Two Letters Re: Being Charitable When the SHTF

Mr Rawles,
Thank you for taking the time to read my articles and to comment on them. I appreciate the points you raised regarding charity via the church and other local organizations. I was possibly a little unclear and maybe should have stressed more that I was referring to the time during a collapse when getting supplies to organizations in order that they can disperse them could be difficult if not downright dangerous.

I disagree that I am your diametric opposite Mr Rawles. I am neither a thief nor a looter and I agree with your assessment that a collapse would have to be massive before I would consider such measures. Myself or anyone else who undertook to use materials from people’s homes should be prepared to compensate any proven heirs who did arrive at a later time.

The purpose of these articles is to make people think. To remove them from their comfort zone and make them consider how truly vile a total collapse would be. To hopefully make them think about some of the situations they may face that they have never faced before and to force them to consider what they would do in these situations.

If anything I hope my articles make people stop and think about their future, about preparedness, and about making sure that their relative isn’t the ‘old Mrs Jones’ I refer to, and that something good comes out of my writing.

I think we have a responsibility to look at all aspects of a given picture and I believe there are many different ways of doing that. Raising awareness is I believe, why we write for public consumption.

I stand by the articles I have written. They have raised a great deal of debate and questioning on several sites and that was the intention.

Once again thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the articles.

Wishing you all good things for the future. – Chris Carrington

Regarding Chris Carrington’s essay, “Why I won’t be charitable when the SHTF”:

Admittedly, this is an issue I have struggled with and despite trying to adhere to WWJD (“what would Jesus do?”) in all things, whether to give, when to give, who to and how much is something I would have great difficulty deciding on and given my terrible location in terms of population density, the temptation is to take a blanket approach of don’t give as to not put me and my loved ones in detriment (unless we’re bartering, which isn’t charity anyway). While using a third party through the local church is a possibility, the risk of that third party revealing their source whether mistakenly or under duress is too great a risk to OPSEC. What if there are no Third Party volunteers for this position? And would I be comfortable putting this potential hazardous vocation on their shoulders? It is a real quandary.

While family and some very close friends are aware of my interest in preparedness (yet no idea to what extent) I still picture myself begrudging their lack of foresight despite certain warnings I and the general political/economic/cultural landscape has given, and a subsequent argument on the doorstep  with my partner (who’s generosity know no bounds) about “what do we do if supplies run out before society gets back off its knees?”. While they spend on cinema memberships, drinks out, uneconomical vehicles, perpetuation/ of indebtedness  and other whimsy, my personal expenditure is on food and travel to work alone (with the odd date, some fishing bait and a brew with a buddy) everything else goes towards options, shielding us from indebtedness and hurt down the road. So “give until it hurts” sometimes feels like a preparedness oxymoron (not to take away from you sage counsel Captain Rawles, your view to do this is inspirational).
“I know where I’m coming when disaster strikes” – How many times have you possibly heard that when discussing preps? (with trusted folk of course) and how frustrating it can be that they miss the point entirely, that they should prep too and their lack of understanding on the logistical nightmare prepping for one can be, never mind immediate and extended family. A lesson they are going to learn the hardest way imaginable (Praise be that the Lord has given dreams to the least prepared members of collapse, prompting some action). Again, charity is one of the toughest areas of survival I have come across.

I dread to think where my conscience would side in the event of charity cases in TEOTWAWKI, would it be my rational, harsh reality thinking brain which agrees  with Chris Carrington, or my staunch faith in Christ  and belief in Psalm 23?

I think the only solution to this comes down to our best assets when the SHTF, community and knowledge. Surrounding yourself with people who come to understand and more importantly appreciate the survival database you hold in your head (without revealing what you have) and quickly make yourself invaluable to those around you, in turn creating opsec as opposed to compromising it. Those that have read Lucifer’s Hammer may recall the intellectual (septic tank man, I forget the name) who in ill health steered the chemical weapon project that secured the defeat of the antagonist horde, and how valued he was by his cohort due to his knowledge base. This being a prime example of the “give a man a fish/teach a man to fish” principle. The Mongols under Genghis knew to look out for skilled individuals to bring into the fold, the “bad guys” in schumer time may apply the same theorem, if they know what’s good for them. Not a desirable situation but the alternative could be far less palatable.

I’m prepping for me and mine and putting together anonymously authored pamphlets of essential precepts to urban survival and becoming part of the solution (eating perishables first, rules to avoid a public health nightmare, encouraging trade and barter with some etiquette pointers, security tips, steering folks to church for community building purposes, encouraging people to come forth with their skill set, which I will monitor covertly through the church etc) with water purification tablets and instructions attached. This will hopefully begin the networking process necessary to pulling through.

Be the welder, be the medically adept individual, be the mechanic, be the CB radio operator, be the large scale gardener with seed bank, be the tree surgeon/wood cutter,  the security consultant and so on, in other words, make yourself an asset to those around you so your preservation is to their benefit.

Any other “crunch” vocation suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

May the Lord preserve us and judge us fittingly and my prayers go out to my American Brethren. – R.D.  in England

JWR Replies: Mostly for “grid up” circumstances, I made some suggestions on Depression-proof jobs in these SurvivalBlog posts:

What Recovery? Find Yourself a Recoveryless Job

Depression Proof Jobs for a 20 Year Depression – Part 1: The Counter-Cyclical Jobs

Depression Proof Jobs for a 20 Year Depression – Part 2: Developing a Home-Based Business

More About Depression Proof Jobs–Consider the Three Ks


A Second Income–A Key Goal for Family Preparedness