Friday, June 3, 2011

Frantic Friday #24 - Enough Information To Be Dangerous

Many times in my life I have joked that I know just enough information to be dangerous...yes, a scary thought indeed.  Preparation can be one such topic if you are not careful.

The internet is full of 'facts' about all sorts of things.  I am sure if you look hard enough you can find a site telling you the Earth is flat, that High Fructose Corn Syrup is good for you, and that aliens are attending your local school.  Just because it has been written down doesn't mean you need to believe it.

There are many reputable preparation websites.  There are government sites that give you resources, and company sites that offer you supplies.  There are also survivor websites, and well as enthusiast sites.  Unfortunately, not all information is created equal.

When determining what you want to spend you time reading, think about a few common sense questions:
  1. Can the information be verified or duplicated? A fascinating story may be only that, a story. Make sure the information is coming from a reliable source.
  2. Does the author have expertise? Sometimes that expertise comes from personal experience, but as a reader, you need to decide if their information can be applied to your situation.
  3. Do they advocate extremes? Some sites have a very extreme opinion of what is needed and they may convey more fear than usable information. If, after you read the materials they provide, you are considering buying a generator, quitting your job and moving off the grid to save your family from a complex conspiracy plot...take a breath and evaluate if that is really needed.
  4. Does the information apply to you? This can be a tricky one to determine.  If you live in a desert, flood survival may sound out of your scope, but then again, you may have a dam upstream, so flooding may really be a possibility.  Think about where you live, what situations you may find yourself in, and what resources you have available.  If the information you are reading adds to what you know and makes sense, then add it to your knowledge bank.
  5. Do you feel pressured? Many preparation web sites sell products...just like Prepared Binder. If you feel an extreme amount of pressure to buy the product offered (I hope there is no extreme pressure at Prepared Binder) then step back and research the information from another source.  There is the possibility you feel pressure because you really are in need of their product, but there is also the possibility you are just overwhelmed and the website plays on your insecurities.
The web has given us the opprotunity to have large amounts of information at our fingertips.  What once was a huge research project, is now just a few mouse clicks away.  Knowing what you are looking for and what type of information will assist you in your preparations will help you avoid unreputable web sites and faulty information.

Just remember, information is a good thing, as long as it is quality go forth and seek it out!

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