No man is an island you need to let it ago and build yourself a prepper village. There is one true fact, you are not Rambo. There is no way that one person can learn everything they need to know to survive all that life and nature will through at us. What happens if you get hurt and the rest of your family didn’t study and prep the way you did? Who will take care of them? Rambo he could do it all and fight entire armies at the same time! Even with years of Government training this is an idea better suited for the Hollywood screen.
It Takes A Village
Your ultimate goal should be to build a small team of reliable like-minded friends to start preparing with today. People that all have specific talents to offer to the greater good of the entire team. Who doesn’t have 6-10 friends that want to stock pile a years worth of food, supplies, guns and ammo? This should be easy right? If you’re thinking this sounds next to impossible and rather complicated that is totally understandable. It is not an easy task to find a group of people you can entrust you and your family’s lives with.
This is not an impossible task, rather it is one that takes time, awareness, and follow through. You maybe very surprised to find out how many of your friends are doing exactly what you are doing. When you are at parties sharing a beer around a back yard fire or Bar B Que keep your ears open. People may make jokes about SHFT or buying a boat for when it floods. These causal comments are really just someone trying to justify their prepping while also looking for someone to join their team. These are opportunities not for you to act on immediatly, rather for you to go home and think about.
The Buddy System
Start small and start smart! The first step is finding one friend that shares your ideas of becoming prepared and enter into the buddy system. Just like when you were a child on a field trip, there is always safety in numbers. Hence the Buddy System for preppers is born. I started with my best friend and we began by agreeing to store up food at each others houses in case one of our families had to evacuate due to a natural disaster. We wanted to make sure that we would have enough food to keep us going while things hopefully sorted themselves out.
Obviously the goal is to have our supplies grow over time so we will be fine to make it a few months in a grid down situation. It is speculated by people much smarter than myself that an EMP grid down scenario could take years to fix. Maybe someday I will have 5 years of food but I don’t think I have the space or money at this time to make this happen. So we have dedicated ourselves to learning how to garden, raise urban animals, and we are sharpening our skills as hunters.
These skills take time, but we feel as buddies we can grow enough to help support each others family’s. In another article I will address the dangers of being prepared in a world that is totally unprepared. However, I will say here you may want a few extra buddies to protect your garden, animals and preps. When people get hungry the tables will turn and your urban prepper paradise will become a target. There are strategies for this and other options but for now we will ride out the idea of creating a village.
Starting Your Team
After your buddy system is started you can formulate a strategy to acquire new members to your village. When you find these friends go home and think about how they would fit into your plans. How will they get along with your family? If you have friends on your team already, you should consult them and think about what this new person has to offer. You need to think this through before making the initial invite to the group. Once the cat is out of the bag there is no going back.
Team Member Roles
First and foremost, you need to create a list of team roles you would like to fill before you start out on your recruitment mission. One trait that will be important in everyone you choose, is their ability to teach. Eventually, everyone should be cross trained in a few areas in case someone gets hurt or leaves your group. People need to be specialized in their area of expertise but able to teach others in order to make the group stronger. Below you will find a few member roles I have looked to fill on my journey to preparedness.
Suggested Member Roles:
Everyone should train with fire arms, self defense, and maintain a relative level of general fitness. When problems arise every member will need to be able to pitch into the fight and know how to work together as a group. The more you train together the better you will react when you need to jump into action. This training will come in handy when protecting your Bug Out Location, clearing an abandoned house looking for supplies, or in any general conflict with outsiders.
Let me stress one important point, Rambo was a movie and not real! You should avoid conflict and contact with people outside of your group as much as possible. The one man wrecking crew works great in Hollywood movies where none of the bad guys can shoot an you somehow seem to hit everything you fire at. Ultimately you should keep a low profile, a loaded weapon, and your eyes and ears open.
That being said, you should have someone on your team that specializes in this area that can help to further train new members. Look for someone that has military or police training as this will give you an advantage over others and save you money from having to hire outside tactical training offered at gun ranges. Don’t get me wrong training at the local gun range is great, however you need someone that can help continue everyone’s training after the SHFT happens.
A Medic or EMT is an obvious must have in any post SHTF scenario for a multitude of reasons. But let’s be real here folks, reading a few books and watching YouTube Videos for training is not what we are talking about here. You need to find someone that knows what they are doing and can help to keep people safe and healthy. The medic is there to treat common colds, maintain hygiene levels, and even keep folks alive after experiencing heavy trauma. I recommend finding a friend that is a doctor, EMT, military medic, or even a fireman. The obvious first choice is someone that is a practicing doctor.
A person with a green thumb will be your best friend when the stores are closed. Anyone can learn to garden, but like most things in life ,there are those that are just gifted at it. You do not want to attempt gardening for the first time after you have moved to your bug out location. Gardening is an art form that needs to be mastered over time. Learning when to plant, how to read plants, manage pest control and when to harvest is key. Further more you might need to specialize in pot gardening or survival gardening in-order to protect and hide your plants from hungry unprepared folks. Everyone has to contribute and a Gardner will do so time and time again.
There is an old saying, ” there’s a reason we call it hunting and not shopping”, because this skill is one that you always need to work on. I have gone on many hunts and not even seen an animal. When you are hungry and needing to conserve energy and calories a few unsuccessful hunts will be devastating. The ability to track, kill, and prepare an animal is a needed skill. Multiple people in your group should get their hunting license today and start hunting everything possible. For animal population control seasons can be short and spread through out the year. It’s hard to get the time off work, but it will be worth it in the end. This is another prep that rewards you as you do it, as you will be able to supply your family with meat for your table.
Hunting is a great way to spend time in nature and start to understand it’s rhythms. Hunting will force you to get in shape. There is nothing more inspiring than sucking wind at 9,000 feet to remind your fat ass to put down the Doritos! Trust me I know this one from experience! Hunting is also a good exercise to build up your survival mindset and skill set. Learning to push yourself to make it through your mission is a great skill. Hunting will push you physically, help you to learn to problem solve and adapt on the fly. It is also a great opportunity to practice basic Bushcraft skills like; treating water, building fires, and making effective shelters.
This is an expensive prep to get into especially if your a gear head like I am. The marketing is strong and after a few hunts you will want whatever edge you can find. I think that hunting should be kept simple and you should learn the basics before buying a garage full of gear. Having a seasoned hunter in your group will save you time, money, and a lot of heart ache.
Knowing how to fix things is the ultimate prep, as it saves you money and will help keep your preps in working order. I grew up in a house where we just called a guy to fix things and I am really bummed about that now. Whether you decide to bug in at your house, farm, or leave to your Bug Out Location things will always break. If your group grows you will need to build new shelters, bathrooms, root cellars, water catchment systems, and so much more. The ability to build something once while using as few materials as possible will be invaluable in a SHFT situation. Remember Home Depot will be closed and every nail or saw cut will count!
Food is not only a necessity in life but it brings people together and raises peoples spirits. A person that knows how to cook and maintain an inventory will be a nice addition to your prepper village. With limited supplies and questionable tasting products on hand someone that can spice things up a bit will help to ward off food fatigue in a big way. Like the grandmother that can cook a four course meal with a bare fridge and sparse pantry a cook will be able to stretch your supplies. Someone that cooks at home or specializes in wild game will work just fine. But a cook with professional restaurant experience will take you that much further in stretching your supply. Fortunately, they are forced to work on small margins and are trained to use every piece of food possible.
In our group we have a few restaurant people and hunters that specialize in butchering, preparing, and cooking wild game. These people will come in handy when you use your air rifle to score a few squirrels for stew! You want people that will be excited to teach others the tricks of the trade. Professional cooks are always having to train new people so it is built into their DNA. Unfortunately people get sick and hurt so the ability to teach is crucial.
When the world goes dark a candle will be a saving grace, as will your ability to gather information and communicate with others. Communication is a great resource and you need someone that not only knows how to use the equipment but also has the ability to maintain it. This person will be trained and certified in how to operate a HAM radio and should start making connections with other operators now. Forming these relationships and mapping out their locations now will give you a network of people to trade information with when the SHFT occurs.
It is important to note that as you identify these people they will be able to do the same. This means they can learn about your general location. You will need to discuss your OPSEC protocol with your village before giving out too much information. Information can be both valuable and dangerous to your group.
Friendly people now can become dangerous later. The ability to run and operate these radios off grid will be really beneficial to the group. Even if you don’t break radio silence but just search the sky for updates from others that are broadcasting. HAM radio operators love to help in times of disaster and act as a relay service for information. We can only hope that this passion will continue in a survival scenario. HAM operators prepare to keep their radios up and operational even in an off grid situation.
Much like the gear we buy a team is only as good as your ability to use it. A team of preppers can be a huge asset in an otherwise unforgiving world. Ultimately, you can save all the food you want and wake up one day and it’s all gone due to some unforeseen circumstance. Then what will you do? Prepping is more than just gear it is building a library of skills, training your mind, and putting together a plan that will give you the best odds of survival possible. People are imperfect and will be full o f short comings, this is one fact that you can count on. So build your village full of people you can trust and learn to play towards their individual strengths as much as possible.