[Editor’s note: There are many facets to prepping for disasters. We must think of shelf stable foods, alternative cooking, emergency water supplies, alternative energy, security … the list goes on and on. This can be very overwhelming and frustration can take over leaving many to give up on preparedness altogether. ]
Todd Sepulveda, founder of PrepperWebsite created a questionnaire asking the preparedness community what one area of preparedness would make them feel better prepared. This survey provides good insight on the struggles that preppers face in fortifying and preparing their homes to withstand a disaster. Perhaps the answers provided by the community can help you in your preparedness endeavors.
Recently, I put out a questionnaire to ask the preparedness community a few questions. The questions were:
- What ONE thing do you need help on to FEEL better prepared? Please type your response and feel free to elaborate.
- What EMERGENCY is your biggest concern? Feel free to elaborate.
- What other type of articles would you like to find/read about in regards to preparedness?
- What question have you always wanted to ask but never felt comfortable to ask?
I am grateful for my friends in the preparedness community, website and blog owners who made their readers aware of the questionnaire so that we could get a broad range of answers. I wish I could name them all here, but there are many out there who I know promoted the questionnaire.
The goal of the questionnaire was to get feedback so that those of us who own websites and blogs can target some of the questions that preppers might have. My hope is that articles, podcasts and videos will bounce off of this data and ultimately help ALL of us become better prepared.
At the time of this post, I have had 74 responses (the questionnaire is still open). In looking over any data, we know that if someone asks a specific question, that many more will have the same question. If a topic comes up 3 or 4 times, we know that we definitely need to cover it. And when we cover that topic or question, we need to tackle it in multiple articles, podcasts and videos AND from different perspectives.
Ultimately, I was hoping to find some major themes of what the Preparedness Community is needing in their quest to be better prepared. I think I did find some aha’s, but I also came away a little perplexed. I want to share what I have found and also provide all the answers to the first question so that others can look them over too.
FOOD STORAGE – The biggest topic that popped up was food storage. Preppers are looking for ways to store food, how to cook it and how to come up with menus. Specifically, people want to use their own ingredients, but need it a little bit more spelled out in regards to step by step directions.
FINDING GROUPS/PREPPERS – A close second to food storage was that preppers want to find other preppers. Seeing all the responses in this theme is a little funny since I just wrote an article concerning this. The fact is that preppers are just like any other human. We want to socialize with people in our tribe. I think the current thinking on OPSEC really hurts the preparedness community. I talk about that in the article, however, this is something that I believe needs to really be thought out. There are ways to have human interaction with other like-minded preppers without giving away the location to your secret bunker!!!
WILDERNESS/OUTSIDE SKILLS – Another theme was obtaining outside skills. Most described these as wilderness survival skills. There wasn’t much specificity here. I have the feeling that many preppers believe they will eventually find themselves outside living the Grizzly Adam’s life. Although I don’t think this is as important as other topics, preppers still want to read about how to do stuff in the wilderness.
Themes that came up at least three times were: MEDICAL SUPPLIES beyond a regular first aid kit, GARDENING, PREPPING when you are or someone is DISABLED and finding ways to get WATER from your well without ELECTRICITY.
I felt comfortable categorizing these themes together because they came up at least twice: ALTERNATIVE POWER, IDEAS FOR ORGANIZING SUPPLIES AND FOOD STORAGE, COLD WEATHER SURVIVAL, SAVING MONEY FOR PREPS, WILD EDIBLES, SURVIVING WITHOUT ELECTRICITY AND LIVING MORE SIMPLY.
I said earlier that I was a little perplexed because I know that a lot of the information that preppers are seeking is already on the internet. In fact, you can find a lot using the tag cloud on Prepper Website. But I guess one thing that preparedness websites can do is to put together our content in easy to find locations. Maybe, we need to give some of these top themes and topics a permanent place at the top of our sites.
It might also be a good idea for preppers to learn how to use search engines like Google and Bing effectively. You can refine your search by just using a few tricks out there. Doing so will up the possibility of finding the information you are truly seeking.
Lastly, I think many preppers are very busy. When they look for information, they want it spelled out and easy step by step instructions. Pictures and easy to follow directions will always be helpful for those looking for information. We should always be careful in ASSUMING that others know what we are talking about and instead take the time to explain our thoughts clearly.
Below you will find the individual answers to the first question. I plan on releasing the data and feedback from the other three questions soon, it is just a lot of information to process and put together. But be on the lookout!
What ONE thing do you need help on to FEEL better prepared? Please type your response and feel free to elaborate.
• More like minded people in my town.
• Skills outside my home
• To live more simply.
• I would like to get more information on how to survive with no electricity. The Amish would be a good place to start. It needs to include all inclusive life skills to live.
• Product reviews
• Security for non-gun owning older woman living alone in suburbs.
• We have food (probably not enough) and some medical supplies. I’m more concerned about the medical supplies above the basic first aid kit. Advice?
• We need to know more about edible wild plants.
• I need help with saving money to use for preps.
• I fill that I deed is to get more training on my wilderness survival skills. It has been over 30 years since I went in the woods and lived off land with my gear.
• Though now I’m look for ways to get off grid and make my life a little more simply. I have a home stead kind of life now but still have a big electric bill and would have to have power to get my water out of the ground.
• I need to learn how to prepare when my parents won’t let me.
• Warning signs, or actions that will occur before mandatory quarantine or chaos.
• I need help on how to get water out of my well without power. I do not have a lot of money to spend on expensive hand pump systems.
• I need to help others understand the importance of being prepared.
• I need help with finding and joining a like-minded group. Searching on the web produces results. But should one join a group that “advertises” on the internet?
• I need help in better growing food for my family
• I live alone on a fixed income so #10 cans are too big to be practical. Most of my food preps have been canned or packaged foods that I rotate regularly. Now my doctor has put me on a low sodium diet and most of the foods I have stored have a lot of salt. I would like to see an article on prepping for those on a salt restricted diet.
• Need help figuring out how to buy land, then clearing it and building a secondary location, all within a small budget.
• Food in the wild… killing/prepping animals, plants to eat.
• I would like to see more articles on long-term survival and urban survival
• I need to quit smoking or find a locally grown tobacco substitute.
• Long term food preps.
• Basic solar power and a way to get water from my well when grid down. Not having enough supplies and pet food
• I’d like to see more info on animal husbandry. In particular more info on raising a variety of livestock for a small self-sustaining farm from breeding to the dinner table. Topics could cover not only food production and preservation but also fertilizer, hide tanning, and wool processing. Prepping, homesteading, wilderness survival, bush craft, are all related. Developing the necessary skills to be self-reliant should center most for the complete Prepper.
• Info about the coming earth changes.
• What is best for and older adult in homeless shtf conditions town or country ? water, food ,shelter
• To somehow absorb all the information that is available, and to somehow separate the wheat from the chaff.
• I need more info about cold weather survival.
• survival gardening
• Looking for Prepper lessons, ideas, knowledge anything to help me to prepare my 12 and 13 year old grandson’s I am raising. Both are ADHD. The youngest ODD and bipolar. I know fun, fun, fun. 🙂 I am a beginner. I think the three of us will do great but I have no resources to teach my boys. If you could point me in the right direct I’d be very grateful.
• I need to learn more hand to hand combat skills.
• water how to filter it and how to store it, and what to store it in, when to chuck it or if I need to.
• I need more information in sheltering in place
• is there other things we need other than a standard first aid kit
• I need to get myself into better physical shape.
• to know which scenario to prep for…natural, economic, governmental, global….
• When and if the SHTF, many people including myself will probably have to rely on Bugging-In. The items we store in our homes will be all we have to survive whether it be a couple of day, a couple of weeks or maybe longer. Food, water and shelter will be paramount for our survival. I need help on knowing how to best use the rolled oats and wheat that I have stored. I would like to have some direction on what and how to prepare acceptable dishes using bulk prepping supplies. Thanks
• I would like to see DIY tutorial segments that are thought out and presented to your readers. Water purification and alternative cooking just to name a couple Have a comment section so the readers can comment on their experiences and give their suggestions on how they could have done better.
• Being disabled, I need help to find a way to work around that. I cannot walk very far or well so I am limited in what physical things I can do.
• Community building
• I can’t seem to get my family-neighbors interested in Preparing. They all say they will come to my house….We have never had an emergency or power outage, so most folks think everything will just be fine in Central Texas.
• First Aid…I haven’t spent the time/money on getting enough preps and education in this category although that is next on my list.
• Organizing items for different problems. Like blizzard vs. hurricane. Ideas for storing supplies in totes, labeling for easy access. What items can be vacuum stored and which ones shouldn’t be.
• Need help with better understanding of pandemics viral/bacteria related to better prepare my family and how to help them to understand defense postures in the home.
• Help with saving and growing food from a city yard.
• Alternative power sources
• Large scale water filtration (family of 4), self-reliance living
• How to prepare concerning disabilities like for someone in a wheelchair, for diabetics, and for those with eye conditions.
• An example of each likely threat and a separate list of needed items and skills for each one
• I need help on wilderness survival in cold climates
• I need to learn skills so I can live more simply and self-sufficiently.
• prepping on a budget
• Help with food storage.
• I need more information on alternative energy. A lot of information is available already, but I am at the beginning stages of learning about it. I live in a wooded area, so I don’t know how useful solar or wind power would be. Additionally, I am trying to learn about gray water systems.
• More of everything but especially how to keep in touch with others so that information can be openly shared in an educational environment rather than those that don’t prepare at all making fun of those of us who are trying.
• Wilderness survival
• Best foods for storage that will last the longest and last through anything. Best way of protection against looters, without a gun.
• I need to save more money
• I’m finding I’m unable to organize my food storage. I tend to buy single ingredients rather than “just add water” meals, but that makes it harder to put together.
• I need help/suggestions about prepping for those who are handicapped/disabled.
• Although there are many areas I need improvement the one that concerns me most is communication. I need help getting started with radio and understanding why it MUST be ham radio.
• Wilderness survival skills
• a more remote location, I am in a subdivision just north of Atlanta.
• I would like more meal in a jar type recipes that use only home dehydrated foods. NOT purchased freeze dried. It is truly annoying to find only meals requiring me to send away for some food. UGH. Kind of defeats the purpose of learning to use what is readily available. Thanx
• Organizing food storage with real, whole foods and food sensitivities.
• I think I’m pretty good on most things. But my hubby doesn’t have a lot of skills as far as fire etc.
• His are medical skills etc. infection control skills.
• I think when everything goes weird he will be helping others and I’ll be more or less on my own.
• We live 10 miles out of town. He has done CERT and RED Cross etc. also 30 yrs. In hospitals. Our neighbors call him first for opinions on needing stitches, etc. I have the well and whole house generator and dogs to protect. Also have large propane tank, food, all kinds of supplies. But you just never know. Wish our kids and grands lived closer.
• I need help on food storage- how to figure out how many meals I have on hand, ideas for delicious food storage recipes for foodies, how to organize it all.
• I need help on organization of the house so when an emergency hits we won’t be looking everywhere for our supplies.
• I would love to see more reviews on products.
• How do I protect or should I protect my portable Solar Panels from EMP or coming Solar Flares?
• Fortify and protect my home. And when it’s better to stay in or bug out. I currently do not have a bug out destination decided.
• Communication like morse code the tapping and mirror type
This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.