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Steven Konkoly


Steven graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1993, receiving a Bachelor of Science in English Literature. He served the next eight years on active duty in various Navy and Marine Corps units.

From leading Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations as a boarding officer in the Arabian Gulf, to directing Close Air Support (CAS) as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) assigned to a specialized Marine Corps unit, Steven's "in-house" experience with a wide variety of regular and elite military units brings a unique authenticity to his writing.

His first novel, The Jakarta Pandemic (2010), explored the world of prepping, well before television and books popularized the concept. Hailed as a "grippingly realistic" family survival story, The Jakarta Pandemic introduced thousands of readers to the unfamiliar concept of "survival in the suburbs," motivating many of them to take the first steps to better prepare themselves for a major disaster. His recently launched series, The Perseid Collapse, continues Steven's legacy of engaging and informative post-apocalyptic fiction.

Steven lives with his family in coastal, southern Maine, where he wakes up at "zero dark thirty" to write most of the day. When "off duty" he struggles to strike a balance between a woefully short sailing season and an unreasonably long winter.

Here is a video trailer of his new book Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required, a collaboration with our friend, the mysterious, Mr. Powers:



Since its launch of February 3, The Perseid Collapse Kindle World has taken Amazon thriller and suspense readers by storm.

For more on the contributions to this unique project, check out the authors of the Perseid Collapse World created by author Steven Konkoly.



Practical Prepping:
No Apocalypse Required

By Steven Konkoly & Randall S. Powers


A Yankee walks into a bar in south Georgia and orders a Moxie. The bartender fires back "You ain't from around these parts are ya'?"

No, the Yankee replies proudly, I'm a Mainah.

The southern boy bartender looks at him dumbfounded and replies, "Well, Mr. Mainah, what kind of work do you do?"

"I am a Taxidermist, and a wicked good one!"  Seeing the bartender is still bewildered, he adds ...

"I mount dead animals."

The bartender (thinking to himself  "mind-blowing") stands back and hollers at the good ole boys in the bar:

"It's okay boys, he's one of us!"

And a friendship was born. Well, maybe. I don't know if this is how Steve Konkoly (our "Mainah") and Randy Powers (a "good ole boy" from Georgia) met, but this odd couple is certainly a match made in heaven for my fellow preppers.

Steve, a full time author of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction has collaborated with Randy, owner of Practical Tactical, a personal preparedness strategy firm, to author:

Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required

First, let me say that I really like these guys. I've come to know Alex, oops, I mean Steve, through his Perseid Collapse Series. Following a collapse event, the main character, Alex, and his family put to use their preparedness skills to fight through societal collapse. These books will entertain you as well as teach you prepping and survival skills.

Randy, a/k/a Mr. Powers,


is founder of Practical Tactical, a Georgia based preparedness consulting firm whose website is . He's a graduate of the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia and has taken lessons learned in life in order to prepare others. He believes in taking practical steps that will give you a tactical advantage should the SHTF, and most importantly, he practices what he preaches. He has consulted with Steve on his novels and brings an excellent preppers insight to the storylines.

Which brings us to Practical Prepping.  The first thing that I loved about Practical Prepping was the format.  Most survival guides are instructional, but can be sterile, nuts and bolts, how-to guides. Reading a "checklist" / preppers guide to survival is necessary for us newbies, but Practical Prepping reminds us of the importance of being prepared through the eyes of Steve's fiction and Randy's real life experiences. Each of the chapters includes excerpts from Steve's novels and Randy's analysis, offering different perspectives of the same preparedness goal.

For the experienced prepper, the format of Practical Prepping will allow you to take notes on a particular subject based upon Randy's practical advice, and then visualize a real life scenario through the eyes of Steve's literary prowess (he's gonna' need a bigger bucket hat after this).

Practical Prepping is divided into several parts, with chapters within each part. But I found Part 2: First Steps to be the most effective, especially for the new prepper. I have written about the Anatomy of a Survivor and The Preppers Mentality so I was glad to see the emphasis placed upon this by the guys. Part 2 focuses on subjects like: "Are You a Survivor", "Survive What" and "Realistic Capabilities of You and Your Family". Randy discusses the importance of getting your family on board with your preparedness plan by the use of "plausible fiction" like Steve's books. 

One of the points that the guys drive home repeatedly is that you don't need to run out and go shopping in order to start prepping. They emphasize that you should put the basics of a plan together first, otherwise you run the risk of just being "tacticool":

Got the picture?

I was fortunate enough to ask them questions. Because of the unique format of Practical Prepping, I found that Steve and Randy have different points of view on common preparedness issues. As a result, I gave them both the same questions and now let's compare the answers.

Q: While you were asleep, the SHTF. After waking to the news, what's the first prep that you wish you had?

Powers: This may sound a bit funny, but the first thing I would wish I had was my friends and loved ones that are in our group.  I say this for a couple of reasons.  As far as the nuts and bolts of the basics of prepping we're in pretty good shape, so that wouldn't be an immediate concern. My wife Alice is awesome.  When it comes to preparedness, she's fantastic partner and a wonderful resource.  A prime time player and our team's MVP.  My skills aren't bad and together we are quite capable, but with that said we have members in our group that we value and trust for a reason.  First and foremost, there's always strength in numbers when you're surrounded by people you can really trust and depend on.  As for our group, these folks weren't selected for particular skill sets, but each of our trusted team members has a valuable talent that adds depth and strength to our position exponentially.  Now because we take a holistic approach to preparedness, of course we have plans in place to connect with our team should the need ever arise.  That does require travel and time and in the scenario you've presented, my number one wish would be that we were already together.  The inevitable stress and complications of "rallying" could be avoided and we could set about the business of surviving the disaster that much quicker.

Konkoly: Water. I agree with Randy that I'd want all of my family in one place...this goes without being said...though I just said it. Go figure. Water is the big determinant as far as I'm concerned. Fill up the waterBob's and every single container that can hold water. I have other methods of procuring water, but for the immediate SHTF period, having a solid supply of potable water removes one of the biggest concerns, allowing me to focus on the the rest of my immediate plan.

Q: What TEOTWAWKI collapse event that concerns you the most most do you consider the most likely, your "Survive What" event?

Powers: I appreciate that you chose the term TEOTWAWKI for your question and I will answer accordingly.  This could take a minute.  I don't worry much about any one "big bad" event because our approach to preparedness is a fundamental one that will hopefully have us prepared to deal with virtually any survivable event.  I take a wide angle and long term view on our preparedness and why it's necessary.  With that said, my primary concern is a collapse event that we are actually experiencing right now and that is resource depletion, the strain it places on the nation and world's ever increasing population and the inevitable societal unrest that is sure to follow along as a result.  Whether it's our rapidly decreasing fresh water supply, the depleting rare earth minerals that make our technologically advanced society possible or the ancient stores of solar energy that power it, the natural resources that make the world what we know it are depleting, and in several cases, are in terminal and irreversible decline.  This will absolutely cause tension, stress and unrest as the world's societies come to grips with a new reality and ours in no exception.  Unless we get smarter as a world and society so as to better understand the drivers that actually impact our future and develop a sustainable plan going forward and adhere to it, TEOTWAWKI will be here sooner than most realize.  These long term impacts of decisions and events I observe happening all around us every day are the motivating factor for us and by preparing for those, we feel we are in pretty good shape to deal with the "flash" disasters that could happen at any time.  Because we take a long term view, we are working towards making life changes that will build resilience into every area of our lives that is required to achieve a level of preparedness we feel is sufficient for our situation.

Konkoly: This is a tough one. While I agree with Randy's assessment that multiple environmental and economic related factors could conspire to create a situation challenging resources and civil order, I think these scenarios are longer term disasters. Not yet inevitable, but very likely within 2-3 decades if we continue on the same path. In my opinion, a more pressing and likely event is a pandemic, manmade or naturally occurring. This might not result in a permanent TEOTWAWKI situation, but it will severely disrupt our lives and require us to dig VERY deep to survive.

Q:  Which is the better Bug Out location, Maine or Georgia?

Powers: G-E-O-R-G-I-A.  Okay, okay.  Let's really take a serious look.  Both states are shockingly beautiful, have wonderful people and are blessed with abundant resources.  Each has acreage-a-plenty to find an off-grid locale that would be sufficient for most any prepper and enough backwoods to guarantee that there would be good neighbors that might know a thing or two about real world survival.  I guess one of the biggest reasons would have to be the climate in Georgia.  Yeah, the summers can be oppressively sweltering, but overall the longer growing season tilts the scales for me.  That and sweet tea.  I'm betting they don't have sweet tea in Maine.  Yep.  Sweet tea.

Konkoly: Maine, of course. Georgia has fantastic weather, and a longer growing season, but Maine has a low population density, plentiful fresh water from inexhaustible sources (thousands of lakes), a second to none fishing and lobster industry (just having lobster should be an immediate "win"), and natural deterrents to the "golden horde." Realistically, the millions of people living in NYC, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts would head south along the coast for warmer weather...and Randy's jalapeƱo pepper jelly.

Q:  What is the most important item in your B.O.L.T. (Basic Operations, Limited Time) Kit?

Powers: This answer could go several directions.  Seeing as how we prioritize setting up your BOLT kit to best meet the needs of the disaster plan that underpins it, my answer is determined by what is probably the most important part of the puzzle for me based on my plan.  That is a lightweight, back country water filter.  Working off our plan, shelter is a consideration that's well covered so the ability to have clean drinking water virtually anywhere moves into the top spot, followed closely by the self-defense component.

Konkoly: I think the most important item in the family BOLT kit is our portable water filter. I can't stress the importance of water enough. Water is heavy, and while you should have enough to get you through the first day of travel, it's not practical to carry more than that. At eight pounds per gallon, you'll need a filter or purification tablets fairly quickly.

Q: Five Quick Picks

(1) Bug In or Bug Out

Powers: Bug in - When we bought originally bought our house, we selected a location that we felt was far enough outside any major city to meet our privacy needs.  From there, we've spent years actively developing and improving our resilience infrastructure alongside our basic preps to help us endure any but the most extreme SHTF situations.

Konkoly: Bug's easier.

(2) 45 cal or 9 mm

Powers: 9 mm - Understand that we wanted to be uniform in our choice of calibers and firearms both in our home and in our group and we wanted a firearm and a round that everyone would be comfortable shooting.  We believe that if you choose to own a firearm with the primary purpose of self-defense you should train to a level that will ensure you can deploy that tool effectively should you ever be forced to put it into action.  Knowing that we are actively training to be able to depend on ourselves and our weapon to be able to respond under stress and actually hit what we aim at, we chose the 9 mm due to magazine capacity, as well as the fact that if you are using a quality personal defense round, the stopping power of the 9 mm is more than adequate.

Konkoly: 9mm. While it's tempting to go with the more powerful caliber, I've trained more on 9mm platforms more than .45 cal. Additionally, I want to use a common caliber that everyone in my group can handle...the .45 can be a beast to fire compared to the 9mm. For the record, I own pistols in both calibers.

(3) AR15 or AK47

Powers: AR15 - Durability, reliability, accuracy, modularity and functionality.

Konkoly: AR15. For all the reasons Randy cited, plus ease of use and low recoil. The 7.62X39 recoil is significantly larger than a .223, and the .223 round is more accurate outside of 200 yards. It's a more versatile caliber. If you had asked AR15 versus AR10 (.308) platforms, we might have a different story. I'm a big fan of .308 AR's. (ed. no argument there)

(4) Prepper Group or Lone Wolf Prepper

Powers: Group - As I mentioned above, we believe in the value of TEAM.

Konkoly: Prepper Group for a Bug In situation. Lone Wolf (family included) for Bug Out.

(5) Pre-packaged meals in buckets or food stored in mylar bags/canned

Powers: Well, let's see.  I store my dry goods in mylar bags that are packed into food grade plastic buckets!  Truth.  All kidding aside, I know what you mean.  We do have both built into our tiered food storage and both have their place, but we do prefer to grow and then can as much of our own stuff as possible.  The food is great and we maintain skills that we feel are important. 

Konkoly: I have very little food in bucket form. Since my primary strategy revolves around bugging-in, which addresses the most likely SURVIVE WHAT scenario I envision, we keep dry food stores (air tight canisters of beans and grains) and canned food as our primary, long-term emergency food source. I don't mind rotating cans and dry stores. Our bucket food is reserved for bugging out with the car, since it's easy to grab and easy to prepare with our larger BOLT kit (includes larger quantities of water and a camping stove). For grab and go BOLT situations, we have MRE's built into our rucksacks system. 

(6) Besides each other, who is your favorite author and/or book?

Powers: Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank

Konkoly: Stephen King, and not because I'm from Maine. I love his earlier works and the Dark Tower series. The Stand was one of the first TEOTWAWKI books I read, followed by Lucifer's Hammer. Fantastic SHTF books.

(7) What question should I have asked, but didn't? And, what's the answer to that question?

Powers: In your opinion, what's the most frequently discounted or overlooked aspect of personal preparedness?

The psychology of preparedness.  Team building, leadership, stress management and conflict resolution are just a few of the issues that have the ability to absolutely determine the outcome of any disaster or survival situation.  Working on that type of strength and emotional resilience is an area that I believe most in the preparedness community give very little thought, if they give it any thought at all.

It was truly a pleasure working with the boys on this review. They are good people and both excellent in their field. This is a Survival Guide that will be an important post-SHTF resource so I suggest buying it in hardcopy in case of a grid down scenario.

Practical Prepping is written by real guys who have an honest desire to help all of us get ready for what may come down the pike. It is very apparent that Steve and Randy are good friends. Clearly, they'd have each others backs when the SHTF. Hell, I'd trust them if we had to defend our Bug Out location together.

Bobby, you ask, what could you possibly bring to the table?

20,000 rounds of ammunition.

Because you never know when the day before ... is the day before. Prepare for tomorrow.

Additional information on Steven Konkoly:


Twitter: @stevenkonkoly

Facebook: Steven Konkoly Thriller Fiction

Amazon Author Page: Steven Konkoly


If you like Steven Konkoly you may also like:


The Perseid Collapse Series




The Black Flagged Series
The Genesis Series