In the last few columns, we’ve been covering the importance of community in preparedness. For this purpose, we created a mythical community called the Yakima Narrows, which is taking steps to strengthen and solidify ties with its members.
A few weeks ago, I received an email from a regular reader. He asked me a question that certainly relates to the “community” aspects of prepping that I’m so strongly promoting. Below are the pertinent parts of that email:
I’m in the process of escaping the PDRK (People’s Demokratische Republik Kalivornja) and relocating to the “Northwest.” … I am concerned about finding a like-minded “community” in the area I will be relocating. … Can you address in one of your columns on “community” how to go about finding the members of “The Narrows” when one is new to an area?
It’s a very good question, and I told my correspondent that I’d get to answering it after I wrapped up the series on the Yakima Narrows. Since we’ve reached that point, it’s time to make good on my promise.
Locating prepper communities isn’t always easy. But it’s a lot easier now – thanks to the Internet – than it was a couple of decades ago when I moved to my new compound. The mainstreaming of the “self-dependence” movement means there are a lot more options available for finding like-minded individuals and groups. This includes websites like:
Prepper Groups PrepperLink Preppers Meetup
These online websites can be used to find individuals and groups ranging the prepper gamut from extreme leftists to right-wing juntas. Fortunately, there are also a lot of “normal” self-dependence types as well – many of whom are looking for like-minded, freedom-loving individuals and families to add to their community strength.
Another online way to locate people or groups in a given area is to look up prepper blogs (of which there are hundreds) written by folks who live near your intended destination. Read their stuff, including their archives. They may mention local prepper organizations and events or classes and seminars that have been given there. You can also try writing to the blog authors if they give out a contact email or leave a post in their comment section. Explain that you’re thinking about (or definitely are) moving to their region and you’d like to ask them if there are any prepper meet-ups or organizations nearby. Do NOT ask if you can drop by and see them – at least, not if you actually want a reply.
Look for prepper conventions and self-sufficiency expos in your target area. It seems like just about everywhere has one now. Talk to people there. Find folks that live in your vicinity and ask them questions about gardening or hunting or regulatory hurdles. Get your face recognized.
Join a local church, a fraternal association, a shooting club or any other group that will likely be a home to fellow preppers.
There are a couple of things you should know before you begin hunting the elusive prepper. Self-dependent groups are looking to increase their strength. If you’re interested in joining your efforts with theirs, you have to be able to present an existing prepper community with attractive and real reasons that they should accept you. Some of the items you’ll need to demonstrate for any real and well-established group can include:
A current ability for self-support. If you can’t feed and clothe yourself, why should they want the responsibility to do it for you? A track record of emotional and financial stability. Drama Queens and those uncertain of their daily gender won’t be invited to the party. Neither will those without gainful employment or steady income. Personal supplies or the economic means to acquire those items quickly. If you already have a year’s supply of food, tools, equipment and means of self-defense, well then boo-yah! But if you don’t, then put aside the money you’ll need to buy these items and make those purchases the moment you land in your new digs. There’s no reason to have to move a ton of wheat, but don’t procrastinate. A lack of criminal record. I don’t mean a parking ticket or a juvenile indiscretion, but be assured, a serious prepper organization will be checking your record, especially because the Internet makes it so easy and cheap to do so these days. Expertise and skills in needed areas of self-sufficiency. This is your golden ticket. There are a lot of skill sets that will cause a prepper group to give you a thumbs up. Got time before you make your move? Take classes in wilderness medicine and get a certificate. I’ve yet to find a community that doesn’t want more saw-bones. Purchase and learn how to operate ham radios (with or without a license). Gardening, farming, preserving food, animal husbandry, butchering, mechanical or carpentry skills – these are all things you should be learning if you’re planning to move rural anyway. Be honest. If the only hunting you’ve done is knocking over the metal ducks at the county fair, don’t claim to be a crack shot. It seems like everyone pads their résumés these days, but you’re not applying for a job here, you’re asking to be accepted as an equal by a bunch of real experts in self-sufficiency; and if you’re caught in one little white lie, you won’t be called back. Be humble. I once moved from one rural location to another. A relative of mine had moved to the same area after a couple of years’ detour in a big city. When I got where I was going, my relative told me that I’d be sorry I moved because everyone in my new location was standoffish and unfriendly. He was completely wrong about that, but only because I didn’t come on like a “city sophisticate” gracing the rubes with my presence. Religious beliefs compatible with the community. Some prepper communities insist their members attend the same church, while others are more relaxed. But I’ve yet to see a successful community without a shared spiritual philosophy. If you’re a Satanist, you’re simply not going to be welcomed by a godly group. Physical health. Age is less important than you’d think … as long as you can pull your weight. I’ve never seen anyone kicked out of a prepper community due to failing health – we take care of our own. But getting into such a group while dragging around an oxygen tank is problematic.
From your end, it’s best to be careful out there, especially on the Internet. Approach any new group with caution and expectations.
If any group tells you there’s an application fee, drop them. Likewise if you have to buy in or indenture yourself to the group, pass it by. Avoid the “principalities,” meaning those groups based on personality cults. There are natural leaders in any group, of course, but being a leader and being worthy of the name (see Obama) are not the same. You’re not a servant, you’re a confederate.
At the same time, nobody comes into a successful prepper community with a full share of ownership. There’s always a period where you’re being judged, and that’s both appropriate and natural. But never ever ever put your food, weapons, tools, etc. into a common pool. Be a free-holder, not a place-holder … or a serf. Avoid communes like the plague they are.
Finally, if you’re going to make that move with a goal of increasing your own self-sufficiency, it’s better to be a prepper group of one than it is to not prep at all. Then build your own group. I’ve never joined an existing prepper community, but others have joined mine.
So, safe journey … and get prepared.
-------------------- "The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861 Posts: 15159 | From: A 059 Btn 16 FF MSC | Registered: Oct 2001
In the group I'm in, we have all known each other for decades, and we're not looking for new members. I'm just not wild about forming a community with a bunch of strangers, no matter how straight up they may seem. Remember what happened to Strat and Breacher? The potential for fraud and outright theft is just too great.
There are a lot of communes out there. Pat Mclene is right, don't get mixed up with them. Communes tend to fall apart on their own, without any help. And when things get tough, it gets worse. You are allowing yourself to be fixed in place - the one thing you should never do. The one advantage of joining a group is to expand your options, not reduce them. If you're buying into some sort of real estate deal, get the heck out.
Onward and upward, airforce
Posts: 17057 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002