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There is a disaster coming and you have a decision to make: Is it better to live like a rat in a hole (a bunker) or to network with your neighbors and organize your local area of operation? Sure, it’s a loaded question but it brings up an interesting point: That even the lone wolf can’t survive long by himself. We are social pack animals by nature and the stronger we make our local “pack” the better our chances of survival.
I’d rather have a local neighborhood of 400 organized, motivated individuals defending an area and watching each other’s back than to go it alone in a ten foot corrugated pipe buried in the middle of nowhere. And if we agree on this point, then it makes perfect sense to look at the Green Berets for inspiration.
The Green Berets are the U.S. Special Forces elite commandos who get dropped behind enemy lines and are tasked with organizing the local or indigenous population toward a specific goal. They are smart, motivated and trained in tactics that make them extreme force multipliers. This should be your goal as a prepper, because surviving alone is too big of a job. The days of “Liver Eatin’” Johnson, where a mountain man could live in the back country for years at a time, wasn’t even a high survivability endeavor back in the 1800′s. The odds that one man or even a small family can, “face it alone” are very slim. Sure, you might get lucky and pull it off, but personally I prefer to play the odds. And if we look at history, the odds on survival as part of a community are much greater than going it alone– which is why communities formed in the first place.
In a disaster scenario where there is No Rule Of Law (sidenote: See NutNFancy’s excellent Youtube video on WROL: Without Rule Of Law) there will be a power vacuum. People will be scared and afraid and this is where we as preppers need to be ready to step up and provide leadership. People will only huddle in their homes for so long and if an organizational structure isn’t set up quickly to utilize your neighborhood’s strengths and resources, then you may lose them forever.
First Things First
One of the first things that a Green Beret unit will do when deployed to an area is to set up an operational base in friendly territory that serves as both an operational and administrative focal point. The operational base is used for:
Planning and Direction of Operations
Briefing and Staging
Liason and Coordination
Can you imagine setting up an operational base similar to what the Green Berets use by organizing your neighbors– perhaps at a local elementary school– and how it could be an asset in helping your community get through a Without Rule Of Law scenario?
Let’s compare two scenarios contrasting how modeling the Green Berets would work out much better for you and your family than modeling the typical character as portrayed on the Doomsday Preppers TV show:
A Tale Of Two Preppers
Timmy The Tool: Timmy has modeled his prepper plans in a similar manner to what he’s seen on the TV shows, including a buried corrugated pipe bunker that he’s stocked with two years worth of food for himself, his wife and his two kids, Timmy Jr. (9) and Susie (4).
Timmy lives in a non-descript suburban neighborhood in Bacon, Georgia. He doesn’t socialize or interact with any of his neighbors and the one’s who have made an effort to get to know him report that he is somewhat anti-social and odd.
When the balloon goes up, Timmy packs his wife and kids into his Chevy Suburban and gets on the road toward their buried bunker in the middle of nowhere. The trip is uneventful and Timmy hides his Suburban under a camouflage net and then ushers his family into the bunker.
Everything seems to be going swell the first night. But after seven days of living underground in a 10 foot by 40 foot bunker the kids won’t stop fighting and Timmy’s wife Helen is starting to show signs of emotional strain from being cooped up for so long without outside social interaction.
By Week 2 the radio stops working and Timmy can’t find where he put the backup radio. He’s now got a short temper and blames his wife, who’s close to the end of her fuse and can’t stop crying. Timmy’s daughter, on the other hand, has stopped communicating and their son spends most of his time escaping into books and has developed a strange cough. His wife is now begging Timmy to let them return to their home in the ‘burbs. But Timmy knows they must stay in the bunker in order to survive. It’s the only way at this point.
Two more weeks into the Crunch and Timmy’s wife has had enough. The boy is virulently sick and the antibiotics that Timmy had stored don’t seem to be helping. Their daughter has stopped eating and Timmy’s wife finally gives him an ultimatum: She’s taking the kids and returning to their home in the suburbs with or without him. Timmy weighs his options and decides that he can’t let her and the kids venture back to their house unprotected so he grudgingly packs their Chevy Suburban for the drive home. Or what’s left of their home. Looters have destroyed their neighborhood and most of the houses have burned to the ground because nobody organized the neighborhood into a defensive force that could have prevented the looting. Unfortunately, Timmy and his family will never make it home to see the wreckage because the highways are either closed or have been converted into ambush “kill zones” by marauding gangs before the military can restore order.
Ralph The Realist has adopted a different approach based on what he learned in the military as a Green Beret. Instead of withdrawing from his community he has taken proactive steps to deal with a “No Rule Of Law” scenario. Ralph is good friends with both the president of the neighborhood HOA and the principal of the nearby elementary school. Along with his wife and a couple of other friends of a similar mindset they have formed a prepper group and had begun taking action before the Crunch. Including storing ten 55-gallon drums of rice, wheat, beans and pasta in an unused storage shed at the local elementary school.
When news of rioting and societal breakdown begins to reach maximum velocity, Ralph and his group each begin to reach out to other friends and neighbors who – to no one’s surprise – are now very concerned about the current state of affairs, too. Many are open to taking action but nobody has a plan… except for Ralph and his group.
After the power grid goes down, Ralph’s prepper buddy, the president of the HOA, calls a neighborhood meeting and they discover that many of their neighbors have excellent skills that will help them survive the Crunch: One is a trauma nurse. Another is a welder. The guy down the street is a doctor and an avid hunter and there are several retired cops who live one block over.
Ralph asks for volunteers to form a neighborhood watch and almost everybody volunteers. They makes plans to barricade access to the neighborhood using old cars and RVs and set up a defensive perimeter. With roughly 150 families in their neighborhood there are more than enough adults with firearms experience to stand watch in shifts.
When Ralph’s son develops a strange cough, his wife takes her rifle and walks to the doctor’s house, a block over. She does not have to worry about leaving her house unattended since the “neighborhood watch on steriods” (hat tip: Rawles) is keeping the riff-raff out. The doctor correctly diagnoses her son’s cough and prescribes the right antibiotic. She then leaves her daughter to play with the doctor’s daughter for a few hours. The little one is coping with the Crunch as if it was a free day home from school: Fun!
After a week, Ralph’s son is feeling much better. His wife is happy and she has formed a gardening club with some of the other women on her block.
Three weeks later, Ralph receives word that things are still pretty crazy outside of their neighborhood. They’ve had a couple of gun fights when looters tried to gain access to their neighborhood but nobody was hurt. Word quickly spreads among the undesirables to leave Ralph’s neighborhood alone.
Everyone is coping reasonably well when a expedition group from another neighborhood proposes a trade of fish antibiotics (which can be used by humans) for some extra ammunition. The doctor advises Ralph that it would be a good trade, and since Ralph’s neighbor has a reloading press in his garage, they’re in no fear of running low on ammunition.
After another month, the military is finally able to get things under control and rule of law is restored.
A tale of two preppers: One a complete failure for adopting an ill-thought Lone Wolf strategy and the other successful after organizing his local neighborhood to withstand the perils of a Without Rule Of Law scenario.
About the Author: Sobert Gummer is the author of Sobert Gummer’s Survival Prepping For Hard Times web site. He has lived and traveled to some of the most dangerous cities in the world and has recently returned from living in South America where he fought off a home invasion with nothing more than a machete, married an Indian woman and had his head held over a fire by a Costa Rican witch doctor. He’s now back in the United States and prepping earnestly for an uncertain future while praying for the best. His latest book, Dogs For Preppers is now available at Amazon.com for your Kindle or Kindle app.