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Surviving the SHTF: Community Prospects

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posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 12:43 PM
In the current climate of bubbling tensions and our bonds worn to thread thin, I believe it is time that we prepare. Responsibly. While a fair number of you reading this will, or attempt to, find a bug out location safe from it all, I cannot join you. Not out of lack of knowledge, resources or other such problems. I intend to voluntarily stay in my community, and I beg others to consider doing the same. In the great sh!t storm that we all fear, many things could happen. Electricity could be cut off. Sewage lines could be ruptured. City services, such as fire and police, could be denied to some areas ( If not all. ). Food could run short. And in all of this, our friends and neighbors could be preyed upon by the less scrupulous.

So, what to do? Do you flee like a modern day Jedd Clampitt, waving out your truck window and shouting "GL HF!" to your neighbors? Do you sustain yourself on bottled water and C rations in the bomb shelter under your backyard? Do you slap on your shoulder pads and patrol the country on a motercycle, searching for "guzzoline"?

Or, do you avoid taking a leap backwards in the progress of humanity, and help your community?

The people here are, by and large, more prepared for a collapse then the average individual. Most of you have done research, many own and are familiar with at least one firearm, and some even have detailed plans and hoarded spupplies for the journey. But what about everyone else, who is not only in a state of denial about our teetering global economy, but wouldn't know what to do with themselves when it finally tips over the edge and goes into freefall?

For those who have been unable or unwilling to prepare for the uglier prospects of our future, it will be a very grim time indeed. But, it dosen't have to be.

Surviving, or even prospering in, the SHTF is not only possible, but within our grasp. There are three steps to this, and none of them are an unreasonable demand on yourself, or those around you.

1) Organize. Some of us have neighborhood councils, PTA meetings, or other such gatherings. Don't pitch your "The end is coming" ideas there. People, in groups, will find it much easier to reject something they don't want to be true if it challenges the status quo. Instead, consider your neighbors. Pick ones that you think will listen, and in your most rational and reasonable methods, explain to them why you think preparing for the worst is a necessity. If they accept that it could be true, then you have a new ally. The next person you try to welcome into your fold, both of you go. If that person joins, then the three of you go to the next house. And you continue this until you've either recruited your neighborhood or defined who is and is not part of your plans.

IF no one joins, which is always possible, then consider abandoning your current location. If people are unwilling to listen, then they are unwilling to listen. There is not much to be done about that, and you don't want to spend your time shouting at a wall.

Here are some tips on making the "End of the world" seem reasonable to as many people as you can.

- Do NOT, do NOT, do NOT make it a political issue. No matter how much you personally believe it is, do not run the risk of alienating people who disagree politically. If you do, they'll be disagreeing with you as a matter of principle, rather then a logical basis.

- Set the example. Meaning you don't ask any more of your neighbors then you've already done yourself. This will make it clear that your being serious, and that your not just trying to get them to pull your weight along with theirs.

- Be reasonable. Don't demean them if they disagree, but rather find out why it is they think your wrong. Once you know, politely tell them why you disagree, and why you believe this is a serious matter.

( Almost out of room, continued in next post. )

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 01:22 PM
( Continued from OP )

- Be willing to share. One of the main benefits of having your community around you willing to act is the pooling of resources. Instead of being ten individual families or people who are cloistered in your homes, eying your former neighbors with weary contempt, be community. Take care of eachother. And, above all, set a precedent for good will to follow once things turn sour. People will be less willing to share if no one bothers asking them for help until things have fallen apart.

2) Plan

Once you have a suitable number of people willing to cooperate ( The exact number may vary, but remember that too many can be worse then too few ), gather them together for a brainstorming session. Let everyone have a say, and determine the skills and resources you have at hand. Nearly everyone has at least one thing they can do well, and those who don't have an expert qualification in something should learn. Some tips on the planning phase are:

- Have regularly scheduled meetings at the most convenient time you can manage. Consider rotating the host every week, that way everyone feels like their a part of it. Don't make it seem like some cloak and dagger affair, either. Treat it like you would a normal social engagement, and this will normalize people to the concept of community survivalism.

- Make a list of things you, as a community, need. Have a safebox at every meeting, and encourage people to chip in what they can. The exact needs will vary, but I'm including a list of recommended materials and equipment in the appendix.

- Make a list of things that individuals need, and distribute it among your neighbors. A list of recommended materials will be including in the appendix.

- Get to know your neighbors. This may sound silly, but many people want nothing to do with the people living next door, and that attitude will make unification a difficult task. Socialize with them. Have block parties. Introduce the children to eachother, encourage them to become friends. Establish as much of a bond between yourself, your community, and everyone else in your community, as you can.

- Have at least one person stock up on books. Do not try to go on the cheap by downloading PDF files or other digitial information. I personally recommend the SAS Survival Handbook as a first purchase, followed by whatever you may think is necessary. High priorities include first aid manuals, manuals on land and crop management, and so forth. ( Once again, the appendix will contain a list of choice reading. )

Recommended purchases for individuals:


- One claw hammer, preferably all steel construction.
- Five boxes of nails suitable to construction, of various lengths and diameters.
- One crowbar, at least twelve inches in length.
- One handsaw, with a blade of no more then twenty inches.
- One bar of soap to lubricate the handsaw.
- One pair of high quality bolt cutters.
- One power drill, with at least on spare battery.
- Five boxes of screws, suitable for construction, of various lengths and diameters.
- One hoe
- One shovel
- One rake
- One gardening trowel and shovel

Household items:

- One sleeping bag per person, suitable for below freezing temperatures.
- 2500 calories of dried, canned, or otherwise non-perishable foodstuffs per person, per day, ( I recommend stocking up with enough to last everyone two weeks without outside assistance. )
- Five salt tablets per person
- One bottle of multi-vitamins per person
- One three stage water filter
- 2.5 Liters of water, per day, per person. ( Recommended that you stock one weeks worth of water more then you do foodstuffs. )
- One basic first aid kit
- One shotgun, twelve gauge, pump action.
- Five boxes of shells, double aught federal buck.
- One set of quality hunting, fillet and survival knives.
- One flashlight with two sets of spare batteries per person.
- One candle, with no less then six backups, per occupied room.
- Twelve disposable lighters

( Continued in next post. )

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 01:40 PM
If things could work out that way in a SHTF situation, it sounds real good, but there's just one little problem with that.

You remember in grade school, the snotty kids who wanted to tell everyone else what to play, with whom, and were always insisting on following THEIR rules? Doing everything their way?

They eventually got their butts kicked halfway up their shoulders, and thereafter ran to the teacher everytime there was a hint of a conflict?

The tattle-tails? The girlie-boys?

They grew up, still wanting to tell everyone what to do, how many times, how to live, what you can't do, and when to do it. They are still full of themselves.

The problem is, they still don't know how to fight.

They can't empty themselves and assume the ruthless mind-set that is required for survival when those around are falling.

Heraclitus knew this truth 2,500 years ago, and he spoke of fighting men:

"Out of every hundred men, ten shouldn't be here
eighty are just targets,
Nine are real fighters, and we're lucky to have them,
for they make the battle.
Ah, but the one.
One is a warrior,
And he will bring the others back.

I've been in dire situations twice. I listened to men who didn't know diddly squat try to rule the group. All the time I was packing up my **it.

When asked what I was doing, I told them that I was getting just as far as I could from them, because they couldn't intentionally, on-purpose make worse decisions.

I'm all for cooperation. I have no equal when it comes to teamwork.

But when the SHTF, all the virtues that made a man a successful businessman, or technician, are all weaknesses in a true SHTF situation.

I'll take me and mine. A few others I can count on.

Those with the monster.

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 02:01 PM
- One box of weather proof matches.
- One months worth of fire wood
- One bucket of lard
- Three pounds of salt
- Twenty by twenty feet of weather proof tarpaulin
- Five rolls of duct tape
- Seeds suitable to grow in your climate
- High quality growers soil

Recommended Reading:

- The SAS Survival Manual
- Mini Farming for Self Sufficiency
- Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners
- Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods
- ACEP First Aid Manual, 2nd edition
- Gray's Pocket Anatomy

Materials for your community:

- Two axes
- Two sledgehammers
- One rain collection system ( Will post a "how to" on this later )
- Two chickens per family, for the purpose of egg laying
- One well, windmill, or other renewable source of water per two families
- One set of solar panels per two families
- One chainsaw
- One spare chain for chainsaw
- One mill capable of grinding wheat, corn, barley, or other cereal crops
- One backyard playground ( Only if more then four children are in the group )


Please note that these are not gospel recommendations, and that you can and should adjust the list to your own needs. This is simply a list of basic purchases for people to build off of.

Also, the recommendation of a shotgun to every household does not apply to experienced gun owners, but it is recommended that every household have at least one firearm immediately available.


Step 3) Act

So you have a small group willing to listen to you. You have a list of materials for them to get. But that takes time, so what to do in between?

- Study. Important fields include electrical engineering, carpentry, construction, welding, medical professions and gardening. If anyone in your group knows how to do any of these things, have them teach another member. Any of the mentioned fields that aren't represented in your group should be studied by at least one person in your group ( Per category ), to the extent that time and resources allow.

- Train. Organize group fishing, camping and hunting trips with your community. If these aren't within reasonable grasp, take your group to the shooting range to get them comfortable with their firearms. Encourage group exercises, such as jogging and other equipment free calisthenics. Play team sports such as basketball, soccer or street hockey to get your community used to working in a group. All of these, and other things you may consider yourself, will make your community prepared for when the SHTF.

- Plant and maintain a vegetable garden, and encourage your group to do so in their yards as well. If a yard isn't an option, find a suitable window sill and put as many potted plants in its light as you can fit. Remember that you are trying to grow enough to feed yourself and your family, and adjust the amount planted accordingly. But growing a surplus is never a bad thing, especially if everyone can manage to.

Carrots, potatoes, corn, beans and cabbage are all suitable for building your diet off of, with other crops suitable to local climates mixed in for variety. Remember that if your entire community is growing, you can have one family grow one type of crop as opposed to everyone growing a variety.

- Get into contact with other groups who are following the same steps as you. Remember that if civilization is going to return, it will not be from isolated survivalist camps content to rule over their acre of forest, but from groups like your own. Share information, plans, ideas, and help spread the concept of urban survivalism.

And that is all. I'll gladly answer questions about this topic as they come up, and I'll be posting how-to's and other handy information as I think of it.

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 02:08 PM
reply to post by dooper

You are right. There are disagreeable individuals. However, society has been founded and existed with those kinds of people since we discovered that you can hunt mastodon better in a group. Short of someone having the misfortune of getting a pack of sociopaths in their lot, the odds are that a group can function with those individuals within it.

If having snotty, stuck up, bossy or otherwise unpleasent people could prevent people from working together for their own survival, then people would have stopped forming groups.

But they did not, have not, and are making no real effort to. That is because we survive better in groups, no matter how much self proclaimed super survivalists and ex-green barrette-seal-rainbow squad-other ex military cliche will beat their chests to the contrary. ( Not directed at Dooper personally, but at the attitude some people take towards survival. )

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 08:57 PM
Those groups you mentioned that hunted together were usually of a tribe, a close-knit community of folks who you'll note were always at war with other tribes.

Remember, the subject is when TSHF. Normal congregation is off. This is not beer at a local pub watching the Friday night game.

And there are people who are either stupid, demanding, high-maintenance, uncooperative, overbearing, or cannot follow simple instructions that keep the group safe.

No, when the SHTF, like it or not, a lot of folks, the vast majority, are excess baggage and a threat to you personally due to their stupidity.

In a true SHTF situation, it is likely that up to 90% will be dead quickly.

Of the 10% that survived that, within the first year, it is likely that 90% of them will be dead.

So if you make it, your companions better bring something to the table. Something very valuable.

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 10:54 PM
reply to post by dooper

Assuming that something occurs that manages to kill 90% of the human population on earth, that will more then likely make large tract of the planet unlivable. Nuclear plants will fail, fires will burn up thousands of acres a year, and more then likely the best, most arable land will be rendered useless, since humans have done a good job of finding the best places to grow their food. ( And already done so )

In that kind of scenario, mankind may well have met its end. And, no matter how long you hold out, your probably never going to see another living human being that didn't come with you. I see little point in preparing for that scenario exclusively, since the most likely causes ( Meteor strike, nuclear war, biological warfare, climate shifts ) for that are likely to kill me as dead as the other 99% ( Using your numbers ) of the human race.

The plan I listed is for the more likely and much more imminent collapse of the global economy, which I doubt will cause the human race to suddenly teeter on extinction.


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