The Single Most Important Preparation For Social Or Economic Instability: “It’s The One Thing Everyone Needs For Survival”

by | Apr 27, 2017 | Headline News | 62 comments

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    This article was originally published at Personal Liberty by Brandon Smith of


    Rules And Dangers When Organizing Security And Survival Groups
    By Brandon Smith

    For many years I have argued that the single most important preparation any person can make if they are concerned about future social or economic instability is the preparation of community building. It is the one thing that everyone needs for survival, and unfortunately, it is the one thing even many preparedness “experts” ignore.

    When I talk about “community,” I am talking about groups in many forms. Sometimes a community is merely a small collection of families or neighbors; sometimes it is an entire town or county. Sometimes it is built around a local church, sometimes it is rooted in an already functioning political activism meet-up. Regardless of the size of your community, the people who are organized within a group for mutual aid, defense and trade are light years ahead of everyone else when it comes to survival. In fact, if a national crisis scenario escalates to the point of the disappearance of the rule of law, I would say that those without community will scramble to find one or probably die.

    That said, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about organizing. There are also guidelines and hard rules to follow if you want your community to be an advantage rather than an obstacle. I have had the opportunity over the years to see many preparedness groups and organizations in action. I have gleaned knowledge from their successes, and also their numerous failures. I have also had the privilege of coordinating a preparedness group in my local area which has been active for the past three and a half years. So, I am speaking from personal experience when it comes to this process.

    Here is what I have learned so far…

    The Levels Of Organization

    There are different levels of organization, low to high, weak to strong. The biggest factor in determining whether or not your group is strong is usually time.

    Many people out there do not want to hear about “time.” Why? Because it is one of the few factors that can’t be replicated. You can’t cut corners when it comes to time. What I mean is, any group of people, no matter how close originally, is going to have trouble operating together as a team unless they have had time to train together. They have to get used to each other’s personalities, and quirks. They have to grow accustomed to each others annoying habits; and maybe even grow fond of them. Without plenty of time working together on various projects and training, no group will be able to function as a unit when a real threat arises.

    From my observations, it takes at least six months for any group of people to become psychologically acclimated to one another. Until this happens, their performance will be lackluster.

    I have run into far too many preppers that plan (if they even have a plan) to organize AFTER a crisis event has already taken shape. These people have been watching too much television. Again, it takes at least six months for a new group to even learn to trust one another. Post crisis, the problem will be doubly difficult.

    The liberty movement is a bit obsessed with the concept of organizing on the fly — throwing together slapdash groups of people who have little or no training with each other for security at events like Bundy Ranch or Berkeley. But this is the weakest form of organization. And, in a survival scenario, such organization is likely to fail miserably.

    Groups Need Structure

    Liberty minded people tend to be very individualistic and also tend to avoid structure like the plague. Organizing them is often like herding cats — debate prone cats skilled at coming up with rationalizations for why the lack of structure in an endeavor is actually an “advantage.”

    Sorry, but groups do not last very long without a skeleton to hang onto, and someone has to provide that skeleton. Maybe it’s a “leader,” a coordinator, a “coach,” whatever; the point is, someone has to make a schedule and get people to stick to it. Someone has to plan projects and someone has to find the right people to head up those projects. Someone has to take the responsibility to ensure that the group stays together and productive. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of it?

    In my experience the best structure for a preparedness group is to meet once a week on the same day for no more that a few hours maximum unless there is a very specific and important reason. Do not try to make people sit around for six to eight hours while the more “extroverted” members of the group blather all day. Many of them have lives outside of the survival world and will not come back for another meeting.

    As a coordinator, you need to plan out projects and training ideas. What has your group accomplished in the past six months? If your honest answer is “nothing much except a lot of talk,” then this is a problem. People get bored. They want to see results. They want to be a part of those results. Endless political discussions and marches in Ranger File through the woods are not going to keep people interested. You will lose your group eventually, and with good reason.

    Vetting Group Members

    You will hear the term “OPSEC” thrown around haphazardly in preparedness circles as if it is some kind of catch-all answer as to why organizing is impossible or “just plain stupid.” Well, since we’ve already established that having no organization during a social breakdown is true stupidity ending in probable death, I think we need to take a closer look at the notion of OPSEC.

    Firstly, Operational Security does not mean hiding in a survival bunker alone or with your immediate family while the world falls apart outside. Let’s be clear; you are not going to climb out of the ashes fresh as a daisy to rebuild civilization after all the looters have killed each other off. You are not going to fend off even a meager gang of thieves with just your Remington 870 and a Bowie knife. You are not going to be able to keep your family safe and fed, period.

    Security requires eyes and trigger fingers, many of them, 24 hours a day seven days a week. We all have to sleep.

    So, OPSEC to the degree that you have no community around you is unacceptable in survival terms. Therefore, you have to apply OPSEC more intelligently. This means vetting the people you work with and train with. Do they have an ugly criminal record? Are they former or current drug addicts (“addict” might be subject to interpretation — a guy smoking a joint now and then is probably not an issue but a guy popping Oxycontin on a regular basis should not be trusted)? Do they have a violent personality? Are they prone to overemotional reactions?

    Vetting is also not necessarily limited to potential criminality. Is a person incredibly lazy? Do they always have an excuse as to why they can’t help with something? Do they have a tendency to try to take credit for other people’s work? Are they abrasive and difficult to get along with in numerous ways? Are they narcissistic? Are they always attempting to hijack discussions or the group itself and make it all about them? Do they lie about their training level and background?

    All of these traits and more could be grounds to remove these folks from a group in the early stages of organizing. This is the real world of OPSEC — going through the difficult process of finding trustworthy people before a crisis ever happens.

    Leadership: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

    Leadership happens, it’s just the way it is. No matter how individualistic a group is, when the world starts to go schizophrenic, everyone starts looking for the men with the plan.

    In the best case scenario, this has been done far in advance. The experts in your community have been found over months or years of training and successful projects. These experts also work closely with each other and are open to ideas without being indecisive. They function seamlessly with the rest of the group and the group trusts them because they have earned that trust through leadership by example. They have no interest in self aggrandizement or “glory.” They have no interest in being in charge for the sake of being in charge. In fact, the best leaders are often people that begrudgingly accept leadership, and only because they happen to be the best qualified.

    Beware of group members that seem to want leadership a little too much. Watch out for hotheads and fakes that talk up their skills but are always giving orders rather than participating or helping. Beware of guys who love to “plan.” So-called idea men that always have a new scheme to discuss but never follow a single plan through to completion. But most of all, beware of the narcissists; these people will not only not do much to help you, but they will sabotage any and every project you do have in the works in order to co-opt everyone’s attention and energy. If you STILL manage to get some work done, you’ll find them trying to take credit. It is truly an amazing thing to behold a narcissist in action.

    Know People’s Limitations

    This is pretty straightforward.  I have seen training groups in which old men with hip replacements were asked to march through the woods and hills alongside young men actually fit for field work.  Now, this is perhaps a noble thing, but not practical.  It holds back the people who are capable, and puts undo stress on the people who are not.  Every person in a group should know how to defend themselves TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY.  It is important to make that distinction.  When coordinating a group, it is your job to have the insight to know what each person’s limitations are.

    Otherwise, training turns into a circus, and nothing is ever accomplished.  It is a sure sign that the leadership either does not have a clue, or, they don’t have a clue and they are deliberately creating a circus so that no one notices their incompetence.

    All Is Revealed Through Training And Work

    So, how do you go about not only keeping a group together, but also shield that group from the blunderings of poor candidates for members and leadership? Simple: Training and work.

    The group I work with has found that regular training in numerous areas of defense and preparedness makes it very easy to pick out fakes, hotheads and general laziness. Every time we’ve had a guy come through claiming to be retired Navy Seal/ Green Beret/ Special Ops ninja war veteran, all we had to do was ask him to gear up and join us for some simple team movement, or breaking contact, or we just asked him to put some rounds in the X at a reasonable range, perhaps while on the shot clock. And almost every time, the braggers fail miserably. Some of them buy some gear and don’t even know how to put it on before they arrive to train. If you find yourself cringing the whole time a self proclaimed expert is training with you, then something is wrong.

    Hard work is also a great vetting tool. On the days where you have to practice digging a position, who is suddenly too busy? Maybe your medical team is running a class that requires some study the night before; the next day who has practiced and who hasn’t? Who wants to help with projects and who slinks off with other matters to attend to? We are all prone to lazy behavior at times, but you should be looking for people who suffer from this problem in a chronic way and make a clean break with them long before a crisis event unfolds.

    Organization Is Absolutely Necessary To Survival

    There is no way around it — through modern history the people who are most organized during a disaster are the most likely to live. The people who are not organized have to rely on luck. I don’t believe in luck.

    Community is a source of defense, a source of skill sets, a source of production, a source of trade and a source of psychological comfort. One person or one small family will never be able to replicate all the skills and resources needed to endure in a widespread crisis. It’s not just about numbers, it’s also about cooperation. A man alone might be invisible for a time, but the second he is accidentally found he is done for. His preparations are then subject to the whims of the group that finds him. He might also find himself sick, or physically injured, and then what? Who watches over this secret squirrel and his bounty of preps? No one.

    I have been asked many times in the past what the most important preparedness item is? What one thing would I recommend over all else? My answer is always “community.” It is the most vital prep, and it is the most neglected.

    This article was originally published at Personal Liberty by Brandon Smith of

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      1. In reality in an SHTF situation you better get rid of anyone that challenged you. Watch Clint Eastwood movies for the details.

        • In SHTF If anyone comes to you and gives you any kind of an order to do anything. I suggest putting your barrel in their mouth with bayonet attached.

        • This is a very good article by Brandon.

          Hopefully, you have developed a group already with like minded people. Maybe they are fellow veterans, a church group, a hobbyist group (like prospectors, 4×4 club, garden growers, hikers, cyclists, or similar social groups) that get together and do these kinds of outdoor things that transfer to the Prepper Lifestyle.

          They need not be militia. I think formal local Militia groups have a tendency to dwell too much on “chain or command discipline”, rather then the consensus formulated between friends with mutual interests and long term association.

          You can DRAW like-minded people from these larger groups, with whom you feel more affinity, and add them to your group. Leaders will naturally emerge in these social settings for well and ill based upon their natural abilities: not unlike pick-up games of basketball or football.

          That is the great advantage of TRUMP as a leader with his CEO style or turning to those individuals who specialize in their field of interest.

          In your group, there will be geeks, nerds, athletes, mechanics, and other extra special skills. There will be various PERSONALITIES and a good leader will be one who can recognize every gift, encourage it, and bring it to bear for the good of the group, without being overbearing him, or herself.

          Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman. But not always. 🙂

          • I think if some punk wanted to test my shooting skill and told me to shoot a paper target at some reasonable range, I would tell them to stand behind the target.

          • Funny thing about groups… There’s always a bad apple in the barrel somewhere…

            To quote a gubment advert, “Be all you can be”

            Learn everything you can about everything you can… And then learn sum more…

            Self reliance is the only TRUE means of guaranteed survival.

          • BS. Group think is what will get you killed, as you all follow the leader off the cliff. Just like Trump is now doing to the US. Just like Castro did to the Cubans. The weak people need groups to carry them. I’ll take my Lone Wolf chances everytime. I can run stealthy, faster longer than any anchor dragging me down. People with anchors such as with Children are noisey and will get into all your preps and blow your OPSEC everytime. Old people need to just die, anchors all of ya. If anybody can keep up to me then they can survive. No baggage allowed no losers allowed. It will be Natites Selection. The strongest survive.

            All this group BS is for the lazy useless socialist commies looking for a free ride. Everybody needs to earn their keep or die. You let one person go from your group think community. They will join another amd blow your OPSEC and come back with another group to bite you or attack you cause they know where you keep all your assets and food amd know the layout and security in and out of your compound. Screw group commie think. And besides when SHTF, you can throw all the rules out the window because even the best of people will change on a dime amd be every man for himself. Only groups that will survive are murderous gangs and cockroaches. Got it? The rest of the groups will be destroyed. Group think is communism.
            Formerly:Zeus Hermes

            • It will be Natites Selection. I meant to say it will be “Natures Natural Selection”, the strongest survive.

              I would actually like for half the population of useless eating parasites, the commies who are unprepared and huddled in groups and masses to die off and parish. Most in groups will spread diseases to all the others. “Your GROUP is only as strong as your Weakest Link in a group.” Think about that one. Screw Groups. All groups are, is commie groups with a dictator. And there will be massive arguments in groups and taking sides, etc. Just look at those Reality Survival folks on the island who all pick off their opponents to win the prize. Same thing. The prize in SHTF is survival.

              As a Lone wolf, I can approach groups and get what I want through barter and treaties or just go take it in the stealth of the night. And nobody is going too rat me out for doing what I need to do. I run silent and I run deep. And I stash my preps in many hidden places. If I was approached by a group of thugs they would probably leave me alone, since I am harmless as just one, they would think I am a low target opposed to a group with massive stored of goods and supplies which is target rich.

              If you want a lot Money you go rob a bank. If you want a lot of money you don’t go rob some schlep on the street with a few bills in your pocket. Get my point?

              Animals by nature run in groups as they are just playing the numbers game with safety in numbers, as they all think it will be someone else that gets nailed. I see it is schools of fish when diving, and I see it like in flocks of Turkeys.. The Lone Wolf will remain stealthy and only need to expose himself when acquiring more goods.

              Blowing your OPSEC in a Group is the worst thing you can do for Prepping. Always some blabber mouth trying to impress some hooker, for an ego boost, like he is somebody by yapping his jaws.

              So I would say the most Important Prep in SHTF is “OPSEC” every time, and you loose all of that in a group or community. Unless you keep the entire group locked up in a cage or escorted every time they leave camp, forget about it. One idiot wanders off into town shooting his yap. You are attacked that night. This stuff is basic folks.

              The ONLY way you can maintain OPSEC is being a Lone Wolf. One brain, one mouth and one set of ears. And NEVER open your yap about anything, what you got, or blah blah blah. That’s EGO getting you in trouble.

              • Groups are easily infiltrated by Spies, who do recon on your compound, supplies, security and food to be exploited and raided later.

                In a Lone Wolf situation, everybody else is considered a Spy. OPSEC is the most important Point of survival. Never forget it.

                • Interesting you say that. I was at the Utah preppercon last weekend and noticed a license plate scanner on some unmarked municipal vehicle outside and noticed there were a suspicious amount of outside agency involvement inside with their own booths. I flew in so they didn’t scan my plate which doesn’t reveal my location anyway.

                  But it makes sense for the G to want a data base on all survivalists/preppers. It was a nice show but I won’t be going again unless I can adequately disguise against their facial recognition cameras.

              • Actually, with a few slight concessions and adjustments Bikini is far more realistic that the article here. Brandon thinks he’s building a fortune 500 stock investing house?!

                Who gives a shit about your past history and psychology when there won’t be a ‘present’ and likely not a future for the human speicies?

                If it’s something like a bad economic deprdession where pafts of society collapse in anarchy–it will likely resemble Venezuela the way it recently turned into police state military style dictatorship. All weaponsand anything of value to the government seized, groups of people either totally dependent upon a type of local ‘tribal’ resource dynamic that will eventually work itself out in terms of associations and pecking order for a common survival purpose/need.

                This could be any level of social structure from a tribal leader situation to a relatively egalitarian group think with reasonable objectiveness as the guiding paradigm with everybody contributing at least some value to the greater collective survival mission, It just depends. And outsiders will gravitate to these local enclaves to barter, work for food, or establish a permanent presense, just as it has been done throughout history in such events.

                With modern resources and mechanical advantages it will be easier for smaller groups to sustain themselves better.

                All of these ‘tribes’ would at some point still be integrated with government control, as the G will still have a controlled military organization under organized leadership.

                But if it’s an all out SHTF scenario, as in Tetowaawki TIME, nobody is going to be worried about a person’s ‘narcissism’ or drug habits, or criminal convictions. Especially not if they are seriously dangerous fighters, or skilled in some other life saving essential.

                Having said that, and more in line with Bikini’s assessment, You’d be better off wasting your time NOT joining any organized survival/prepping group endeavors at this point. It’s better to get yourself and only your closest family/friends in to small determination unit preparedness, and work on getting as independently off grid self reliant and location secure with optimal defenses as you can. WITHOUT TELLING ANYONE.

                Then kick back and try to enjoy your remaining ‘Way it used to be’ lifestyle, while you still can.

                • +Mahatma Dumbest comment ever. The article debunks everything you just said.

              • Being a lone wolf is the dumbest possible strategy. You will die as quick as the first group of looters finds you. People have cartoon fantasies of being Rambo. Rambo you are not…

        • You can’t organise anything much in the way of preparedness groups before a grid-down / total crisis, because the data-harvesting intel agencies are dedicated to infiltrating and compromising all such groups.

          The only thing you can do is form informal relationships with circles of close friends and family and be ready to organise more rigidly AFTER calamity strikes.

          • The simple solution is to AVOID social media and computer contact between family, friends, and group members.

            “Strategic” discussions can be held on an outing, or family gathering. Picnic anyone ??? Bring a dish !!! 🙂

            • People hear ‘survival group’ and think ‘commune’ or ‘militia’. Most will be very loose, VERY uneasy alliances. Organizing a ‘survival community’ ahead of any large event invites .gov attention.

            • True. The Gestapo Federal Gov’t is on the “tip” about everything under the damn sun…Can you say thanks NSA.

          • The “data harvesters” don’t give a crap about you, Jay. You are not important or a threat to them. This goes for all of the people here paranoid that the government is going to “infiltrate” their group.

          • Been doing this since the Cold War and have never seen a survival group stay together. People eventually leave with other’s secrets then they obsess about whether they will return one day with new friends to rob the honey pot. I build arms-length relationships with them by programming their radios and notice many assume they are leaders because the own the land or had the idea for the group despite the fact they have no leadership skills which will be disastrous in an actual emergency. Choose to land somewhere with good neighbors and build relationships with them now because that’s who you will be stuck with when SHTF.

      2. This is a very good point. This is why I no longer attend prepper meetings.. I don’t let them know what I have and how prepped I am .. Most people who call themselves preppers are. It preppers. They are fakes..i am bugging put and getting my own land to prepare for what’s coming..the people work everyday in th cities, take all the money they make, give to apartments, banks and are that stupid.. The ones that list everything still did not learm any lessons. They got another job, stayed in the city, pay the bankers, help them buikd dumbs and they will not be surviving shtf.

        • Anytime a prepper group expands beyond just a couple friends, there will be a police or FBI agent or asset trying to infiltrate, asking people to help him saw off his shotgun just a little under 18 inches.

          They arressted some preppers a couple years ago that was doing group craft projects. One night they were making signaling devices that fires 12 gauge flare cartridges, or blanks via a trip wire. One guy in the group insisted they make some with steel barrels that could fire buck shot, they could be used as deadly landmines. He talked a couple guys into it. You guessed it, they are in jail now.

          Beware of groups and especially beware of people that press the group to make illegal items or even engage in violent discussions. I’ve met some of those that trash talk at gun gun shows and stores, I just walk away.

      3. Community = communism in SHTF. My house will be a dictatorship. You want to eat? You work slave.

        • Agree: put in to get out or you get thrown out.

          • Put out or get out.

        • Good luck with that. No one is going to work for a dictator, and no one is going to protect your property, which means you will die like a dog alone. Dumb plan, Ganghi.

      4. There are a lot of fakers out there, jumped up on Hollywood movies, prepper porn, child-like notions of masculinity (hipster beards and tattoos being a really good sign of one) and video games (Call of Duty etc.).

        If you are struggling to see what real men look like and how they behave, watch some of the documentary footage of guys in Vietnam. They are young dudes but they are dealing with a very real and stressful situation and behaving like real men. Don’t use local examples for real men (the boastful, vicious local negro drug dealer, the pot bellied bar brawler, etc.).

        Real leaders who are worth their weight have actual accomplishments. They also have real relationships with others, their wife, their kids, their group of friends. These are all clues.

        I agree being able to organize in groups is the best approach to long-term survival. There will, I believe, be a shake-down period that is going to be brutal. There is just too much garbage in society and that garbage is going to go ape when things fall apart. You will need to have a plan to get through that phase. Bugging out might be the best option. Regroup somewhere else, collect intelligence and then work out your options. But there is no point trying to hold your house or your street block if the whole city has gone crazy. Better to just leave.

        • I’ve had my arrangement with my cousin for a BOL for the past 4 years this month. When we first discussed it, I was told it was contingent on me joining the family survival group. I was reluctant at first after reading other articles similar to this one. So I asked all the right questions and they answered them all. So I agreed to the terms. I know some people will disagree with my move. But at that time I was being offered a place to bugout to, i.e. a chance to survive what’s coming. Before that time my plan was geared toward staying IN THE DAMN CITY. I was offered an option FOR GETTING OUT OF THE CITY SO I JUMPED ON IT. I don’t regret the decision for one minute. I’ve been storing supplies in the shed behind the cabin for the past 4 years. I’m headed back to it Sunday for a week.

          • I don’t get why you have the need to tell everyone here that information. ‘I’m headed here or I’m doing this or that” who gives a rat’s ass? I mean really, no tips on prepping just I, I and more I. Do you know you used the word “I” 12 times in this post? 12 out of what about 200 words, not to mention the word “me” or my 5 times? that is a lot of self proclamation!

            • Yeah BH likes to brag or blow his OPSEC. He keeps all his supplies and fish crackers in the shed behind his Cuz’s house in N GA. Sleeps in his van, exactly when he is going to N Ga again from TN, and wonders why his house was robbed of all his guns last year.

              Read my post above about OPSEC. Way more important than a commie group sheep think.

              • He didn’t “blow” anything, moron. You have no specific information at all except that he joined a survival group. OPSEC is a term used mostly by idiots that have no idea what it really means.

      5. Well, Brandon, that was very interesting; but what makes you such an authority on human nature. I’ve studied psychology for years, you have barely touched the surface. I am much more qualified than you, and I’m taking over leadership of this group. If you don’t like it, you can talk to my little friend!! ?


        • Yes Brandon is forgetting one thing. Common sense. In SHTF people are not interested in community. In SHTF people want sex, payback, revenge, banker hide maybe…but not work and subservience to some a$$hole militia guy want-a-bee my slaves will do that. I will lead only the most ruthless self serving scum on the planet like ex Feds or drug dealers. You will gain rank only by eliminating the guy above you not by hitting an X-ring. Put your faith in the evil side of man cause it wins every time. ?

        • B from ca, you are right so let’s get this party going. I like your manliness but I will still show no mercy because I respect you too much?.

        • Been reading Smith’s articles for years, he is well studied in human psychology. You are a nobody in a website discussion forum, he’s a proven expert in a lot of fields writing for patriots for ten years. Plus, I’ve seen him in his training videos – he’s an expert marksman and would shoot you dead in a split second so I don’t think you’ll be taking over any group, lol!

      6. I recommend studying the 1980’s war in Lebanon, and in particular, Beirut. The shtf doesn’t get much worse than that. Militias were plentiful. Based around religious, ethnic and criminal entities. Many of the leaders of the various militias were previously crime leaders. They became sort of like war lords. One very strange note from the war in Beirut, Yasser Arafat and his PLO were getting their ass kicked by Hezbollah. They were on the edge of getting wiped out. Who came in to rescue them? The Israeli Navy showed up just in time to remove all of the PLO. And return them to Palestine. Very strange.

        • The PLO had deep ties to the Muslim Brotherhood that had CIA ties. Via the UN and US pressure the PLO was shoved down Israels throat.

          Bobby Kennedy’s assassin was PLO? This has baffled me for decades, them puppet strings are long and lead down deep rabbit holes.

          • Plan twice, even Erdogan from Turkey is Muslim Brotherhood.

            • I thought the “Walking Dead” became very interesting this year. They ran into a warlord that didn’t just rule with an iron fist, he created an ideology, such that all members identify as we are Eagan, the name of the warlord. Fear is a powerful tool or weapon.

              The brotherhood is everywhere in the World now, multiple groups, different tasks, multiple cells that handle different tasks like fund raising, legal issues, public relations etc. while one cell engages in terror plots, others insulated create propaganda, cover.

              It’s all quite amazing what they have built, unless you are like many who have realized Islam is the religion of the anti-Christ and it is led by Satan. They aren’t going away, and they aren’t going to ever play nice.

      7. I trust no one. You think living isolated and alone will make friends with others who break into your home, steal from you, threaten you with gunfire, lie all the time, degrade you for no reason, or damage your property? These are my neighbors, family members and coworkers in good times. They will be the first to go when SHTF.

        If I find someone I can trust it has to be someone I don’t know yet, and my supplies will be hidden from them. They will think I am just as unprepared as they are.

        It is when people are desperate, you’ll find out who they really are, not necessarily before SHTF.

        • “It is when people are desperate, you’ll find out who they really are, not necessarily before SHTF.”

          1,000,000,000,000 Thumbs Up!

          The legal system and human nature supposes a duty of care only to those with whom we have a “special relationship”. My point is that I only trust “blood kin”, that I have known my whole life. One my betray me but I know the others will, avenge death!

          • Speaking of desperate people. Being hungry changes good people into cannibals. The rules change rapidly the hungrier you get. All bets are off. Another teachable moment in history.

            Here is a QUIZ-
            In 1846 a group of 87 overlanders, known as this party after the two brothers who lead them, were trapped by winter snows high up in the Sierra Nevada. After 41 died of starvation, those still alive faced the choice of death or cannibalism, many resorted to cannibalism.

            Answer- The Donner party – More GROUP THINK.

        • Woogie, my own daughter robbed me. Trust no one. If someone even talks to me during SHTF they are in a very serious life and death situation whether they know it or not.

        • I read the book Surviving Economic Collapse about Argentina. I thought it was very useful. If things got worse than that such as a nuclear war I’m toast anyway.

          You prepare for what you can.

      8. In Beirut, there was a dividing line between areas controlled by 2 militias. It was called the green line. If you had to cross the green line with your family to get to an airport, you would approach the militia leader and offer a price (tax) for crossing the line. He would call a cease fire and negotiate with the militia leader on the other side. They would split the money, you and your family cross the line safely and then the shooting would start again. War is a racket, even on the local level. Different militias controlled airports, sea ports, borders etc. This is one of the biggest reasons for owning gold and silver coins. Paper money is worthless in those situations.

        • Him, excellent post. As an American I have difficulty accepting that movement/travel will be limited/prohibited and that bribery maybe the only way to move from one area to another.

          In a SHTF scenario, bribery will be the order of the day! Gold and silver are great for bribing people. Alcohol, cigarettes and other portable luxuries (chocolates and Nylons) have historically been effective.

          If there are any politician on the board maybe you can help us understand the fine art of bribery.

          • Justice, in a post-SHTF scenario it’s most likely urban areas where travel could be restricted and bribery flourishing. I don’t bribe anyone for anything.

      9. Brandon in SHTF don’t plan on living long, only plan on a fast, violent, but fun life.

      10. #1 rule for survival in a major civil breakdown: Don’t draw attention to yourself.

        That goes for groups as well as individuals.

      11. All this stuff about killing anybody who try’s to take your preps! What will you do with the human carcasses. Nothing ever said about disposing of the carcasses? How about an article how to get rid of the bodies guickley…. if you leave them lay and decompose then you may have a disease problem.

        • NFX Bury the Bodies, have lots of shovels. Here in FL I can dig a 3x 3x 3 ft deep hole in about 15-20 Mins. Its all sand then below 3 ft I hit clay and the digging goes a little slower. And why you need a shovel with a long handle or use a post hole digger to go deep. Deeper the better, and don’t bury anything nasty by your water source or well.

          • So while you’re burying the bodies, a highly visible activity that advertises you as having valuable assets on site, someone notices and kills you, takes your supplies, and leaves you to just decompose while they go elsewhere and don’t have to worry about it.

      12. I tried teaming up with some guys awhile back.We would meet and talk about our preps and ideas.I,dumbly,let my cat out of the bag and told them what I was doing.They also talked about all the important thongs they were doong.Understand,I knew these guys for years.One of them for more than twenty!During one meeting,a veterarian we hooked up with said he was dropping out and was going to do whatever he needed to do in the future to ensure that his then teen-age son would have a future in what was to come.UGH!A couple of months later the other two guys said that in reality ,they were sorry, but had done no real preps.I had been dupped.Anyway,I am having issues teaming up again.This was over ten years ago.The wife and me are on our own.And we are not as young as we were.We are set up totally and hope that whoever over-runs us will aleast let us stay at the bol without being slaves.

      13. I don’t need no stinkin’ community. All it leads to is trouble. I don’t plan on looking to take on large groups that I come across if on Nomad Road. I plan to evade and lay low and only engage when there is no other way. If the “no other way” become imminent, then I’ll do my best to bathe myself in their blood.

      14. This article is not even close to the most important preparations. And I normally like Brandons articles. But seriously who are these so-called experts who have never been in a firefight or even a fist fight ? Daisy and Jed and many others who are simply self anointed experts ? Some reasonable and occasional good ideas about some issues, but usually nothing my grandmother or parents didn’t show me long ago or what I have experienced myself first hand. Much of it is laughable as far as being an expert that actually has zero experience in any real life threatening events from someone with a name de plume ? And when all is said and done the real important preps are almost completely ignored because they take a bit of effort and 73% of Americans are either fat or obese ? So they want to pretend to buy their safety because they are lazy ? They also cling to group think as if any of it will matter one iota ? No doubt we will all need other people, but realize that trusting outside of a very small known circle is deadly. Once any meltdown starts you will find out very quickly who can be trusted and who cannot simply by their own actions or nonactions. As always your mindset will determine everything as well as your overall health/fitness/training and skill sets. Firearms and stores are just a simple given and the most basic items. Your capacity to think and react correctly is far more important and that can only happen with certain prerequisites in place. All else is simply hype or junk to sell !

        • “By their deeds you shall know them” Where have I heard that?

      15. a family network with designated skills and roles. constitution as the law and order in a shtf scenario.

        neighbors doing the same.

      16. Considering 95% of the population are braindead, over-weight, lazy sheeple I think I’ll take my chances with just me and the wife. No sense wasting time, resources and risking security on a group that will most likely just show up with an appetite and empty hands.

        • There are many people out there that are not fat or lazy or brain dead. So you will not be alone by a long shot. What most prepper types don’t understand is that the people who are fit and can think, will be the survivors, always in every event. And they are not stressing on any of it today because they know they are strong and will survive. They are confident with their skill sets and health/fitness. Enjoy it all everyday !

      17. As a father my sacred duty is to my family ONLY. While I try to have enough stores to cover ANY scenario, as a Christian I am commanded to help others too. So I try to have enough not only for my family but for my neighbors as well (the cost of a cup of rice is negligible) However I may ask those to do a chore first; gather water, cut wood etc.
        Should I have enough stores for several families… they will become my ‘army’.

      18. I wonder if it will be people taking turns at the road blocks to their neighborhood? Until some run out of food. Neighborhood Militias? Pooling everyone’s food together to ration evenly? I don’t think so. In total desperation they will go out to hunt for food.And in total desperation come back with what they tell their family is pieces of wild pig meat. The single mothers and their children will have the worse? Only their own father will put them first? If he can get to them? With what they need.

        • ‘Pooling everyone’s supplies to ration envy’ is the present status quo. Many have seem to have ‘need’ and few have ‘ability’.

          • Everyone will have the same Mountain House Grewl to share,Yuk . That chilli mac is salty crap. But it will make a salty turd for the dog to eat I guess?

      19. Never include your family in a battle. It will slow down your shooting. You must be able to shoot everything that moves with the speed of careless drunk.

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