Preparedness Networking & Why it’s Important
So why would preparedness networking be beneficial for you? There are a lot of reasons really. People throughout the preparedness community have different amounts of experience and expertise that can be very beneficial to one another. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “iron sharpens iron”. As we all here know, being prepared is vital. However starting out is not always easy, because there is really so much to learn; especially if it is completely new to you. When I first began preparing my favorite way to learn was through YouTube. I would watch every video I could that had something to do with prepping or survival. I have to be honest, not all of them were good. But you can find videos on there that are really helpful. Seriously! You can learn to build off the grid systems, what to put in a bug out bag, how to preserve foods, or even how to prep on the cheap! If you haven’t checked it out, go for it; you’ll be surprised at what all is available there.
There are tons and tons of great ideas on there that I personally never thought of. An example is that I watched videos on shelter building and I got the family to go outside and try to build one. I’m sure the neighbors wondered what we were doing huddling under a tarp in the middle of a warm spring day. But we learned and found ways to improve our skills after several attempts.
Back to networking, let’s first talk about online networking. As you already know you can find nearly everything online, and when it comes to communicating with like-minded people this is no exception. On social media sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and even Pinterest there are prepping groups and pages, dedicated to help educate people on preparedness. Not trying to play favorites here at all, but honestly the actual websites I find myself at the most recently are MomwithaPrep, AreweCrazyorWhat?, Survival Sherpa, PreparingwithDave, Survivalist Prepper, Graywolf Survival and of course The Survival Mom. (just to reiterate, these are only 7 of the many I follow, but they are definitely in my list of top 10) I highly suggest everyone also checking out Prepper Website and the Facebook page called Prepared Bloggers. Both of those sites are updated daily to bring you information from various preparedness bloggers and the prepperwebsite.com page also has a mega list of prepper and homesteading sites. Just scroll half way down and they have the list and different categories for the sites. Using online resources and avenues are a great way to find anything preparedness related. One tip is when you go to any sites, interact! Ask questions and get the answers to any questions you have. Take full advantage and ask the experts, that’s what they’re there for after all.
Now let’s talk about in-person networking. You would be surprised, or at least I have been, at the amount of people I have met simply out and about who are preppers. Honestly, it’s just totally out of the blue and it still catches me off guard but it’s pretty cool to say the least. One time we went to an appliance repair shop that also happened to sell refurbished items. We asked them if they had a treadle sewing machine. He owner was curious about why we wanted a manual one. My husband told him because if we lost power he would still have a way to make leather items like holsters and such. The guy said are you guys preppers? We looked at each other and replied yeah something like that. The guy got a big ol smile and said me too, for over 30 years! You might be surprised to find people in your area that are into preparedness also. Not only can you use this as an opportunity to learn, but you can also teach them what you know. Maybe this can turn into a friendship that when the stuff does hit the fan, you can have people you depend on.
Don’t stop there, talk to people in your own life to help them understand the importance of preparedness. Yes, you’re going to have those that think you’re completely nuts and don’t see the importance of what you’re doing. Don’t let that stop you, on to the next! I talk to my friends and family about prepping and though a few think that I’m rambling on about either A: the end of the world, B: the zombie apocalypse or C: I’m completely wasting my time and effort; but some of them have taken steps to begin preparing themselves. The more people you can teach, the more will be ready when something happens. Personally I feel that this will also help to eliminate the amount of people who come knocking on your door later. Help them now, helps them later. Involve others and find a prepping group in your area. If there’s not one, start your own. One good place to network is at Prepper or survival expos. You really get the chance to meet new people that are just like you. You also get to talk to vendors and get information from them directly about their products so that you know which products are best. That is networking!
So how do you talk to them? Consider your tone, topic, and attitude. Just like with anything, if your tone is aggressive and harsh, or worse patronizing you can totally forget them listening to a word of what you have to say. Just be yourself. I tell people that I am not prepping for the end of the world, and I am not. I am just preparing for hardships or disasters of any kind. Then I might ask them a question, like what would they do if they were faced with a disaster? Are they prepared to sustain their family for a week if needed? Most say yeah, they’d get by okay, probably. But then what if that week turned to one month, would they still be ready? Of course most are not. The person has to relate to the topic, it has to be personal and hit home for the wheels to start churning. Most people don’t live in the “what if’s” like many preppers do, but they are interested in things that would affect their family personally. I mentioned that it’s important to also consider your attitude. Nobody likes a person with the wise guy mentality.
You can’t pressure anyone into preparedness; it just doesn’t work no matter how much you love them and are worried for them. And for goodness sakes, scare tactics are unnecessary. Preparedness shouldn’t be about fear; it should help to prevent fear. The fear of; not having clean water, food, necessities, or a secure location.
Having a good network of people that you trust who are likeminded and are preparing too is important. Not only for the learning and teaching aspects of it, but also the comradery and support that comes along with it. There is a special understanding I think amongst people in the preparedness community. They understand the concerns and potentials ahead. And of course since they’re in the same mindset, they realize you are completely normal. Lol So don’t be afraid to network and build those relationships. Get out there, learn, teach, and enjoy. There’s a lot of us out there who are striving to be more self-sufficient and just happen to be preparing along the way too.