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.