Letter Re: Record Keeping for TEOTWAWKI

Mr. Rawles,
Many have written on this topic and many more have mused on it. Some have even written on what I thought about, but revisiting topics and ideas allows for fresh perspective and ideas to surface and breath.
1. How Many People? – Does it take a Village?: ‘Billary’ references aside, what is the ideal size for a group of people after the Schumer hits? So many people really buy into the image of the rugged, self
sufficient individual. However, if we isolate ourselves, does not that make us easier targets in the long run? Small numbers of people can only do so much.
There are very few true ‘renaissance’ men today. A larger group of people creates a better pool of skill and skill potential to draw from. Also, security concerns can be less burdensome with a larger work
force to draw from. How many people have dental skill, especially in less than desirable conditions? Midwife skills? Children will be born, especially if the scenario goes on from more than one year. Trying to help a mother give birth while reading how to do it for the first time may not be a good thing. How many skills and how much practical knowledge do you really possess for yourself? How about members of your extended family? My maternal grandfather is a retired farmer and I remember watching him improvise and fix just about anything that he had in order to make it work, while at the same time costing him little to nothing.
Granted with larger groups of people come greater issues and problems. Sanitation, food storage and supply, clothing (especially shoes) and list goes on and on. Studying history can give us a sense of just
what size of population you need to survive, although every situation and our reaction to it will be different.
2. Records and Record-Keeping: One of the very unfortunate side effects of any conflict throughout human history has been the loss of knowledge – both in human experience and in the archived form. Since the trend is away from actual hardcopy volumes and to the electronic form, the risk to loss of knowledge is greater in a post-EMP world. Granted, today the sheer volume of printed material is greater than in the past, however, that paper will still burn just as easy as it has in the past.
So, what kind of records should we keep and in what form. At some point in the future the availability of some sort of records could be of immense value. Journals, diaries, birth records, death records, and
wedding records, especially in a multi-generational situation, can help establish a semblance of ‘proper’ civilization.
Oral history and traditions served many cultures well for countless generations. However, one must remember that especially in oral history, the memorization cannot be a trivial task. It is vital that the
training be just as seriously undertaken as any survival training. Both native American tribes and the Druids trained for years for such an undertaking as this.
Especially in the dreaded multi-generational scenarios, what kind of stories will be passed down from parents/grandparents to children/grandchildren, some 50, 100, 200, 500, or even 1,000 years later? Stories could be told of the magical metal stick “Evie” that could strike a man down over 1,000 paces away. It does fire the imagination. – Clayton S.