Bad Neighbors

Last time I wrote you, I mentioned two problems with bugging in on your home turf. The first problem is you are only one person. The second problem is your neighbors.

There is safety in numbers, but you must make sure all your “numbers” are indeed on your side. A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. You put yourself in danger by sharing your survival plans with the wrong people, but you also simply can’t do this alone.

You can’t wait until disaster strikes. That would be rolling the dice with your family’s fate.

You need to know now who you are dealing with and begin laying the foundations for a future survival coalition—for now let’s just call them friendships.

You don’t want to come across as the nut-job extremist in the cul-de-sac, which you are not. You are just a rational person forging relationships for mutual interests.

Best case scenario the efforts will just yield friends who will help you swap out an engine in your truck or buddies you can go fishing with on weekends. Nothing wrong with a few more friends.

Put yourself out there if you haven’t already. Introduce yourself and your family to your neighbors, invite them over, have a block party, swap home improvement help…whatever.

One evening on the street bar-b-cue-ing, and you’ll know exactly with whom you are dealing.

Sometimes you can tell whom you are dealing with just by their handshake. For most people, you can usually tell if someone is a jerk or a patsy in the first five minutes.

Within an hour, you’ll have a pretty good understanding of who these people are and if they are reliable human beings or just oxygen thieves.

As you get to know these people you may steer the conversation toward things like camping, hunting, fishing, firearms, martial arts, etc.

People love to talk about their hobbies. It’s a completely natural thing that will tell you volumes on these people.

Now you don’t have to be friends with all these people. Truth be told, that might even be a mistake.

There may be a few you will want to keep a healthy distance from. They may prove to be the ruthless guys not looking to cooperate.

But, don’t immediately disqualify the ruthless guy from your survival coalition. In fact, the ruthless guy who is willing to cooperate and has a modicum of morality and dependability can be a great addition to your team.

So now you know the good from the bad, the wheat from the chaff, the cream from the milk. Although you may be forging friendships with the wheat—don’t irritate the chaff. Keep on friendly terms with everyone in your neighborhood, if possible. That guy may change his colors when TSHTF.

Does this mean you must spill the beans to your new friends that you are building an end-of-the-world security force? No. Bad idea.

No matter how you do it, you won’t sound rational to the average neighbor—-if you want to be taken seriously later, you’ve got to be thought of as rational today.

Just keep a mental list of your prospective survival coalition team and the skills, tools, equipment and vehicles they possess.

File it away in the back of your mind for future use and enjoy your new friendships.

What if the seeds of disaster are starting to sprout? There are disaster scenarios where the public can see the event coming (like an economic collapse)—sometimes for weeks or months before it arrives.

In these cases, keep current on the news and ensure your friends in the neighborhood are current as well. Encourage talk amongst yourselves about what’s coming.

You may be surprised when your friends start talking about making plans to deal with the coming disaster. Work the mutual protection concept into conversation slowly and put your friends at ease with the notion you’ll all take care of each other.

Do you tell your new-found survival coalition about your stockpile of food?

Your underground shelter?

Your guns?

Your survival radio communications?

Remember the number one rule for both bunkers and stockpiles? “Don’t talk about your bunker or stockpile?”
Well, this is still a good rule, but as the time of the disaster approaches you will have to share this information at some point—that is if you want mutual protection.

Still, be wary about with whom you share it. Some neighbors not quite in the group, but on the cusp of acceptance, may be left in the dark for a while until you can ascertain their true intentions—it’s a judgement call—like most things in survival.

Always Safe, Always Prepared

Frank Mitchell

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