Over the past couple of weeks a reader and someone I correspond with via email wrote a couple of posts for the blog that have had some good comments associated with them regarding ethics and gear. You can find them here if you have not read them:
Both posts are well thought out and comprehensive. If you have not read them you should.
That said, the ethical question of sharing resources was presented, and I am honestly torn as to what I would do. Many say they cannot turn away a child, some say that they would and some say they would not share resources. It is honestly a quandary, because those with no ill intentions I may want to share with. It is really hard to tell at this juncture. Several things are certain, however that everyone should take into consideration. I have a few points below that I would like to make, based on what I have learned over the last year or two that could help you to protect your supplies as well as ration them if you do plan on sharing them with others. Here it goes:
- Do not keep all your food storage in one place in your home. I know it is hard to think about. You are probably saying, “then where the hell do you think I should keep it, I don’t have unlimited space.” None of us do. Hypothetically speaking, here is the logic. Let’s say someone comes to your door… They want food. You feel bad, and you go to the pantry, the person or people who asked force their way into your house, go to the pantry, and it is full… What do you think happens? Food goes out the door. Second scenario. You have your food and food storage in several locations of your home. Psychologically, people associate food with the kitchen. Again, the would be recipient of your food sees your pantry is nearly empty because your food is stored all over your home and cached. Now all you have to deal with are the intruders in your home, and not necessarily all your food going out the door at once. The other scenario is that you are not home, it is broken into and the intruders find your complete backup food supply, and it is quickly taken from your basement…
- If you do share, do not do it in the open. Do not give the person at your door a 5 gallon bucket of food and send them on their way. Seriously. If you do that, what is to say that others did not see someone coming to your door with nothing, and leaving with something, no matter what it is. I don’t care if it is cold out and you gave them a coat. They left with something. Now it looks like you have something, and you may have targeted yourself. I know in my neighborhood in NJ, chances are I am not the only one entering my home or leaving my home when I do. There is ‘generally’ someone else on the street when I am. I have to believe that in the event of a SHTF people will be milling around for a while and then they will leave or go back into their homes to try and figure things out. If I were to share resources with someone, I would tell them to leave, do not come back for some determined period of time, and at that time tell them where to pick up the bucket, bag, or whatever I am leaving for them. Also, do not use more than one drop spot more than once. Period. Used once, now someone knows where the drop is and they may watch it thinking you are going to drop more there for someone else. You do not want them to take someone else’s resources if you do plan on helping others, nor do you want to get jumped or have the others you are helping get jumped in the process…
- If you can, share resources as an anonymous person. i.e. personally, to me, share your resources when no one else knows it is you sharing them if you must share them with others. Maybe you know the church up the street is distributing small amounts of food to those in need. Cache your food, and discreetly make sure the person in charge of the church or the distribution gets a note that they can find your bucket of food or other resources in a bush behind the car near the corner, or something like that. Sharing anonymously will protect you and your family. And you can always direct people to the church or other resource.
These are just a few points I have learned over the past couple of years listening to podcasts, reading books, etc. And, honestly, living in an apartment near the city makes it tough to break things up. Trust me I know. And, it certainly is easier to take an inventory of your preps if they are all in one place.
That said, you can still be a good person if it has hit the fan, you need to just think thoroughly before acting on being that good person, because being a good person when others are desperate can put you and yours in harms way…
Due to the layout and general lack of closet or cupboard space in the townhouse I live in, there’s no way to keep our food storage in one place. Heck, we can’t even keep a normal kitchen’s worth of food in one place! But it’s a semi-temporary living arrangement, and when I move, I won’t consider any place that lacks awesome storage spaces and a reasonable degree of flexibility with it.
I wouldn’t let anyone into my house to get them some food. They can wait on the front step. No need for it.
If you recall “The Colony” season 1 they would lower down a bucket from an upper window to make the trade. Seems a good idea to me.
Another idea to consider: As you upgrade or replace equipment, keep the old if you have the room. It can serve as a back up if you need it, or it can be used to help someone else out.
@RonW Good point Ron!