Jane (J): First of all, thank you, Archer Garrett, for the invitation to guest appear on "The Independent", anytime I have an opportunity to "get-the-word-out" on preparedness I'm all for it.
About me? Well, I used to be an "oblivious-to-what-was-
In 2008 I took a huge leap of faith. I quit my corporate job, sold my home, cashed-in my 401k and moved to Western North Carolina to learn a more self-sustaining and self-reliant lifestyle - something I knew absolutely nothing about. My parents had retired to WNC years before and were salt-of-the-earth type people. They grew a garden and canned and preserved the food they harvested; much like their parents and grandparents had done. So for me, who better to learn than from my parents. Unfortunately however, nine months after moving to WNC, my parents were killed in an automobile accident when someone ran a stop-sign going 55 mph; broadsiding my parents' vehicle and killing them both instantly. I was now left to do what I do best - research (well besides socializing.)
I began researching how to prepare for uncertain times on the internet; but became frustrated because most of the sites seemed to be "male-oriented". I was spending as much time researching a word or phrase on a website as I was reading it. Then it dawned on me, men and women speak a different language and process information differently. I decided to create a website "SurvivorJane.com" to write on a multitude of topics dealing with disaster survival and preparedness but in easy to understand “girl-talk” (interlaced of course with bits and pieces of humor) using my personal experiences and discoveries. I have now made it my mission to use my research to educate women on how to better prepare themselves in honor of my parents.
To my surprise, my website has also reached preparedness-minded men who are just beginning their journey into preparedness, find my articles a little more "user-friendly" or after sending the women in their lives (wife, a girl-friend, daughters or mother) to help them understand preparedness from a women's perspective.
TI: Your site focuses on women specifically, do you take different approach than other sites to accomplish this?
J: Yes. First, I limit the words in my articles - I try to keep them "short and sweet". Not to be derogatory, or cutting, but I have found that some articles written by others are so "wordy" that I have actually stopped reading them mid-article. I figure, if I was doing this, others may be too. Women are the glue that holds the family together. They are busy and don't have a lot of time to spend reading on the internet. I try to give them the information they need without a lot of fillers (geez, that sounded like a food commercial didn't it?!)
TI: Tell us about your PrepTorials.
J: PrepTorials™ was created on my website to show people how to do a particular task after receiving numerous emails by people asking "How do you do that?" on topics from past written articles. Sometimes steps get lost in translation when writing out directions and, frankly some people are just more visual than others. I decided to make the directions on how to do or make something more of a - show-and-tell - by adding pictures to the written directions and named it PrepTorials (Prepper Tutorials.)
TI: What are the three most important things people can do to improve their chances of surviving a disaster, man-made or otherwise?
J: First and foremost, know the risks in your particular area or region. Preparing for a flood when you are in a drought-prone area is a waste of valuable time. Do a little research and find out what disasters (natural and man-made) have occurred in the last, say fifty years. If its happened before it can happen again. Next, have your basic needs covered - water, food, supplies and protection - for the whole family; keeping in mind that the '72 hours rule' is really not the norm any longer. With past disasters; through the media, we have all seen that it takes far longer for first responders and help to get to people. It could be weeks before help arrives. Which leads in to my last point, you can't rely on help coming, period. It is imperative that we get in the mind-set that we are accountable for ourselves. Help may never come. You need to have the necessary provisions in place for any future disaster. Oh and keep in mind, sometimes man-made disasters can result from natural disasters; take looting or civil unrest as examples, so plan accordingly.
TI: Are there any scenarios that people should be preparing specifically for?
J: My opinion is, you prepare for one disaster you prepare for them all. Sometimes people get caught up in one particular event and focus all their energy on that disaster forgetting that our world is a little restless and anything can happen at any time. Super Storm Sandy is a prime example. It had been years - a lot of them - since a storm like that had happened. Remember? If it has happened before it can happen again.
TI: Anything you’d like to add before we go?
J: Yes, let me get up on my soap box for a minute. As an additional outreach, I use social media and, in particular, Twitter. On Twitter, I created the hashtag #PrepperTalk - a search tool on Twitter (a word preceded with a pound sign "#") that when put into the search line will bring up topics of like interests.)
#PrepperTalk brings preparedness-minded people together to discuss and share ideas, suggestions and information with each other on disaster survival and preparedness. It is currently the Largest Prepper Community on Twitter with users from all over the world. https://twitter.com/search/
You can contacted Survivor Jane at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SurvivorJane (
@SurvivorJane - Creator of #PrepperTalk https://twitter.com/search/ realtime?q=%23preppertalk)