Groups (Part 2)

In the first part I spoke of survival groups and why part of one, the ABC’s of survival group and deciding to join or build one.  This week join me in talking about things to consider in leadership and what your roles and the roles of others may be.

DJ Cooper “Surviving Dystopia”

ABC’s of the Survival Group

The second part in a series of shows highlighting the survival group.  With this we include many different kinds of groups.  Last week we talked about the need for a group, the kinds of groups and whether or not to build or join one.  Moving forward with our discussion on groups let’s talk about the most basic things to either look for or set up in our groups.

5-25-16 who what

Briefly touching last week on something called a mission statement or set of goals that the group will have in place or will establish.  This is crucial to the set up and operation of the group.  This week we look into the questions surrounding this crucial first step in either establishment or finding an established group.

The ABC’s is the most basic elements of the group;

  • Who are the members of the group
  • What is the goal of the group
  • When do they meet or when a call to action would be appropriate
  • Where is the location or is there a location
  • Why do you want to either build or join these groups
  • How do you go about either joining or establishing the group

These questions are the beginnings of either finding or building your group/

Quoting Alfred Henry Lewis, “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.”  It is important to note that this represents three days.  Knowing this should help you to determine the type of survival group, the rules, ideals and requirements of the group; and ways you can make yourself a valued member of the group.
Up next week: Part 3 – Knowing your role and the roles of others in the survival group.

DJ Cooper
DJ Cooper

Podcast host and author of the apocalypse. A number of fiction books that focus on preparedness can be found here.

2 thoughts on “Groups (Part 2)

  • Nope .. if you are prepared you don’t fear.. then you strive to be better … FYI .. we have friends who cannot eat chicken eggs. We raise ducks and geese as well as turkeys that lay eggs as used to raise quail for eggs.. none of them react as chicken eggs to them. Try em .. If I were to say one thing about groups.. it’s like looking for a mate. If there is a secret, it’s in BEING the right person rather than finding the right person, by extension .. group.

  • Interesting discussion, Ms. Cooper. I have some thoughts to add.

    One of the problems with finding a pre-existing group is that, in rural areas, the population density is so low that it can be difficult to find an existing group within reasonable distance. When the SHTF, you don’t want to have to drive for several hours to meet up with your group. For that matter, depending upon the exact type of SHTF event, you may not even be able to drive, if the SHTF is an EMP type of event which destroys the electronics in an automobile. Even if the SHTF event is some other type of event (e.g., severe winter storm, hurricane, solar flare/Carrinton Event, etc.), the roads may be impassable, either due to obstructions (downed trees, power lines, ice), or other vehicles.

    Then, again, for those of us in rural locations, the importance of bugging-out is reduced. Presumably, we are already located in our bug-out location. But, that doesn’t mean that we can adequately defend or operate our location by ourselves. One person can’t be awake 24 hours per day. So, having a MAG, which can assemble in a rural location, is still important. And, that requires the ability for the members of that MAG to be able to travel to that remote, rural bug-out location. That may require one member of the MAG, the transportation person, to have a vehicle capable of operation during any anticipated SHTF type of event. That could be a 1960s 4×4 truck, or perhaps a farm tractor, or, maybe, even a wagon with a pair of draft horses to pull it.

    In general, farmers tend to be somewhat prepared for disaster. After all, we can’t necessarily drop everything we’re doing, and run to town, when something breaks and we need a replacement part. We can’t run to the grocery store every day, given that a trip into town may require a couple of hours, minimum. So, we tend to have some supplies stashed at the farm. Thus, it may make sense for city dwellers to cultivate a MAG with some of the farmers in the area. But, this requires that they have something to offer the farmer, other than just more mouths to feed. And, most importantly, any such MAG needs to have made contact, and plans, with the farmers, well before the SHTF event. If a group of hungry city dwellers show up at my farm when the SHTF has occurred, as much as I like the idea of helping people, they will be turned away, since I won’t know what skills they offer, nor do I know what resources they have brought with them. Nor will I know whether they want to cooperate, or whether they want to take over my location.

    Plus, farmers are usually located well away from large cities, cities which usually have a nuclear-weapons bulls-eye on them!

    One possible source of contacts and information, as well as skill acquisition, is the local agricultural extension service for the county a person lives in, or, perhaps, an adjacent county.

    For example, here in Kentucky, the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, has an extension service, with offices in a majority of Kentucky counties. These offices frequently offer classes useful to the farmer or the prepper. And, these classes can also be a good networking opportunity to find people with similar mindsets. My understanding is that most states which have a land-grant university also have similar agricultural extension services.

    Now, while the above information won’t necessarily put you in contact with a MAG group, it should put you in contact with similarly minded people. It will be up to you to flesh out those contacts, and determine if a MAG group already exists in the area, or if you’d like to invite some of those people into a group you form. Be aware, though, that many of the class participants may not share your enthusiasm for a MAG group, nor believe that a SHTF event is inevitable.

    Similarly, some churches also offer training classes, and may be a good resource. I know that Ms. Cooper mentioned the LDS church is very active in preparing for disasters. Other churches, especially rural churches, may take a similar approach.

    As for some of the concerns with actually belonging to a MAG, or even starting one for oneself, there are many issues to be considered, some of which Ms. Cooper has covered, and others which haven’t yet been mentioned. Obviously, the entire philosophy of the MAG should be considered, such as is it a “Shoot first and ask questions later”, or “Help everyone we can” approach. There’s also issues with governance. Is it a dictatorship, or is it a democracy? Or, perhaps a republic? Is it run via the “Golden Rule” (as in, it’s my Gold, so I make the rules)? How are conflicts resolved? How is op-sec handled? What if one member starts blabbing about the group’s preparations to anyone within earshot?

    Once the balloon has gone up, and the SHTF has happened, how are resources allocated? What if one of the families, who have reserved four slots, for the mom/dad/son/daughter, instead show up with not only their four, but also each of their parents, their daughter’s boyfriend and his family, their son’s girlfriend and their family, etc.? How are they going to react when you tell them that the four can enter, but Jenny’s boyfriend and his family can’t enter, nor can Joey’s girlfriend, who is 8 months pregnant with his baby, and her family, can’t enter?

    Who supplies the resources needed to operate the shelter? Does each family bring their own food, or does all of the food go into a community pot? Who cuts the wood for the wood-stove? Who strings up the electrical supply and arranges the lights? Who brings and mans the radios used to communicate with the outside world, assuming that there will be such communication?

    Now, as for the nine meals between civilization and anarchy, I think that’s quite optimistic. I base this statement on some of the hurricanes which have hit the coastal areas, with the videos of widespread looting before the eye of the storm even made landfall. While most of the population is civilized, there are some members of the radical criminal element which will start looting at the first sign of weakness from law enforcement. And, unfortunately, many of the otherwise civil portion of the population will perform a “monkey see, monkey do” type of action, and join in (“Gonna get me some.”).

    Now, that’s not to say that there won’t be the altruistic elements of society, which will attempt to legitimately help. But, the sad fact is that, when a major disaster occurs, the small number of altruistic elements of society usually can’t make much of a difference, and will typically be overtaken by the criminal element. This can actually hinder the efforts of law enforcement and the public service agencies, in that they now have the injured altruistic elements to deal with, in addition to the already occurring damage.

    For some background, I spent 8.5 years on a local governmental disaster/emergency response team, and have dealt with all sorts of disasters, everything from small scale events to major disasters. Fortunately, we managed to keep a lid on the disasters, mainly via good luck, having had a plan to deal with such disasters, and having trained to handle the disasters. Unfortunately, I’m not permitted to speak in detail about most of the disasters we handled, although I can usually talk in generalities about them. But, trust me when I say, if it can go wrong, it most certainly will. Oh, yeah, I probably ought to mention that those 8.5 years were strictly a volunteer position. I had my normal day job that I worked, but I’d respond when the pager went off.

    But, the point I’m trying to make is that just setting up a MAG isn’t the end result. Plans must be made, and updated. Training must be conducted. How will anyone know what works and what doesn’t unless the training occurs? It’s one thing to say that you’ll use the well for water, but then discover that, when the electricity is gone, that the electric pump in the well doesn’t work, and you don’t have access to the water in the well.

    Anyway, that ought to offer a bit of stuff to consider.


  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *