March 25, 2014 at 6:10 pm #2871
I live in a rural county of North Carolina and considering starting a neighborhood Mutual Assistance Group. If there is anyone who has already undertaken this task, I would love to hear your suggestions on how I might succeed in making this successful.March 25, 2014 at 6:24 pm #2895
I would say don’t try to get too big, when you get over 10 or 12 it starts to get difficult to keep everyone on the same page. Don’t assume that just because you get along or trust a certain member that everyone else in the group will feel exactly the same, you never know what long held grievances someone may be hiding.
Be sure skill sets are diversified, be sure everyone is a realist about their skills and their place. Be sure everyone either has similar moral codes or that they are at lease willing to be flexible during SHTF situations. Morality situations can bust up a group and once someone knows your groups capabilities and goals getting rid of them isn’t quite so easy. Opsec, Opsec, Opsec. Loose lips sink ships.March 25, 2014 at 6:41 pm #2920
It is slow process but it pays off later when big problems come. It may be faster if you know that folks for long time.
-Number is important, but more important are skills of people (and their personality).
-Do not go immediately with organizing for big things (collapse), try to arrange people with more usual things (neighborhood watch or club similar) and build from there.
-As you build from there, look for potential “bad choices” and lose them while it is time.
Most important thing there is to start slow, and with small things, do not “scare” people.March 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm #2925
Piggy-backing on Selco’s comment a bit: quality is far more important to getting through rough spots than the quantity aspect.
For me, natural relationships and explicit, mutual understandings are a pre-requisite. Skills can be taught; mentality and natural disposition/philosophy are a lot harder to teach.March 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm #2943
Magellan2004, Selco: Thank you for your replies. At least you have validated my initial thoughts of how to begin.
I chose Mutual Assistance Group as a way to start the group and then make myself (and hopefully others) available to assist others in our neighborhood in a time of need. For example: deaths or illness, special needs, yard upkeep for elderly, help with home maintenance, etc.
This way we get to know one another. Learn what their needs are and what their skills are. It would start out small by doing small projects as being neighborly. If the need is for more skilled help, i.e., plumbing, electrical, etc., then maybe a barter system… I’ll do this for you if you do that for me.
As time goes by and the world changes, perhaps for the worse, it could transform into something else altogether.
OPSEC is key without a doubt! How one picks and chooses members during the “transformation” will be the most difficult I imagine and worse yet what about those who have not been “chosen”?March 25, 2014 at 7:07 pm #2950
Kollaps: Amen brother!March 29, 2014 at 5:36 pm #5043
If you approach starting the group with a chicken little “The Sky is falling” type mindset, you could be steroptyed as a paranoid.
If, in your neck of the woods it is relatively peaceful, folks generally won’t be keen to sign up. However the more stressful things get, the time to form a group will be compressed.
Get to know your neighbours, make contacts within your local community/get to know them on a social level, thus in the event of WROL/SHTF you have a group of contacts who may trust you and will be on your side.
Good luck.March 29, 2014 at 8:44 pm #5161
Thanks!April 10, 2014 at 7:37 pm #8058
I follow Kollaps & Selco point of view with my efforts. Never been much of a lone wolf subscriber particularly as a family man and what I learned in the military.May 11, 2014 at 4:33 am #13305
Be extremely careful who you choose. Family members can be good, but not always. People from your church, but not everyone. People with a military background (ask them to prove it with their DD214 discharge papers). Any combination of the above. These are people with whom you may be trusting your life and the lives of your spouse and kids. OPSEC means Operational Security, which means you only discuss operational matters with those who have a need to know.
Also, as a group, chose a single caliber for handguns and/or rifles. That way everybody has a common ammunition – 9mm or .45 ACP (not both) for their handguns and 5.56mm or 7.62mm (not both) for their rifles.
I swear that I will defend the Constitution against all enemies - foreign and domestic. SargemsbMay 16, 2014 at 11:50 am #13988
In general, I have thought that the more barrels pointing downrange, the more secure a group will be. Given the many complications of managing any group, where is the balance between enough defensive firepower and too many people?
For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!May 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm #13992
The balance is in the other side of survival, food & shelter. You can’t have more people then you can support or your group will turn into desperation like those you fear.May 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm #14015
Good point 1974, it make sense to watch that your group simply not “overgrow” resources and capabilities. Strength is in the numbers, but those numbers simply needs to follow everything else-logistic.
If you do not watch for that, members of the group could simply turn to mob.May 19, 2014 at 5:14 am #14293
One way to start, a canning/gardening group.
That way you all have sufficient food put back to start.
If enough hunt, more food and firearms.
You don’t have to agree about everything, fact is it can help to disagree and get a fresh perspective.
Many years ago, in my first group we had a hippie chick who didn’t like guns. Why was she with us? Because she also understood their usefulness, at least in someone else’s hands. She was also a herbal medicine teacher, medieval living specialist and taught longbow and other primitive weapons construction.
It was mutually beneficial, and a unique perspective that we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.
mutual respect goes a long ways.May 19, 2014 at 7:16 am #14298
We will have a bit more on this in the new survival course. Respect and a code of honor is essential for managing smaller and medium sized groups (less than 150 people).
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")
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