The day WTC was bombed for the first time, a friend asked me “What would you do if you had to leave home and take only five things along?” Back then, the thought of forming or being part of prepper groups didn’t even enter my mind because I was already part of a very tight-knit community. As I have grown and matured as a prepper, however, I turn my attention more to prepper groups and why they are so important. This guide explains why failure to network with others can be your biggest unrecognized prepping mistake, and help you develop effective strategies to overcome this problem.
What is a Prepper Group?
According to Capt. William E. Simpson, one of the most famous preppers of our time, a prepper is:
“Anyone who has observed recent history and the re-occurring disasters (both natural and made-caused) that have resulted in massive casualties and/or loss of life, and in consideration of lessons learned or stemming from such events coupled with the odds of the re-occurrence of any such events, takes appropriate and measured steps to deal with and/or survive any such events which may occur in their environment.”
By building on that definition, we can say that a prepper group is made up two or more people that have joined together for the common cause of taking steps to ensure survival in catastrophic situations before the event actually occurs. Prepper group decisions are made, in part, by observing historical disasters that caused injuries or loss of life, and taking note of what worked and what didn’t work. The prepper group also seeks to understand and predict modern hazards and historically untested situations so that we can adjust our actions and prepping plans to increase the chance of survival.
Prepper Groups: Because You Can’t Change Anti-Prepper Laws Without Them
Did you know that more and more cities and towns across the United States are quietly passing laws to make it illegal to have a garden while others restrict how you capture and store rainwater? At the state and federal levels of government, even worse laws are being passed in relation to guns, stockpiling essential survival goods, and even wind turbine placement. When you have an overwhelming number of laws that restrict prepper activities, only a well organized and well-funded lobby, PAC, or other rights group can effectively challenge these laws and have them amended.
Will Communities Join Together in a Time of Crisis?
Not so long ago, I was one of many people that believed people stick together and help each other out in time of need. But that was decades ago when I lived in a small community where you could leave your doors unlocked and people didn’t care if your front yard was covered with grass or tomato vines.
Unfortunately, these days, even the closest communities have become seedbeds of confusion, paranoia, and hard feelings that lead me to believe riots are more likely than cooperation. If you have at least one or two friends in your neighborhood dedicated to prepping, you have a better chance of surviving. If you form a prepper group and pool your resources in efficient and effective ways, your odds of surviving will be much higher.
Where do I Find Established Prepper Groups?
You can find a number of prepper groups online, as well as plenty of information on how to go about starting one. The following sites may help you find established sites in your area and also ones in areas that you may want to move to.
- Preppergroups.com – this site offers a meeting place for people that are interested in forming survival groups. Since money is a key element in building a successful community, the site also has a scam watch and reporting system in place.
- Facebook and several other social media sites also have pages and groups dedicated to prepper communities. You can join these groups and sites, however, there is no real guarantee that you will find people to connect with at a meaningful level.
How Can I Get People Interested in Prepping?
In order to get people interested in prepping, start off by going back and thinking about what got you interested in this subject. Chances are, if others in your community share this element with you, it will be easier to gain their attention and support. You will also find that there are some common threads that attract the vast majority of preppers:
- surviving or witnessing a life-threatening or destructive event. For example, if you and your neighbors survived a hurricane, they may be very interested in forming a neighborhood group to buy a generator or build up other supplies. Even if these people aren’t interested in preparing for an EMP or biowarfare, you can still work with them on pooling the kinds of essentials that are relevant to every crisis scenario.
- Many people today become interested in prepping because they read about a crisis, or a family member in the crisis told them what it felt like. Once again, you may have to start off with a limited scope when talking to these people, however, the conversations and preparations can expand to other areas over time.
- Talk about your own experience with a crisis situation. When people hear about problems, it is just nature to also want to know how to solve them. As the provider of those answers, you can use that information to increase interest levels.
4 Apps that Will Help You Engage in Your Local Community
These days, when people are more inclined to use their smartphone to chat with people hundreds of miles away, it can be very hard to communicate with people living right next to you. If you have become uncomfortable talking to neighbors for one reason or another, the following apps may help you reconnect at the local level and help you find others that may be interested in forming a prepper group:
- Nextdoor – this app lets you form a private social network with people in your neighborhood. The app also provides a crime watch and other resources that you can use to find out what is going and talk with others living in the area.
- Universe – offers a listing service that allows people in the neighborhood to connect based on personal interests or services.
- SeeClickFix – community members in this social network can post about local problems and then people can get together to make suggestions and take meaningful action to solve the problem.
- ReBuildYourCommunity – joins together community members to focus on local problems. There is also a feature that allows citizens to work with community leaders so that everyone is involved in the process.
What Do I Need to Start My Own Group?
Before you even begin reaching out to others, you need to start off with a listing of both long term and short term survival situations. For each item on your list, rank its severity as well as how common the event is. Now ask yourself how much tangible interest there is in this topic. Choose at least one or two highly plausible and relevant-to-your-community items as a starting point for discussions. Later on, once the group is formed and trust has been developed between the members, you can always expand to other items on the list. Here are some things that will always be as important in the planning stages as they are later on:
- Always understand the difference between paranoia and extreme circumstances. We are living in a country right now where red flag events, the media, and hidden money interests are using all kinds of “reward/punishment” scenarios to drive people to extremes in thoughts and actions. As our nation becomes more polarized, you will find it even harder to talk sensibly to others about the very real needs of surviving both man-made and nature based crisis situations. Make sure that you recognize “red herring”, “baiting”, behavior shaping, and other verbal tactics designed to split people apart or even destroy a once healthy group. You should also know how to counter these activities and preserve the core of the group without destroying your freedoms or anyone else’s.
- A Group Charter and Code of Ethics – if you don’t have clear ideas about where you and other stand on matters of honor, citizenship, and ethics, it will be impossible to build a safe, thriving, and successful survival community. When you create your charter, always leave a way to make amendments, deal with problems, and evolve as the times demand. You may not need something as complex as the US Constitution and its 3 branches of government, but you do need a way to ensure that people can mobilize and be directed to carry out team survival goals.
- Conflict Management Guidelines – have you ever been good friends with someone, and then had a horrible fight with them? Did that fight result in a permanent split? No matter how much you may agree with fellow survivors right now, disagreements and problems will occur. Create a fair and equitable arbitration system so that these and other matters can be settled. Together with that, make sure that you can also live with the consequences of losing if your conflicting viewpoint is not adopted by others on the arbitration team.
- Money vs. Barter Considerations – unless you and other members have millions of dollars to spend, it is not likely that you will be able to buy everything you need all at one time. It is also very likely that people will not always have an easy time making their own barter rules. While haggling may be a fine art in some countries, it is not the best thing for a survival community filled with people that do not have the practice or the discipline needed to detach from the negotiations and go on in harmony with the other party. Some of these matters can be dealt with through the establishment of community laws that make it easier to trade or barter in place of money. An established and agreed upon system of trade will also make it easier to exchange services and goods in a fair and equitable way. Remember, that if a major crisis happens, people will riot, in part, because there is no system or law that creates a fair playing field for trade.
- Land, Assets, Tools, Materials, Skills, and Labor – think about everything you could possibly need to survive. Food, water, safe and breathable air, weapons, medicines, and skilled labor are just a few of the things your community will have to address. Your plans,meetings, and actions should always include how to meet the needs of prepper group members as well as tangible goals for getting what is needed.
Today, thousands of people in the United States have already survived hurricanes, blizzards, and other life-threatening situations. Nevertheless, if you start talking about “prepping”, surviving a major crisis, or even starting a victory garden, you may be viewed as paranoid or suspicious. If you are already a member of a prepper group, please share with us how did you found the group. What challenges did you have to overcome before you could talk openly with someone about your interests? If you have created your own prepper group, how did you “break the ice” and get your plans under way?
- Finding Prepper Groups and Building Community
- 6 Tips For Finding Local Prepper Groups
- 5 Important Considerations When Forming a Prepper Community
- Should You Be Part of a Prepper Group?