Most preppers have a food storage program, a stockpile of emergency equipment and first aid, and the resources to begin creating their own supply of food and essentials for an indefinite period of time. We spend so much time focusing on building up these resources that we forget about one of the most important resources we have before us, one that takes little effort and costs no money: community.
Why build community?
Before the development of our modern, comfort-filled society, human beings had to survive in harsh conditions–suffering from the many issues that we would encounter if the infrastructure were to collapse this evening. They had to find scarce food, survive harsh elements, and deal with predators. Sound familiar?
Because of these harsh conditions, human beings found it most effective to band together into tribes. We often have the conception that when the SHTF, our tiny family will be our only community, that we must protect them and only them. Family is the first priority, but it is important to keep in mind that the best way to ensure the survival of you and your family is by banding together into a larger tribe like our ancestors did.
Building a resilient community will multiply your own resilience exponentially. A community wide effort expands your resources and contacts and makes big projects and purchases easier to handle. And while all preppers must possess a basic skill set, a community will provide an array of experts in various essential skills (such as gardening or medicine) and secondary skills (like welding). Building a strong community effort will also ensure safety–what looters would try to take on a big community that has a cohesive defense plan? It would be easier to target small families.
What are the downsides and how do I deal with them?
There are some fears that often come up when talking about involving community in our prepping plans. Preppers are sometimes concerned that few people will be convinced to actually make changes and instead will peg them as a “stockpile” if the SHTF. These are reasonable concerns. Consider though that if the SHTF, your neighbors will find out about your stockpile anyways, and may take your hiding of this fact as a sign that you are hostile and do not want to work together.
One option is to be clear beforehand that you intend to use your food supply only for your family and that you are capable of protecting it. Another option which may bear better fruits in the long run is this: set aside enough food for your neighbors for, say, seventy two hours. Tell your neighbors that you have done this in addition to your personal stockpile, and that you would like to work together to build it up to something longer lasting. This is one huge step to creating a resilient prepping community.
How do I build community?
Not everyone will be interested in prepping, and that’s okay. The key is to identify those who are, and build a tight and mutually beneficial relationship with them. If you stop there though, you lose out on many valuable resources and create the probability of conflict in the future.
Begin community projects (such as a community garden) that don’t require people to be into prepping, and as you do so you can mention the importance such projects would play in a SHTF scenario without making that the purpose of the project. Work to build relationships of codependency by bartering (people love to feel their skills are valued anyways). Work to create a more independent and sustainable community and get people on board simply because it will benefit them or because it’s the right thing to do without any mention of prepping. Once you build these kinds of relationships with people, you can choose whether to bring prepping ideas into it as well.
Remember: a strong community of people can learn skills and come together to do what’s necessary when SHTF, but a weak community–even of people who think similarly and have excellent survival plans–will deteriorate and cause harm.
If you’ve just been thinking abut prepping and but haven’t made your move yet, get started today by downloading my Paracord 101 Tips eBook!
Unfortunately, there seems to be far more opportunity out there than ability…. We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.
― Thomas A. Edison
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