One of the largest overlooked aspects of a prepping plan is the need to become a part of a prepping community. Some preppers overlook this entirely. Some acknowledge the benefit, but don’t see any practical way to find or join a community.
Still others mistakenly believe that it is sufficient merely to move to a state where the general social values are more or less in line with prepper values. Our article about Community Mutual Defense Pacts in particular discusses the need not just to be generally in an area where other preppers generally may be located too, but to be as close as possible – within sight of – other preppers in order to have a tangible realistic enhancement to security and survivability.
You mightn’t realize or think about this much, but no matter how solitary an existence you lead today, you are also a part of a community and in many life-or-death ways, totally reliant on it.
Our Current Lives Would be Impossible Without the Community We Live In
This vague ‘community’ we all belong to truly does provide life-saving resources. What happens if your house catches fire? You dial 911 then wait for hopefully no more than 5 – 10 minutes for a series of well equipped fire trucks and well-trained firemen to come and put your fire out for you.
What happens if you suddenly feel faint and have chest pains? There you are, at the phone and dialing 911 again, in the expectation that paramedics will speedily arrive, provide such first aid as is needed, and get you to a world-class hospital for any subsequent medical care you may need.
On a less life-or-death basis, what happens if your roof starts to leak? You don’t spend several weeks learning how to become a roofer, you don’t somehow create roofing material in your garage, then clamber up onto your roof and repair/replace your roofing material yourself. You call around local roofing companies to choose one which you feel comfortable with, and have it done for you.
Or what happens when you feel hungry? You either go to a supermarket and buy food to cook, or to a restaurant and eat a meal prepared for you.
Oh – and when you traveled on the road to wherever you were going? That is a community maintained road as well.
You get the point, right? The ‘community’ of people, services, goods, and everything else which surrounds us at present makes our life enormously more convenient than would be the case if we were truly alone, a thousand miles from everywhere, and totally reliant on just ourselves and what we could do unaided.
Either the community as a whole or the people and businesses within the community allow us to lead the lives of comfort and luxury (yes, truly luxury compared to 90% plus of the world) that we enjoy today.
The Need for Community Resources in a Level 2/3 Situation
In a Level 2 or 3 situation, the community and all its support structure that we are so reliant on at present is projected to collapse and somewhere between partially or completely fail. This is what we are prepping in anticipation of.
But the big mistake many preppers make is to see that their response to the vulnerabilities in our present society should take the form of attempting to survive as an individual (or as one, or possibly two or three families together).
This is possible for a Level 1 situation, and may also be possible for a short-term Level 2 situation where hopefully all the skills and resources and support you need have been provided for in the form of stockpiled materials. But with each passing week, your stockpiles diminish, and more and more things will start to fail or need maintenance.
No matter how many books you have, on how many different subjects, you can’t hope to become universally competent in every possible element of maintaining your life and your environment – besides which, you’ll be busy most of most days just attending to basic survival necessities. You won’t have the leisure time to learn up on new skills and fields of knowledge.
What about extra manpower to help with projects requiring more people? What about security? What about access to special skills you don’t have within your group (dental, medical, engineering, whatever)? What about people to trade/exchange your surplus crops with for their surplus (different) crops?
And – what about the thing you overlooked or made the wrong choice about? What if some essential element of your future survival fails, or if you overlooked some essential thing? If you’re on your own, well – you’re on your own. But if you’re part of a community, you can fairly turn to them to help you resolve this need.
What about economies of scale and affordability making it financially feasible to add extra levels of sophisticated support services to larger communities that would not be possible to individuals? Or, if not an issue of money (in the initial planning and development stages) maybe it is an issue of manpower subsequently – for example, a common road shared by 50 people is more practical to maintain than a road for one person, because in the former community situation, there are 50 people available to help share in its maintenance.
Thinking ahead, what happens when you wish to retire, and your children wish to marry and have their own families? In a community, there is a base of support to enable some percentage of the community to retire, and there is the bio-diversity to make it possible for youngsters to marry (other than their own close family members!).
A community also provides social support and encouragement for its members. It will be a difficult time for sure, and many of us will at times find ourselves close to despair. A community gives us the moral encouragement to stay strong and to successfully survive through adversity.
A community can provide, officially or unofficially, a form of ‘insurance’ to its members. We rely on insurance at present to mitigate our risk of catastrophes – if our house or car should be destroyed, insurance will help restore us to a position of financial equity. We can’t self-insure if we are in a retreat by ourselves – what happens if our retreat is destroyed, or an essential item like our generator fails? But it becomes practical for a community to insure its members against disaster.
Where and How to Find or Create a Suitable Community?
So hopefully we’ve persuaded you of the benefits of becoming part of a community, rather than planning to survive, unassisted, on your own. Now for the key question (and hopefully answer) – where can you find such a community? Many people make a very dubious assumption that could prove to be fatally wrong. Please now read our article about where and how to find/create a suitable prepper community.
It is easy to fall into the trap of disdaining much of modern society, and to complain about too-high taxes and getting nothing in return for all the money that goes to city, county, state and federal government. Maybe there’s some validity to such dissatisfaction, but if you ever find yourself needing to call upon the community’s life-saving services in an emergency, your perspective will totally change.
In addition to the government forms of services to communities, there is the extraordinary amount of synergy and benefit gained from grouping together a variety of people with a range of different skills and talents. This frees us all to concentrate on doing what we enjoy the most, and what we are most effective at doing, and this personal specialization makes the community as a whole more robust and more productive.
In a Level 2/3 situation, community support becomes even more vital, because our downside risks become massively greater. We don’t have other ‘safety nets’ to help. We only have the people and things in our immediate area. A community will greatly enhance our ability not just to survive, but to survive well and more comfortably.
As preppers, our underlying motivation is to be able to survive adversity in as positive a manner as possible. Becoming part of a prepper community is one of the wisest steps we can take to ensure the most positive future experience.
Please read more in our general articles about community and social issues to do with prepping. And please consider becoming part of the Code Green community. We need you – and probably, you can benefit from us in turn, too.