Some preppers may start out thinking they can go it alone, and some may even have a “lone wolf” complex where they believe isolating themselves is the best way to survive because after all other humans can be dangerous.
While it is true, a significant threat during any crisis is other people and usually those in your own community, but isolation from others can be just as dangerous in some cases. If you have not already figured it out there are some things you cannot do yourself.
Self-sufficiency is important, it is the bedrock of the Prepper movement, but communities and towns do not rise by the efforts of one. Having a network or group of friends with various talents ensures that regardless of situation someone has the skills in your group to handle it. Your survival is not just on your shoulders, it is a group effort.
1.) Community Groups
There are community groups where people who live in the same area have decided to maintain a sense of community regardless of the crisis. Those in the group have decided they will not leave their homes or community during a disaster. Some Preppers adhere to the philosophy that getting a community back on its feet after a crisis is the most logical way for everyone to survive.
Community groups are essentially a network of people who can provide assets or apply their skills during a crisis to help others. Ideally, the network or group would have a medical professional that is willing to help as well as active or retired law enforcement along with retired military personnel that can help with security. Engineers are needed, as well as carpenters, mechanics, people who can cook and the list goes on.
The groups may meet on a regular basis and may have a leader or organizer and everyone likely has a way during a crisis to communicate with others so help can be directed to where it is needed. There is usually a pre-determined gathering place, where the group may marshal during a crisis and then direct their efforts to the hardest hit areas.
The goals of a community group would be to maintain the integrity of the community and to help all in need. The group must be diversified and reflect the needs of all people in the community and/or group. One persons’ need may vary greatly from another but all needs must be taken into account.
One of the greatest challenges for any group is cohesion, a common goal, and the path to take to reach those goals must be relatively the same.
2.) Loosely Organized Groups
This type of group is set up to communicate information back and forth and some of the members may not even live in the same community but may gather occasionally to discuss plans. The group uses the Internet mainly to convey information.
The group may have a plan to meet up in the event of a major crisis. Their goal would be to gather in a group after a disaster strikes. The group may not have trained as a group and this would be problematic.
Without knowing, the capabilities of all those in the group would mean you do not have a plan at all. These groups are common because of the ability to communicate around the clock using the Internet. While their intentions are good and valuable information is disseminated, this type group would not likely ever band together during a crisis.
3.) Organized and Trains Together
The people in this group live close to each other and meet on a regular basis. Preparing and training for when the SHTF is their focus. The group will likely have a leader, medical professional and a communications expert. In this type of group, you can expect cross training so if one member is incapacitated another can take over their duties.
All those in the group share the same philosophy, goals and everyone knows the path to achieve those goals.
They plan to meet up during a crisis because they realize there is safety in numbers. The group most likely was started by people who have had military or law enforcement training and the unit operates similar to a military unit. Expect regular training and drills if you join this type of group.
Each person in the group is expected to be well equipped and a state of readiness is maintained at all times. The group trains together and each member likely will have a specific task they are expected to perform once a situation occurs.
Drills are conducted on a regular basis and the leader may choose various scenarios to train for such as withdrawal from a building/compound under siege or leaning how to set up a field of fire to defend a position. The group may hunt, trap and fish together so everyone knows how to obtain food during a crisis. Everyone will be expected to know or will be trained in certain survival skills.
The group will train to protect themselves against a nuclear, biological or chemical attack. Drills would include getting into a protective posture and performing tasks and duties while in a protective posture.
There would be several pre-determined areas for gathering once a crisis unfolds.
Once the group is formed with its core members, getting into the group would be difficult and you must bring something to the table. The mindset of the group would be at this point you had better come to the group with a certain level of training and skill sets and then see if you are compatible with the group.
One of the biggest problems any Prepper group will encounter is the unknown, very few people if any at all in most groups would not have been through a “SHTF” situation. This means you do not know for sure how anyone will react. Some may step up and others may falter.
Often times the leader of a group is the leader because they have the loudest voice and essentially came up with the idea to form the group and in the beginning people may have naturally assumed the talkers are, the best trained. Many have found out in the past however this is not usually the case.
If a group offers you protection and proclaims as a group to have certain skills that would help all in the group to survive then you should ask hard questions of the leader and of others in the group because after all you are essentially putting your life in the hands of the group. You expect them to have your back when it goes down.
First question would be what type of actual real life training the leader and others have. You want to avoid groups that consider a day of training is sitting around watching videos on the Internet of how other people do it.
However on the other hand you have to expect that people, just as you, would never have experienced certain situations so do not let that be a deterrent in and of itself. You may find groups that are in the process of gaining the needed training and knowledge and are serious about what they doing. If you join, you can benefit from this type of situation.
Keep the basic premise in mind that as a group regardless of their level of training your chances of survival are greater than if you were not a part of a group in some cases. The premise of any group should be bringing people together that have certain skills that benefit all in the group and that can benefit others outside of the group as well.
Is the group firearm obsessed and if it is you have to decide what your tactics would be in a survival situation and do they align with the groups. Groups that are training to repel United Nations troops and to scan for black helicopters and believe the government is the greatest enemy may not have the same goals as you in mind.
Start Your Own Group
Define your goals and be realistic. Do you believe in the local authorities? If you want to survive long enough, for disaster relief agencies to arrive then start a group with this in mind. You may have decided that the government is mostly in the way during a crisis so the group goal would be complete self-sufficiency.
The goal in any situation is survival and the ways to go about it can be as numerous as the number of groups you will encounter out there.