Prepper’s Home Defense sneak peek: Mutual Aid AgreementsPosted on: July 18, 2012
[What follows is a sneak peek from Prepper’s Home Defense, coming in October, 2012, from Ulysses Press.]
One of the most common complaints I hear from preppers is the difficulty in finding like-minded folks in their area. They feel as though they are lone voices in the wind and struggle to locate anyone nearby who shares their concerns about the future. See, here’s the thing. Let’s reverse the question for a second and look at it like this – how many people in your area know you are a prepper? Not too many, I’d reckon. And that’s probably by design, isn’t it? The rules of OPSEC dictate to keep your trap shut and not go around blabbering to people how you have umpteen cases of toilet paper and hundreds of gallons of water stored in the basement. This makes perfect sense. However, the reason you are finding it difficult to find preppers in your area is because they are all doing the same thing! They are keeping their heads down and their mouths shut, just like you. The result is, there could be a roomful of preppers and none of them are aware of it, each thinking everyone else would think they are nuts if they found out.
If there will be one silver lining in the cloud of a post-collapse world, it will be that you no longer will need to try and convince potential allies that they should prepare for the worst. Gone, for the most part, will be endless debates about whether preppers are nut jobs or just forward thinkers. Most people will readily admit that there is strength in numbers. Therefore, it shouldn’t take too much conversation to convince those survivors around you that you will all benefit by banding together and watching each others’ backs.
Of course, the first people you’d probably consider for a mutual aid agreement would be your immediate neighbors. In an urban environment, this may mean all of the survivors who live in your building and perhaps neighboring buildings. This could possibly amount to several dozen people or more. Out in the sticks, the options are going to be a bit more scarce in many places. While that will result in less mouths needing sustenance, it will also mean fewer hands available to work gardens and such.
Either way though, your neighbors are already in a position to provide extra eyes and ears. They already know the area and are likely to be able to spot strangers easily. If you’ve not done so already, make a point of getting to know your neighbors well. Invite them over for a BBQ in the summer and exchange cookies in December. Organize a floor party in your apartment building. Compliment the owner of the condo next door on their flower boxes. In today’s society, we’ve become rather insular and closed off in our daily lives. This will be nothing but a hindrance in the future.
Everyone Has Value
Don’t ever overlook a potential ally because of their physical condition, infirmities, or other negatively perceived attributes. The 90 year old widow who can hardly walk due to arthritis may have spent several decades of her life growing gardens and can share that knowledge with you. She may also have been the resident busybody and can tell you at a glance who lives where, how long they’ve lived there, what they do for a living, and who has been shacking up with them. The wheelchair bound guy may be an excellent shot with a hunting rifle and would make one dandy of a sniper. Just be sure to brace his wheelchair before handing him the rifle. Failure to do so might result in something out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. The asthmatic teenager might never win a foot race but has enough gadget know how to cobble together one heck of a communications system and could man it regularly.
There is a saying that war makes for strange bedfellows. Make no mistake, for at least a period of time following a collapse, it will be as though you are at war with the world at large. Out of necessity, you may find yourself teaming up with neighbors you dislike. As the proverb goes, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
2 thoughts on “Prepper’s Home Defense sneak peek: Mutual Aid Agreements”
My apologies, I certainly meant no offense. I shall change the phrasing in the manuscript before the book is published.
People who use wheelchairs are not ‘wheel chair bound.’ It is archaic to use this phraseology. A wheel chair provides access; it does not bind anyone. Users choose to use one–they are not bound or tied to it.
Please, writers, stop using this phrase!