Interview with Fortitude Ranch CEO Dr. Drew Miller, Colonel USAF Reserve (Ret)
Can you introduce yourself and your role at Fortitude Ranch?
I’m Dr. Drew Miller, a retired Air Force Reserve Colonel and intelligence officer–Founder and CEO of Fortitude Ranch, a recreational and Survival Community. I’m an Air Force Academy honor graduate, got a scholarship to Harvard University where I got a Masters Degree and PhD in Operations Research. My PhD was in underground nuclear defense shelters and field fortifications for troops.
I spent most of my military service in the Guard and Reserve, so half of my career in business, other half defense. I’ve been following threats like bioengineering, which is going to lead to genetically modified viruses that cause truly horrific pandemics. When a disaster strikes, people will panic, bad people will start looting, and law and order will quickly collapse. So people in urban areas, and even many suburban areas need to leave and get to a safe retreat where they can survive.
In working with other prepper friends and partners, we designed Fortitude Ranch as an ideal way to both provide a survival retreat and also serve as a recreational club so members could use it to vacation and enjoy in good times.
What is Fortitude Ranch?
We are both a survival community and a recreational facility. We operate like a country club–
you pay an upfront fee to join and can come use our facilities to recreate, vacation, shoot weapons at our firing ranges, hunt and fish, hike, etc. We locate in rural areas, so far in mountainous forest areas. As we expand, the purpose of this membership pre-sale with a cryptocurrency token, we’ll be in some areas that are flat–but always in remote areas with water and good resources for survival as well as nice places to visit and vacation at.
What is your greatest threat you see to our society?
The biggest threat is that our economic system is very fragile and when a major disaster strikes, many people will exploit it as an opportunity to loot, maraud and kill.
For example, when a pandemic hits, or a major electrical outage happens, food truck rivers are not going to be making deliveries into urban areas. They risk catching a virus, or being robbed, killed by gangs or even “good people” who are worried about starving to death. Panic and rumors will spread, people will fear the worse, and many will start marauding to steal food, ammo, and the kinds of things that Preppers stockpile.
Experts say we are overdue for a natural pandemic, and a bioengineered pandemic is inevitable. It may be a supervolcano explosion or Madrid Earthquake that triggers the disaster. But the aftermath of it, the collapse in a functioning economy and widespread loss of law and order may kill much more than the trigger disaster.
How can Fortitude protect against such a threat?
We have the ideal, flexible facilities to provide for and protect our members. If a pandemic, we can keep them in separate rooms with separate air supplies so they don’t catch a virus from others. We have room for quarantine. Our members are encouraged to store weapons in either their private rooms or storage lockers (with their locks), and are trained to serve as guards (along with our small staff, supervising).
We have shallow underground shelters and basement rooms. Only a few feet of earth is needed for radiation shielding. Our remote locations won’t be attacked by nuclear weapons. When a guard sounds the alarm, all our members will grab their weapons and man the defensive walls that encircle all Fortitude Ranch compounds. Seeing hundreds of armed people behind walls, any gang or marauding force will likely choose to go after much easier, undefended targets. We stockpile food, but also have chickens and milkgoats, cattle at some locations, gardens, and will hunt and fish as well.
What makes Fortitude Ranches more advantageous from individual shelters or other similar systems?
The best protection at the lowest cost. On our website we have a table that compares survival options. While Mount Weather (for government officials) and Survival Condo (for ultra high net worth families) may have better protection and more luxorious facilities, no option is as cost effective as Fortitude Ranch.
What is the cost to become a member of Fortitude Ranches?
About $1,000 per person a year. Lower annual cost, but higher up front payment, if you do a longer term membership commitment.
What is an initial member offering?
An Initial MemberCoin Offering is the new term we “coined” for our pre-sale of membership, utility token. A “Fortitude” offers you 3 important things:
1. A discounted membership price to join Fortitude Ranch.
2. Protection against price increases (you can buy in using Fortitudes at the low price locked in when you buy Fortitudes).
3. Priority in joining Fortitude Ranch when there is a wait list. Right now, demand for survival communities is low. In a time of crisis, or a major media (60 Minutes) show on things like the bioengineered pandemic threat and bioterrorism, demand for Fortitude Ranch will surge beyond our capability to accept new members.
A wait list will form, and the only way to get in may be using Fortitudes since they give you priority to join. So people who don’t have Fortitudes, but are desparate to get their family into Fortitude Ranch will try to buy them on exchanges and the price may surge. For people who buy Fortitudes expecting to join when we have a location near them, but later decide not to join, they can sell their Fortitudes.
What are the dates for the initial member offering?
It starts on Dec 7. We chose the anniversary of Pearl Harbor because this “day of infamy”, the worst disaster in U.S. history so far, is nothing compared to how we will suffer and die when a pandemic hits.
Our White Paper explains 11 reasons why the government is not preparing us for, or warning of a pandemic. Just as obvious warnings of the attack on Pearl Harbor were ignored, experts warning that a modified Avian Flu could kill a billion people are ignored. We are not prepared for a pandemic, and it will likely be the worse disaster our species has ever experienced.
What are the advantages of the Fortitude ERC20 tokens?
As an ERC20 token they are pretty standard and safe to buy and maintain. They run on the Ethereum blockchain, which is currently the best public blockchain.
What is the ideal number of people, gender balance and age spread to have a functioning and stable “tribe”?
We believe you need at least 100 people for a survival community to have many guards on duty all the time, and not spend most of your working hours as a guard. Our goal is to get 500 members at all our locations. We’ll then have doctors, nurses, pharmacists, mechanics, farmers, and most other skills that may be needed during a long lasting collapse–and plenty of manpower to deter or defeat marauder attacks.
“Postman” was a Hollywood movie, but the marauder threat is real. In addition to tens of thousands of gang members in the U.S., in a long lasting collapse there could be a million plus people out marauding, looting and often killing. We think a small group, while much better than trying to survive as a family, is not as safe or capable of handling repairs and building a decent quality of life as having a survival community with several hundred members.
One of the key challenges in maintaining an ad hoc community is human connections. How is Fortitude mitigating this risk?
Because we have lots of separate rooms and buildings (because of the pandemic threat and because we have big walled compounds to defend and want members close to all parts of the wall) we can easily keep people who don’t get along separated. The other key thing is that our Fortitude Ranch is in charge. No one can be “voted of the island.” We own the property and facility–members do not own it, they are customers, country club members.
Our staff works to serve and protect them–but it is our facility and we make decisions, set policies to keep people safe. We do screen members–if someone appears to be mentally unstable or just really obnoxious, we will politely decline to accept them as members. But once in Fortitude Ranch in a disaster, we will work to settle disputes, keep people in groups and job assignments working with people they like, engaged in fun activities as well as work assignments, and in good physical and mental health.
What are the reasons for ongoing payments in order to maintain membership?
To reduce the upfront cost so it is not prohibitive, we have quarterly payments (lower if you do a multi-year membership) and an annual per person stocking fee (restocking stored food).
How will residents pay for Fortitude Ranch Membership post-collapse?
Same way as before; either with cash or Fortitudes. During a collapse we won’t be accepting new members, but focused on protecting the ones we have.
Is it possible that Fortitude Ranches expand beyond US borders in the future?
Yes. If we hit our maximum raise of $15 million, we will build one non U.S. location. Fortitude token holders will vote on what place they recommend for this overseas site (and our additional U.S. locations, expanding from our current sites in West Virginia and Colorado).
If trapped in an urban environment, what can an individual avoid being infected in a pandemic?
Best thing is don’t get trapped. We warn members of rising pandemic threats and when its clear there is a virus spreading we tell them to come to Fortitude Ranch immediately. Because we have multiple locations, you do not have to go to your “home fort” if you are away and another Fortitude Ranch location is nearer.
We train members on alternate routes, getting around road closures and other potential problems to get to Fortitude Ranch.
Would you like to add further information?
We understand that many people are not comfortable with cryptocurrencies and digital wallets. If they prefer, they can wire, paypal send, or mail checks to us in dollars, and we will purchase and hold Fortitudes for them.
They can then use them to buy membership (we’d destroy them–as all Fortitudes are when used for membership) or if the want to sell them, they can then set up their digital wallet and we’ll send the Fortitudes to them when they’re ready.
For more information please visit: Fortitude Ranch
We thank Dr. Drew Miller for the interview.