The New Survivalist
Disaster Preparedness and Self-Reliance

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Chapter 13:
Social

Build Your Network Now

Humans are social beings. We have been remarkably successful because we have been able to stick together forming groups, clans, tribes, and communities. Since humans have walked the Earth our survival has depended on our ability to ban together.

During a prolonged emergency, when chaos and lawlessness are the order of the day, your chances for survival may depend on your ability to network with your neighbors. No matter how well armed you are, you will probably have little chance against a gang of marauding vandals and bandits intent upon taking your possessions, and possibly your life. If you ban together with your neighbors for your mutual defense your chances for survival will increase greatly. No matter how well stocked and prepared you are, your stash will do you no good if you are dead.

A hundred years ago it was common for people to live their entire lives in the same communities in which they had been born. Everyone knew their neighbors, many even since childhood. Today we live in a highly mobile society. By next year your present neighbor may have moved across the country and you may never see him or her again. To make matters even worse, thanks to the internet, we may spend more time communicating with people on the other side of the planet than with those who live on the same street. We also spend more time in front of the television than at community events. All of this has tended to alienate us from our neighbors. It is not uncommon today for people to live for years next to neighbors whom they have never met.
When times get tough, people are much more likely to help a friend than a stranger. It is also easier to barter with people with whom you have already established good rapport. Part of your survival plans should include getting to know as many of your neighbors as possible. If you need an icebreaker, share the bounty from your garden or orchard. Bag up some of your extra produce and give it to your neighbors. If you do not at present have produce from your garden, bake a cake or a batch of cookies, or take them a sample of your home canning. Welcome new neighbors with a dish, a dessert, or a jar of your home canning. Participate in local and community events whenever possible. Turn off the television and spend more time on the front porch. Organize a weekly poker game. Make your neighbors your friends.

Once you have become well acquainted with your neighbors, there may be one or more whom you will want to discuss preparedness with. They will be less likely to come knocking at your door for provisions if they have put away provisions of their own. But no matter how well you get to know your neighbors, you should keep the full extent of your survival stash a secret from all but your closest family members. Information like that tends to spread very rapidly during times of extreme shortages, and if you are not careful you could someday have strangers knocking at your door or even breaking into your home. Regardless of your altruistic tendencies, it will be impossible for you to provide for everyone. The supplies that were supposed to last for months could disappear in as little as a day or two. Take care of your family first. But cooperate with your friends and neighbors whenever possible.

Neighborhood Watches are a great way to meet your neighbors, to find out who else is awake and prepping, and to find out who you will be able to count on in an emergency, and who you will not be able to count on. Download materials from the internet and you will find that a large part of today's neighborhood watches is disaster preparedness. Neighborhood watches are a great excuse to get together with your neighbors once a month to talk about preparedness. If there is not already an organized watch in your neighborhood, start one yourself! That way you can have a lot of influence on how yours is run. Organize monthly meetings where you will cover a different preparedness topic each month.

Those who will not do the small things when times are easy, should not be counted on to do the big things when times are hard.

Go to town meetings and local political events. Get involved with local politics. Not only will you get to know more of your neighbors and establish contacts with people who are important for your welfare, but you will also be able to keep an eye on your local politicians and get involved in their decisions before they pass ordinances that threaten you (such as a city ordinance against home gardening, which we are seeing more and more!) For too long, here in America, things were going so well that we got lazy and started taking our liberties for granted. We took our eyes off of government and then we woke up one day in the realization that, while we were asleep, our government had been seized by mega corporations who were busy establishing a control state and legislating our liberties away. Many Americans are waking up today and saying, "Not on my watch!" Although it may already be too late!

Action Step 19: Social Check Lists

Below are sample "GET" and "DO" lists for Social. Use these lists to help you formulate your own check lists using the appropriate page in your Action Planner. Add additional items as you think of them:

Printer Friendly List Printer Friendly List
    Social "GET" Check List:
  1. [  ] Download Neighborhood Watch materials
  2. [  ] Porch chairs
  3. [  ] Picnic table
  4. [  ] Poker table
  5. [  ] Gift baskets
  6. [  ] Etc.
    Social "DO" Check List:
  1. [  ] Take CERT training.
  2. [  ] Join your local Ham radio club.
  3. [  ] Join Oath Keeprs and locate your local chapter or start one yourself.
  4. [  ] Get involved with your neighborhood watch or start one yourself.
  5. [  ] Invite neighbors over for an outdoor barbecue.
  6. [  ] Welcome new neighbors.
  7. [  ] Organize a weekly neighborhood poker game.
  8. [  ] Contact local community center to find out about community events.
  9. [  ] Get involved in my local church.
  10. [  ] Go to town meetings and get involved in local politics.
  11. [  ] Turn the television off!
  12. [  ] Etc.
Continue to Chapter 14: Transportation

Brimstone Sudden Destruction
Hard-hitting Biblically Based Rock & Roll!

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