Nov 182013

There comes a time during your preps that your thoughts turn to the idea of creating or joining a prepper group. For most people, their idea of a prepper group is a band of people with varying talents, who group together to form a tight knit, well armed, well informed and prepared unit for survival.

The reality though is that many prepper groups are based on the family. Usually a patriarch (or matriarch) will gather close family members to discuss prepping and things will grow from there. Your basic family structure already includes those you trust, those you know and a ‘pecking order’. You have an advantage over any group that forms from friends, workmates or total strangers as you already know who your strongest and weakest links are and you’ve lived with these people your whole life – there are no real surprises in store for you.

The only problems that may appear on the horizon is with those family members who are not interested (for now) in prepping or those family members who wish to introduce people from outside the family into the prepper group. You will need to decide (and discuss) early on whether those in the family who don’t wish to prep will benefit from your preps when the time comes and whether people outside the immediate family can join your group.

Obviously there will be skill sets that most families just don’t have. It’s easy enough to have family members trained in first aid, but a real doctor would be an asset to any prepper group. You might be capable of growing a small vegetable garden but a farmer has skills you could only guess at, usually taught through generations of their family. So it would be prudent to accept people into your group who have skills that will benefit the entire group. The problem is assessing who to accept.

Some groups create a charter that defines the responsibilities of group members and lays things out in black and white. This can range from basic membership requirements (age, suitability, training etc), religious and political beliefs*, amount and type of stores each member should have down to the sexual orientation of group members*. At the very least having a charter can stop future arguments along the lines of “you never said I had to have an AR type rifle” or “nobody mentioned I needed to have CERT training prior to joining”. [* Personally, I think a prepper is a prepper and that religion, politics and sexual orientation should take a back seat to the priority of surviving. Does it make sense to turn down someone with valuable skills simply because you don’t go to the same church, worship the same God or back the same political party? Survival is the end game here and prejudices will only hinder you achieving that goal. ]

The internet is a tool that can help you find others. It’s also a tool that can be used against you. Anyone can create a persona, create a back story and tell you how skilled they are – but who do you trust?

I would never accept anyone into a prepper group who I hadn’t met face to face. I would never give them more information than a specially generated email address with a service like gmail. I would need to spend some time with that person to evaluate just what makes them tick. Initially I would meet them (in company) at a public place like a restaurant. This would be followed by something like a few group camping trips (and with not all the group – best to have a few faces they don’t know) which would give you an opportunity to see what that person is like. Many groups also require that anyone wanting to join their group submit to a background check. I would not accept anyone into the group without many months of some basic social contact with them first. The last thing you need to bring into a prepper group is an unknown quantity.

If you are alone in the world or can’t (for whatever reason) have a family based prepper group, you can either elect to go it alone or to join or start a group. Going it alone simplifies things greatly, but the lone wolf approach also means you have no support, no backup and may find yourself alone in a very hostile world.

If you do decide to join a group however, it might be best to go the lone wolf route first, as you can then prove to yourself (and any prospective group recruiter) that you have the means and attitude to be a prepper of some worth. Many groups will require that you meet basic levels of preparedness before they will even agree to talk to you. This might be anything from having 6 months to a full years supply of food; or having undertaken first responder training; having firearms, ammo and the training to use them well etc. It varies from group to group, but most groups do have some sort of requirements.
a site for making contact with other preppers (joining groups, forming groups).

preppergroups forum
a forum where you can discuss topics with other preppers from around the nation and around the world.

a means of making contact with me on facebook.

prepper links
a growing list of sites on prepping, mostly blogs or forums.

Preppers are individuals or groups who are actively preparing for emergencies, including possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales from local to international. Preppers often acquire emergency medical and self-defense training, stockpile food and water, prepare to become self-sufficient, some build structures (e.g., a bug out location or an underground shelter) that may help them survive a catastrophe. [prepping books]