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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Prepping for ... Neighbours?

Original Article

Before I touch on the subject of this post, I want to say that I
really, really wish Blogger would deal with whatever "maintenance"
they're doing.

Sometimes when prepping comes up, a "me, me, me" attitude comes up.
I'm rather shocked at the number of people who profess to be both
preppers/survivalists and Christians and yet insist that they have no
responsibility to their neighbour. I sort of recall a man who said,
about two thousand years ago, exactly the opposite.

This morning, another neighbour and I watched in horror as an older
man who lives in our building had a dizzy spell while putting
something in his truck and fell. He struck his forehead and nose. Now,
he's not VERY old, but at 63, he's old enough that a tumble like that
can be disastrous, and he's a single man living alone. Although he
insisted that he was fine, I remained concerned. I waited about ten
minutes and then went to his apartment and knocked to confirm that he
was, in fact, fine. He assured me that he caught his weight mostly on
his hand, that he did not break his nose and that the abrasion on his
forehead was very light. I'm still concerned, but I don't know what
more I can do.

This, though, made me think about neighbours and prepping. Living in
an apartment building, my neighbours are physically close, but
traditionally apartment dwellers remain distant and uninvolved with
each other. I do know where my more elderly neighbours are, and I know
who lives in the units closest to me. I have mentioned before that,
since we live in a low-income building, our security comes in great
measure from my neighbours. (As I've said, no one who knows us here
would rob us, and no one outside this building would even consider
that we would have anything worth stealing!)

Now, too often, when you consider "prepping" and "neighbours", the
advice is to hide your preps from your neighbours, don't let them know
that you put up food, store medical supplies, have extra
blankets/socks/candles, or whatever it is you do. And people have
become very frustrated at me - some because I practise paranoid OPSEC
by not revealing my real name and address and some because I
apparently practice terrible OPSEC by describing my preps online and
sharing food and such with my neighbours. I really can't win, can I?

The truth is, though, we can't manage without our neighbours. I read
Farmgal's blog and I'm struck by how often she speaks of buying from,
or working along with, her neighbours. She's a very self-sufficient,
fully prepped rural farmer and she needs her neighbours - to buy
piglets, horses and hay from, to chase runaway animals with, and to
watch out for each other's health and safety.

My neighbours know that I'm the weird food storage lady and that good
smells come from our apartment frequently. We've been dubbed "the
Mennonites" and everyone knows that we have farming contacts who can
get us the best produce in season - and we've shared that bounty when
possible. By the same token, though, everyone knows that the location
of our kitchen and living room windows (combined with my frequent
"barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen' status!!!) means that I know
*everything* that happens in our parking lot. (Some people have
appreciated that less than others!)

So what do you think? Do you consider yourself to have a
responsibility to your neighbours and do you take them into account in
your prepping.


  1. I have four, 21 day buckets I can help someone have meals for a couple weeks. Some have little stoves or radios depending on the biggest need and the bucket is food grade so it can hold about three gallons of water. I keep over 5 gallons of water in Soda bottles for helping out and some small backup water barrels for others than myself.
    I can't do a lot on a fixed income but I do have food/ water and some equipment to help others in need.

  2. Yes, we do need to consider our neighbors in our prepping.....I'm more of a country girl and my nearest neighbor is 25 acres away, but we still keep an eye out for anything unusual on our neighbor's property and lend a hand when it's needed. It's not financially possible to buy enough food for all of our neighbors, but we CAN have some care packages ready for them should the need arise. I've made up give-away mylar bags containing 2 pounds of rice, 2 pounds of pasta, and 1 pound of beans. It isn't a lot, but it will fill a few bellies for a couple of days. In addition, I plan to have small bags of calcium hydroxide to share with neighbors and friends for water purification, too. Having extra things to share is the Christian way, and I plan to do just that!

  3. I think that wanting to help others is a great attitude and we need more people like that in this world. The world we are prepping for though is a different world. You will see the worst of people and the dark side of human nature. It may not be possible to both share with others and to avoid being taken advantage of. Your generosity may put you and your family at risk. OPSEC is simply not showing your cards before the end of the game. If it gets really bad and you have already spilled the beans and eveyone knows you have food then how will you stop them from taking it from you?

    1. Lot's of guns and bullets for a start!
      I have to help my neighbors and family so they can help me because I'm disabled. If I don't have a support network I will probably die. To me it's just the right thing to do and it makes sense to help each other.
      If I die so be it. I go to a better place. But I will stand before God saying I was trying to help others!

  4. We gained much more by sharing than by hoarding. Religion doesn't factor in as it's about the quality of the people around you vs their choice of faith.
    There is always going to be jerks... and oblivious people who don't think to reciprocate- psuedojerks- that have the potential to improve with awareness.
    There are still amazing people out there and we do collect them.
    It's part luck and part cultivation.
    Our sewer line had to be replaced.. it took 2 weeks before it was done. The neighbors all opened their homes to us. My husband went nextdoor.. the elderly neighbor threw out his back & couldn't move. My husband carried him to the car, then took him to the doctor. The next few days I made his meals, cleaned his kitchen, my daughter raked the leaves in his yard. The other neighbor Buddy brought him back to the doctor on Monday.
    This weekend my husband & Buddy will be cleaning the gutters on our homes and 2 of our older neighbors' homes.. then off to help DV drop a few standing dead trees and cut firewood.
    Religion in our little network... is not a common denominator, but ethics and morals are.