(Note: This arti­cle is both a stand-alone piece as well as a response to the arti­cle “Who would you bug out with?” that appeared recent­ly on this site.)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if not now, when?” – Rab­bi Hil­lel (Jew­ish schol­ar & the­olo­gian, 30 BCE – 9 AD)

His­to­ry and anthro­pol­o­gy prove that humans sur­vive best in groups (or at least pairs) rather than indi­vid­u­als. Both phys­i­cal­ly and men­tal­ly peo­ple need peo­ple and usu­al­ly sur­vive bet­ter togeth­er than apart. Espe­cial­ly in tough times and dan­ger­ous envi­ron­ments. There are many arti­cles and videos that dis­cuss how to set­up a sur­vival group, some of the issues and fac­tors to con­sid­er, how to orga­nize etc. so I won’t go over the same ground here.

But keep in mind that every per­son in your group (whether you join a group or form your own or just have a cou­ple of peo­ple you would infor­mal­ly seek out to band togeth­er with in an emer­gency) them­selves most like­ly will have asso­ci­a­tions that will come into play if a SHTF or WROL event hap­pens. Even sin­gle, unat­tached peo­ple may form asso­ci­a­tions after the group starts. You can’t tell peo­ple they must remain unin­volved for­ev­er as a require­ment of group mem­ber­ship!

Even with­out attach­ments there are issues of fam­i­ly and rel­a­tives to con­tend with, par­tic­u­lar­ly if these peo­ple live near a group mem­ber. Fam­i­ly and close friends will try to con­tact you and your group’s mem­bers in the event of an emer­gency even if they have no idea you are a prep­per. Or sim­ply show up at your door! (Espe­cial­ly if they know you have some prepa­ra­tions.)

(Update Note: I was about to dive into a long and detailed arti­cle about the often over­looked pit­falls of asso­ci­at­ing with oth­ers in a group when I found the fol­low­ing video from a prep­per call­ing her­self Carrie3570. In her video she accu­rate­ly and con­cise­ly express­es all the prob­lems and issues I was plan­ning to dis­cuss.  So I will let Carrie3570 make the case for me.)

In addi­tion, I will add it is impor­tant to know both the men­tal and social state of peo­ple you asso­ciate with for sur­vival after an SHTF event where nor­mal social order and struc­tures are like­ly expe­ri­enc­ing very wide spread dis­rup­tion and will be a long time (if ever!) restored. That isn’t an easy thing to deter­mine. It takes time. And time isn’t on your side after an SHTF event.

For exam­ple, a cou­ple very close to us who would like­ly try to come over dur­ing an SHTF/WROL event I know has some series issues. The wife is on Pax­il. If she miss­es more than a sin­gle dose or is off the med­i­cine for any peri­od of time she gets “loopy”. Not a pil­lar to rely on. In a post-SHTF or WROL sit­u­a­tion Pax­il (as well as oth­er emo­tion con­trol and anti-depres­sants) will like­ly be hard to get for a very long time.

Fur­ther, they have 3 teenage chil­dren, 2 sons and a daugh­ter. The sons both have issues: One has very bad ADD and is com­plete­ly unre­li­able for even the sim­plest requests (the qunit-essen­tial “slack­er”); The oth­er has anger issues. Though both have always been good with me and my wife (which to me shows part of their issue is with their par­ents but more than just nor­mal teenage rebel­lious­ness) I don’t feel I can trust or rely on them in an emer­gency much less a pos­si­ble life&death sit­u­a­tion.

So what am I to do when they show up at my door with just the clothes on their back expect­ing me and my fam­i­ly to shel­ter, feed, and pro­tect them?

I’ll toss one more issue out: The cost.

Prep­ping isn’t cheap. And isn’t get­ting cheap­er. I have invest­ed (it is an invest­ment, though iron­i­cal­ly one you hope you nev­er have to use!) con­sid­er able amounts in time and effort as well as mon­ey to have the preps that I do.

In order to bet­ter achieve this goal I have cut waaaaay back on oth­er per­son­al activ­i­ties such hob­bies, inter­ests, enter­tain­ments etc. I don’t own an iphone or ipad or a Xbox or PSP etc. We rarely go out to din­ner and even then it’s usu­al­ly to the cor­ner din­er for the Sunday/Yankee Pot Roast spe­cial or after 10pm to Apple Bees for the half priced appe­tiz­ers. I could go on but you get the pic­ture.

Mean­while, the above men­tioned fam­i­ly as well as many oth­ers I know do all have iphones and ipads, pre­mi­um cable chan­nels, fre­quent meals (not just din­ner) out, jet here and there a cou­ple times a year for vaca­tion etc. I do not at all begrudge them their mon­ey nor how they spend it! They earned it hon­est­ly, they can spend it as they wish. That’s lib­er­ty.  And they all have access to the same news and infor­ma­tion sources I do. We do in fact fre­quent­ly dis­cuss cur­rent events, the econ­o­my, busi­ness, world events etc.

The point is they too can do at least some­thing to make some lev­el of prepa­ra­tion for a dis­as­ter but [appar­ent­ly] choose not to, instead choos­ing more enter­tain­ing out­lets for their efforts and resources.

It’s their choice.

But I don’t have to be their safe­ty net. I too would like to do many of those things but instead choose to for­go some plea­sures now for the poten­tial of greater safe­ty lat­er. They can do if it means that much to them.

Watch the video and post your thoughts. There’s no wrong answer, just more food for thought.


PS – After writ­ing this arti­cle the fol­low­ing video was post­ed as a reply to the one from Carrie3570. It’s a lit­tle crass and some will say it’s cold but I think it is the best response video on the sub­ject I have yet found. Please watch it.



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