I usually get ignored for saying this in the survival threads, but I'll say it again:
My single most important "survival skill" is my membership at my church and my fraternal associations.
Those folks DO stick together. I have a friend who lived in a town that was hit by a major tornado, downtown. An hour after the storm, everyone in
the church who attended sunday school
had been checked on. The pastor and elders called each Sunday school teacher, and they went down their
attendance sheets and called each family. They reported back the names they couldn't get a phoneline through for, and someone drove to their house
(or what was left of it) to look for survivors.
When the Red Cross showed up, they used that church's basement as headquarters, because the building was intact, and each elder that secured his own
home sent someone to represent him at the church. So there's a building with a working kitchen, and about 20 volunteers ready to work after the
Notice how, if you were just a visitor, you didn't get called. They honestly didn't think of that. They called the people they knew well, and that
was members of their clubs and groups in the church. The plumbers and contractor types showed up to make sure the church was undamaged, and then
offered to help anyone who had a hole in a roof or rain pouring into their home. In other words, if you were in the network, your house got saved
first. They also helped everyone who came by and asked for help. But think about that; who would go to a church in an emergency, except people who
are comfortable there.
Here's a trivial example. When I travel, I hate to use a filthy public restroom. So the three johns I look for are the upper floors of a hospital,
upper floors of the local library, and church restrooms. Those three are usually low traffic during the week, and are often cleaned and unused on any
given weekday, particularly in the a.m. Church people look at you a little funny, but then you tell them why (and where your home church is) and they
smile and nod.
Same with the lodge. Those are people who already have a social network in place. Can you trust them with your life? Well, can you trust your
extended family any better?
Social networks, the ones being torn down by our institutions, are the sinews of civilization, and they still exist when the lights go out.
In the last snowstorm, our power went out, and my neighbor drove out to our place with firewood, because he didn't see any smoke coming from our
chimney. He figured I was out of firewood. And he goes to a different church, and was on his way to check on fellow members.
In summary, I think the whole "go it alone" mentality will kill off a lot more survivalists than gunfire ever will. Actually, it won't kill
them---they'll just go looking for help when the protein bars run out.