Choosing Survival Companions: The Company We Keep

Strength in Moral Character, not in Numbers, Skills or Stuff


Far into my teenage years, my parents always wanted to meet my friends to size them up and either encourage or dissuade my continuance of the relationship. The decision was mine but, ultimately, I would find that my parents were correct in their assessments. Over time, I developed that sense my parents had of knowing if a person was good or bad for me. Friendships will either inspire us to better our lives or bring us down or cause our personal growth and happiness to stagnate. How are your friendships affecting you? Will they be there during the lowest times in your life; when you have nothing to offer them except your friendship? Do you trust them to "have your back" when the rest of the world seems to be against you?

An Emergency Plan should include working with trusted members to prepare. For most, this will be a spouse, other family members or close friends. For others, reaching outside their circle of friends/family may be desired.

REASONS FOR A TEAM:

1 - More people means more things can be done
2 - More rest for all by setting up shifts to do work and guard duties
3 - Reduces boredom, provides encouragement and other points of view
4 - Broadens the skills set with different backgrounds, talents and strengths
5 - Physical, medical and emotional limitations

HELPING OTHERS UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO PREPARE:

Do you feel like Noah (in the Bible) when trying to talk with others about prepping? For me, it's like having conversations about politics or religion; they're either on the same page with you or on another planet. For whatever reason, it seems to stike a chord at the very core of the soul. Maybe it's because many people don't want to think about bad things happening and if we don't think that way, it won't happen. I have, personally, experinced this; told not to talk to them about this anymore. So, though I still occasionally make the mistake of talking or sending out topic information, I just do my own private prepping. Unfortunately, I realize that those who do not prep could likely be my biggest problems when a "bad event" happens; so I have to prep for that as well.

I encourage those who believe in preparing to have those conversations with family and friends (without giving them a lot of details about your specific preps). But, if they aren't receptive, let it go quickly. If they ever do acquire the intelligence to realize the need to prepare, they have a resource in you. Otherwise, put them on your list of those to watch out for; now they know where to come when (not if) the SHTF. Unfortunately, many people don't comprehend their need until they are faced with it, like a "no atheists in foxholes" moment; then it's usually too late.

Why Plan for an Emergency
Prepping Your Significant Other For Prepping
Building a Preparedness Community
Are 'Preppers' Whack Jobs or is the World?

RULE #1:

Be generous to help others understand the importance of preparing for an emergency and to point them to public resources so they can develop their own plan. BUT DO NOT divulge any of your own personal plans, strategies, supplies or resources to anyone other than highly-trusted family, friends or team members.

CHARACTER, CONDUCT & ATTITUDE OUTWEIGH TALENT:

Too much emphasis is placed on talent when trying to explain how people achieve great things. Talent plays a much smaller role in the success someone has compared to their attitude. Friends can become enemies when faced with an environmental disaster or social unrest that increases stress and depletes resources. Build personal survival relationships based on moral and upright principals and character; not their skillset or what they have. People without morals and upright principals will abandon, or turn against, you.

As I was preparing this Posting in my mind, I thought about the old-testament biblical account of Gideon and the Midianites (Judges, Chapters 6-8). 300 Israelite soldiers (reduced in number, by God’s instruction, from 32,000) defeated the “Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples who had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.” When it was all said and done, those 300 defeated hundreds of thousands. But, of course, God’s intent was for the Israelites to depend on Him versus themselves (strength in numbers . . . NOT!). He did not need 32,000. He did not need 300. He just wanted the best and the best to be focused on the task as a unified team. It was not the quantity but the integrity.

SUGGESTIONS FOR GATHERING OR JOINING A GROUP:

If you don't already have a close-knit group of like-minded people, from whom to choose to be part of the survival team, how do you find these people? Ah, the old conundrum: how do you identify moral, trustworthy people, to whom you can identify yourself as a prepper without compromising your security in such a way as to render your preps irrelevant; connecting with someone, into whose hands you've placed your life, who will fumble the ball and sacrifice you, and other members of your team, for their own benefit? From research on this topic, the Common Interest Groups (CIGs) seem to work best; those that have built up over time, slowly, and composed of friends with whom people have had long-time relationships. So, the key is "don't be in a rush" to gather your team. Your life and safety will depend on it.
  • Join or form a local CIG organization and/or online Forum or Blog to find like-minded people, gather ideas and get advice.
  • Monitor the verbal and written "conversations" and dynamics (between members) within the CIGs. During these conversations, participant personalities, values and skills will emerge to help identify those who are compatible with you, your values and goals.
  • At a high level, and without exposing personal information and plans, begin communicating directly with those who have piqued your interest as a potential team member.
  • At the appropriate times, slowly build your relationship with emails, phone calls and, eventually, a brief, face-to-face meeting at a public place for a quick drink or meal. Treat your first meeting as a blind date where you may find that you don't want to stay long with this person.

PREPARING WITH COMPANIONS:

Committing to help one another, as a couple, family or team of like-minded individuals to stay safe, gather supplies, plan and prepare physically and emotionally is a vital skill to learn.

Neighborhood Watch is an organized effort by concerned residents to look out for each others safety, and to help law enforcement officers protect people and their homes against criminals. If your neighborhood has not yet become a crime statistic, consider crime preventive measures by starting a Neighborhood Watch Program. At the very least, call the police any time something looks suspicious or out of place. If your neighborhood has already become a crime statistic, a Neighborhood Watch Program can tackle this problem. Ignoring the problem will not fix it. In some cases and situations, it may be appropriate to form a local militia group.

TEAM PETS / ANIMALS:

For some, a pet may be the only Survival Companion they will want or will be included as a valued member of the team. A pet, specifically a dog, will not only be very loyal but may be trained to perform many tasks that may help in an emergency. They may alert to "visitors" and dogs with a "big dog bark" may deter a [human or other] predator. A dog that has been trained to attack is a formidable defense weapon. Unlike humans, pets are not likely to turn against you and are not lazy if treated well. Here are some other things to consider:
Best Guardian Animals:   [Dog, Donkey, Llama/Alpaca]    [Geese]    [Ostriche/Emu]    [Pigs]
What kind of dog breed should you get? Take this quiz to match you to your perfect pet.
Reasons to Own A Pit Bull
Service Animals for the Disabled
Including Pets in an Emergency Plan
Quality Pet Foods

THINGS THAT CAN DESTROY A TEAM FROM WITHIN:

1 - Laziness (not staying busy on preparations, planning and security)
2 - Greed / Gluttony (obsession of wanting too much or unnessary stuff)
3 - Envy / Selfishness (every man for himself - wanting what others have, keeping what I have)
4 - Anger (losing control)
5 - Pride (thinking that I have all the answers)
6 - Immorality (lack of, or distorted, conscience [sense of right & wrong])
7 - Lacking a Sense of Community: Those who do not have a sense of "community" develop anxiety, depression and codependency issues. When people focus on the needs of others (community), they find purpose in their lives. They lose "self" to find "self". (Look up video/podcast: The Mike Slater Show, Is America Losing its Faith?). Careful consideration should be given, as a Team Candidate, to a Person without a sense of "community".

American evangelist, Dwight L. Moody once said, "Character is what you are in the dark". And Bible verse 1 John 3:10 reads, "This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister." Morals and trust are key attributes of your survival team members. Go slow, be thorough and don't compromise on your selection process. You need to find out what each member is like "in the dark".

FORMING A MILITIA:

The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, provides for States to organize and train their Militias according to standards established by the U.S. Congress, and to appoint the officers, but it was not the intention of that clause to authorize states to forbid local organization and training of Militia units, but to require that they be organized and trained. Here are some Steps to take:
  • Establish an Identity
  • Identify the Goals and Intentions of the Group. Reinforce them often to group members.
  • Organize a Recruiting Strategy which could start with an existing Neighborhood Watch Program.
  • Train Members
  • Practice - Run Missions
  • Follow all jurisdiction laws, rules and regulations. Be aware that the group may be monitored by the government.
  • As numbers grow, create a large number of small, independent units with many leaders. Never a central leadership.
  • Central Headquarters should only be responsible to facilitate communications, not command.

CONSIDER IF/HOW GOVERNANCE WILL BE HANDLED AFTER A SHTF EVENT:

Though I have gathered my trusted group, there may not be a viable "government" to organize the masses after a SHTF event. Should I think beyond what "I" will do or start thinking about what WE will do to establish some semblance of order? Should we just go on our merry way alone or should we unite to better organize the chaos? If we unite, who will do this and how will it be structured? Consider these links for further contemplation on this topic:
Justice in a WROL (Without Rule of Law) world?
Sweden's Mobilization: Lessons for Preppers!

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:
How to Find Survivalist Friends
Building Trust with Body Language
How your friends can influence your mood and behaviour
The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship [Jonathan Holmes, Ed Welch]
7 Deadly Sins Of Survival To Avoid At All Costs
ZertNation.com
Top Prepper Websites
Google Search to find like-minded companions
Prepper Dating