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Brulen, by community response I don’t mean govt. Local govt. here is minimal. Outside of the schools, my town only has 4 fulltime employees, and they are what constitutes the Highway Dept. We otherwise have 2 part time employees at the Town Hall and 1 at the Library, and then a number of folks like me filling various roles that receive token payments either by the hour or as a flat fee. Small towns in New England tend to have minimal local govt and use lots of committees and volunteers. For example yesterday we output this year’s property tax bills, and several unpaid volunteers came in to help us fold them and put them in envelopes to mail. I volunteer to mow and weed whack the property around an old one room school house from 1808 across the way from me. A guy told me he bought paint and plans to paint it when he has a chance. Other people volunteer to take care of the baseball field. The fire dept are all volunteers. And so forth. Post-SHTF if Town govt. is functioning at all they would convene Town Meeting for people to decide what to do. If that is not feasible, I expect my little valley that is geographically apart from the rest of Town would do its own version of Town Meeting to determine what to do. It is how things have been done in rural New England for almost 400 years.

All that said, I agree that the fabric of the community will be stretched and perhaps torn come SHTF when many find themselves facing issues they never contemplated and are ill-prepared for. Those of us who have contemplated it and are somewhat prepared cannot survive as islands unto ourselves though, hence our having to figure out the whole neighbor thing.