There are two rules to keeping a secret; Rule #1) Never tell someone everything you know. The same can be said about prepping; you should never tell someone everything you are doing with regards to prepping, unless that person is someone you are intimately familiar with, and who you trust implicitly with your life, and the lives of your loved ones. The reason for this is quite simple; those who do not prepare, might remember all the bragging you did about how prepared you are. This could lead them to seek you out in times of trouble, either to beg for your assistance (which you are unprepared to accommodate), or to steal your supplies and save themselves. That being said, there are advantages to joining a prepping group, either locally or through an online portal.
Advantages to Joining a Prepper Group:
Joining an online prepper community will make the process of becoming prepared a little easier to accomplish. If you attempt to go the “Lone Wolf” route, prepping will get very lonely, it might get a bit boring, and without the support from an established group of like-minded individuals, you are much more likely to discontinue and fail before fulfilling your preparedness plan. An online forum provides you with a bit of anonymity, allowing you to communicate ideas, and share very limited tidbits of information, without revealing who you are, where you live, or the entirety of your plans.
Online prepping groups are an excellent place to share information on the process of prepping. They are also amazing resources for research and discovery. Everybody has a different idea on what prepping involves and how to go about doing it. By joining a prepping group, you will have access to this information, which may help you decide on a course of action. Without prepper groups, you are left to do your own research, and you might miss important topics or gear.
Practicing survival skills is an important aspect of survival; practicing in groups allows you the benefit of seeing how others accomplish the same tasks, identifying easier methods of achieving success with a task, and share the knowledge you have obtained throughout the process.
Being a member of a prepper group has the potential of increasing security for everyone involved. Going it alone in a SHTF situation is not the recommended method for success. There is safety in numbers, but not massive numbers. Small, independent prepper groups will have a better chance of successfully surviving an ordeal, than lone wolf survivors, or large groups that have trouble identifying leadership and a chain of command.
So, how do you go about finding the right prepper group that will be a good fit?
What to Look for in Prepper Groups:
The first order of business is discovery. Find out what the prepper group is all about. Ask for a mission statement. If they do not have a mission statement, ask for a list of goals the group hopes to accomplish. If the group has neither of these, it is not a prepper group you want to be a part of. This lack of information results from lack of leadership. This is an aimless mess you should avoid.
If the group seems legit, and you decide to join, then pay attention to the meetings/discussions, and try to determine whether everyone in the group is on the same page, or not. Take interest in the leadership roles within the group; are they handling things appropriately when issues arise? You may not agree with how things are handled, but what you are looking for is confidence that there is a process and that it functions as it was intended, and returns a fair result that is logical for the benefit of the entire group.
Some online prepper groups are open to the public, while others are closed. Some require memberships to participate in their forums and receive valuable information, while others publish content for free. There are advantages to both systems. Free groups are seldom vetted. This means members of the group may post any piece of information they think is pertinent, even though it may contain misinformation. Paid groups often vet the information they share for accuracy and educational value before providing it to the membership. This ensures you that what you receive is tried and true prepper skills and knowledge.
If you are joining a local prepper group, membership may be free, but there will more than likely be shared expenses for the group, especially if this is a group that intends to stay intact throughout a SHTF situation.
Tips for Joining a Group:
Never assume that your privacy is protected in a prepper group, especially an online entity. Several people within the group will be the like-minded individuals you want to learn and share with; however, there may also be a few people who joined the group simply to stay on top of the information they consider valuable, or to collect personal information about the members of the group, to be used for nefarious purposes down the road.
Be restrictive with the information you share within a new prepper group. Consider arriving via public transport to the first few meetings, keeping your vehicle and license plate off the radar. Share only your first name, and do not carry personal identification with you; you may want to leave your wallet/purse at home as a precautionary measure the first couple times. Do not speak about age, religion, political stance, children you have, their names or ages, where they go to school, where you go to work, where you live, daily habits/routines. If someone approaches you asking for this type of information, greet them nicely and explain that you would rather refrain from sharing information until you determine if this is the group for you.
If you are joining a local prepper group as a new member, meetings should be held in public places, if they are not, do not attend. If you are going to the first prepper group meeting by yourself, let someone else know where you are going, what time you will arrive, and how long you will be there. Inform them that if they do not hear from you by that time, to try and contact you, if they are unable to reach you, they should contact the police with the information you provided them.
Online prepper groups might require the creation of a profile to identify you by. This is okay; however, you should create an email address associated with a false identity and physical address to use as the registration. This will help protect your privacy and keep you safe.
If you are thinking of joining a prepper group in the hopes of stealing members to join a prepper group you hope to establish, do not be surprised if you are met with resistance. Established groups and members are not likely to leave all they have worked for just to start over with someone new; they will be happy to include you, but hesitant to embark on a new journey with you.
Locating Prepper Groups:
There are several prepper groups, both at the local level and in online forums. You can begin your research online, even for local groups, using any Search Engine. If you are interested solely in online prepper groups, then FB is one of the best places to begin the search. Using the FB search window type in “prepper groups,” then request to join the ones that interest you, or that are in your area.
On the other hand, if you are interested in joining a local prepper group, consider bringing it up among church members, if you are an attending practitioner of a local church. Church groups often have a preparedness group, even if they aren’t calling it that. They may have a small group that focuses on emergency preparedness for natural disasters, or something similar; this will be managed by the preppers of the church.
If you live in a rural area, out in the country, then consider speaking with those who own large farms or homesteads. If they are raising their own crops and livestock, they are ahead of the game when it comes to prepping. Visit with these people, pick their brains, volunteer to help on the homestead once or twice a month, or more if you can afford the time, you will learn mountains of valuable information that cannot be gleaned reading books or watching videos.
Always practice common sense when considering the process of joining a prepper group. Providing information to the wrong person, or people, can place a target of opportunity on your back. Make sure you also practice privacy and security when participating in a prepper group.
Subscription Based Services:
You can also elect to join an online preparedness community. This is slightly different than joining a group in that it provides you with immediate access to the research materials you will find necessary as you embark on your journey towards becoming better prepared. Rather than spending countless hours combing the internet in search of legitimate educational resources, you can subscribe to an online community and have confidence in the material they have already researched and assembled for you.
There are several benefits to subscribing to an online preparedness community, in addition to those listed above. Many of them have sales offers on survival gear at deeply discounted prices, making it easier for you to grab the gear you need at a price that is affordable. An online preparedness community also provides you with personal security and privacy; you can access the site, and all it has to offer, without needing permission or the approval of a group administrator. You can take advantage of any and all offers presented at a fraction of the cost you would elsewhere. You can rest assured that the information provided is among the best educational resources offered, which is an important factor to consider, especially in this day and age where incorrect information finds its way into all corners of social media, and those without experience help spread the faulty “facts.”
If you’re just looking for a bunch of like-minded people to chat with occasionally on the internet, then an online prepper group is fine. If you’re looking to actually accomplish something and get on the path to preparedness, then we recommend becoming a member of a functioning online emergency preparedness community. It will also help you develop the skills to get your own local preparedness group going and growing well into the future. This will provide you with the information you need to take control of your life and live without fear; they do the research, you reap the rewards!