Building or having a community in a post disaster scenario will be critical to your survival. But this can be a double edged sward, we need a community to survive but we don’t want everyone to know what we are doing and how much we have. So how do we do this without putting ourselves at risk?
Finding the right people that will improve your situation and not put you further at risk is a tricky proposition because just like everything else that goes into prepping, it all depends on your needs. Do you want to meet people to learn new skills? Or are you looking to form a community? Regardless of what your intentions are you need to put quite a bit of thought into it before you lay all your cards on the table.
This is the tricky part, at some point we are going to have to take that leap and make ourselves a little vulnerable. But there are ways to do this without giving away the farm so to speak. Before we get into the different reasons someone would want to create a group let’s talk a little bit about what options are available to you.
Finding Like Minded People
There are actually quite a few options available when it comes to creating a prepping community. There are Facebook groups like our Apoco-List group, there are prepping and survival forums and getting to know your neighbors through casual conversation could lead to unexpected bonds and relationships with your neighbors.
Todd @ Prepper Website Wrote an article titled “Building a Preparedness Community” that went into how to talk to someone about prepping or more importantly, how not to talk to someone about prepping. As he stated in the article…
“I think the best is to build relationships with people one on one. Find someone with like interests…maybe at church or in another group and start dropping those hints and statements that won’t give you away like:
- What do you think about the economy?
- What did you do to prepare for the last hurricane/tornado/ice storm that came through?
- Do you know anything about gardening? Etc…
Getting to know your neighbors now with simple small talk could give you an idea about who they are and what they are about. Even if you have no plans on disclosing any information about what you are doing now, it might help in a SHTF scenario to have built a relationship with them and they will be more likely to be with you instead of against you.”
I posed this question to members of the Facebook group…
“Would you store extra and get to know your neighbors now without disclosing your level of preparedness to them in hopes that you could give them a reason to band together? Or do you feel that is dangerous too? I’m on the fence with this because charity in a SHTF scenario will be taken advantage of.”
Here are a few of their responses…
Mary: Yes, Dale that is exactly what I’m doing. No one knows about my prepping but in case I have to band with someone for maybe their “muscle/weapons” I am storing extra. That was always part of my thinking when adding to my stash. I have only 1 person in mind. (Other than my son, who I worry that he’d be able to get here in time) it’s my neighbor across the street. However, the situation would have to be really bad before I’d approach him. (He is very crafty and good with mechanics.)
Ian: Dale, But what do they bring to the party? And why should you? I guess it depends upon your situation, I wouldn’t with my neighbors because I know the type they are – I think I need to move house!!!
Carla: I have decided to try to reach out to my neighbors a bit more. I don’t mean telling them things that will make them think I am crazy, but just getting to know them better so I know where they might fit into my world if SHTF.
Heather: Where I am now, I only know one set of neighbors because they go to my church, the rest I pretend don’t exist, because it is literally the worst neighborhood in town, but all I can afford right now. But I am considering moving to another town, not as big. If I were in a rural area with fewer neighbors I would try to get to know them in hopes of banding together if SHTF… but not where I am now.
In my opinion I wouldn’t disclose anything to anyone unless I was sure they were on my side. It might take a while to find out if someone’s ideals align with yours, but if they do I think it’s a calculated risk you have to take. But I would wait until I truly know them, because let’s face it, people lie and embellish the facts to make themselves look better than they really are.
Forums and Prepper groups can also be a great way of finding people with the same prepper mindset. You might not be able to actually form a physical prepping community but you can get some ideas and advice from others doing the same thing as you.
I say you “might not” be able to form a physical group because you never know who you will meet. You very well could meet someone in your area with the same ideals as you. But again, get to know that person or people well before you give out too much information. You should also be wary of anyone else giving out too much information too you.
Why Do We Need Community?
Have you ever tried to do something by yourself and wished you had one more person to help you out? Something as simple as moving a couch across the room to something as complex as building a storage shed can be done with one person, but it will take far longer and require far more energy than it would if you had an extra pair of hands. Or think about raising a barn like the Amish do, something like this cannot be done alone and requires a community.
The same holds true for prepping. There are plenty of things we can do on our own but like the saying goes “there is strength in numbers” and we have a far better chance of defending ourselves in a group of likeminded preppers.
Another reason we want to find a prepping group or community could be for comradely. Prepping can become pretty solitary and with everyone out there calling us crazy it’s nice to talk to people who think and feel the same way we do. As you interact and become more involved in these groups you realize that you are not alone, and although you might be a little crazy, who isn’t?
Be Aware of the Frauds
We all know the “one upper” right? These people that have to be the best regardless whether they are or not, these people will always have something a little better than you have. And we all know people that have to constantly tell you how wonderful they are because in reality they need to tell themselves that to get through life. I personally trust and respect people who make me dig a little bit to get information out of them. I will to decide how “great” someone is, and if they feel the need to tell me how “great” they are I tend to steer clear of them.
If someone is willing to tell you about everything they are doing in your first conversation the odds are they are lying or have no clue what they are doing.
In an article from the Survivalist Blog titled “Beware of the fake prepper” they wrote…
“The tell-tale signs of a fake prepper is his vagueness in answering your questions on his or hers survival supplies. The details in his prepping will be off. You might think at first he or she is being different but you’ll start to notice that everything they are “doing” is off or completely wrong.
They also won’t be able to tell you the companies they are using for their survival supplies. Where are you keeping the food storage? How would you get to it, if the power failed? How many people does it feed? How is your defense system? These are the odd questions a “fake” prepper would ask.”
So to sum it all up, we are right to be leery of letting people into our inner circle and we absolutely should be leery. It takes longer than a week to truly get to know someone and truly know whether they helping us, hindering us or just leading us on.
But eventually we will need to be part of a community because even though there are those that have successfully gone the “lone wolf” route they are far and few between. Most of us will not mentally or physically be able to do this and will need the support of a prepping community, family friends or otherwise.
As Zach in the Facebook group put it…
“No amount of preps and no amount of training will keep a large group of people from taking your stuff if someone wants it bad enough and it’s buried 100 feet underground they will get it, they will just be digging for a while. All I’m saying is that I want to be able to look in the mirror and tell myself I did everything I could to keep my family and close friends safe for as long as I could”
Just like building your supplies and preparing yourself for a SHTF scenario we need to make sure we are making progress towards our goals and not putting ourselves at risk by having the wrong supplies or not having them at all. We need to make sure we are aligned with the right people who have the same goals and ideals as we do and are not looking to piggyback off of our foresight.
If you liked this article please vote for us at Top Prepper Websites.