I’m not sure what I’m more afraid of when SHTF…not having enough preps, or my neighbors who didn’t prep at all coming to my door. No matter how much I’ve stockpiled and planned, one group of hungry folks on my street and I’m done for. Of course, I can arm myself and have provisions to fight, but eventually I will run out of ammo. What is the solution? Education.
I’m studying Leadership and Organization Studies at the University of Southern Maine, working on my master’s thesis Disaster Preparedness in Rural Communities. It’s a tough climate for me – being a conservative in the liberal world of academia. Most of my peers and advisors wanted to know more about the psychology of prepping. Those who don’t consider themselves preppers are fascinated with the television portrayal of the doomsday prepper, who teeters on the line between preparedness and insanity. They forget that when the big storm is coming, running to the store for milk, bread and batteries is as much prepping as anything else we do.
While my original plan to create a model to promote rural resiliency is extremely important, it has become equally important to use the information collected to demonstrate the importance of prepping in general to those who don’t see value in it. I know there are those of us who have an every-man-for-himself philosophy, but mine is that if I can teach my neighbors some self-sufficiency, there is less chance they will need to lean on or steal from me. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Maybe they will become proficient enough that we can help each other, instead of fighting to survive. Think of it like teaching our neighbors to fish instead of them stealing our fish…right?
If you see merit to my thoughts and have ten minutes to spare, would you please consider completing the survey I have designed to collect data for this research? The multiple-choice questions are primarily for folks who have survived a previous event that can share feedback and thoughts to 1) demonstrate the importance of prepping (or not!) and 2) make recommendations for rural communities who don’t have the luxury of immediate emergency response that more urban communities might. I’ve used survey monkey to design it, because they allow me to place restrictions on collecting any personal data, including IP addresses – I will never have any way of knowing who you are or where you are – but your story can help so many. The link for the survey is:
Thank you for your consideration. The survey will remain available until February 28, 2014. I’ll need a couple of weeks to compile and analyze the data, but I’ll publish a follow up article with the results by the end of March so you can see how the trends report. Additionally, I’ll provide a link to my complete thesis to this blog in May, if you are interested in how your contribution is part of the big picture – for rural community preparedness planning.