How to build community before and after a crisis

I woke up this morning thinking about my great-grandmother. She was a feisty woman, slight of physical stature and an Amazon warrior in attitude. She was a crack shot, could butcher a hog and negotiate with a Sioux war party, among many other attributes on her pioneers’ prairie resume.

It could be why my great-grandfather kept leaving their homestead to travel far across the prairies to another province breed his prize Clydesdale stallion and train horses. He didn’t have to worry about leaving her alone. Anyone who ran afoul of her would quickly beat a hasty retreat.

She was busy with six children, the homestead, and acting as the area’s only midwife. If you were a labouring woman in trouble, you knew you were in good hands when she launched herself through your doorway.

She was 92 when her last call for help came on a cold, winter night. She travelled by horse team and then delivered a baby boy. She died at 104, still vital and feisty to the end.

Part of the legacy she left were the children she helped enter this world. She had a role in the community, as did my great-grandfather.

People came together and created communities. The idea of surviving or thriving in isolation was unthinkable. One person can’t do everything. Even if one could, who would want to? It would be incredibly difficult and exhausting.

Sometimes, our need for community can come in the form of making pre-arrangements for our horses with other horse owners in case of disaster.

Community can be created online, and assistance provided during a disaster, provided that form of communication is still viable.

Community is borne out of necessity, defined by proximity and made viable by the respective skills and abilities of its members, as it has been through the ages.

How do we build community now as part of our prepping? 

What if electronic communication was inaccessible. How would we build community under those conditions?

If we were displaced out of our existing community, how do we go about building community in a new environment under disaster conditions?

Is community about compatibility or mutual need?


  • Comments (81)

    • 9

      I personally don’t think it possible to build a prepper community prior to a crisis.  The people today are nothing like the people your great-grandmother lived with.  Back then people were self reliant and knew how to take care of themselves.  There was no organization to care for them otherwise.  But today, no one has to worry if something bad happens, as some government agency will come in & fix everything.  We have gone from self reliant to 100% reliant on someone to fix our problems.  And you know what?  Government does that, so why not rely on them?  Why have extra money set aside if you can sign up for government checks when something happens to your income?  Why have extra food & water in storage when the government will bring it to you?  Point being, we live in a selfish time.  So what happens when government can’t function after a crisis?  The people will panic & then resort to stealing to get what they need.

      Because of this culture we live in now, I don’t trust anyone enough to try to build a prepper community.  The absolute most important concept a prepper needs to master today is stealth.  If anyone knows you are a prepper & keep lots of food, etc. in storage, what do you think will happen when they are hungry?  Yep, they are coming after you.  You might think you could build a community of like thinking preppers, and would then be safe.  But if you know anything about dealing with people, you quickly find they will let you down.  So you build a prepper community & everyone is informed on where you live & what you have.  What happens when you have to kick a member out?  He now knows everything about everybody.  Your operational security (OPSEC) is blown… and no way to get it back.

      But here is the problem.  As your great-grandmother knew, you can’t do everything yourself.  We need a community to survive.  Humans are social beings and are designed to work together.  It is a rare person who can truly live alone.  So my solution would be to wait several weeks after the crisis before I begin to form a community.  Luckily, I live on a rural, dead end lane with around 10 homes/farms on it… a built in community of just the right size, IMO.  We have two farmers with herds of cattle, a dentist, and two nurses.  Several have gardens & one is a beekeeper. Several are avid hunters.

      Years ago, once I decided to take my prepping to the next level, I put up enough stored food for my family to survive for over a year.  Then I realized a concept I’ve mentioned here before… a hungry neighbor will be your most dangerous threat.  Could I really survive while people right next to me starved?  More importantly, would they starve while I thrived?  Of course not.  Being neighbors, they would be in close and at any time could be threat.

      So I decided to slowly keep adding food, and just as importantly, seeds to my stores.  I came up with a ballpark figure of 150 lbs of food stores per person, and every time I added 150 lbs, in my mind I would say, one more person saved.  Over a period of a few years I had enough in storage to really make a difference for the people on our lane.  Now you might say 150 lbs is not enough to last a year, and that is true.  However, I know extra calories can be found.  Initially, the woods will still be full of game and the lakes & ponds around us full of fish.  The two farmers have nice sized cattle herds and I would hope they would want to share with neighbors.  If they did, I would share my stores with them.  If not, they would be on their own & how could they protect their herds if not part of a group.  Also, living in north Mississippi, we have a long growing season.  There are only around 3 months where you can’t plant crops and if you put in crops such as collards, they can still keep producing thru most, if not all, of the winter.

      Nothing is guaranteed in life and there is no guarantee our lane could form into a community.  But at least I have a plan.  I do understand it will take a community to survive alone without help from outside.  With a community, we could work together for joint security and to share resources.  However, IMO if I tried to build the community now, it would be disastrous.  Folks would talk.  They would invite their extended families & friends.  So I choose to keep my ideas & plans to myself.  

      • 7

        I think you are hitting the nail on the head. And while I do know that there are others like you Redneck, hard working preppers who are trying to be self reliant and would make a great self reliant prepping community, it’s hard to find them and are probably spread out thin.

        It’s my goal to be self reliant and be a good contributing member of a prepping group, but I have a ways to go and know that I would be a strain on any group that I joined until I would be further along. One day though!

        Your story reminded me of the story of the Little Red Hen. As summarized by wikipedia:

        A hen living on a farm finds some wheat and decides to make bread with it. She asks the other farmyard animals for help planting it, but they refuse. The hen then harvests and mills the wheat into flour before baking it into bread; at each stage she again asks the animals for help and they refuse. Finally the hen has completed her task and asks who will help her eat the bread. This time the animals accept eagerly, but the hen rebuffs them stating that, just as she made the bread herself, she will eat the bread herself, and runs away with the bread.

        The difference here is that you are willing to save part of your bread for those who may not help make it. That’s good of you.

        It is hard to find people we can trust. I’ve even been hurt by family members who I truly thought I could rely on. We all are so different and many just want to take the easy path in life, and others want to work their tails off to get what they want and need. It’s hard to know who you really could make a community with.

        My educated guess is that today it would be very hard to make a self reliant prepping community like Ubique’s great grandmother created for the same reasons that Redneck described. But I think that after a disaster hits and everyone is in the same boat, many will get their heads out of the sand and come together and can work things out. Sure there will be theft and even killings for supplies, but i’m sure a few good honest people will come together and figure out a way to make things work.

      • 5

        You state: The difference here is that you are willing to save part of your bread for those who may not help make it. That’s good of you.

        I do try to be a good man.  However my plans have little to do with goodness.  I do everything possible to avoid conflict.  Remember my saying, a hungry neighbor will be your most dangerous threat.

        A preppers mantra:  Stay stealthy & avoid conflict!

      • 5

        Hi Redneck,

        I have some more feedback for you.

        After some tea and more consideration, I wanted to circle back to the idea of providing food for the neighbours in order to avoid conflict.

        Some time ago, I discussed this idea with a person who also preps. Her idea was to set aside bagged white rice as giveaways to anyone who came to the door looking for food.

        I asked her “wouldn’t that indicate that you have food and make you a larger target for more dependence upon your food stores? If the person tells anyone else, your stealth factor is gone and now you could have many more people landing on your doorstep.”

        I went on to tell her that a simple bag of white rice could be the action that would make her the new resource until her stores were picked clean and/or she was driven off or killed on her land.

        She felt they could out gun them. I asked her for how long. Eventually bullets run out, guns can break, and people pinned down in a home become exhausted, sloppy and shot or overrun. A military unit always knows when to move out.

        It was her choice as is the way prepping goes. It is about choice and I wished her well.

        My choice for how to use stealth is to be low key and not make it look like I am hiding anything. 
        In the best of times, I live in a modest home, not expensive. I drive a 24-year-old rebuilt van. My husband and I blend in by looking like we are unable to afford the flashy lifestyles of some of the others around us. So it will be easier for my husband and me to look like we are suffering along with everyone else.
        No one ever sees preps enter my home or how they are stored. Not ever.

        If a crisis happens or appears to be imminent, we know to lose weight immediately and break out the baggy clothes held in reserve. We want to look as if we are suffering along with everyone else. There are also make-up techniques I can use to give us a sickly look and further the ruse.

        It is also why I raised the issue on another thread about food smells emanating from one’s home. No one will be smelling anything from my home.

        Will these tactics work? I don’t know. They might buy me time to work out who is trustworthy or viable to form a partnership/community with. But I am skittish about anyone who has not stood the test of time or of whose character I am not certain, especially if I have not seen how they hand a crisis or stressful life events.

        I don’t want to foster dependence upon me when dependence is at the root of the problem. I think that becoming a food source contains  many variables that could make it a very risky strategy.
        We quietly helped two families in town many years ago. Within weeks, they were returning and expecting us to provide them with more resources.

        It taught us a very good lesson about how quickly dependency can be fostered. Now, any acts of charity we do, is done through agencies outside the community and always anonymously.

      • 7

        You stated: I asked her “wouldn’t that indicate that you have food and make you a larger target for more dependence upon your food stores? If the person tells anyone else, your stealth factor is gone and now you could have many more people landing on your doorstep.”

        My thought is to wait until conditions have deteriorated so bad as that them contacting someone else is not a possibility.  At this point, probably some of the households will have moved off, maybe to be with their kids.  If people are still able to drive around, then it would be too early for my group. 

        However, I’m sure I would contact at least one of the farmers immediately.  We are good friends and I hired him to do all my dirt work, remove a couple of acres of trees and build my pond.  I know he would be staying put and I’m sure he would want my preps as much as I’d want his resources.

        IMO, a community can only be built when that is the only option to survive and you know others won’t be joining.

      • 4

        Thank you for the perspective about how the decision of how and when to build community can be about timing, conditions and communications.

        You also have one person who you are comfortable contacting immediately. The idea of a symbiotic relationship with someone can work providing the balance of mutual supply/need is maintained.

        Your point about building community when “that is the only option to survive and you know that others won’t be joining” is one that my husband and I discussed in depth last night.

        This is synopsis of that discussion: We are on our own.

        My two closest and trusted friends in the city know that they are welcome here if there is trouble in the city. Both of these friends have the character and backgrounds that you would want close at hand in a crisis. But there is no guarantee that either of them can make it here. The one friend has a wife who is a nurse with family in the city, so she may not want to come.

        That would leave the other friend which equals one extra person.

        We tried to think of one local person in this town that we would consider building community with in a SHTF event and finally came up with one person. One person. After a few more minutes of discussion, we took him off the list.

        Another variable is who could arrive here in town in the event of a crisis. A tourist town can be a major headache in the summer. I’m not sure I want to imagine the campgrounds full of new arrivals during a crisis.

        I slept on it and this morning, my thoughts are that we must stay grounded in reality of our situation as it stands today.

        In our current situation, people around us are by their reactions, unable to understand the severity of the current situation with covid, which is a poor prognosis for any other crisis and/or regularly inhabit an oblivion created by liberal self-medication.

        It’s hard for me not to have plan A, B, C, D, etc. Sometimes, patience is necessary before one can draft other plans.

      • 4

        Security, post SHTF, is something most preppers, even hard core preppers, give little thought to.   Maybe because there will be so many variables but probably because they don’t have an answer.  So most revert to the Rambo inside and just think they can hold off these invaders.  They talk about all their guns and ammo, and that is nice.  But when I ask what good are those against your neighbor, they get quiet.

        It is easy to plan for hunger, thirst, heating, etc.  What is hard is how do you stay safe when others around you are starving?  Who knows if my plan will work?  There are no guarantees except the guarantee when folks are starving, they become exceedingly dangerous.  If you can’t isolate yourself where there are no starving people, then IMO, you need to plan on some group for joint protection.

      • 5

        I agree Redneck, security post SHTF is rife with variables.

        Long term defense comes down to numbers and duration of conditions.

        One may hold off an attack once, twice, or however many times before life under a state of siege becomes overwhelming either in terms of resources (ammo) or physical and mental endurance.

        When you said “What is hard is how to you stay safe when others around you are starving?”, I thought about the two people I knew well who experienced that.

        In WWII, Mom survived in a city and country where most people were starving. Those who had food, were very careful to hide what they had. No one looked well fed, however, which would have raised immediate reaction and scrutiny.

        People who sought food, begged from farmers and factories. They went where the food was perceived to be located.

        It was a long period of hardship, but there was some food available, otherwise everyone would have died in the first year of the occupation.

        It’s that the situation became progressively worse with time, until the final “Honger Winter” (Dutch) – the final brutal “hungry” winter before the allies arrived.

        An aside, this is something else not always considered in prepping and that is the changes and potential worsening of conditions as the crisis evolves as happened to my Mom.

        I think there is a tendency to think in more linear terms i.e. this is the need and/or potential crisis and here is my food (warmth, water etc) taken care of. People don’t always consider the worst case scenarios in their plans, stopping short at the triggering event (flood, earthquake, etc) itself.

        Back to the Netherlands, by the end of the war, food sources were virtually exhausted and starving people (think skeletal in appearance) collapsed in their doorways and died. Their final gesture of survival was the hope of food as they lay dying in full street view by the walkways.

        I think she stayed safe because everyone was too busy trying to find food and there was no point asking the emaciated people around you. They went where they believed the food to be.

        Dad, on the other hand, lived on a farm during the Depression. His experience in those years is another example of people going where the food is believed to be.

        People came to their farm from the city looking for food. Dad and his brother were enterprising and set about trapping rabbits to sell to them. Other farm people did the same type of thing. No one tried to steal or overpower them because people from the city knew that the farmers and their families hunted and were very capable of defending themselves and each other.

        Which brings leads back to the point of security: in a protracted situation i.e. more than 1 random skirmish, it will come down to safety in numbers and the quality of the community around us.

        After the SHTF and there is no one with whom to build community, which I strongly suspect is the case for our current situation, then I better put on my thinking cap and figure out how to compensate for that one.

      • 4

        You mention skirmish, and I think most preppers think that way.  They think I need guns to protect me from these evacuees from the city.  And I agree that is a possibility.  But I’ll restate my point that your greatest threat is from a hungry, desperate neighbor.  They are there every day and know your condition is better than theirs.  If they decide to come after what you have, there will not be a skirmish.  Most all my neighbors are deer hunters.  At any point, they could take me out… and no way to protect myself from such an attack from someone in close.

        Well no way except for having a plan to keep them from being starving & desperate.  To me, it is not a matter of fairness or goodness.  It is simply having a plan to limit threats & conflict.  To me, the only other option is to be somewhere where you don’t have neighbors & where no one will try to flee.

      • 4

        Hungry neighbours would quickly overwhelm us. I simply have no room to provide for the population of this town. That isn’t the worst of it.

        Our greatest threat here is from people scattered throughout this province who were raised through generations of violence, be they urban or rural, equipped with vehicles, military grade weapons, knives, a penchant for beating innocent people to death and loads of drugs eating up what is left of their fetal alcohol or fetal drug infested brains. They don’t travel alone.

        Here, we aren’t allowed to be as well equipped as the criminal element. The crime statistics and news photos of various arrests illustrate how capable and well armed they are.

        Compared to the rest of Canada, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are provinces with very violent crime statistics. 

        All that in the best of times. 

        You are lucky to be able to plan for armed protection. The hunting rifles I can legally acquire here won’t stand a chance.

        Even if I could build community in the aftermath and support a group of hungry neighbours in town, there remains the problem that we have far more unarmed people and fewer hunters brandishing less armament than the criminals noted above.

        I follow the crime statistics for our province and crimestoppers info to get an idea of which areas are the worst for crime and any trends or patterns.

        I think it is good that in our discussion we have highlighted how there are challenges unique to each Country and location that a prepper must consider and try to plan for.

        It’s a part of prepping for which I am still trying to strategize.

      • 8

        Sad to hear of your problem of owning proper firearms.  I have so many, I would never state everything I have.  🙂  I also store ammo by the tens of thousands or rounds.  If I were ever to do anything wrong, I’m sure I’d be on the national news as some nutcase wanting to overthrow the government.

        Here is a pic of two of mine I shoot the most on my home range.  Both are suppressed and short barreled rifles… both items that require a special stamp & tax from the government.  One is 300 Blackout & the other is 22lr.


      • 5

        That is a beautiful sight. You are so lucky.

        I had the opportunity many years ago to fire an assortment of weapons that an acquaintance who was a collector. He had to store much of his collection underground.

        It was a glorious afternoon of target practice that I will never forget.

        I will repeat this again: You are so lucky. 

      • 3

        Redneck, I thought it over and I’m getting my FAC and acquiring the hunting rifles that are accessible to me. I will have to look for what is available. I’m not sure if my husband can qualify with glaucoma, but it’s worth a shot (sorry, bad pun, long day) to check into it.

        I probably won’t be able to get into the local course because of Covid restrictions, but I’ll find out.

        I haven’t hunted for years, but it is worthwhile to cover those basis.  My Dad would have told me work with what you have – and get covered so you can hunt.

        It could buy us time in a pinch or add to the freezer with venison, or grouse (prairie chicken). I haven’t had that in years. Cut up, fried golden brown in farm butter, and simmered in a milk gravy made from the pan drippings.

        Venison is a heart healthy meat. You just have to cut off all the fat, or it can taste gamey. We also used to marinate it over night in dill pickle juice. The best moose roast I ever had was wrapped in the rind of a ham, tied and then smoked. I can still taste how good that one was.

        At least the hunting rifle(s) will thin a bit of the risk and they will be excellent tools to use toward shoring up food security and self-sufficiency.

      • 6

        I am not an expert at all, but live in similar circumstances with regard to a armed criminal element who are not armed with the best types of weapons, but more than I can legally have. My home is now gated and I do have a wall on three sides and water on the other……… so I have well defined possible entry points and its those I would focus on in any critical situation. I also have  security cameras on key points. My initial defense focuses on letting them tell me they are there….. so I alarms in the form of Perimeter alarms  Which I hope will deter the early events…….. these would be at the common four entry points! My next level of defense is putting down a similar thing to police stop sticks (that they use for cars) and would adapt for foot traffic…….. think 1/2 inch plywood with nails sticking up on the routes into the home…. very hard to see and avoid in the dark! To me I need to deter rather than hurt and the novice will not be back with two or three nails in each foot………  

      • 7

        Perimeter alarms could be a good prep, but I would be careful about making booby traps. At least in the US, it could really turn back on you and get you sued. Here’s an article we wrote about that.

      • 5

        Absolutely agree, but I was replying to Ubique’s concerns of his neighbors…….and my way of reacting in a bad situation

        To me in a critical, aggressive advance, where their intent is not passive…… the issue of getting sued is kind of academic if they are nasty eh?

        In the Caribbean though I would get a slap on the wrist for the booby trap, but at least 5yrs for a gun…….. so its no contest……..

        I love those perimeter alarms though!

        Nice to meet you Gideon.

      • 6

        My perimeter alarm is 9 dogs that live in the house with us & have 24 hour access to the back yard.  As soon as any car enters our long drive, they start barking.  Anyone around the house, and they go crazy.

      • 5

        I never leave my dog outside unattended. We have travelling dog fight rings that steal dogs from people’s yards and use them at bait dogs in the pits. It is horrible.

        I had one guy try to steal my Husky in Winnipeg many years ago. I reported him to the police and that is how I found out about these dog fight rings.

        Now I walk my dog, we sit in the yard together and she lives in house. We have had a couple of dogs go missing here in town that were left out in their yards.

        You are lucky that you can leave your dogs out to act as a perimeter alarm. It would certainly alert you, even from a deep sleep.

      • 5

        They don’t roam as I don’t believe in that, even in a rural setting.  They have a 1 acre fenced in backyard.  One dog, my black lab, is trained to leave the yard and go down to the horses & pond twice a day with me..

      • 4

        Just to clarify, dogs weren’t roaming – the dogs are being taken right out of people’s fenced in yards – fences cut, over the fence. 

        My husky was in a fenced yard and I caught his vehicle stopped by the back and ran him off.

        We never had that problem on the farm – our border collie or the other dogs never were taken.

        It’s a whole other world now. Apparently, the dog fight rings travel according to the police I spoke with in Winnipeg.

        Also they told me to never rehome any dog with “free to good home”. These monsters grab dogs from those ads and use them as bait dogs if too small or fight dogs if larger.

        Rural acreages in Southern to South East Manitoba had a citizens group formed over their dogs being stolen. 

      • 2

        Gideon, I would never want anything that could harm an innocent child or person.

        Carpet tack strips are placed by some people on top of fences and window sills because a person would have to be breaking into your 6 ft fenced yard or trying to gain access to you home via the window in order to be harmed by them.

        I prefer the idea of perimeter alarms and fortressing the house.

      • 3

        Hi Oldprepper, I read about making perimeter alarms using mirrors and a laser that is routed to an alarm.

        Carpet tacks that come on a strip of wood can protect the top of a fence or window sills. I know someone who did this and it depends on the rules of where you live.

        I have 8 security cameras with audio that wrap my house. One way security film on every window. It looks like white blinds or curtains from the outside.

        I am working on fortifying doors and windows. It still won’t stop them from burning us out, although the house is stucco and wouldn’t burn as fast.

        I think it will be about early warning from perimeter alarms and fortressing the house a bit more. Another challenge is that the police here cover a large territory and are not always in town. Very often, we are on our own or must wait for them to arrive.

      • 3

        The laser is a good one….. and easy with a couple of resistors a laser light and battery……. ……

        I like the carpet tacks….. they kinda make things a bit uncomfortable for any unwanted………….

        Its worth bearing in mind that although many of us prep for the worst……. it generally works out a lot better than we sometimes believe eh?

        In addition we cannot let prepping for something get in the way of life’s many pleasures…

        You have a dog right.?…. a small noisy thing is good for security…. they seem to make a lot more noise than bigger dogs?

        But you seem to be really well organized so I think you are gonna be better off than most of us!

        But if the length of time for police to come bothers…. get them to pop in regular when they are passing……. have a cup of coffee or a beer!  You will be first thought in their minds….. all the time….

      • 4

        Oldprepper – I try to be well organized, but I believe there are many people here like Redneck, Bob, Bill Masen, and many others who are way more organized than I am. 

        I do have a dog. I adopt older dogs through rescues. They are very gentle and quiet. They don’t bark. But they know how to wake me up just by walking with their nails across my wood floors if there is anything I need to hear.

        You are right too, that prepping is part of life and enjoying life is part of the balance.

        We do prep for the worst, but as you say it does generally work out better than we expect, and we are prepare as best we can if it doesn’t.

        You must have friendly police! The police around here don’t pop in for coffee. They are very business like. They need to live on Island time for awhile and relax.

      • 6

        It is amazing how getting fully involved in a discussion community like this, can greatly increase your organization & priorities. 

        BTW, all our 9 dogs are rescues & captures. 

      • 7

        Ref: “bagged white rice givaways”; I grew up hearing stories from my oldest uncles about building the TransSiberian Railroad. When some workers escaped the construction crews, they fled westward routes near rivers where they could find rural houses for thei rway stations. Around the time of the cockoo bird – early springtime – these rural homeowners would leave on outside window frame a pie of some sort as a hope the “visitors” will take it and continue their journey. 

        Sometimes more than the pie acquired.

        Sometimes better to have indicators that  cabin infected with scurvy and TB.

      • 3

        Hi Bob, 

        I read that estimates were over 300,000 people died during the building of the TransSiberian Railroad. Your uncles were lucky to have survived.

        The pies were intended as kindness, but infected unwittingly by the giver?

        Desperation can drive people to fulfill immediate concerns or needs without carefully considering the consequences of their choices. So it could also be with forming community.

        I will remember that as I continue turning over the concept of community in my head.

        Thank you for raising that point.

      • 4

        That >300K number re TSR deaths makes the point even if really higher.

        I don’t know the specifics about the pie stories but remember my impression was to prepare for self-sufficiency.  Don’t gamble on strangers’ food or play Russian roulette.

      • 6

        Ubique, Just spent ~ hour researching the number of deaths building the TSR.  I’m using the 300K number.  Much of all this is lost to history.

      • 4

        Bob, It is another example of history lost. A summer photo of that railroad belies the suffering and death behind it’s construction.

      • 7

        Bob, I also got that as well. Unprepared and desperate people take terrible chances and well meaning people with pies can also make it worse unintentionally.

        Good thing I’m not a gambler.

      • 5

        That is a good mantra. I wish people could be trusted and relied on like Ubique’s great grandmother, but our world just isn’t like that anymore. 

        I’m going to try my best though to be the way that people should be and teach my family the same. 

      • 8

        Conrad, A well considered viewpoint and thank you for it.

        Your answer made me think of something that happened in a classroom.

        I took a social science class from an instructor who still served as a trainer for the cadets.

        His scenario was simple: Group of people stranded on desert island. What do you do next?

        Later, students happily volunteered how they would organize, forage for food and work together.

        He noticed that I was silent and then called upon me for an answer.

        My answer was and still is simple.

        The first thing I would do is grab my gear and get as far away as possible from everyone else. I would take care of my needs or die alone.

        If at the end of a month or more, I was still alive, I would then recon the other survivors to determine a) are any of them still alive b) are those alive in that state by chance, intelligence or insanity and c) then decide if I want to share my island with them based on the answer to b). 

      • 9

        You are right Redneck, when you say that most people were self-reliant back in my great-grandmother’s day. Most of them did know how to take care of themselves.

        There were, back then and now, vulnerable persons who through no fault of their own need help. The aged or persons who had accidents or were born with conditions that required assistance, for example.

        My dad started working at 10 years old. I was 15 and living on my own and working full time due to family illness. My best friend slept in ditches on his way to the rigs so that his Mother and sisters would have more food after his Dad died suddenly. The few people close to me, including my husband, all started at 15 and survived via the school of hard knocks.

        There was no coddling of my dream of becoming a doctor. Things happen. You get on with it. I did night school throughout my adult life to acquire a post-secondary education. It made me a lifelong learner. I love learning new things because of it.

        I worked twice as hard as everyone else to prove myself every day at work and land promotions. I bused it or walked to work. I lived in tough neighbourhoods so I could better myself. It refined my work ethic, taught me to be courageous and appreciate what I have.

        When I began to hire and train people, I always looked for attitude and work ethic. Everything else, I can usually train into a person. A person can be qualified on paper, but if the attitude and work ethic is lacking, then it is going to be an uphill push to get any work out of the person. And I didn’t consider myself a baby-sitter. I expected people to self-manage.

        I used to think we had lost skill sets in contemporary society and that was why people were not functioning well independently. I realized that we have lost the ability to self-manage. Good self-management skills are how responsible and successful people function.

        Good self-managers don’t expect the calvary to come running up over the hill. 

        My Dad rejected the new government agricultural programs offered in the 1960’s. His brothers and other farmers scoffed at him. “Bigger is better.”

        My Dad’s response was simple: “I don’t care how big you get or how fancy the equipment, two hands can only do so much work. I will not become indebted. I own my farm and not a cent to the bank or the government.”

        You have thought out your position well, as any good self-manager would. We have to always do the best we can with what we have and learn from other people’s mistakes.

        Regardless of whether we are in an urban or a rural area, people can prepare for emergencies in a sensible, proactive way.

        Sorry for the book, but I can get a little feisty, too.

      • 5

        This is a good discussion for those preppers who go beyond having enough food & water for a week… or until help arrives.  Some of us take it a step further.  What if help doesn’t arrive?  Is it so simple as to just increase your stores?  IMO… no.  At that point you have other issues, such as security.  No matter how many guns you have or how much ammo, you have to sleep.  You can’t shoot a hungry neighbor, as they have every right to be there.  Then how do you protect yourself from desperate neighbors?  My solution is simple… make sure they don’t starve.  Make them an asset, not a threat.  Build a community.

      • 7

        Redneck, I’m ready and well stocked for the area’s perils. This status requires adhering to the Red Hen story of helping make the bread. The neighbors – and those others deeming themselves neighbors – might not want to help out.  Some might want to prothesize; “Repent now or …”. Some are drunks. Some are acid-heads. Some are repeat offender criminals……..

      • 4

        I don’t like to think of the possibility, but have you considered what you would do if you had to leave your home?

        It is not something I would want to do, but between prepping and my life experience, I know not to put all my freeze-dried eggs into one basket.

        On another thread, I raised that issue of BOV preparedness. It is not what I would ever want to do, but if it is a possibility, then I believe it must be considered in prep planning.

        There will always be a “wild card” factor in every plan. Even joint security could be overwhelmed by a larger nomadic group. That is why I am inclined to use the chameleon approach if we are in town when a crisis happens. I believe it would be safer to blend in with everyone else until we can determine a better course of action.

        In our current situation there is too much a state of flux. Not enough stability around us to even consider building community before or after a disaster.

        Gunfire can get you out of a jam or be a signal to the criminal element that there are resources that someone considers worth fighting over.

        If I have been careless, attracted the wrong attention and must defend, then my methods will be silent and efficient so as not to attract attention.

        We have seeds and multiple years worth of food stored. In a long term crisis, sustainability is already considered and is continuing to be refined along with my plans.

        There are many things I would like to include in my plans or action now, however, I deal with reality. If I find acreage, great, but even then, I will still spread the risk over various alternatives and subject my plans to ongoing review and revision.

        Community is nice to have in the long run, but not necessarily something I would embrace without a lot of evidence to support the character of the persons who want to team up.

      • 4

        At my age, my farmstead is my Alamo.  That is where I stay.  I am rather rural, have lots of weapons and the training to use them, and will have a community of some sort to provide protection… even if it is just friends & family.  I have given no thought to bugging out somewhere.  Doesn’t interest me in the least.  I will do absolutely everything possible to avoid conflict but that doesn’t mean I’m not prepared for conflict.

        I think bugging out is for younger folk, with lots to live for.  I’ve lived a long life and know where I want my ashes spread.  I ain’t going nowhere.

      • 5

        Redneck, You obliquely addressed the issue: “bugging out somewhere”.

        There are 2 scenerios – usually avoided due to the disturbing pain to address.

        A government-required evac is as realistic as they come.  Much we do not know about. Some types of info must be keep from the public to avoid panics. Who the heck knows what’s going on in re the Tenn-Tom waterway and a possible use ?!

        The other scenerio is highly visible. Transferring the scene from here to Bay St Louis, Mississippi; those fleeing the hurricane travel inland for their escape. They saturate the middle of Mississippi at the roadside rest area, formerly known as Interstate 55. North metro-Jackson is disease infested now.  Dead pets to include horses litter the roadside.  Mosquitoes and flies …… 

        Something called the COVID-19 New Orleans variant mentioned on the AM news………..

        For me here in Hurricane Alley, governmental-required evacs are nearly as predictable as the phases of the moon. My second scenerio is merely a lesser example of overbuilt and overpopulated metro areas. Results are predictable.

    • 8

      If electronic communications fail, there are semophore flags and lanterns.  There are runners/messengers.  There are rudimentary heliograph communications with a signaling mirror or my 12X on 1 side and regular on other side. Aforesaid has successfully worked after electronic commo failure.

      Community is about both compatability and mutual need. Don’t challenge honor killings in some of the world’s communities.  Don’t tell Ingred Newkirk of PETA that horses are edible.

      Building a contemporary community under disaster conditions is a real unknown. 

      As part of current prepping, TP.com is an aspect of community not that different than telegraph keys used in the Aussie’s outback country or this area’s barn parties after the fire was extinguished near the courthouse square.  Matters were discussed AND addressed.

      After the Viernam War era, we transitioned to “In case of emergency, dial 9-1-1”. Wait ’till they add the recording “Your call is important to us”.

      The party’s over. 

      • 6

        Bob, Alternates to electronic communication is an excellent point and well worth learning and remembering. That’s why SAS polished the tin.

        There were no cats and dogs left alive in the Netherlands by the end of the war. Starvation brings out the pragmatist in all of us.

        Your point about building contemporary community under disaster conditions being a real unknown is why I raised the issue.

        There was no community as experienced by my Mom in the war. A couple of her coworkers hung her upside down in a coal chute to share a few pieces of coal. But when a Nazi soldier caught them, she was left to fend for herself. So much for cooperation and community.

        There is always the conditional when dealing with other people.

        I hear you on the 9-1-1. We get multiple options to let us down gently, press 1 if you want…

        The party is indeed, over. The hangover is another matter.

      • 5

        Ubique, Your mom’s experience describes what’s pending.  From our hurricane experience, as soon as some Jack and Jill Jones says that those with destroyed roofs can set up tents on their land, the Jones’ land and house will be swarmed by mobs people – most being unprepared, sick, injured, some criminal elements, … Jack and Jill will have lost everything. The proverbial use of the lifeboats for fuel will witness the lifeboats used for fuel. Without continuity of government, there is mob rule.

        To emphasize my point that “knowledge is power” is to again say that the WWII stories clearly explain what could be pending.

        Am guessing that some don’t understand the SAS tin example was a signaling mirror.

        I have a hunch that the surviving drunks will participate in a sacrifice. It will be their own.

      • 8

        Just remember the Aesop Fable and to some………….. its in their nature!

        The scorpion and the frog……………

        A scorpion meets a frog on the bank of a steam and asks the frog to carry him across……..

        The frog says “How do I know you wont sting me” to which the scorpion replies “If I do we will both drown”

        The frog is satisfied…………. but midstream the scorpion stings him….. The frog starts to feel the paralysis and starts to sink knowing they will both drown……………………and has just enough time to ask “Why”

        And the scorpion replied “Its in my nature”

      • 8

        That is a lesson that I’ve been learning in life lately. Sometimes people are like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, you can’t really tell if they are dangerous at first glance, but as you see them closer then you can tell that they are not good to be around. 

        But once you know that they are dangerous (like the scorpion), then don’t keep repeating the past. It is in their nature. 

        Thanks for sharing that thought Oldprepper.

      • 5

        There are a couple of ways I “read” people’s intentions. I always follow my first instinct about a person, place or situation.

        I listen closely to what people say, especially about themselves. If someone tells you “hey, I’m a jerk”, you can rest assured they are a jerk (or worse).

        I pay attention to non-verbal communication, which is the bulk of communications, around 95-96% from what I remember.

        Watch for eye patterns when speaking with someone. There is info online, but if you have trouble finding it let me know and I will post it here.

        People’s eyes move a certain way when remembering or lying etc.

        Also in a combat situation, never take your eyes off the other person’s eyes. In the split second before they strike, they will look at where they intend to hit.

        Hand gestures are another clue to honesty while someone is talking. The person’s gender and how they use their hands while speaking or listening to you, can speak volumes. Again, you tell if it’s deception or even if someone is angry with you but hiding it.

        Whether on the phone or in person, listen for their vocal chords tightening, causing the voice to change. Changes in speech patterns or breathing.

        Check the carotid artery on the side of the neck. Is it raised and pumping like made? There is some stress there. Why is that?

        Knowing about this part of communication can help you sort out the people who you feel are in your best interest. It can also help you in a difficult situation when you need to correctly evaluate the intent of another person.

      • 4

        Thank you for reminding me of that story, Oldprepper. So very true.

      • 7

        Bob, Prepping and survival skills must be taught in schools. The idea of reasonable self-sufficiency taught along with it.

        The definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same behaviour over and over again and expect different results.

        WWII history is a good example of protracted crisis and how the idea of community didn’t exist, at least not in the way we think it would happen.

        People competed with each other for meagre resources, overwhelmed and stole from neighbours before a gun could be pointed. It happened that quickly.

        For my mother, community became the responsible members of her very large family. It fell to my Grandmother, mom and a few siblings to keep the family going. They became the community because nothing outside of their home could be trusted.

        Those who participate in their own sacrifice prove one thing to me: survival of the fittest belongs to those who don’t self-destruct at the first sign of danger.

        It is a marathon and the ones who survive will have built flexibility into their prepping plans and demonstrate the adaptability to carry it out.

    • 9

      The closest thing that many of us will have to a prepping community is here online. There are many of us out there who are into prepping and being self reliant, but we are spread out all over the world. 

      I’m not aware of a single person in real life who is into prepping like I am.

      I’ve been trying to share prepping with others (mostly family members), but haven’t yet found anyone who wants to seriously get into it. So i’m not sure what my prepping community would look like after a disaster, but I don’t think i’ll be able to have one before the disaster. 

      That’s why I’ve enjoyed the prepared and the forum here. It’s like the prepping community that I’ve always wanted, but haven’t been able to find in real life.

      • 9

        Conrad, The online community is a way to help each other be prepared, so there is that at least.

        I know of a few people in my area who let it slip that they prep, however, I wouldn’t form community with any of them. They are very one dimensional in their ideas of what survival entails (read really loose cannons and liable to create more problems than they solve).

        Family knowledge of my prepping is treated the same way.

        My sibling has skills but his sense of entitlement far outweighs my willingness to have any relationship with him. He took every cent of our Mom’s savings after Dad died. She was grief stricken and vulnerable and he knew it. By the time I found out it was too late. We weren’t raised to be that way, but he became the kind of person who would do such a thing.

        If I can’t trust a person in the best of times, then I’m not trusting them in the worst of times and that includes family members.

        It’s a big part of forming any community. How well can you trust anyone and to what degree and under which circumstances? 

        It’s a tough thing to consider. I have a few close friends who are like brothers and have known them over many years. So there is the test of time. I know their character and how they have responded to challenging conditions throughout their lives.

        I also know they have always had my back. I would form community with people like them.

      • 8

        I could not have expressed this better……. I think this is exactly the right course of action………

        I feel at home already!

      • 11

        I too have some family members that are pretty prideful and feel so entitled. It sure is hard to interact with those people, let alone trust them. I’m sorry to hear that he took your mom’s savings, that is low.

        That’s great that you have some close long term friends that you can trust. I hope that I can develop a friendship like that someday. Kinda hard with covid to go out and meet people though… Hopefully one day though. 

      • 5

        Thanks Conrad. I was glad I could move her across country to be with me. It was nice we had some good years together to make up for what we lost when I was young and she was sick.

        I took my aunt, too because her sons left her in a mess and was happy to help her as well.

        You’ll find good friends, too. My Dad told me once, that if we’re lucky we’ll make one or two really good friends in our lifetime. He was right. I knew a lot of people, but only a a few have stood the test of time.

        It is hard to go out with covid and meet new people, but someday, when this mess is over, everyone will be so happy to get back outside and it will be a piece of cake to meet new people.

        In the meantime, thank goodness for TP.

    • 7

      Personally………. compatibility or mutual need simply do not ring any bells with me in a crisis situation at all.

      You need and have and to bring something to the table to sit there……… its not a benevolent fund and not a charity……. there are however so many things to bring………

      On the other hand you can sit on top of your roof while you wait the help to come as they did in New Orleans….. but no one came.

      I know to some this may sound harsh but to me it sounds like reality…………

      • 6

        I agree completely.  Building a community after a crisis is not about charity.  Everyone will have to bring something to the table.  Now that can be cattle or it could be manual labor working to grow the food or chop wood, for example.  Security will require lots of people.

      • 7

        Exactly!!…. Ubique had it about right in his example of his great grandmother………THAT is an extremely valuable woman to any group!

        What each needs to bring……. may not be a physical item but has to be tangible….. a value!

        We all have a value incidentally ……… just have to find it!

      • 6

        Oldprepper – I believe there is value in everyone even if they don’t know it themselves.

        I believe it is important to teach young people to try different skills and not be afraid of failure. Failure is our teacher also. It says do it a different way.

        My paternal family values made for some interesting women through the generations. Strength and intelligence were prized and beauty was a happy bonus.

    • 8

      I started a forum post months ago about when to offer aid to the unprepared

      And another user started a forum post that inspired mine, challenging us to make mercy bags. I thought it was nice. 

      • 3

        Hi Carter, Thank you for the link to the mercy bag posts.

        I was raised to be kind and never turn away a hungry person.

        I have reconciled my position on staying safe in a crisis and low key, with knowing that if someone is infirm or in dire need, that I can get help to them without being discovered.

        I used to keep my efforts anonymous in order to remain humble about helping others. I did directly help two families several years ago and it quickly became “expected” of my husband and I that we would continue giving to them. At the time one of the two families had more family income than we did.

        Now it is strictly anonymous.

    • 5

      I read this little short piece that gives a good insight to what we may expect……… its actually targeted towards the point of whether the economy will go belly up and if so a possible aftermath……….. worth a read…………

      Will the Economy collapse

    • 6

      Nice description of your grandmother, Ubique. My great-grandparents were also plains homesteaders in the Indian Territory of the Cherokee Strip.

      Good discussion. This is what it always comes down to, what will other’s do?

      I put only minimal thought into security. I can defend us in a pinch but no amount of weaponry is going to protect the lone defender against a large or determined force. In the vein of prioritizing threats, MZBs and rampaging suburban housewives take low spot on my list.

      Traditionally people lived in family groups or small tribes. But they traded far and wide, even in prehistoric times. My prep in the community is to be known not as someone with lots of tantalizing stuff, but as someone with lots of skills to trade.

      This is the era of specialization. Surprisingly lots of folks even in the way-out exurb only know a small range of skills surrounding their career. I am, for good or not, more of a jack of all trades. In the normal course I offer to help folks around me with little problems, I’ve done handyman type stuff for neighbors that nets very little in the way of cash when I could be doing computer work making lots more. But word gets around in a small neighborhood.

      When we had the farm we had people coming to us to let out a dress, doctor a grease burn, tube a calf, learn how to bake bread, install a barn door, wire a dryer buy from our garden and on and on.

      Frankly I don’t find most people all that interesting, and certainly not very dependable or trustworthy even in the best of times. As a result I’m not much of a congregator or joiner. Not that I’m anti-social, just not very social. But I think you can still be a part of a community, or at least build a network based on trade and mutual interest and simple neighborliness.

      You simply have to make yourself personally more valuable to your neighbors than your possessions are.

      • 4

        That is great of you helping out people with their repairs even though the money isn’t that great. With every repair though, you are building up experience and getting better at being a handyman. And you are also building up a reputation for a skill that you can trade for food and other supplies during a disaster. 

      • 4


        I didn’t know anything about the plains homesteaders of the Cherokee strip, so I did some reading about it. What an incredible story! Were your great-grandparents involved in the famous land run of September 16, 1893? I just saw a photo of it done by William S Prettyman.

        I really enjoy learning American history. We didn’t get a lot of American history when I went to school, mostly Canadian, French and English History. I have now added American history to my reading list. The older I get, the more I realize how much I don’t know.

        Back to community, thank you for an excellent and thought-provoking reply.

        You are very right – it does seem to always come down to, what will others do.

        It is the one thing we can’t overtly control. But we can affect some control of what others will do or how they will interact with us through the value they assign to our skills.

        We make ourselves personally more valuable to our neighbours than our possessions as you stated. I really like that line and am using that as inspiration when selecting new skills to learn.

        It would be a good prepping exercise to list all of one’s skills, with a hard copy and update the list as new skills are acquired. It’s easy to forget eveything one knows how to do and under stressful conditions, it would be harder still to list all of them.

        I have steered clear of specialization and did it by working in a variety of fields, changing jobs when my peers all wanted the 50 year gold watch careers. It forced me to hit the ground running, learn on the fly, adapt and be flexible. Who knew that kind of adaptability would later become sought after in the workplace?

        I also self-taught skills or learned from others. For example, sewing was taught in school. Originally, I turned it into a way to stretch my clothing budget. Later I did custom sewing and repairs. I was able to teach sewing to a young woman who was a prostitute. She learned that she could be more than the sum total of her body parts. I am happy to say she went on to become a seamstress.

        Give me a manual and some tools – I’ll tear apart a Harley transmission and fix it. (Thank goodness that one worked – I wasn’t sure at the time – but it makes the point for attempting to learn new things).

        Now that I think of it, my husband and I do get noticed for our skills. People stop and comment regularly on how nice our house and yard look because of the work and projects they have watched us do over the years.

        My husband worked in construction and as an operating engineer among other things. His skills get noticed a lot because of how he does things. For example, he lowered a massive berm at the front of the property by hand because it was way above the curb line. It was on the town allowance at the front of the lot – they had thrown construction garbage in there many years ago, which caused the front to be so much higher.

        His technique to cut, excavate, lower, grade and reuse the excavated sod was something no one had ever seen here.

        I am the same way about the social life. I like people, but have always been a person who preferred to hang out puttering on something on my own, or walking through the bush with my dog or with my nose in a book. My husband is pretty much the same way.

        I appreciate your reply because it has put the idea of community under a whole new light, including how it impacts security during a disaster. That one has been a source of vexation lately. 

        On a humourous note, your comment about rampaging suburban housewives reminded me of a television program called “Suburban Shootout” that was made in England. It is very funny. They blow up a Pottery Barn and shake down street thugs all way wearing sensible shoes, pearls and looking every bit the suburban housewife. Here’s some info on it:  Suburban Shootout

        Thanks again for putting the idea of community in perspective. Your reply really helped me to shift some of my ideas of prepping in a very constructive way.

      • 6

        Ubique, my maternal great-grandfather was in the Run. He’d been a Kansan and his father an Ohioan and his before Kentuckian (I get my wandering gene honestly, LOL) My grandmother was born in Skyatook, Osage Nation, across the river from the homestead and my mother on the homestead, which they called the Homeplace.

        I try to be pragmatic in my worrying, Ubique. There is no way to have a life and be bunkered up. I find that a little worry leads to a new project and that can be fun, but too much worry is counterproductive, makes me feel keyed up and paranoid. My motto is Prep for as anything, including nothing.

      • 5


        What a great family lineage. Wandering isn’t so bad, that’s how you learn to carry home inside of you.

        Wise words on the too much worry issue. I try to work it off (hence new partition wall lol). I also walk it off.

        I like your motto, very Zen. I will remember that. Thank you.

    • 5

      I look at this question a little bit differently than many of the others who have replied. How do you build community now? Reach out to your neighbors. Suggest exchanging phone numbers in case you notice something suspicious at their house. Invite them over for a BBQ in the backyard. Start small and build relationships just as you would with any friendship. You don’t have to be best friends to look out for one another. Learn what skills they have by asking about their hobbies and their careers. If you notice concerning things happening in the news in your area, bring up the idea of preparing for a small crisis. You could bring up FEMA or CDC recommendations on preparedness if you are concerned about being seen as “crazy”. Offer to teach your neighbors or their kids a skill you have if they express interest. Encourage your neighbors to do preparedness things that they won’t think of as prepper stuff, like using rain barrels for collecting rainwater or stocking an extra first aid kit at the neighborhood playground or starting a neighborhood watch. Set reasonable expectations. Most people are not going to stockpile supplies or skills to the levels that many of us here would consider “best”. But that doesn’t mean their preps are not valuable (if only by extending the time it takes to turn to your supplies) or that they have nothing to bring to the table.

      • 4

        Lindsey- Swapping numbers and meeting your neighbors is an excellent and preferred way to get to know them. Seems like my neighborhood would rather gossip and whine on the Nextdoor app instead. 

        “There was a red honda speeding down the road at 5:41am this morning!” 

        “My dog was attacked by a loose dog the other day!”

        It just goes on and on…. 

        Now I’m a horrible example of this because I don’t know my neighbors, but I like what you’ve said and I should get out there and meet them. I’ve been wanting to make some cookies and bring them over and introduce myself to them. I’ll try and do that here this month.

      • 3

        I feel for you, Robert. I would never want to see Nextdoor App conversations around my neighbourhood.

        You could try the cookie and introduce yourself route….

        Check Nextdoor App afterward…..

        “Oh heavens, there was a man here with cookies at ….he was speeding down the road with his plate….”

        Sorry, Robert, I couldn’t resist that one.

      • 5

        HAHA! You made me laugh with that joke! 🙂

      • 4

        Robert, I have the same issue with Nextdoor. I used to have an upstairs neighbor who was convinced the neighborhood we lived was incredibly dangerous because she read Nextdoor all the time and almost never ventured outside.

        Hope you’ve had a chance to meet some of your neighbors!

      • 6

        Lindsey, Setting up a neighbourhood watch could work as a way to get to know and determine who is community minded.

        Also, good suggestions for gathering info on their skills and reactions to crisis issues. Subtle and you would know what you are dealing with.

        Rave about your rain barrel to them – oh, it’s great, I bought it at…. Or get a garden club started on your block. The kids can have their own plots and it could be a lot of fun for everyone, and a good opportunity to segue into prep related topics.

        Anything to get people pointed in the right direction and have some preparedness in place.

        Thanks very much for your very sensible and creative ideas, Lindsey.

      • 7

        Thanks for throwing out this question to the community, Ubique. Even though I don’t plan to adopt some of the suggestions listed by other members, it has been interesting to read the responses and have an opportunity to view the question of community from perspectives I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

      • 5

        You’re welcome Lindsey. I am interested to read different perspectives also.

        I plan and prep for my situation and let my moral compass guide me. I won’t sacrifice my decency or humanity in order to survive. 

        I would never want to be ashamed of my actions after the crisis is over.

        Community will get all of us through in the long term.

      • 5

        I like this reply better than some of the others to this thread. 🙂 When I was first reading through this website I saw a lot of encouragement not to be the stereotypical “lone wolf prepper” but rather to involve community in prepping as much as possible. The thinking being that we will function better in groups with shared resources than on our own. I also got the message that in crises the situation need not devolve into a violent everyone-for-themselves battle; people tend to cooperate and help each other. (Rebecca Solnit’s book about this is on my reading list.) I am moving in a couple of months and hoping that in my new neighborhood I can get to know my neighbors and develop some sort of mutually beneficial relationships that will be useful if a crisis arrives. In Covid times people in my city have set up lots of neighborhood-based mutual aid groups. Perhaps I’m being Pollyanna-ish. But realistically, I don’t have the skills to fend for myself for longer than a week, and I have physical limitations, so I think my best chance is within a community.

      • 4

        That is a nice goal, and I hope you are able to meet some nice neighbors. I think it may take a bit of work, plates of cookies, and perseverance because most people, at least in neighborhoods that I’ve lived in, like to keep to themselves and are too busy to build a community. Hope that isn’t discouraging but I just wanted to mention that because I don’t want you to get denied by one neighbor and just give up. Keep at it!

        community is key. Our world is so prosperous today than it was 50, 100, or 200 years ago. My theory is that cheap transportation (cars and planes) and also phones and the internet have connected us all more creating an even larger ‘community’. The more people you have working together, the faster and better things progress. We didn’t get this far in history just sticking in our own homes, we did it by trading with other groups, and working through problems together. 

      • 5

        The lone ant isn’t able to do much, but a whole colony of ants are able to build amazing things and do so much more.

      • 4

        Hi Cady,

        Like other aspects of prepping, there is a spectrum of how preppers approach their sense of community. For some it is immediate family only and others may include extended family and friends.

        Then there are those who are comfortable including a much larger group of people where trust has not been established or tested over time.

        Prepping has a level of flexibility with how it can be tailored to our needs.

        I don’t think you are being a Pollyanna at all Cady. I think you are being realistic. For me that is the foundation of how I approach my prepping.

        We need to know ourselves, our limitations, abilities, and capabilities.

        I think your plan to establish mutually beneficial relationships after you move is very sensible and well considered. You know what you need to be prepared that will work for you.

        I don’t believe that every crisis can devolve into a free for all. It depends on the situation, the severity and duration of the crisis and the people.

        In World War II, there was violence, but from my Mom’s accounts of what she survived, it sounded like it was less community and more opportunistic behavior. People were starving and they were desperate.

        Community and cooperation are ideals that I believe are attainable. Perhaps Covid-19 for all hardship it has caused, has been a sort of training ground for the world. Maybe this virus has shown us that we can be compassionate and work together for the greater good of everyone.

        I hope everyone remembers that when the next disaster or crisis happens.

        Good luck on the move Cady. Let us know how you make out and if you are successful in your community building. What you learn can be helpful for everyone.

        Thank you very much for replying.

      • 5

        Thanks for your response!

      • 5

        Cady, You’re correctly approaching and addressing the prepper environment.  After your relocation and meeting people, it’s a matter of tailoring, adjusting plans/thoughts, more tailoring, …

        All of us have duration limitations and physical limitations. Typically, those with the largest prepper knowledge-base are the oldest. Like Sigmund Freaud wrote “Our bodies deteriorate with aging”. Opening a multitool can be more difficult than paddling a kayak across a river.

      • 3


        Some days I forego the multitool in favor of a table knife. 

      • 2

        Cady, I wanted to throw out a different perspective. I’m not much for a fortress mentality personally. I know if my neighbors’ kids come over because they are starving, I won’t turn them away. Better to plan according to my natural tendency to cooperate than to expect myself to suddenly turn into a new person in a crisis.

        In addition, while I could probably survive on my own for a while right now, it always seems crises happen at the worst time. The moment you break your leg as it were…

        Best of luck in meeting your new neighbors!

      • 6

        Appreciate your response, Lindsey!