The Preppers and Patriots expo in Springfield this weekend has over 50 vendors and is expecting thousands of visitors from around the Ozarks.

Organizers say the expo is an opportunity for people to learn how to prepare for and survive everything from a tornado to an economic collapse.

"People are responsible. They want to take responsibility for their own safety, for their own families, because frankly they do not trust official agencies to do it effectively," says expo organizer Mike Slack.

Visitors to the expo say you don't have to be a hard-core 'prepper' to learn something here.

"Just gathering information about how to be a little more self-sustainable," says expo visitor Gwen Mangleson.

Mangleson says if you live in a rural area, being prepared for bad weather, especially in winter, is a good idea.

"You may go without heat, you may go without water, and you may go without food and that's not an option for me," says Mangleson.

"I had a wake-up call in 2007, two weeks without electricity in Springfield," says Slack.

Slack says he started to prepare after the 2007 ice storm, and when the next ice storm knocked out power in 2009, he says he got through it more comfortably.

"It was a minor inconvenience. I had a wood stove for heat and for cooking, plenty of water stored up, and enough food to get by on for quite a while," says Slack.

There are 36 speakers at the event, some have been featured on the television show 'Doomsday Preppers'. Speakers are presenting classes on everything from emergency medicine and wilderness survival, to using a barter system in case money loses its value.

"I like our motto. Two days that can save your life, because almost every speaker is covering a subject that could save your life in the future if you know about it," says Slack.