August 2013 – The Prepper Journal
The Featured Website of the Month for August 2013 is The Prepper Journal. P. Henry over at TPJ posts original articles on a regular basis. When he does post a guest article, it is usually one that hasn’t made the rounds on other sites. Take a moment to read the responses to the FWOTM questions and then go browse The Prepper Journal for some great content! – PW
Summarize the focus and purpose of your website. - Theprepperjournal.com was designed to share information about Preparedness and Survival in easy to understand language. I would like to think we offer something for anyone from the guy who has his fully stocked bunker on 100 – solar powered, land-mined acres to the suburban mother who has only recently been awoken to the potential threats to her family’s’ safety and security and is just beginning to store up a little food. Ideally both types of people can come to theprepperjournal.com and find some useful information. This mix plays well in the comments too because newer preppers will post questions based on the articles and will usually hear from someone who has been doing this for a while. It’s a great mix.
What made you decide to start a website? - Around 2005 I really began to get a sense that something wasn’t right with the world and it gnawed at me. It’s hard to describe really, but it was a sense that the world we know it was heading for some type of major upheaval. This led me to start digging into a lot of different topics and during my investigations around this subject; I realized how fragile society was. As a father of small children I felt a special urgency to take care of and provide for my family. This went in a lot of directions initially and I devoured as much information as I could. As I learned from other great blogs out there and struggled with my own issues of prepping for a family of 5 and dealing with work, finances, a spouse that was skeptical of my motivations for prepping on a good day, I started noticing that a lot of other people out there on the blogs I visited had the same problems.
Theprepperjournal.com was something that I had in mind for several years because I wanted to do something to help spread the news and information about Prepping to an audience with my own voice. I wanted to be able to do something to share my experiences (good and bad) that I had with others out there and build a community of information that could be valuable to as many people who were interested in this topic as possible. To that end, I wanted the focus to be friendly to newbies. My wife validated that when she told me that she thought the same thing. My goal was to reach as many people as possible with the message of prepping and self-sufficiency and to convince people who were skeptics that the threats out there are real and it isn’t crazy at all to want to be able to care for and protect your family.
How long have you run your website? – Our first post was on January 24th of 2013 so we are just shy of 6 months old now. We are still crawling, but are learning so much every day along with our great readers.
How much time do you spend dedicated to your website? - Not as much as I would like! The subject of prepping and theprepperjournal.com is one that has really consumed me like nothing else I can remember in my life. I honestly wish I could devote my entire day to making the site better, writing articles and taking steps to increase my families own preparedness. I think my family might disagree with me on that and hope for a little less time sitting in front of the computer. I do take Sundays off though so no posts.
I still have a full time day job that pays the bills and I work on theprepperjournal.com website on nights, lunch breaks and Saturdays mostly. I would say that on average I easily spend a few hours a day writing articles or finding great content from other sources to post on our site. Some days it is more like 8 hours a day depending on what I am doing.
What is one thing you really like about your website? – Wow, that’s like asking a new Dad for one thing he likes about his new baby! Seriously, I really like the variety we have and the guest bloggers we get to work with on our site. From the beginning we were fortunate enough to be contacted by William Simpson who was a featured prepper on National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers show and he has shared a lot of great articles with us. Just recently we have been able to partner with Linda Holliday who also writes for Mother Earth News and she brings a great dynamic to the content on our site.
I also like the layout and information flow. I think theprepperjournal.com is easy to read and gives people a simple way to find the information they are looking for. I hear from so many of our readers about how we were able to give them a different viewpoint on a subject or how we may have said something they heard a hundred times before just in a different way and I love that type of feedback. I also enjoy hearing from readers all over the world literally in our comment section and they have awesome ideas of their own. Some of these have actually been the genesis for articles I have written.
Right now our format is one new post a day and that fits nicely with the Journal metaphor. Each day if you can learn one thing that will start you on a journey or help you along your way and if that happens I will be pleased.
I would never say our website is the end all be all for information and it probably never will, but I do think it has a good balance of how-to, opinion and guidance for a wide discipline of interests that should appeal at some level to a decent variety of preppers out there. There are so many great sources of information out there and we are just happy to be able to contribute in some way.
What is one thing that you want to change about your website? – That’s a great question. I have looked at different layouts, but I really like the one we have now. I think at this time the only thing I would change is to have more content out there for our readers. I also think that it is important to give information in a way that is easy to find so classification of our articles is something I have been thinking about too, but that is just the technical side of things. I really like what we have now and honestly we are still new enough that I don’t feel too much pressure to change. That being said, theprepperjournal.com will evolve as we get more information and more voices so that we can continue to add value to the community of preppers out there.
Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows. – This is a tough question so! Hmm, ok, for something completely random… I was on a show called Karaoke America back many years ago. It was a local (I think) public access channel that recorded people singing Karaoke at bars all over and my 3.27 minutes of fame was captured on there. It was probably the start and end of my show business career. You couldn’t have asked for much more embarrassment; I had two friends of mine singing backup, had a blow up guitar and I was screeching out “Play that Funky Music White boy” to the delight of everyone at the local restaurant. Memories… I have also been a stand-in actor on a very low budget movie with Chris Nolan from Homicide SVU. I think I had a total of 3 seconds screen time and zero lines. You can find it on YouTube and that simple little walk-on part impressed my daughters for years.
Other than your site, what is your favorite non-preparedness websites to visit? - There are so many that I visit daily. I would say my top sites that aren’t entirely preparedness focused would be Drudge Report, SHTFPlan.com and Infowars. For the rest I separate my bookmarks into News and Blogs and some days I check the news first. Other days, I go out and check out blogs first.
I do like to keep tabs on some of the other top bloggers in the Survival and Prepping field because I am still learning myself. That is one of the great things about this community; there are so many great ideas out there. Prepperwebsite.com does an excellent job of taking great articles from a ton of other sites and making them easy to find in one location.
Do you have anything (projects, special posts, redesign) in store for the future of your website? – In terms of offerings I do plan to have some contests so that readers can have an opportunity to win some great prepping or survival gear from our sponsors. I don’t know if I am going to wrap this up in a writing contest at this time, but that is the direction I am leaning. I want the prizes to be pretty significant, not something like 500’ of paracord so the contests generate a lot of interest. This would be items ideally, that average preppers might hold off on purchasing because of funds.
What were the three books you last read? (Be honest) - 50 shades of grey… No, I am REALLY kidding.
I wish I could read more but it seems the only time I get to read is right before bedtime and by then I don’t have a lot of energy left. Consequently, books take me longer to read than they used to. I am currently reading a book called “Desperate Sons” about some of the less famous Founding Fathers who were instrumental if not catalysts for a lot of revolutionary activity.
I most recently read “Secret Garden of Survival: How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest from Rick Austin and “Surviving Doomsday” by Richard Duarte to review on our site. Before that I read Bear Grylls’ autobiography, “Mud Sweat and Tears”. For anyone who appreciates Bear Grylls, his story about going through the British SAS selection and climbing Mount Everest is pretty interesting.
I think the last book I read before that was “Behold a Pale Horse” by William Cooper . If you are interested in conspiracy theories, this has to be the Magna Carta of literature on that type of subject. I checked this one out from the library because I didn’t know if it was worth it to purchase the book, so I didn’t make it all the way through before I had to return it. There are at least two major chapters posted online you can find pretty easily if you look. Just Google “Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars”. It was one of those books that jive so closely with what I believed was possible already but seeing it in this light is somehow much more creepy and sinister.
What would you like to say to readers at the Prepper Website? - Well, first of all I would like to thank you Todd, for the honor to be featured on your site. I am very humbled to even be considered along with so many other blogs and websites that I look up to and who themselves were inspirations for me to start theprepperjournal.com in the first place. Prepperwebsite.com was one of the first who started linking to our articles and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be associated with so many other great sites.
At the risk of preaching to the choir…I think the prepping community is a strong collection of highly diverse, intelligent and motivated people who are striving toward a lot of common goals. The desire to be prepared when some bad event comes your way isn’t fringe, it’s human nature. I am honestly still surprised at anyone who thinks that storing food and water is a nut or that someone who wants to have a firearm to protect their family when a whacko kicks in your door is some type of terrorist.
If you are visiting Todd’s site, you are not crazy. The proof is in our growing numbers and that small voice in your own head validates that we are part of a movement of people, of a lifestyle that isn’t going to sit back and wait for help. You are taking your own personal responsibility seriously and I applaud you for that. I could only hope to have an entire neighborhood of readers of the prepperwebsite.com living next to me in the event of some catastrophe.
I think prepping is a vital first step on a longer journey. I think we have to start taking care of ourselves and our families first. Our nation is next.