It’s a misconception that assumes that the terms survival and preparedness are interchangeable. They are not.
Once you’ve bought into the notion that you should be better prepared for those times when life throws you a monkey wrench, you begin to research everything you can get your hands on to learn more. As Greg points out in another post below, back in the day (70s, 80s) all we had for resources were some magazine subscriptions and the local library. Both of which provided a large assortment of great material, but with the Internet, it’s so much easier to find information.
Likewise, it’s all too easy to find the wrong information and, unfortunately, very difficult to know the difference. There are many amateurs in every field, but I believe it’s harder to know who they are when looking for survival and preparedness information. Without having done the practical research yourself, it’s too easy for someone to fool you into thinking that they know what they’re talking about.
One site to look at is the AlphaRubicon website. The members of this website embrace a “Facts over words” attitude, which we would all do well to emulate. What this “Facts over words” means is that they don’t deal with rumors or hearsay. If you can’t prove it or have done it yourself, then you don’t know if it works. There are many urban legends and survival myths out there, and believing in them can really ruin your day. Everything from ruining your gear, wasting your supplies, to even bodily injury and death – they all can occur from listening to someone that doesn’t know what they are talking about.
One of the reasons that we constantly harp the mantra of, “DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH,” is because the responsibility is up to you to know what the heck you’re talking about, to know what you’re doing. Getting prepared is all about surviving a disaster or other event that threatens your life and well being. Unless you know for sure that the methods you’re using to store your food, treat your water, or any number of other critical functions truly work, you’re taking your life, and the life of your family, into your hands with possibly bad information.
Survival is what you do in response to a threat; it’s the actions you take *after* the fact. You are forced to make decisions and take action, regardless of whether you know what to do or not. Once an event happens, every action you make will affect your outcome and whether you make it through safe or alive.
In contrast, Preparedness is what you do *before* an event; it’s the proactive steps you take in order to make your survival easier to achieve. If you have prepared enough, your chances of surviving increase. Learn what to do before you need to do it. Learn how to store your food properly, know which methods really make water safe to drink, know which gear to buy and which wastes your money.
This is why we say, “Surviving is the Art of Being Prepared.”