…and how to find them
Do you have an area of preparedness that you’d like to be better at? Maybe you’re looking for new food storage ideas, or gathering information to make your garden more productive. You will find all of this – and more – at a preparedness fair in your town. Whether they are called self-reliant fairs or homesteading expos, and if they are big or small, all preparedness fairs have something that will make you better at being self-reliant.
This weekend I’m attending the Mother Earth News Fair in Belton Texas and I’m super excited. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing the things I learned. but today I want to discuss the benefits of going to a preparedness fair and how to find one near you.
There are two types of fairs and they each have their purpose
You may find commercial ones hosted by major vendors and presented in big expo halls. These will have many vendor booths selling their products and possibly a few classes to attend. These expos are great for finding new products and comparing items you are thinking about buying. You might get information on the latest tech charging gadget, be able to compare various 72 hour kit items and sample different food storage vendors, pretty much anything that might be preparedness related (and some that are a stretch!) will be presented for your viewing at a commercial fair.
What is the difference between a fair, show or expo? Turns out, not much, they are nearly interchangeable. An Expo, or Exposition, is somewhere in the middle between a Trade Show and an Exhibition. Expo is open to the public, but focuses very much on business networking as well. See a description of the similarities here.
Community fairs will be smaller in size and have a bigger emphasis on education. These will be less about product sales and more about information. You will see your local Emergency Management Departments there, as well as the Red Cross. Most likely the information presented will be specific to the area you live, so you aren’t going to find classes on earthquake preparedness if you live in tornado alley.
The 7 benefits of attending a preparedness fair
- You will meet like minded people – I’m pretty lucky and I have friends who believe in being prepared (It’s only my family that thinks I’m nuts). If you have people wondering about your sanity…go to an expo. You will have the opportunity to be in a room full of people who have the same goals as you do. People who want to learn about being prepared. Community can be inspiring.
- Learn new skills – There are a few things I know a lot about and a lot of things I know a little about. In addition to cooking without power, ham radio, water storage and 72 hour kits, you may also find classes and booths about beekeeping, soap making, pressure canning and backyard chickens. There is something new to learn, some new trick to tackle. I always find a fresh way of doing things when I go to a local preparedness fair.
- Ask the “experts” questions – Presenters and booth workers are always willing to share. They are the experts in their field. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about the things that are holding you back from being ready for emergencies.
- Get the latest industry information – I have learned that there are new CPR techniques from the EMTs in the first aid booth. The Red Cross is always knowledgeable and offer great handouts. The newest information will always be presented.
- Speaking of Handouts – Some people hate the extra paper, but I always take all the handouts I can get and then sort through them after the expo. Some of these will become part of my preparedness library binder and some will be used for purchasing supplies or tools for my emergency kits. Some of them will be used for future blog posts too!
- Renewing your skills – It is also good to review the basics on the few things I know a lot about. We all do things differently so, getting another person’s perspective on a topic will always give me new ideas.
- Samples! Samples! Samples! Do I need to say anything else?
How do you find a fair near you?
Keep your ears open. When you buy a new car, you begin to see them everywhere. Keep your eyes and ears open and you will hear about preparedness fairs in your area.
Ask a friend who is into preparedness if they know of any local churches on agencies putting on a fair this year.
Ask the fire or police department in your town (just don’t call 911!) if they know of any local expo’s being presented.
Ask a CERT member in your community. These volunteers should be “plugged in” to the community and it’s needs.
Set up a Google Alert for Preparedness Fair or Preparedness Expo. You can also use the terms self reliance or homesteading. There were 10 results from around the country when I searched today. Spring and summer are the times you are most likely to find a local fair.
Join FEMA.gov’s communities page. Go to the bottom of the page – pick your region, then pick your state. Follow the link to “events” – but be sure to sign up, sign in and check out other preparedness ideas. Once you become a member you can receive daily or weekly updates via email.
Search on Facebook –Try “preparedness fair” or “preparedness expo”.
See if there is a Mother Earth News Fair near you.
Preparedness expo’s are fun and informative. It’s the place to be to learn new skills and meet people who are interested in the same things you are. Find one near you and attend!
What other benefits can you think of? Is there an annual preparedness fair in your town that you want to share with others?