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The past few weeks have brought up many important questions, but few lead to more confusion than the debate between preparing as a lone wolf vs. preparing as a group AND how to connect with others without leaving yourself open to the possibility of becoming a target if things don’t work out. A grid-down scenario, for example, will greatly increase your workload. Banding together with other preppers will increase your odds of surviving a long-term crisis such as this, although there are pitfalls that are important to identify and avoid.
Below, I’ve posted safety tips that will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes, but nothing beats hearing from others. I’d love to hear from anyone who has had success joining forces with existing groups, neighbors, co-workers, friends or extended family members!
There Is Strength In Numbers, But Only When It’s Done Carefully
The truth is, a family or an individual will have a much more difficult time of surviving a long-term crisis alone than in a group, where you are able to share in everyday chores like hauling water, hand washing laundry, gathering firewood, cooking, food procurement, and one of the most demanding aspects of survival once looting begins; round-the-clock patrol.
Although the initial backlash of a crisis will be harder on those living in cities and densely populated locations, eventually the exodus from urban areas will begin and those living in rural areas will experience the backlash as well.
Many who live in rural locations plan to garden and preserve the overflow from a garden. Although this improves your chances of survival, it will add significantly to your workload and it’s a valid reason to consider adding additional members to your group.
The question many of us have is how can we broach the subject of prepping without revealing our preps and possibly leaving ourselves ripe for looting on down the road?
Before approaching a friend, neighbor or co-worker, and before responding to a post seeking like-minded preppers, check out how you can best protect yourself.
- Broach the subject of preparedness carefully. Rather than sharing that you are prepping for something long-term like an EMP or an economic collapse, introduce your prepping in terms of a few days that ties in with the most likely emergencies for your region: a tornado, hurricane or a winter storm that takes down the electricity for days.In other words, you are prepping for DAYS not MONTHS. By approaching it from this direction, even if they don’t respond to the idea of getting prepared, you haven’t tipped your hand to the point that they (and possibly their friends) are likely to show up on your doorstep when the SHTF.(David’s note: This is a creative form of deception that SurviveInPlace.com graduates will recognize…I don’t consider it lying to tell someone that I have a 2 week supply of food…even if I have a 2 decade supply of food, because I do, actually, have a 2 week supply of food.)
- When responding to a post to join a prepper group, never hand over a laundry list of your preps. Later, after getting to know this contact better, there will be time to compare notes.(David’s note: A good prepper group will be more concerned with your skills, abilities, experiences, mental resilience, problem solving skills, and how you deal with setbacks more than the “stuff” you have. “Stuff” is important, but it will break, wear out, and will get used up. “Stuff” can make surviving easier, but in many cases, it’s a crutch to compensate for a lack of skill. Beware a person or group who is overly concerned on the details about the “stuff” that you have stored up. They may not have evil intent, but it could be an indicator that they’re trying to compensate for a lack of skills with the “stuff” they have and projecting their paradigm on to you. Focusing on “stuff” is a great starting point, because you can execute on it immediately, but while “stuff” will get you through a short-term event, skills will help you survive long-term.)
- Do not give your full name to a stranger because an internet search can pinpoint your location. For the same reason, never give a new contact your address.
- Avoid discussing your preps over the phone. Instead, arrange to meet them in a neutral setting, away from your home or bug-out cabin. It leaves a comfortable “buffer” for you to get to know them better before sharing anything that could leave you vulnerable.
- Never post pictures of your preps or home/bug-out to a stranger or on social media. It can reveal your location through geo tagging of your longitude and latitude. Go here for the FieldLogix article, Stop GPS Data Recorded in Phones From Revealing Where You Live, which explains the risks and offers solutions about how you can protect your privacy.
- If you are the owner of land or a bug-out property that will be used for a prepper group, you hold the cards and it’s within your rights to request their background information, their skill sets and a detailed list of the preps they have on hand. However, this is usually approached once both parties are comfortable with one-another.
- There are times when skills like medical training, in-depth mechanical ability, hunting and military or police experience can offset the other party’s lack of provisions (should you have the means to fill this gap) but remember, they should also be willing to get you up to speed with hands-on training that will be valuable to the group as a whole.
- Before joining forces with anyone, be they a stranger, a neighbor, extended family members or an acquaintance, be certain you share a similar work ethic. The workload involved with surviving a long-term crisis will be extremely demanding. The question you must ask yourself is: are they likely to step up to the plate when needed?(David’s note: It’s ironic that I’m bringing this up since I’m nowhere close to middle age (and never will be) but work ethic and work ability are not equal. Most 75 year olds can’t work at the pace of most 20 year olds, but their work ethic, experience, and skill level may level the playing field.)
- Do your values mesh? It isn’t always necessary to have the same beliefs, but tolerance is critical if you want to avoid conflicts later on.(David’s note: Personally, we have only teamed up or considered teaming up with people who we’d feel comfortable raising our children in our absence. That has efficiently refined our criteria down to a few core principles and beliefs.)
- Is this person or group willing to protect their property and provisions? If they are not, and their idea of OPSEC is to run in the other direction at the first sign of trouble, it could put everyone in jeopardy.
- Set guidelines. It is important to agree to the number of people who will accompany each member of the group. Make it clear that last-minute additions will not be allowed, that they will only be allowed with a 75% majority, or decide on criteria for adding people in advance. Otherwise, it could lead to a drain on resources that could threaten the safety of others in the group.
- It should be agreed that the group’s prepping efforts are never discussed with outsiders–no exceptions!
- Each member should store some of their preparedness goods on site and well in advance of a crisis. To do otherwise can easily put a strain on resources should a member show up empty-handed. Travel during an emergency is riskier with regards to looting, gridlock, and vehicle breakdowns. Don’t risk it. Plan ahead for sufficient provisions already to be in place at the get-go!
- Agree on a division of the workload that will take advantage of each individual’s skillsets.
- Joining with others can reduce overhead! Take careful notes on what each person brings to the table, and then fill in the gaps. That way, you’ll be able to get ready with less cash outlay and much quicker than you could do on your own.
Have you been considering joining a group, or starting one? Do you have any questions about safety and how to optimize your search for like-minded people? Now is a good time to ask! For those of you already involved with a group, please share what worked for you and why by commenting below.
If you haven’t signed up for the Journal of Tactics and Preparedness yet, I want to encourage you to do so right now. It is the best source available for continual cutting edge tactical and preparedness training…and, during this special launch pricing, it’s only a fraction of what most full fledged books and courses are charging. Check it out now for limited time bonuses and special pricing by going >HERE<
Chapter 29 of Implant has been posted. You can Click Here to continue reading.
God bless and stay safe,
David Morris and Survival Diva