In the all but uncertain times we find ourselves in, is it any wonder that more and more people are turning to prepping and survivalism? Most of these people got involved with prepping for personal reasons; they suffered and survived through some type of natural disaster, and have no desire to get caught unprepared again, or they have survived a manmade disaster, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, and they have no desire to feel that insecure again. In any case, most of these folks prep individually, or as part a prepper family, eventually finding others who prep to start a group with.
The history of humanity indicates that people are much stronger and more capable of completing strenuous tasks as a group, rather than as lone individuals. Indeed, humans are social creatures who thrive on establishing networks of like-minded friends who are capable of making life easier, and all that comes with it, easier to manage and accomplish. There is safety in numbers, and in a survival situation, having a group to work with towards a common goal, will increase the chances of successful completion.
Forming a prepper group in the modern era may be a bit difficult. Although the vast majority of us maintain a 24-hour connection to the internet, and therefore each other, very few of us spend time interacting with each other anymore; we no longer have to leave our homes to have a full-fledged conversation, we can text it back and forth through any number of devices. The problem with these new internet based “social” platforms is that they are not social, and in a SHTF situation your digital friends are not going to come to the rescue.
The first order of business is reaching out to people. Your prepper group isn’t going to be very big if nobody knows you are trying to establish one. Believe it or not, there are quite a few people who have an interest in being better prepared, and most of them are practicing prepping in one way or another, even if they do not realize it. You can approach co-workers with the idea of starting a disaster preparedness group, church members with launching a natural disaster response group, or your friends and family about getting involved with ensuring the safety and security of all members. Once you have assembled a handful of like-minded people, the rest will begin to fall into place. New members should be encouraged to bring in other new members, with the caveat that the new member be vetted for security purposes if nothing else. Now that you have a few people, organize and schedule a meeting in a public place, or in a place that is socially acceptable to all members of the group.
Survival Group Safety in Numbers:
It goes without saying that there is safety in numbers and this especially so in a survival situation. You have a far better chance of surviving a life changing event if you are surrounded with people who are supporting each other and the end goal of remaining alive and rebuilding what was lost. The “lone wolf” approach works for Hollywood, but in reality, it is a recipe for disaster. Yes, there are times when individual effort is necessary, but for the most part, you will want to tackle survival as a group.
Dispersing the Workload:
If you establish a prepper group, the members will be able to accomplish more by dispersing the workload, and there is going to be plenty of work to be done; shelters will need to be built, firewood will need to be harvested, water will need to be located and transported, not to mention filtered and purified. Wild edible will need to be foraged for, hunting groups will need to be assembled, etc., You can get significantly more done with several people in the group than you can by yourself. In the event the tribe needs to relocate, it will be easier to accomplish with a group than by yourself.
A prepper group can recover more resources than a single individual, and put them to better use, and with less in the form of waste. In a group setting, individual members can be assigned to account for certain tools, products, pieces of gear, or other survival related material, which can then be used by every member of the group. For instance, it isn’t necessary for each member to establish and maintain a library full of survival skills books; this would be a waste of time, money and effort. Instead, a single member can be assigned that task, and after the library has been established, other members can use the books to enhance their knowledge. This same concept can be applied to almost every aspect of the survival spectrum.
Emotional Support System:
When a survival scenario occurs, there are going to be members of your prepper group who experience some form of mental, emotional breakdown, or a combination of both. These people will need an emotional support system to help them recover, and the only thing they have left, might just be the prepper group they are a member of. Depending on circumstances surrounding the situation, emotional support may need to be done on the fly, or at a later time once arrival at a safe location has been accomplished. However, if possible, the emotionally distraught among the prepper group should be given ample time to cope with the stress and strain of the situation; they will function better once they have been given time to digest what is taking place, and are able to refocus on the tasks at hand.
One of the biggest benefits of starting a prepper group is that there will also be an established chain of command. This is a must! A prepper group cannot function correctly without leadership. This is something that needs to be addressed at the onset. Normally, the person organizing the group assumes a leadership role as the head of the group; however, depending on group dynamics, it might not be a bad idea to encourage open voting among members for leadership roles, or to hold elections for leadership positions annually. This will encourage other members to run for a role, and may even give other leaders a much-needed break from the position they were holding.
Survive & Thrive:
Forming a prepper group should be more about thriving in the aftermath of a disaster situation than it should be about surviving it. Surviving a disaster is easy, especially if you know it is coming; it’s re-establishing life and normalcy after the event that matters most. Surviving from day to day requires little more than water, food, and sleep; thriving from day to day, especially in the aftermath of a disaster, will require a support group with similar goals, and the desire to see them through to fruition.
Getting your prepper group established might be a challenge, but one thing is for certain, it will require a level of commitment and determination to be successful. If you do not have the time to put forth the effort for running a prepper group, then you would be better off joining an existing prepper group and learning from them.
Emergency Preparedness Communities:
Not everyone wants to join a prepper group. In fact, most people join online prepper groups for the specific purpose of sharing valuable information, yet once they are granted membership they discover there isn’t a lot of communication taking place. In fact, most online prepper groups fail to provide much of anything valuable. There may be sales offers within the group, but they are usually for a single item one of the other members is trying to get rid of to make space for something else they have purchased. Conversations within these groups is often limited due to the fact that all members like to keep their “preps” private, which is a cornerstone of emergency preparedness.
In an online preparedness community the educational resources are always available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as long as their is power and the internet has not gone down. There may, or may not, be communication among members within the community, but there will always be answers to the questions that concern you most. Any and all offers presented within an online preparedness community will be available for all members to take advantage of, not just the one who offers the highest bid. Gear offers will normally entail drastic discounts off the suggested retail price; this is possible because these communities buy in bulk and share the savings across the board.
Most, but not all, online emergency preparedness communities have fresh content being made available on a weekly basis, whereas an online prepper group may not have anything new to view for months. Online preparedness communities usually have online event offers as well, such as podcasts, webinars, and summits, just to name a few, and if you join the right community, these will be included in the membership. An online preparedness community will supply you with the necessary tools to get your own local prepper group going.