The online female prepping star known as Survivor Jane was just your typical career woman going about her daily life, until everything about her entire life perspective was altered during an attempted robbery. The old saying “the straw that broke the camel’s back” may be a cliché, but it accurately describes the scenario that prompted Jane to begin focusing on a more self-reliant existence.
Jane already knew how to handle a gun but was not skilled in other modes of preparedness. She embarked on a journey of self-discovery and education that led to the creation of a legion of faithful online followers. Survivor Jane started a website designed to aid other novice female preppers. Jane also created a now-viral Twitter hashtag that attracts thousands of homesteading, survival, and preppers fans from around the world.
Survivor Jane recently sat down with Off The Grid News to discuss her transformation into one of the most followed preppers in cyber space. This is part two of that interview. (Click here for part one.)
OTG – Have your thoughts about civil unrest evolved since your initial encounter with a robber? What are your thoughts about the civil unrest today, as solar flares, EMP attacks, and threats from North Korea continue to make headlines?
Survivor Jane – Civil unrest is a huge concern for me. And it’s not just with disasters. Have you ever been in a large crowd and people from the back start shoving? Panic can set in quickly. Look at any past disaster; there is always tension. People are hungry, tired, frustrated, and homeless. These emotions can lead to someone “taking matters into their own hands.” It could be due to long gas lines or no more food or water being given out. It can be a number of reasons. This frustration, as I mentioned before, can quickly turn into mass hysteria with looting, burning of buildings and vehicles, and even personal assaults. Now, remove electricity as a result of a CME, solar flare, or EMP for weeks, months, even years? There will be civil unrest. Our world will be an ugly place to live in, and people will take matters into their own hands.
OTG – Since you live in a suburban area, do you have a plan to “bug out” to a more rural region and go off grid if a severe civil unrest situation develops?
Survivor Jane – Well, actually, I “used” to live in a suburban area. It was a nice upper-scale gated community, with a strict homeowners’ association. But when crime began to escalate (due in part to the high rate of unemployment), the housing market crashed and my 401k continued to decline rapidly, I knew I had to make some serious decisions. I asked myself questions like, “If there was a devaluation of the dollar, how would I live?” Or, “If a major disaster struck, would I be able to get out of the city?”
Just thinking about the grid-lock after a holiday weekend or after a big sporting event sent shudders down my spine. I mean, even after a local Friday night football game or concert there is major grid-lock on the roads. Vehicles are bumper to bumper. Tempers begin to flare as tired drivers eager to get home invariably cut one another off. And the hostility begins. Again I am just talking about the normal course of a typical event or holiday. Now, raise the bar. Add a looming disaster to the mix. See where I’m going? Major civil unrest as people are trapped in traffic with no place to go.
I made the difficult choice to leave the city and all its glory and move to a more rural region. So I now live in my “bug-out” location “bugging in.” And because I’m in a more rural setting, it allows me to work towards my goal of being off-grid as much as possible.
OTG – When living in a suburban area, did you have some space advantages over your urban prepper neighbors? Do you utilize your outdoor space for any type of homesteading activities, like growing your own food?
Survivor Jane – As I said, I am in a rural area now, but whether you are living in a suburban, urban, or rural area, we all need to utilize the space we have: both indoors and outside. There are so many creative preparedness ideas out there on how to utilize space inside the home and out.
OTG – Some survivalists, preppers, and homesteading families prefer to prepare alone or with a close-knit family group – others opt for a more communal approach. Do you prep alone of work with others in your neighborhood to thwart potential civil unrest?
Survivor Jane – I personally have a few key people I prep with. But, I do caution those who think that because a person calls themself a “prepper/survivalist” means you will get along with them. Not so. Think back on family holidays. Now, throw these family members into an eight-by-eight room for a week. Civil unrest could actually come from within. You have to take into consideration that with someone you don’t really know well you won’t know how they are going to respond or react to a situation. Of course, that being said, none of us can be certain how we would respond/react either. When disaster comes knocking you have to be prepared to face it head-on with no hesitation. I wrote an article a while back on Disaster Personalities .
We all have a disaster personality. You have the person who just freezes with the deer-in-the-headlights look, the one who stands there screaming and waving their hands, and the one who jumps right in and takes action. This is something you may want to consider before joining forces with someone or a preparedness group: make sure you only have to deal with civil unrest from the outside.
OTG – Do you have alternative sources of energy in case a man-made or natural disaster shuts down the power grid?
Survivor Jane – I do. My goal has always been to be as self-reliant as possible, disaster or not. I have a summer kitchen where I cook outdoors in the summer on a grill or fire pit. I can boil water out there and wash clothes using my hand-cranked washing machine and then line dry them. I have solar bags that I can hang up in my greenhouse and bathe with. And most of my food is dehydrated so I just need to add water from my water storage that I purify. At night I can bring my solar garden lights in to the house for lights. And, I have a wood stove for heat for the winter and can also use it to cook on. And as for eh … going to “potty?” I created a water bidet, so no need for toilet paper!
OTG – You created the most used prepper/survival hashtag on Twitter. What are your goals for the tag, and can you tell us a bit about your scheduled discussions with followers?
Survivor Jane – The hashtag #PrepperTalk on Twitter was originally created out of a need to bring preparedness-minded people together. When I first began using Twitter, it was hit or miss trying to find preparedness-like minds or information. After learning what a hashtag was (and being the social media butterfly that I am), I created the hashtag #PrepperTalk and began inviting preparedness-minded people on Twitter to use it. For those of you not familiar with Twitter and/or hashtags – a hashtag is a search word with a pound sign (#) in front of it that is used to bring similar topics together.
By using the hashtag #PrepperTalk on their Twitter tweets, people can share preparedness articles, information, ideas, and suggestions or even have discussions with one another. It has been a huge success! #PrepperTalk is currently used world-wide with at last count over 300,000 users. I would invite anyone on Twitter who is preparedness-minded to use the hashtag to meet other knowledgeable and skilled preparedness-minded people. Or, if you are seeking answers to preparedness questions and not sure where to find them, add the hashtag to your tweeted question, and you will get not only one answer to your question, but several from people eager to help.
OTG – Paracord bracelets are a popular seller with preppers, outdoorsmen, and survivalists. Your signature line of paracord bracelets and hair accessories differ significantly from the kind found at local Army/Navy surplus store and Walmart. How did the fashionable and potentially life-saving accessories come about?
Survivor Jane – Again, out of a frustration at the lack of “female-ish” preparedness products, Simply Survival Jewelry & Accessories was created. Gun companies have attempted to bridge that gap by making pink weapons. It’s a start. But when it came to jewelry— yes, even for preparedness sake— I just couldn’t bring myself to wear manly bracelets or accessories.
So I created items I would wear. And as I wore them, people would ask where I purchased the bracelet or hair accessory from. Again, I saw the need and added them to my site as just another of the many preparedness tools we could have on our person. These are one of a kind – not cookie-cutter-type pieces – so there are new items all the time.
OTG – What tips would you give to other women who are interested in prepping?
Survivor Jane – My whole victory cry to women, and men for that matter, is you don’t have to give up being “you” to be prepared. It is more about being aware of what is happening around you, having your basic needs covered (food, water, shelter, warmth and protection), and in an emergency or disaster situation, knowing you have to be self-reliant as help may not be on the way.