to all of it.

 

In fact, we have – we’re providing, Linda, which is the world’s first 10-year storable water. There’s nobody else that does that. We can prove that in this system, it will store for 10 years without any treatment at all. And you can keep it in a large container where it gets hotter than Hades, and you still have – water won’t evaporate and you will still have that water 10 years later. And in fact, we think we can pull it off to 15 at this point. So, it’s still in testing.

 

But that’s an amazing thing for disaster regions – and not to keep talking but I’ll just finish off with this – the Texas Freeze is a really good example. All the pipelines got frozen there. And of course, we provide this water to FEMA and our water was first on site. But that’s only because the roads were open. Think about it. If it all came down at once, what are you going to do? And that’s where we come in.

 

Linda J. Hansen:  That’s such a good point and the water issue is so critical. I mean, people don’t think about it. We take water for granted so often. And I have family and friends living in the Las Vegas area. And you know, in the news lately, has been the lower water levels of Lake Mead. And I often remind the people living out there that if you don’t have electricity, if you have a problem with transportation here, you know, if you don’t have fuel, what do you do? You’re in the middle of a desert. You know, if you don’t have electricity, you don’t have water. You’re in the middle of a desert. And you know, if you don’t have electricity, you can’t get gas. You know, where do you go? 

 

You know, people have told me, “Well, I’ll just go to the store and get water.” Like, “Well, the stores probably won’t be able to open the doors because there’s no electricity and there’s going to be a run on water, and there’s going to be a run on gas.” And so, being prepared for things is very important. You just had a recent experience just this last week. We’re recording this on August 1st of 2022. And just this past week, you were traveling. You were on a business trip and you were in St. Louis, Missouri. And you were impacted by the torrential rains and flooding there. Could you tell the listeners about that?

 

Dran Reese:  Yeah. That was all sorts of fun to be in St. Louis, Missouri, where we got 10 inches of rain, and I was there for a conference. And I understand that it was a record amount of rain that they haven’t had for 40 years. So, it was pretty treacherous for St. Louis. Now, I was in a hotel. So, thank goodness I was up on the eighth floor. But things happened. One the elevator was out. You have to think about your situation and where you are.

 

So, this is what happens with all of us. We have to think in terms of where are we at any time. So, I’m – because I’m a preparedness person, I do think of certain things when I’m traveling. You can’t do it all. I can’t have it all with me unfortunately while traveling, but I always make sure that I have a few things that will get me by for at least three days. I always carry food with me. So, I was stuck in my room on the eighth floor. But I had enough food because I had, you know, bags of peanuts and, you know, little snack bars and I had water. 

 

And then immediately I was reminded that during this disaster, I went in and I plugged up the tub, and I filled it with water just in case, you know, the water goes out. Even though we have lots of water outside, it can affect the plumbing. And then I was concerned that we would lose actual lights in the hotel. And I’ve been in a hotel when you’ve lost lighting, and that really frustrates you when you can’t see where you’re going. So, I usually travel with light sticks, but this time I happen to have a little solar light with me. Now, the good news is the lighting did not go out.

 

The only big emergency that I experienced was that the hotel flooding occurred. I was in the eighth floor, so it was safe. But the electricity did go out. But again, I had little things that I carry with me because I think in terms of that. You have to think again about your situation and what climate you live in. So, you mentioned the desert. Well, that’s a – that, to me, that’s the worst of all scenarios because it gets hot. 

 

Here’s the good news. If you are going to be living in the desert, you need to know what’s available to you should there be a major disaster, where you can actually make water out of air. Deserts are the best for that. You need solar. Now, if the electricity goes out, that’s another issue, but you already have your water [laughs]. The other thing is having storage tanks full of water. So, there are ways, rain barrels, water tanks, things like that. There are ways that you can prepare in advance for, you know, at least maybe even a month.

 

I’m hoping that it doesn’t come down to that in our country where we have a full-on EMP attack, where it takes out all of our electronics. We’ll survive it, people. But what we may not be able to survive is the loss of all of the electricity and the running things, the cars that run, the gas generators, things like that. So, we have to be very careful there. The bottom line is think the worst and hope for the best. Yeah.

 

Linda J. Hansen:  Yeah, exactly. And that’s really what we need to do to prepare for health and safety at all points in life, you know, no matter what. And you know, you mentioned being a mother. I mean, I think every young mother is thinking, you know, “How do I care for my child?” Right? And, you know, we had the formula shortages. They’re not so much in the news now. But that’s pretty scary when you can’t feed your child. That’s pretty scary. There’s people all around the world who have suffered with these types of issues, not having enough food, water and no electricity, access to things that can really create a sanitary and healthy environment.

 

And we’ve been spoiled in the US to be able to have that. But we can’t depend on that. And especially at times of uncertainty. You know, we can look at natural disasters, but we can also look at political uncertainty and things that are impacting our electrical grid or our supply chain. All of these things are very, very important. And I know so many people have thought a little bit more about what it takes to maybe have a food supply on hand, have the water supply on hand, all of this. 

 

And you know, where it used to have a bad connotation in the sense like you were, you know, a person who ran around with a tin hat. Actually, it’s not. It’s really showing responsibility and concern for your family or if you’re a business owner. If you’re preparing for a disaster situation in your business, you are showing care and concern for your employees. If you are an elected official and you are preparing for disaster relief and being very responsible about it and empowering the citizens in your community to prepare properly, you are showing care and respect for those people.

 

So, this is all part of protecting our freedom, protecting our way of life, and allowing people to thrive and flourish. And so, I love what you’re doing with Ready America. The growth of the company took just – it just grew exponentially. You said you’ve been in business, you know, over 30 years. And I’m sure there were times in the beginning where you felt like you would never make it. What would you say to entrepreneurs who are going through that season in life where, you know, they wonder if someone will really, really help their business become successful by buying their product or utilizing their services? What would you say to those people who are on the roller coaster up and down of wondering if their business is going to be successful?

 

Dran Reese:  Well, I think that, you know, in the day when I started, we didn’t have electronics the same way we have now. In fact, computers were – I hate to date myself, but computers were just coming online. So, retailers were doing business the manual way. So, I want to assure everybody that if everything fails, we can still do business. I remember a day when we didn’t have computers, we can still do business. A day when we didn’t have cell phones, we can still do business. A day when we used fax machines, we can still do business. So, folks, it’s not all lost if these things cave. 

 

But for the entrepreneurs in today’s society, you know, a lot has happened since COVID. So, COVID really impacted the small business in probably one of the worst ways that you could possibly have because you had government regulations coming down after them saying, “You have to wear masks. You have to be shut that these days. You can’t open.” You know, they’re regulating until – well, wait a second.

 

The reality is we didn’t have to follow any of that. The reality is that government was trying to hysterically push something on the American people. That, at first, we all were really willing to listen to. Mind you, we all were willing to listen. We were all willing to just kind of check it out, figure it out, whatnot, but then the stats started coming in. And the real people that know what’s going on started to figure out that this was a little bit too far of an overreach of our government. And in many respects, might have been a political stunt to switch out our governmental system.

 

And what it did was it opened up our eyes to this – to the government overreach, the complete – you know, just that they can really do this if they want to. And you, as a business owner, are at their mercy. Now, that’s wrong, because there’s only – what is it? Four hundred thirty-five elected officials and that’s how many millions of Americans we have. They don’t have a right to do this to us. 

 

As an entrepreneur, here’s what I say to you, “Do it. Just go out and build your business. And build it to the best of your ability.” And – but build something that is a valuable product that people want. Don’t just be pie in the sky and just decide, you know, I’m going to make whatever, you know, it is and then just wildly do this. You have to think strategically and consider all the risk factor, and also the financial investment to do this. 

 

But in today’s society, there are still lots of goods and services. And now the American people are waking up to these big conglomerates, and we don’t really want to buy from them anymore. They really don’t want to buy China. They want to buy Made in America. So, I say to all your entrepreneurs, “Americans, wake up. Start building Made in America products. Bring our fabric back here and start weaving in our looms the way we used to back in the 70s and the 80s. Let’s bring back electronic manufacturing. We’re the best in the world, the most creative in the world. Bring it all back to America. Get it out of the hands of China.”

 

You know, China really has done a marvelous job owning America and our government has helped to sell us out to that place with all of our trade policies. And I would also say this to the American public, “Stop wanting everything so cheap. For goodness sake, buy quality.” If America wants to survive and thrive, it’s going to have to become its own manufacturing organization – a country again. We have – we let go too much. Now, we have to bring it back. 

 

Linda J. Hansen:  Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. And actually, I’ve done several podcast episodes, focusing on bringing manufacturing back to America and how – buying and choosing products made in America, and really helping people to avoid the high cost of low prices. Because while Americans have often sought lower prices and cheaper goods, we have given away freedom in the process and that is priceless. So, I’m really glad you brought that up. 

 

But again, that just kind of plays into the whole larger discussion we’re having regarding preparedness. We look at these policies. I mean, we’re looking – right now in Europe, there’s war raging. I mean, there’s war – there’s always wars and rumors of wars. Of course, that Scripture tells us that and there’s unrest all around the world. And we can definitely be thankful that most of us have not experienced that right here in our hometowns, but crime has escalated. Public services are less reliable. Transportation is not as reliable. Some people can’t afford the same things that they used to be able to afford. So, we need to plan ahead. 

 

On your website, there’s so many different options. You provide different backpacks and things for employees, for students, for people to have emergency preparedness packets, but also first aid packs, food and water, so many things. So, could you give the website please for listeners to go to so that they could really – they could download your catalog? They could learn more about Ready America and all the various daughter companies that you have through Ready America and all the products that you can provide. But also, they can learn just some simple steps that they can take day after day, week after week, to just continue to make sure their family or their business, their employees are safe in the event of a disaster or any type of emergency.

 

Dran Reese:  Well, the company address – web address is ReadyAmerica.com. So, you can go there. Now, if you want advice or you want help from me, I’d be happy to help you. Just ask for me, Dran Reese, and tell them that Linda sent you. Dran Reese will just work it out and make sure that we give you personal attention and care. 

 

But I go back to what we were talking about before, the state of government. We’re worried about disasters because our government is making us fearful. We’re fearful of wars and rumors of wars. We’re fearful of, you know, our own government and this lawlessness in the streets. We’re fearful if the electricity is going to be shut off or we’re going to have a natural disaster, like the flooding. The fears on that surround us but I want to say that if you prepare, those fears are minimized. 

 

So, my suggestion is that right now, a couple of steps that you can take is go and buy some canned goods. Now, that is not something that we sell but I’m telling you to do that because it’s the right thing to do. Canned goods last for many years. Now, our USDA has now said that the shelf life is down to two or three years per canned goods, but I don’t really understand, you know, that they used to last up to 46 years. So, I’m wondering if there’s something in the processing that they’re doing or trying to sell more cans. I don’t know.

 

Point being, at least you can have your legumes, your proteins, your fruits, your vegetables, and you get a little bit of a source of water that way. So, make sure that you have a can opener to go with it. Go buy as much as you can and think about how much food you’re going to need. I would say canned goods would be our first line of defense in a real disaster, but you can’t carry it with you if you have to escape.

 

So, there’s the next phase, you have to think about, again, where do you live, what’s your disaster, prepare for it all, and I call it, you know, sheltering in place or an evacuation. So, you have to have two of those mindsets squared away. So, in our company, what we provide are – the backpacks is one which I really love what we have because it’s fully stocked. The only thing you really need to add to that would be maybe your medications and your eyeglasses, things that are available for you to see. But you have to be able to have that somewhere in your home that I call the Safety Center, which is your go-to location.

 

This is the thing that drives me crazy about some people. They get stuck everywhere in their house. Well, stop that. 

 

[Laughter] Find one central location in your house and you call it your safety center. And here’s where you have first aid. Here’s where you have your food and your water, and your emergency backpacks and your tools and hatchets, and different things, knives, things that you need in an emergency. You have one place that you go for that and I do have that in my house. I live – I walk and live what I’m talking about. 

 

Also, having enough water in your house. Now – right now you can get one of these services that deliver those large bottles of water to your house. Well, get a bunch. Depends on how big your family is but I have nine bottles of water in stock at all times – nine. Okay, what that means is that I’ll have enough drinking water until I figure it out what I’m going to do from there. So, there are some things that you have to have. But when you go to our website, we give you all this stuff that’s kind of a pain in the neck to try to figure out because it’s the little details in life.

 

Linda J. Hansen:  I want to reference the book, it’s Ready America Presents Survival Basics: A Good Place To Start. It’s a simple little handbook that has so many wonderful tips about being prepared, like why to be prepared. And I loved the beginning of this where you said integrity during a disaster. You know, sometimes when we are the prepared people, especially I know Dran you share my faith. You are a Christian believer. I am as well. We always seek to serve other people as we serve the Lord. 

 

And integrity during disaster – sometimes when we can be prepared, we can show generosity and help to those who may be panicking. They may have – an individual who needs special care and if we are prepared, we are prepared to help others as well, not just ourselves. This is not about being selfish. This is about being prepared and helping our family, our employees, our business colleagues, our community, our neighbors, and friends. You mentioned in this booklet about having a home schematic, like making sure – like you said this first place to go, like making sure you know where you go to to take care of things, how you turn off your water, how you can stop the electricity to your home. I mean, various things that are important to think of.

 

And you mentioned chindi evacuation or shelter in place. You know, should I stay or should I go? What to pack for? How to make a fire and provide heat or light in times of no electricity? How to think about your drinking water, lighting, and communications? One thing we haven’t talked about here is how do you communicate with loved ones. If our communication grid goes down, what is your backup plan and what is your emergency preparedness plan?

 

When my children were young, we always had, you know, a meeting place. We always had some sort of plan in place, if there would be a fire in the home or something that occurred. Now that they are scattered all over the country, it’s a little more challenging, especially if we think that our transportation or communication grids may be compromised. So, we need to think through that and then I love it that you mentioned pets. Many people who have pets they love and adore. They’re part of the family. They don’t want to leave them behind or endanger them. You’ve got corporate supplies, different things that businesses can do, and then emergency response training. And you just talk about all of these different things.

 

And you mentioned businesses, too, and educational things. I saw that you provide Lunch and Learns and educational opportunities, some scenario reenactments, so that people can actually experience what it’s like to go through an earthquake, what it would be like to go through this so they can – you know, it helps to reduce the fear factor, but it also helps people realize what truly needs to be done. 

 

And just think about it. These big office buildings or corporate headquarters and things, there’s so many people there that if something happens, people are at risk. And so, those in-charge are really doing a service to help their employees understand, one, the policies – we always talk about policies on this podcast, but also the policies that can provide for a safer, more prosperous or a safer environment, I should say. But in addition to the safe environment, what are the nuts and bolts, things that can be done within that business and helping those employees know how to take care of their families. And that’s truly, really, you know, loving one another and treating one another as we want to be treated.

 

Dran Reese:  Well, those are all great points. And thank you for running down that list of the different things that we do. But you brought up a really good point about what is the employer's responsibility and the employee’s? Well, here in California, I can tell you, and I actually think this is a really good plan for all businesses nationwide, is that the employer provide or at least provide some training for their employees on different things, whether it be whatever the natural disaster is or a terrorist, or active gun shooter, things like that because this is really our reality now, unfortunately. 

 

So, I think it is a good idea to have some drills like that. And that wherever the employer – employee is sitting that they have a little grab-and-go bag that has food, water, just something that will keep them for a 24-hour period. It doesn’t have to be a lot. I know that can be a big expense for the employer because you know, again, employers are always the ones that are told you’re the ones that have to do it because you’re the rich ones. Well, no, we’re not always that rich. You know, we’re just business owners that are trying to make a living. So, all the onus is not on us to provide here. So, sometimes there should be a partnership between the employee and the employer. So, that would be one area. 

 

And I know that certainly in areas where things can fall like California, it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that those things are secure in at least the pathways and they have to show some level of concern in that area, and that they’ve been they’ve made an effort to take care of them. I – you know, I thought about 9/11, all those people that were trying to make their way out. If some of those people had at least goggles or had a mask, or had some water, just a little bit of something they could have grabbed, there might have been a few more lives saved. There might have been. I’m not saying that there would have been. But as I looked to see how they were blinded by the smoke, you know, the ashes and then we’re breathing all that stuff in, and they could barely breathe. Just a few little items like that in high-risk areas would be a good idea. And I thought about that actually from being in the hotel on the eighth floor and I thought, “Is there anything here if I needed it? Where is it?” [Laughs].

 

Linda J. Hansen:  It’s a really good point.

 

Dran Reese:  Not a bad idea for hotels to start providing a few little emergency kits. So, if the person in the hotel wants to take it with him, they get charged for it. But if there’s an emergency, you know, it becomes a part of the emergency plan.

 

Linda J. Hansen:  Those are just such great points. And again, I really encourage people to go to your website, ReadyAmerica.com and take a look at what the catalog provides, and all of the various resources that are provided, not only physical resources and things, but the educational resources for you or your family, or your business. I mean, it is so important. And it’s something, like I said in the intro, we often think about doing. We think about how important it is to do this and then we get busy with our day-to-day lives, and we don’t do it. We procrastinate. It’s kind of like going on a diet. You know, we think about doing it and just don’t do it. 

 

But when we are confronted with these challenges, it becomes very top of mind and we realize quickly what could have been done to make for a safer environment for everyone. So, there’s so many factors that can go into how we need to take care of our families, our companies, our employees, and you know, our communities, the people we love and cherish in our communities and our country. 

 

So, along with that, I know that you do really care about people, the community, our country, freedom and so, I do want to have you back to talk about your non-profit ministry, which I know is the passion of your heart. So, could you please tell people just a brief teaser about the Salt & Light Council before we close this interview?

 

Dran Reese:  Well, I work inside the churches with pastors and individuals who are Christians who have the saving grace of Jesus Christ in their life and understand the value of America and its foundations and its history. That America is great because the people in America were men and women of faith who came here because they want to do – worship their god, which is God and heaven in their own manner and in their own way without government intrusion telling them how to worship. That’s so important. 

 

And so, I’m fighting for our right for us to be able to worship the Father God, the Creator of all the heavens and the earth through His Son, Jesus Christ in the manner that matters to us and what founded our country to which we embraced and allowed other ethnic groups to come and to roll around in our grace and glory. So, we’re at a really interesting time in history right now. And then take a look at SaltAndLightCouncil.org or a simpler way is going to BraveSalt.com. And go to your pastor and go to your church, and get one of these started where you can start preserving this beautiful country, the United States of America.

 

Linda J. Hansen:  Well, thank you for sharing that and I will have you back in a future episode to discuss all of the initiatives of the Salt & Light Council in more detail because there’s educational things. There’s political education. There’s so many things that you are doing to cross racial divides, everything that I just really think are valuable. And – but our time is up right now. So, I do want to just thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. Thank you for sharing your innovations with the world.

 

I’m sure that you may never really know how many lives you’ve helped to save or how many injuries you’ve prevented through your inventions and through your company, Ready America. And I’m sure that the people who are blessed through your disaster relief efforts and all the people you’ve trained to help in times of emergency, it’s just been far-reaching and many countries across the globe, not just here in America. 

 

And so, to everyone listening, I invite you again, could you please go to the website, ReadyAmerica.com? And tell them you heard about it on this podcast and please prepare yourself, your family, your business. We never know what the future holds. And while we all hope for the best, we must always plan for the worst. And that’s a good way to show that we love the people around us to plan ways to protect and care for them. So, Dran, do you have any other closing comments before we close this interview?

 

Dran Reese:  No, I don’t, but thank you again for having me on. It was a pleasure to meet you in Washington, D.C. and build a wonderful relationship with you and your listening audience.

 

Linda J. Hansen:  Well, thank you so much and I look forward to having you back. Thank you.

 

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