R. Ann Parris on Seeking Out Other Preppers

 

Do’s & Don’ts of Seeking Out Others by R. Ann Parris

Preppergroups.com is dedicated to helping preppers and survivalists find like-minded individuals. That can be simple commiseration and the knowledge that we’re not alone, forming mutual support teams, creating information-sharing networks, or finding skills and training opportunities.

There are some considerations to bear in mind while conducting the hunt for others, and some that can make things faster, easier and more successful for all involved.

1 – DO practice good internet awareness. There are several locations on Preppergroups.com and the associated forum for information specifically on safety.

2 – DON’T give up. Very few of us these days meet, fall in love with, and stay with one person. The first car we see is rarely the one we buy. We might search for property/homes for years before finding one that fits out budget, location, and other needs. Finding prepper partners is the same.

3 – DO be specific on forums and group-finder sites. There’s a balance to be struck between too much identifying information and OpSec extremism. Especially if there is a subset of culture that applies, either for inclusion or exclusion, list it.

4 – DON’T go overboard with details. There is a fine line between being overly wordy and a post or reply that gives too little information to even generate interest.

5 – DO provide a location reference… There are very few places where we will blow OpSec by providing a town, city or county. We can also usually find some landmark that allows us to say “we’re about X hours from This Particular Park” or “…this town/intersection”. Especially in big states and regions, or in dense areas where 4 miles is 44 driving/walking/bussing minutes, it helps everyone involved make decisions about contacting or continuing contact with others.

6 – …but DON’T get crazy with it. Tag posts with one state/territory, unless we’re inside 2-3 hours of a border, in which case, sure, tag the surrounding states. If something like an information net does apply to a region or the whole U.S., Canada, UK, world, etc., there’s a tag for that.

End users/readers end up turned off when they search by the state they’re in or the state they want to move to, and end up culling through listings tagged with every county in Canada. (Psst…so do the mods/admins.)

7 – DO check your email. Whether it’s an automated message informing you of a reply or private message, admins trying to get ahold of someone for a clarification, or an interested party using the email provided to extend an offer, this is the primary means of communication.

8 – DON’T shotgun group-finder sites, then disappear. A lot of preppers do hit multiple forums and sites. Nothing wrong with that. Preppers are also notorious for signing up for a dozen all in a quick go, either as they get started or when they decide to try to find partners. Again, nothing wrong with that.

Just keep a list the username and password hint with the link to each site so they can be checked regularly. Otherwise, interested members may end up frustrated by lack of response and in some cases, accounts ended up duplicated (lots) and sometimes eventually locked out.

9 – DO use an editing tool for primary posts. Whether we’re selling ourselves to join a group, looking for training, offering experience or a retreat location, or trying to gather email buddies, excessive errors increase our difficulty. Most sites (including preppergroups.com) include spelling and grammar cues in the post creation tools. We can also use our email as a word processor. Those red and green squiggly lines help us create posts that are readable.

I know specific cases of horrid typists and spellers who are brilliant, handy people. I will only read short emails from several of them.

Fair or not, reading posts (and long replies) filled with errors is going to start creating a mental image. It’s also sometimes impossible to even figure out what someone is saying. If it’s important enough to find a group or partner, it’s important enough to spend some time on.

10 – DON’T get snotty. It’s hard to read tone of voice in typed text, so some of us have to back off our dry wit and sarcasm as well. Mostly, though, we just want to treat other internet users politely. People who can’t keep their cool when they’re at a machine (one they can walk away from, or close a page and move on) are one of my number-one warning flags. That person has either a basic disrespect for others, a temper problem, or both.

Finding other preppers can be tough. Even with all the meet-up sites, and all the people on them, finding one where we want to be (or who is willing and able to move), who also lines up with our personal beliefs, it can take a while. Like anything in life, the best things are rarely easy and free.

Some basic do’s and don’ts can make it a little bit easier and faster, though, and prevent some headaches along the way.

And, remember, if you run into problems, tag your mods and admins. Especially sites like Preppergroups.com, it’s a free service provided by the site owner with a few volunteers because they want to help other preppers.

  5 Responses to “R. Ann Parris on Seeking Out Other Preppers”

  1. Thanks for all you do. i look forward to gaining some knowledge from your vast amount of work.

  2. Amen!

  3. great post

  4. 7 – DO check your email. Whether it’s an automated message informing you of a reply or private message, admins trying to get ahold of someone for a clarification, or an interested party using the email provided to extend an offer, this is the primary means of communication.

    and…. check your email’s spam folder too. Some email services regard automated notification emails as spam.

  5. Ann Parris has some sage advice to which I would like to emphasize some details for all of you trying to find a group/retreat site to join.  I want to help you avoid wasting your time and the recruiter’s time.  There are two seemingly gender specific errors in thinking that dominate these conversations and lead nowhere for either side.   Some may find this offensive but I am going to shoot straight and from the hip; no bull, just reality.

    While there are many groups with retreat sites, they vary greatly with respect to what they have to offer and what they expect.  Generally the more they have to offer the more discerning they can be about recruiting.  The opposite is also true.  The more you have to offer a group the more discriminating you can afford to be about the groups you consider.  That sucks for a lot of people who through no fault of their own have little to offer.  The best sports teams have the option to recruit the best players and the best players look for the best teams.   It’s just reality.

    Here’s the gender issue.  Women seem to focus on food and men on weapons/ammo.  Neither is enticing or impressive.  Adequate food and weapons are a given; they are expected.  They don’t make you special.  Virtually every female that has contacted me about membership has had the minimum food requirement or was willing to upgrade to get it.  Likewise men seem to think that if they had cool enough weapons with a ton of ammo they are somehow an asset and any group would be lucky to have them.  It doesn’t set you apart from all the other guys who have weapons and ammo.

    There’s so much more to this than a year’s worth of food and an AR-15.  People who have one of those things or even both do not set themselves apart from all the others who also have those things.  Even a very small basic group has the obvious preps.  Take military experience for example.  I am eternally grateful to everyone who served.  Thank you.  But I get that a lot as though it somehow qualifies as a special talent or skill.  If you were in the infantry then yes, that’s attractive.  But if your MO was anything but infantry or medic/corpsman – “military experience” is not necessarily a useful asset.  Remember that every group is looking for special people, not guns and food which are obvious prerequisites.

    It’s not your stuff that makes you valuable to a quality group; it’s who you are.  I don’t need your stuff; I want a valuable trusted member.  Expect a lot of questions and answer them honestly even when it’s not your best.  Please don’t exaggerate.  Expect a background check if you don’t have a current CCW/CPL.  These are necessary, not intrusions into your privacy.  You have to sell yourself (and your family members) to people to whom you are a total stranger and you’re asking them to trust you with their six and the lives of their loved ones.  As a recruiter you know what goes through my mind?  I ask myself if I can trust this person or these people to care for my wife should I get taken down.  This is serious stuff.  This is literally life and death.

    Your stuff isn’t going to get you into any group worth joining.  Don’t push your stuff; have it but push who you are and why you’d be a benefit.  What are you skill sets?  What are your hobbies and interests?  Why would you be valuable?  The truth is any group that puts a premium on your stuff ahead of what kind of person you are doesn’t have its priorities right.  I have heard horror stories about groups that took the recruit’s stuff because that was their focus in the first place.  The reciprocal is also true.  Judge a group or retreat site by its people, not its stuff (but make sure they have it).  For the retreat site location, location and location are the three most important parameters but people are the most important issue when joining a group.  And you can’t buy your way into a (quality) group.  Money can buy coo stuff but if you’re a dick…

    If you have an agenda then put that out up front.  Some will welcome you and some will reject you if you are racist, a skinhead, anti-Semitic, anarchist, etc.  Are you a Christian?  How strong is your faith?  That has to match up as well.  Before you go into this, decide what your ideal group and retreat site would look like.  Then decide what the minimum you’d settle for is.  Then shop.  There are no perfect groups and no perfect recruits.  Seeking perfection will probably mean you’ll die alone.  Settling for a group not strong enough to protect you also means you’ll die though with well meaning friends.  It takes a lot of conversations for each side to decide on things as subjective as whether or not you’re a good fit.  Don’t expect to be voted in quickly or there’s something wrong.  Any good group will have a lengthy vetting process.

    Doctors and spec ops guys can write their own ticket into almost any group.  Everyone else has to find a group that “needs” them for who they are.  That doesn’t mean you have to be a medic or a sniper.  Some groups have an average age problem and may need nothing more skillful than a young strong back.  So don’t give up.  There is a group for every recruit.  But please stop pushing your food and guns as qualifiers.  They’re not.  Just be yourself.  Someone wants and needs whoever you are.

    Good hunting

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