Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Caljack. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.
You were right! The SHTF event you have been preparing for has happened and you and your family are ready. Your bug-out bags are packed; your weapons are locked and loaded and you have trained your family for this moment, you have a plan and you’re putting it into operation.
Then it happens, the one thing that you didn’t foresee.
You are suddenly face to face with someone else, blood races through your body as the adrenaline kicks in….your family frozen in place behind you…arm straightened out in front of you, your finger on the trigger cramping up with the tension of the moment.
A lifetime flashes by in a blink of an eye.
Then the sound of the click breaks the silences as you remove your finger off the trigger and your thumb flips up the safety.
The person or people in front of you are not a danger they are just PWBs’ – Prepper wannabes
They are scared and it’s obvious they aren’t prepared for the SHTF event you are going through. It is like suddenly coming across someone in a lake, struggling in deep water, over their heads and panicking. What do you do? Let them drown? Let them die? Your wife and kids are looking to you for the answer. Perhaps there are others in your group, but you’re a take charge type of person. You made the decisions during your family’s training and now, you are suddenly facing the one thing you or your group didn’t really plan for.
Suddenly you find yourself accepting them, suddenly; it is not just about being prepared or about just having to take care of your family or your group. You’re the leader, you’re the Sergeant of your growing group. You now have a number of unknown survivors, with your group or do you? Did you plan for this? Should you have planned for this?
If you were to ask 1,000 different preppers, it is safe to say that you would get about that many different answers. Yet it could very well happen to you.
There are many survival articles that talk about being the gray man, keeping a low profile or the need to be prepared for the gangs or marauders that will be out and about in a SHTF situation. This is a different scenario and yet is more likely to happen as people form groups for survival and safety. This applies to either staying in place or bugging out. So let’s discuss these scenarios for a moment:
Staying in place:
In most places within the United States, homes are built close together within subdivisions. Most of us do not know our neighbors or at least not well enough to suddenly bet our life or the lives of our families on them. Yet, there is safety in numbers and there are many articles that detail the necessity of building a Prepper group within your neighborhood, so I won’t repeat that here.
However, no matter how hard you try, not everyone in your group and especially not everyone in your neighborhood, will want to be prepared, or train themselves and/or their families to the level required when SHTF is suddenly thrust upon them.
So, what is the best way to deal with this situation?
First: If your part of a group, hopefully you have discussed this issue. If your group plans on digging in and protecting your homes, you most likely have some background on the PWBs. You can still benefit from accepting them. There are things that they can do.
But remember that these PWB’s are most likely scared to death and some maybe close to panic. Some may not listen to reason. It will be your job to calm them, guide them, reassure them and even praise them to help stabilize their anxieties. If not, instead of being helpful they may become a threat that you may have to deal with later.
Security: be prepared to brief them on the current situation and what will be required of them. Team them up with one of your trained personnel guarding the access points to your neighborhood. Are there any with weapons training? Prior military or police experience. Are any doctors, nurses, day care workers?
Levels of confidence: While you will need to brief them, be sure that all your trained personnel knows to limit discussing your plans, where you keep weapons, additional supplies, bug out locations and routes with them. In short, provide them enough information for them to perform the duties assigned. Make them feel that they are part of the group, but keep your plans to yourself.
Food rationing: If your plans call for keeping all the food in a central location. Have them collect food, water and any other items from their homes and bring it to that location. Keep a record, or mark it with their names. While rationing will or may be required, seeing their names mixed in with others from the group gives them a sense of belonging.
Keep them busy: Select someone in your group to assist them in creating a bug out bag for each member of the family. Getting into their homes, building up a rapport as your team member guides them also gives you a chance to collect more information about them. That information could be vital if you have to suddenly bug out.
Weapons: Hopefully, some may have them. But, once again, what training have they had? When were they last used? Do you have someone in your group or can you assign someone, to inspect the weapons? Do they need cleaning? Do they have ammo and if so how much? Take the time to drill them on weapons safety. Create a hands on proficiency test. Be sure what you’re dealing with before you place a weapon in their hands.
Suddenly having untrained personnel with you or worst collecting them along the way can quickly place you and your group in a life threatening situation. I’m sure there are many preppers out there saying that they would not collect PWBs or survivors that managed cross their path. After all, your supplies are limited and the more people in your group the more your group will stand out and perhaps become a target.
But, let’s look at the reality. Recently, up in Canada, A huge forest fire displaced thousands of residents. The majority of the residents were not prepared and escaped with just the clothes on their back. I’m sure there were some that were prepared and suddenly found themselves surrounded by a sea of escapees. Can you honestly say that you would walk past a hungry and scared child? A most likely SHTF situation that we could encounter will be due to Mother Nature, Fire, Flood, Snow Storm, Earthquake, etc. Your plans should be flexible enough to adjust to the situation that surrounds you.
So allowing for adjustments based on your location, your means of travel, the actual situation that forced you to bug out go back to the various sub topics listed under staying in place and ask yourself how they apply to this situation, how they need to be modified.
You must also know when to say no and deal with the fall out from that decision-both externally and internally.
Sergeant! What do we do with these?
What will be your answer?