One of the key elements to my own prepper/survivalist philosophy is that it is nearly impossible to survive a long-term societal collapse without assistance from others. I discussed this at length in my first article for Survivalist Magazine titled Lone Wolf Syndrome. I believe it is imperative to foster relationships now with family and neighbors so as to provide for better security and overall living conditions later.
There are several ways it is helpful to have like-minded people around you now.
–Pooling of resources: Perhaps you and two of your neighbors all plan expanded gardens this year and each person will need the use of a good rototiller to accomplish this. Rather than each of you laying out money to rent or purchase one, consider going in together on it. If the daily rental fee of a tiller is, say, $75, you each chip in $25 and work as a team to get all three gardens done in one day.
–Sounding boards: While turning to the various and sundry survival related websites, groups, and message boards online is certainly advisable, it is always great to be able to pick the brains of folks who are intimately familiar with your own local area. Put it this way, if you were looking for a great romantic restaurant to celebrate your anniversary, do you think you’d have better luck using Google or asking around at work?
–Barter/trade: When circumstances prevent you from being able to run over to the hardware store to get the tool you need to fix your generator, you just may find a neighbor has exactly that item. He’ll help you get the generator fixed and in turn you’ll let him charge up a few batteries. Or perhaps he’s drowning in eggs and would love to trade you a dozen if you happen to have a pound of flour or sugar. Maybe he can help you fix that leak in your roof if you could help weed his garden? Back in the day, folks did that sort of thing all the time. In today’s frightening economic situation, more and more people are turning back to these sorts of trades.
–Security: The more eyes and ears paying attention to what happens in the neighborhood, the better as far as I’m concerned. Granted, every neighborhood has a “busybody” who feels it is their God-given right to know just who is sleeping with whom and where and those folks are at times a bit hard to handle. But those are the same ones who will be able to tell you just how many times that navy blue SUV has driven through the neighborhood late at night.
It can be difficult though to make a connection when it comes to prepping though. Often, we feel as though we’ll be ridiculed or mocked for our interest in planning for a possible calamity in the future. But, given the rapid increase in both interest and awareness in prepping, as evidenced by the numerous TV shows, books, and websites discussing it, I think things are changing, at least a bit. More and more people are “waking up” to the reality that they need to prepare themselves and their families, rather than rely upon a government agency to swoop in and save the day.
I’m not suggesting you go door to door in your area, asking if they’ve heard the end is nigh and inviting them over for a tour of your preps. What I am suggesting though is bringing up the subject of prepping with your neighbors and trying to gauge their interest. Could be they just saw an episode of Doomsday Preppers and while they felt some of those people went a bit far, they’d like to learn more about disaster readiness. (Bonus points if you point them to our Countdown to Preparedness here.)
On almost a daily basis lately, I’ve been fielding emails and messages from family and friends who are suddenly interested in learning more about prepping. Sometimes it is a result of a TV show or book, other times it is like the blinders just fell off and common sense has returned. Whatever the case is, I’m always happy to answer any questions they have. You should do the same.
This week’s assignments:
1) Make contact with at least three people this week and work the subject of prepping into the conversation. I don’t care if they are immediate neighbors, co-workers, or local family members. Consider using recent news stories about stranded motorists as a starting point. Talk about vehicle emergency kits, get home bags, that sort of stuff to get the ball rolling.
2) Make sure you are staying on top of completing previous assignments. Use this week to update all your supply lists and determine where you still have holes.
Please never hesitate to email me any questions or concerns you have with the Countdown to Preparedness lessons and assignments. I’d also love to hear from my readers as to how they are progressing. Leave a comment below or email me direct — Jim@SurvivalWeekly.com.
See you next week!