I’ve been an Emergency Prepper/Survivalist for many years. I’ve participated and am a member in a number of various forums on preparedness. I go back to the old BBS days. I work with my community Emergency Management in the city I work for and county I live in. I am active on various online communities today. I’ve a close knit group of friends that are like minded and we have formed a close bond. This has taken much time, energy, discussion, introspection and prayer. This was necessary for me to learn and earn the trust and faith needed to form the friendships that a close knit group needs in order to be an effective group or team.
Many in the preparedness community are well acquainted with the concepts of a Mag Group or the Team concept. In case you are not familiar with these term let’s do a short re-cap of these concepts. First is a Mutual Assistance Group (MAG) or as it is sometimes referred to a Mutual Aid Group. To put it in the simplest terms it is a group of like-minded individuals who have agreed to come together in a time of need for mutual benefit. The range and scope of a mutual aid group can be as simple as an agreement between like-minded folks are as complex and diverse as a signed agreement of what is expected in the amount of support or services that each individual is responsible for.
There is a good article listed in the SurvivalBlog archives that goes into better details.
As an example I’ll share with you a mutual aid agreement with myself in one of my friends who lives a few hundred miles away. We agreed should it become untenable to stay in our home retreat and it was necessary to leave for safer ground that we each were welcome at the others area of operations (AO). We made a formal written agreement of what was expected of us to be welcomed at each other’s retreat. This did require some pre-positioning of food and supplies with the remainder being carried with us when we arrive. This is a simple formal Mutual Aid Agreement between trusted like-minded people.
Next we should touch on the Formal Team concept. There have been many articles written on this subject alone. Including but not limited to building a team, training a team, the psychology of living together as a team. In short a formal team is a group of like-minded individuals who have come together for the purpose of mutual survival. It’s generally in a team’s best interest to have a collection of individuals whose skills offset and complement each other and provide the necessary professions to be a viable and vibrant group. Generally a formal agreement is made by all individuals concerning a basic ticket list (supplies, goods, firearms, fuel, etc.) that is expected to be carried by each individual should the team have to fort up. Teams generally have a set bug out plan and location destination prearranged. These are just a few of the factors that go into the formal team concept.
Both the MAG and the Formal Team have their own sets of pros and cons it is not this writer’s intention to try and sway anyone in either direction.
But beware, all things are not always as it seems when it comes to the Preparedness Community!
Through the years I’ve engaged many folks who seemed to be of a like mind. Some turned out to be too militant, others to passive or totally misguided. But the ones I wish to talk about are the Prepping Deceivers!
They are the ones who can truly Talk the Talk but unfortunately are not walking the walk. In my experience I truly don’t believe they mean harm in and of themselves. They know all the key words: Preparedness items, Survival gear, Guns and Ammo, Medicines, Food storage, Alternative energy, Security issues, the list is endless. They may be very educated or be prior military or a medical specialist just about any walk of life. They are extremely personable and usually willing to lend a hand at a moment’s notice. They may train or be trainers within a group. Most of these types of people seem to truly live the life of deeds not words.
I’ve found that an alarming number of them just are not Walking the Walk in their own personal lives, just Talking the Talk. You can already see the harm that can be found in such folks. Your OPSEC discipline is broken and the possibility of any material help for themselves will never be forth coming and may even become a burden or possible a hazard for you or others.
Before you enter into a MAG or Team arrangement with another be sure of not only their good intentions, but their good preparedness as well. This involves a mutual inspection of each other’s preps and supplies. Of course I’m assuming you already decided you could live with the individuals in a close high stress situation on a daily basis and their skills will be helpful to mutual survival. – Mike M.