As stated in earlier articles survival comes down to the individual. Life and death is at the individual level and so the minute-by-minute struggles are yours and yours alone in most cases. Your decisions, your actions have an impact on your survivability, and some of those decisions made months ago could come back to bite you.
There are Prepper groups, where for the most part everyone has the same goals and everyone knows the path to achieving those goals. Structure and discipline is required or otherwise the group falls apart and then it would be every person for him or herself.
Groups are one thing, but friends and neighbors not in the group are another thing entirely.
Some groups may envision leaving the area when the SHTF, but in reality this would not be practical for various reasons. It is easy to plan to leave the disaster area as a group, but when it comes right down to it, most people in the group will not leave their homes for unknown adventures. Once the crisis expands group member will only be thinking of their own families and of themselves. Your needs and wants become secondary. In other words, groups cannot be counted on during a crisis.
There would be too many variables and too many people with opinions. There would not be any way to enforce the rules that were established before the crisis, so this means at the first sign of trouble, the group would likely dissolve. The point is you will be once again alone with your family when the SHTF and you may be surrounded by unprepared friends and neighbors, so now what.
Now you have to deal with neighbors, others in the neighborhood, and possibly even friends that did not see the need to prepare and some may have even scoffed at the idea of becoming a Prepper, but now things have changed. They will need help, and some of your so-called friends may not bother asking, they may just try to take what they need by any means possible.
Things That Haunt You
As the crisis unfolds, your decision to let others know you were prepared for almost anything may not have been such a great idea, because now you may be faced with people asking for help. The people asking will be ones you know, they may live next door and they be friends and coworkers.
Do you help them, can you help them, and what will you do if they insist, leaving you with the impression the conversation is not yet over. Violence may be their next move, can you, will you defend your family and possessions, or will you share what you have in hopes things turn around. Can you chance letting anyone see how much you really have because once you help there may not be any end to it.
1.) The best option would be to keep quiet about what you are doing, but once that bell has been rung, it is too late. A passing comment can be your downfall months down the road.
2.) Prepare with others in mind, so this means stockpiling additional supplies so you can help others, and possibly help extended family members that may be bugging-out from their location to yours. People always talk about bugging out to friends and relatives’ homes. What happens when you are the friend or relative however? Your location may be on the short list as far as safe havens go, and so people may seek you out for help from hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
3.) Refuse to help and realize your family comes first during a survival situation. However, along with a stern refusal comes defending your decision. Parents with starving children will simply not take no for an answer and you had better be able to do what is needed to protect you and yours.
4.) On the job training, in other words, share your knowledge with others. You know the proverb about giving a man a fish. It would be better to teach them how to fish would it not. You cannot allow others during a crisis to become dependent upon you, because they will put your survival at risk. However, once disaster has struck, getting someone prepared for it is almost impossible, so you would likely have to keep them fed, because they would never be able to develop their own resources at this point.
5.) The last option and probably the worst option, is to bug-out and carry as much as you can with you. If your friends and neighbors turn on you because they need what you have, this may be your only option, however bad it may be.
Some may already be thinking of another option and that one involves dealing with the situation with firearms. Would you, and could you shoot someone because they tried to steal your supplies. There may very well be a time when you would have to shoot someone, but would it be a hungry friend or neighbor.
This article cannot give you the answers. It can only highlight the possibilities, possibilities you must consider once disaster strikes. Some may be convinced they know how they will react, but if you have never been confronted with certain situations, you simply cannot predict how you would react.
Dealing with others during a crisis will be a problem and there are no clear and concise answers. You will probably not know what to do until it happens. Practically speaking, you will have a hard enough time stockpiling what you and your family will need let alone having enough for another family or even more than one.
The question is what you should do. You had better start thinking about this now before you are confronted with it, come up with a plan that makes sense, and consider keeping your preparations to yourself from now on.