When a SHTF scenario happens, society as we know it begins to breakdown. We can no longer depend on the emergency services of police, military, and fire department for protection, shelter, and supplies. The truth of the matter is that when this happens, the greatest resources available for survival, will be each other.
The first reaction that most people have when thinking about this situation is to hole up, defend their own territory, and let others fend for themselves. It’s a legitimate response.
Those who are prepared will have family and supplies to protect in order to survive. Individuals who did not prepare will soon sink into criminal behavior to try and have their basic needs met, meaning raids, thefts, and other crime will skyrocket.
While this is definitely scary and something that needs to be thought about, the truth still remains. Our greatest chance of making it is by leaning on each other.
Planning Ahead and Choosing Leadership
The best way to survive in a post-SHTF scenario is to prepare for every situation before it happens. This means that you need to find others in your community who are like-minded and understand the value of being prepared for the worst.
Schedule a meeting with all of the preppers in your area. The goal for this parley is to form a plan for when things fall apart.
First order of business is to establish a system of community leadership. Debate rigorously with one another to determine what type of leadership system would best benefit the group, and then elect leaders to different positions.
A good suggestion is to have a council of leaders, with a person heading up the council. This type of organization helps boost morale and helps people to feel a bit more secure. Having structure helps add a bit of normality to the situation, since we have all lived under some type of government our whole lives.
You want the council leader to be someone who has the respect of the entire group, and who has a track record of moral uprightness. A person who not only knows how to make smart decisions, but can be an example to the rest of the group. Organizational skills are a must.
Everyone Has a Job to Do
In a post-SHTF scenario, it is going to be critical to make people feel like they are a part of your community.
Tensions and fears will be high, and in order to prevent people from cracking under the pressure, they need to take ownership in the group.
One of the many hats a leader must wear is that of community organizer. Leadership will need to take stock of the skills that each member of the group brings to the table, and then assign them a role to help serve the interests of the group.
True survivors in these situations are good stewards of resources, and the greatest resources you have are the skills of each human being in the community.
Establishing the Rules
It’s also crucial for communities to have established rules that each member of leadership and the group agrees to live by.
A set of rules that allow for personal freedom and liberty are always preferred. These rules or laws will provide a structure that will help people feel secure and protected. It also helps establish what to do with individuals who break the rules of the group and what should be done to prevent others from participating in similar behavior in the future.
Following the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is an outstanding idea. These are laws that have stood the test of time, and are the beacons of freedom. Following them as a guideline in this situation is a good way to help respect one another and keep things civil.
If the unprepared want to be part of your group, you will need to come up with a process for vetting their character to make sure they aren’t a threat to your people. Use a vote by the entire group to determine whether the individual should be let in.
You will need to appoint someone to help take stock of resources and to track their use in order to make sure the group does not run out of supplies. This isn’t just for food, tools, and building materials. Each member of the group will more than likely have a home. Use these homes to your advantage.
If you all live in close proximity to each other, use one home as a mess hall for all the meals. Use another location for storage. Each of these separate locations will make it easier to defend and make use of all the space you have available.
Nobody wants to think about this type of situation happening, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t.
It’s better to have a plan in place in case the current structure of the country crumbles. We stand a better chance of making it through a situation like this if we all put effort into getting along and working together.
That’s what survival is all about. What good is surviving if you’re all alone?
This article has been written by Michael Cantrell for Survivopedia.
Old Food | December 24, 2013
All of this is true and good advice but there is a fly in the ointment. Many preppers have no intention of advertising that they are preppers and therefor have lots of food to others by attending public meetings. Invisibility is an important layer of protection because if no one knows what you have, they won’t think of you when they get hungry. This is what makes putting together a group so difficult. There is going to be a serious trust issue with strangers. This is why though they know it is far from ideal, many prefer to go it alone.
Maya | December 27, 2013
This is a topic that I have been thinking about for many years now. Another conserv. and myself started a neighborhood game night, so we could get to know our neighbors better. Trust is a huge issue, but if like-minds bond, who know what is at stake, they will be looking out and protecting each other and not likely to turn on you without warning..so block parties, game night groups- neighborhood doubles tennis night, soccer or football meetups, at the nearest field, once a month, etc..where people eventually get to talking is a good idea to at least get a sense of the like-minded people nearby. Then if/when SHTF, contacts are in the phones and they can be potential go tos for resource sharing, barter, establishing shifts of community watchdog efforts..I know who are some like minds in my neighborhood now and hope to expand that knowledge this year. Guys- got a poker game set? 🙂
HappyClinger | December 25, 2013
One way to keep your preps to yourself and still contribute to community resources is to donate part of your preps to the community and keep the rest hidden. Just plan for that as you prep.
Another way is to tell everyone you will not use up the community resources until necessary – that you are ok for now – and don’t give any details. In that case, however, there need to be in place strict prohibitions and dire punishments for stealing, etc, such as banishment (and being shot on sight if they return), the offenders only taking what they are allowed to take, and the rest of their possessions confiscated by the community.