Welcome Still Waters. As for the local prepping group, most of us here feel like you do which appears to be that having a group of like minded individuals, similar values, and a love of Freedom is the best way to survive. You are probably familiar with the term “mutual assistance group” though it can mean different things to different people. One is that if you only have a small core group but build a network close to you of people you can trust, you can have similar benefits to a larger personal group, and have the added benefit of a wider perimeter for security. It does require the ability to communicate closely and to respond to threats in the AO, so that is worthy of your attention.
Anyway, we look forward to hearing your perspective on these important issues as we can all learn from one another.
For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!