When you hear the word “prepper,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Popular media portrays preppers as anti-social, militant hoarders who want nothing to do with the world around them. But we know better, don’t we?
We know you, like us, are concerned about taking care of your loved ones in every situation. You want the confidence and security of knowing you can do so. There are many families, across the nation, who have established or created networks with other prepared families. It’s not unusual.
Instead of isolating themselves, most people seek out group interaction during and after an emergency or disaster. Scientists have shown that this is a biological response– humans seek out the advice and company of others. It’s called deliberating.*
Last Friday we talked about finding other prepared individuals and families that are interested in working together. Our first Baby Step this week is a bit of a repeat, just to make sure you’re moving in the direction of establishing a support network.
Baby Step 1: Make a list of people who are interested in forming a group and the skills, tools, and resources they have.
You don’t have to be best buds with the people in your network, but they should be trustworthy. You should know what they can do and let them know what you can do.
Go to page four of our Neighborhood Emergency Plan packet to see the skills and special equipment most commonly needed. These include medical and mechanical skills, along with special equipment and vehicles.
Don’t overlook any skill or any individual. For example, does the teenager across the road know CPR from her summer job as a lifeguard? Pay attention to skills that are valued but not considered necessary for survival:
- A psychologist can do a lot to help those with anxiety, panic, or extreme fear.
- A good haircut from a barber or hairstylist can lift your mood.
- A tailor or seamstress can repair damaged materials like tents, tarps, clothing, and maybe even shoes.
- A ham radio operator, even a hobbyist, can communicate when telephone, internet, and cell phone lines are down.
- A nutritionist or dietician may be able to suggest alternative sources of nutrients.
Here are a few more skills you probably haven’t considered:
- Community organizer
- Entertainers (like musicians or comedians to boost morale)
- Chimney cleaners (in case this is your only source of heat)
- Knife sharpeners
- Undertaker, mortician, and sanitation workers
- Runners/hikers/swimmers/cyclists/horseback riders (for transporting information and goods)
- Engineers and people who are good at rigging stuff
- Self-defense instructors
- Hunters, fishermen, and foragers
Baby Step 2: When you’ve established your network, join our group purchasing program.
We offer discounts for group purchases, often as much as 49% off. We also offer free shipping on the entire order regardless of size once the minimum quantity of a group item has been purchased (as long as the order is shipped within the contiguous 48 states). Click here for details.
Baby Step 3: Develop a neighborhood plan and schedule an emergency drill.
Download our Neighborhood Emergency Plan to help you organize your group’s efforts. Once your plan is in place, hold an emergency drill to practice the plan. The practice will help you figure out what works (and what doesn’t) so you can adjust your plan accordingly. If you’re planning a drill, let us know. We’d love to hear how the experience goes for your neighborhood, and we’d love to share your pictures and video with our network.
Here’s another tip: After an emergency strikes, hold a swap meet. The idea here is not necessarily to pool resources. It’s more of a barter-for-what-you-need deal. If, like me, you have 14 cases of tuna and no mayonnaise, this is the venue for you. By exchanging goods and services it’s possible to cover gaps in your emergency and food storage plans.
Read more here: Emergency Swap Meet
*Amanda Ripley in Surviving Disaster, PBS Documentary (link)