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Monday, February 2, 2009


Hard times are coming down the pike. I think most who read this blog realize that. Most of you take steps towards preparing for those times. Some take baby steps, some take great leaps. The vast majority of you take these steps alone or, if you are fortunate, with your spouse and children. Most realize they will need more than a BoB (bug out bag) to survive a long-term event. It is equally true that you will not be able to get through the coming hard times alone. You are going to need a Group.

If you are injured or sick, you will need someone to care for you. You have skills, you can do stuff – that’s wonderful. I bet you can’t do everything well. Even if you could, you couldn’t do these things simultaneously. You will need others to help secure your “retreat”. If you expect to get anything done, you will need at least three people for every guard/security position – one to guard, one to sleep, one to get work done around the place. You can rotate duties but someone has to be busy all the time. Humans have formed societies from the beginning of time – there is a reason for this.

So how does one join a group? This is easy – you won’t. If a group exists and they haven’t contacted you, they probably are not going to. Fear not, there is another, better option – form a group. Yes, this will mean you will have to talk to others. Yes, this means you will have to “share” a little information about yourself. You are going to have to risk rejection. So sad. But not as sad as going through an extended crisis alone.

Having been down this road a few times and having helped guide others as well I have some opinions on this. If your experience is different – I’d love to hear about it. If your ideas are different… well, tell me after you have put them into action for a year or so. Because this is a blog I’ll spare you the deep details and focus on the broad brush strokes – we can discuss details on the forum if you wish.

You want to keep this local to your likely “retreat” (which is likely your home). Having a Group (or primary retreat) hours away by vehicle is really a non-starter. You aren’t gonna get there. Belonging to an Internet “Group” is not gonna help you – you don’t KNOW them and they don’t KNOW you. Think about it – this is a group that will band together in a mutually beneficial way to pull through Interesting Times. Some ad hoc group (and that’s what it is if you’ve never met and gotten to know each other) is not going to work. Life is stressful enough – throw in societal chaos and you will experience significant social problems.

I suggest you spend some time and decide upon the Group Purpose. It’s no use deciding on who is going to be in the Group if you have not yet decided exactly what the group if FOR. You need to be fairly specific here. If I had a group, our purpose would be “To ensure and enhance the survival of member families.” We would define “family” as those who are currently living in the home. We would make some exceptions for relatives. So no one would get into the group who could not contribute to the purpose. Certainly no one would even be considered who would detract from the purpose. We would be exclusive. This irritates some folks.

You don’t have to be like me. You could open a survival shelter and welcome all comers; you could establish a group “To develop and practice survival strategies and techniques”; you could establish a coffee club that likes to get together and tell stories around a fire - whatever. This would be defined in your purpose statement and would be fine –for you. I suggest though, that if you are forming a group to help pull you and yours through hard times, that you be a bit selective. You certainly would not want to decrease your family’s chances of survival by hooking up with some folks, now would you?

You probably don’t have a former Special Forces dude married to an EMT as neighbors. You probably don’t live next door to hardcore survivalists. In fact your neighbors may be relatively clueless. But they are still your neighbors. And they will likely be there when the balloon goes up. You can either deal with them now or deal with them later. I suggest you try and educate them. Convert them to the way.

Call the Sherriff and ask how to start a neighborhood watch; host a barbeque at your place and announce something like, “the reason I asked you all over…”; or start working on them one at time. Whatever method you choose you are going to have to do a couple things: You will have to step outside of your home and actually meet your neighbors. Then you will have to strike up a conversation. You will have to figure out a way to have more conversations. You will have to do stuff with your neighbors. In short, you must consciously develop relationships. Once you get to know them, you can lead them around to preparedness issues. Once they understand and start working on that, you can lead them to the concept of a Group. Or not.

“But Joe, my neighbors are complete idiots and sheep!” I have heard this before. Sometimes it was true. Many times it was an excuse. Go try. If you fail, I’d encourage you to try again. If you fail again you may have to look outside a bit – but not too far. Keep it local – trust me on this. Look at folks you interact with on a weekly basis – at work, at school, at church, at the market. You are still going to have to work at developing a deeper relationship though. Cold pitching someone, “Hey, do ya wanna form a survival team?” is not a good idea.

You can have groups within groups. They don’t all have to know about each other. You could belong to a group of 50 who get together every other month to practice preparedness stuff. You could join with a handful of likely prospects from that group to form your core Group. Use the first group as a screening process to get to know others. There are other techniques as well – use your imagination.

Once you begin to form your Group you are going to have to develop plans and actions, perhaps build infrastructure, practice techniques, and get used to spending a lot of time together. This will require commitment from individual members. I don’t know about you, but I want to go through what is coming with committed people – half stepping is not impressive. It’s like everything else – the more you get out and do, the more you practice, the more you stretch yourself – the better off you will be. Same thing applies to groups.

There is so much more involved in designing, forming, and being a part of a group. For now though, sit down and define your Purpose. Assess what you have to work with and get out there and start talking to people.

I’ll see ya out there.

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:9 - 12


If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America


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