Step 8: Build Community
There truly is strength in numbers. Thus far we have focused on the needs of your family as we prepare to thrive during a critical event. As our family’s preparedness plan develops into fruition, the next step is to build a community of similarly self-reliant individuals. Surrounding yourself in a community of prepared people who are capable of thriving during critical events will dramatically multiply your family’s ability to thrive. In the military, a force multiplier is an attribute that enhances the capability of a given force. For example, compared to a pistol, a rifle’s extended range will greatly increase the distance to which you can engage an enemy target. The rifle multiplies the force of the pistol. Prepared, self-reliant friends will become a force multiplier for your family as well.
We tell ourselves that our inventory of supplies is only for family; however, we might not find it easy to turn our neighbors and friends away when they are in need. We can avoid this terrible, yet inevitable, circumstance by educating them about potential threats and the basic steps to prepare for uncertainty. Every little bit of prior planning on their part will greatly ease the burden from your family.
Although we strive to be completely prepared and have everything we might need, we cannot possible know everything to replace the resources we’re accustomed to in a modern society. Know who in your community has valuable skills. Some of these occupations will become valuable assets, or force multipliers, for your preparedness plan.
- Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses & EMTs
- Auto Mechanics
- Military & Law Enforcement (former or active duty)
Community security should be an all hands effort. We cannot possible keep watch 24 hours a day by ourselves. A prepared community, not preoccupied by waiting in food lines and scrounging for fuel, will be more concerned with maintain order and preventing property crimes. Organizing a neighborhood watch multiplies the ability of each community member to watch each other’s houses for the entire 24 hour period.
In many situations you will be able to extend your survival timeline by pooling resources with others. This does not mean to share your resources with the unprepared, but rather to combine particular supplies to optimize their efficiency. For example, sharing a backup generator can easily supply ample electricity for the refrigerator and lights in two houses, and would use less fuel than two separate generators running simultaneously. The additional generator can then be held in reserve as a backup in case the primary generator fails. Heating fuel can be rationed by gathering in one house during the day, rather than heating multiple houses next to each other.
Lastly, morale will rise considerably as you will be able to share the hardships with others; coming together once again elevates us back up Maslow’s pyramid of needs. Your community can rise above the likely social chaos and desperation. Take the time now to begin the conversation with everyone about the need for proper prior planning and the inevitable consequences for failing.