Guest post from: Central Oregon Survival Network
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival”, by C.S. Lewis.
When looking at preparedness groups or even mentioning such an idea, most Preppers I have encountered, would rather stick to themselves, “The Lone Wolf.” This article is not necessarily about building a preparedness group that comes together in the face of adversity, but my personal experience on how to build a group that comes together to teach valuable information that can save lives. Let’s face the facts, no one can be proficient in everything.
Let’s start with the idea, “The preparedness group.” What is a preparedness group? A group that shares information based on concrete research and personal experience to increase the knowledge base of others and build skill sets to take precautionary measures in the face of potential disaster. These actions through teaching, demonstrations and practical exercises can include both physical and mental preparedness for emergency actions. Group preparedness is an effective tool, not only potentially avoiding or mitigating negative outcomes, but also learning very valuable lifesaving skills first hand.
What are the benefits of group Preparedness? Trial and error, to include research, can not only be a costly adventure, but also takes up valuable time. As we all know in the preparedness community, time is of the essence. How many times have we found ourselves researching a subject for hours, or investing money in a project that didn’t work or needed many changes to be effective? Preparedness groups can save valuable time and money by sharing experience, research and ideas.
How do you get started with your own preparedness group? Very first thing to consider is, “Do you want to expose yourself to the world?” Yes, you can organize a group quietly, but it will not stay that way for long. Remember, we are talking about a large group that gets together to share information. I know exposing yourself can be a scary thought and turns most Preppers back into the shadows of OPSEC (Operational Security), but here is something to consider when making this decision, do you want to live with the knowledge of one man, or the knowledge from an entire community?
From personal experience, creating a group isn’t an easy task, but I guarantee that you will be very surprised on how many people are interested in preparedness or are Prepper’s themselves, not to mention the rewards. Usually many Preppers want to communicate with each other, but want a certain anonymity. This is pretty easy to achieve and essential to your success. Social media is a great tool for getting out the word, but be careful on just how much information you share. Share too much and you will scare people off, share just enough and you will intrigue their curiosity. Also, make sure to use e-mail as your base of communications, this keeps it non-personal. Creating a preparedness group takes time, persistence and patience, just remember it won’t happen overnight.
How do you conduct successful meetings? Keep it simple, to the point and set ground rules for the meeting. E-mail out a simple agenda, location instructions and a greeting, to include updates and reminders. This will show that you are serious, professional, and intend to conduct a well-organized meeting. Ground rules are the basic understanding of what the group is about or not about and are very important to set up ahead of time, not only to have continuity, but to stop side bar conversations and slippery slope arguments. Some suggestions of ground rules like, “We are not about conspiracy theories, rather we focus on real world facts and not on the unknown.” Keeping it simple, to the point and establishing ground rules will help everyone understand the group’s focus and channel the energy on topic.
Preparedness groups are not for everyone, but to me and a lot of people I have worked with, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. The “Lone Wolf” mentality may work for you, but with today’s adversities and issues, there is power, security, and knowledge in numbers. There is just one question to answer, “Would you prefer to prepare alone, or prepare together?”
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.