10 Reasons For Aware and Prepared Community Building For WTSHTF

Survivor Mike
July 24th, 2012

Editor’s Note: The following article from Survivor Mike at The Home for Survival details strategies for community building before and after an SHTF event. While many preppers hesitate to bring any newcomers, especially neighbors they may not know, into their preparedness circle or even preparedness conversation, as Mike suggests, making friends and plans now may be our saving grace when things go sour. Operational Security is, of course, a key consideration, but so too is how you’ll handle a post-SHTF world, especially if it’s just you and your immediate family. While we’ve found it difficult to get neighbors or even family on board with preparedness planning, opening a dialogue and getting to know your neighbors is in our best interest. As we’ve learned from several post-collapse books and resources, communities and groups that band together often have a better chance of surviving than do road warriors or those who want to stand their ground alone when looters or gangs make a move on their homes and supplies. The alternatives to not building a community could and will likely be deadly, as rather than having friends and colleagues to lean on, they instead turn on you to gain access to your supplies. This is an important conversation to have, and Survivor Mike brings to light some key talking points. 

You’re living in your suburban home. CNN has just said that the stock market is dropping for the ninth day in a row and people are now racing to their banks to empty their accounts. Couple this with an unstable euro, an unstable Middle East, and a worldwide economic recession and you get the start of the shit hitting the fan. How does your neighborhood react to this? Who in your neighborhood do you trust?

Now take that a step further and imagine a state of civil unrest. Homes nearby are being looted and undesirables are now common in your neighborhood. You have a weapon, but the occupants of your home include you, your wife, and your two small children. You have a front door, a backdoor, and the garage door. How do you cover all three much less the first floor windows?

What I’ve described above is the situation you will be faced with when the SHTF. So, do you need to build a community of liked-minded folks when the shit hits the fan? I believe there are 10 reasons why building a community is key when it all goes down.

1) Strength in Numbers

Being in a suburban area, I tend to worry about what will happen if looters run amok. I imagine when the SHTF, criminals will likely run in gangs. Those gangs will target individual homes for looting and potentially seek to oust the folks living there. They would target homes with a small number of occupants to make their raids that much easier.

So, to avoid being in their crosshairs, it would be optimal to be viewed as a large group. These criminals will have quite a few homes to choose from when things get tough and there is no sense in being an easy target. Remember, giving the perception of a large force is enough to deter those with bad intentions.

2) More Hands, More Work Done

Continuing with the theme of a group, the more folks in that group, the more workers you have. Those additional sets of hands will be able to help garden, cook, pack supplies, gather water, and hunt for food. While you will have to feed and care for those extra bodies, the work you get from them should more than make up for it.

I would much rather have 5 people foraging for food and supplies versus one, as time will be of the essence.

3) Pre-planning

Knowing you’ll have a community of preppers allows you to be proactive with planning now. You can request your neighbors start preparing by gathering supplies, preparing their homes and getting their financials in order. You can even go as far as planning the homes you will use for what purpose. By having those families focus on particular areas of prepping, you can be sure you will be best prepared when the trigger event happens.

At the very least, having your neighbors prepared will prevent them from being a liability when things go south. The last thing you need is a needy “friend” eating into your family’s supplies.

4) Multiple Locations

Having multiple homes in a community provides several advantages. Besides the tactical advantage of defending yourself, you acquire additional space for supplies, including areas to prep them.

Additionally, you provide the sense of normalcy for the folks in the community. Utilizing one house as a mess hall could be a possibility. Having a house serve as a medical facility is another. You would almost be able to build a town within the community. You cannot underestimate the importance of this helping with the psychology of the group trying to survive.

5) Additional Resource Network

Your neighbors will have different supplies, different tools, and especially different skills. That alone is a huge asset when attempting to survive in uncertain times. However, the resources we don’t think about are the various contacts they may have.  They may have an uncle who owns 10 shotguns. A cousin that has an RV for sale. A friend with access to critical medical supplies.

Each neighbor will have their own network of contacts that may come in handy. Those contacts become even more valuable when things get very tough. You may even choose to join a larger group that your neighbors will have paved the way for by providing that connection.  We can be sure that we will need to be creative during difficult times.

6) More Supplies

You can never have enough supplies when chaos ensues.  Your neighbor may have several bundles of firewood he’s been collecting. Another may have a portable generator and a water filtration system. Another may have access to items very useful for bartering. Each one may have specialized tools to do things you do not.

With each person you bring into to the group, you add to your potential assets. While they will come with their own liabilities (need for food, shelter, etc), the assets and skills they bring should tip the scales in your favor.

7) Never Stop Working

When you are part of a group, you’re able to work in shifts. You are also able to continue working if one of the group gets ill. This is key when you are pressed for time in preparing supplies.

As mentioned earlier, you’ll also have people that excel in certain areas. This will allow you to accomplish things efficiently and effectively.  For example, my neighbor happens to be very good with electrical issues. If we needed to fashion something electrical, I would be very hard-pressed to come up with something effective. The time I spend working on that electrical solution would be time away from building defense capabilities, which are my strengths.  Not to mention, it would take me significantly longer.

8 ) Companionship

When the SHTF, people will have a hard time adjusting. We will be going from a life where we have access to almost everything, to a life where getting the basic needs will be a challenge. While having our families will be a crutch that we rely on, having others to share the hardship with will certainly be a comfort.

As a man I know that hanging out with my male buddies is something I look forward to. Being able to vent to the other dads in the community and husbands will be a huge release (and take a bit of the burden off my wife). Don’t ignore the importance of human companionship when facing tough times.

9) Never a Bad Thing… More Guards

Obviously, the additional folks will help defend the community. Again, the different skill sets will come into play here. Some neighbors may have experience in the military which will come in handy when defending your position.

I hear many preppers say they have so many weapons in their home that would be difficult for any looters or criminals to penetrate. However, at most you will be able to fire two guns (as you have two hands). I don’t know many people that could hit a target with two guns in your left and right hand.

Having and training additional marksmen would put you at a huge advantage. Think about it, as a criminal would you want to face an armed group or dad trying to defend his wife and two kids?

10) Scouts / Reconnaissance

Having the ability to leave your compound without fear of losing it, is a distinct advantage. There will be times when you need to go out and either hunt for food, do some reconnaissance, or simply search for supplies.  Having able-bodied men guarding your community allows you (and others) to venture out to find information and plan further.

Remember, there will be no turning on CNN to find out what’s going on down the street.  You will need to be able to gather intelligence military style.


Clearly, having more mouths to feed and more variables in the equation will be a challenge.  However, a unified front when the desperate folks come calling is clearly the best long term approach.

This article has been contributed by Survivor Mike of The Home for Survival.

13 comments to 10 Reasons For Aware and Prepared Community Building For WTSHTF

  • Jeddes

    I get such a “kick” out of you “doom & gloomers.” You people act like the world is going to end with massive starvation and gang riots all over the U.S. The United States is in the middle of a recession. Big deal. We will muddle our way through this mess, just like we always do. No need to build a compound and pretend the world is ending.

    • Mustafa Cohen

      I don’t expect the humankind to be wiped off the map, but I do believe that we are heading to major changes. Not like changes between Prius 2011 to Prius 2012, but something different from everything we know.

      We will muddle our way through this mess, just like we always do.

      1. Who are “we” in your sentence? 2. Where will the money come from?

      • Jeddes

        “We” is the United States. The money will be printed, as always. People have been predicting a collapse in Japan since 1989. So far, nothing. The Yen is stronger than ever. If there is a collapse in the U.S., it will be many years from now.

        • Mustafa Cohen

          “We” is the United States.

          There is no such “we” as the United States. You are not in the circle of crucial people for Lloyd Blankfein. A bum on the corner in a state 1,000 miles from you is not in your circle. Your family and friends are your “we”.

          The money will be printed, as always

          The money is printed not for you, but against you.

          Are you just trolling, or are you seriously believing that somebody out there will see to it that you keep living happily? When they are beginning to eat themselves they will care about you? They’ll stock shelves in your supermarkets, pour gas into stations, load ATMs with cash?

          My timing mechanism is off. I feel that this is already happening, but it might easily take another 5 years (or 50). What I have no doubts about is that there is no alternative: if society rewards scum and produces no value, it cannot stand forever.

    • James Tetreault

      That’s funny. I get a kick out of people who think this is just 1991 or something. It’s just a recession, not a depression. Of course not! And there are no complicating factors like the dollar’s imminent loss of reserve currency status, regulatory capture by insolvent too big to fail banks, the transfer of our manufacturing base to China, federal debt past the point of ever being paid back, a huge portion of homeowners underwater on their mortgages, actual unemployment nearly 20%, poor demographics, massive entitlement spending looming over the horizon for which we don’t have the money and debt of every kind past the point of no return. Acknowledging these things doesn’t mean one must build a compound but one probably has to abandon the illusion that this is just another recession that we’ll muddle through as always.

    • Kyle

      It is because of people like you that believe they don’t need to prepare that we the preppers need to practice OPSEC. I finally found a company that offers an OPSEC way to get our food storage. A years worth of food all stacked up on a pallet and wrapped in black plastic. It’s called the CUBE. You can find it at http://www.srmarketplace.com on the special deals page. Don’t know how to cook with food storage? They have some good videos that shows you several recipes. It’s easier than I thought it would be to be prepared, you just have to know where to look. When the SHTF don’t come looking for a handout.

    • speedspirit

      Forming and building a community in times of uncertainty is good insurance. Its not raining right now but people have flood insurance. My house isnt on fire but I have fire insurance, ect. Economic collapse insurance is just being responsible my friend. Good luck not being insured.

  • Scott

    I get a kick out of people with their head in the sand. Jeddes, what is happening right now that you think this is a run of the mill recession?

  • Look like Jeddes has it all figured out. Looks like Spain and Italy are “muddling through” really well.

  • Moira

    I saw this article on SHTFplan.com on Tuesday. This is basically why we are doing what we are doing NOW as opposed to later when it may not be possible. No doom and gloom, just thoughtful, aware and prepared reasoning.

  • Cal

    Good article man, but if you’re in a small town and away from major cities then I think small communities will ban together and thrive. In our community we have men for defense and work and many farmers with their trucks and shotguns, and a couple nurses , a couple mechanics, and a couple do it all engineers, and the women for gardening and feeding livestock and whining about life being hard. I can’t wait for this sinful American lifestyle to be crushed, but the longer it takes the more prepared we will be to thrive and restart a much better society!

  • Jordan

    Cal, sounds like a cool place to be.

    Jeddes, what you’re experiencing is normalcy bias, the same thing that killed a lot of people in New Orleans when Katrina hit. Because it’s never happened to this extent, therefore it means it can’t. Until it does.

    Every empire collapses. Read the book “When money dies”, amazingly a lot of people lost everything when Wiemar Germany went through hyperinflation, what’s even crazier is they had options to buy other currency but the normalcy bias of everything’s going to be OK kept them from doing that.

    When the dollar collapses, the other currencies will be just as worthless, the “other options” are food, supplies, silver, and if you’re rich maybe gold.

  • Mid E

    “Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.”

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