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Letter Re: A Tactical Plan for Surviving Major Disaster in the North American Suburbs, by A.M.

While much of the information suggested is useful, I take strong exception to a few ideals that reared their ugly head. The idea of forcing a less prepared neighbor to take menial tasks and give up what they do have contradicts my sense of morals. If they want to join, offer them conditions under which they join, and upon fulfillment of this commitment they are equal partners. To basically treat them like servants is unacceptable. You cannot save everyone; you will have to make hard decisions. If you take someone into your group that does not contribute, that’s on you. If they have nothing to offer, why take them in? Offer them some charity, if you are able, and send them on their way.

The reference to “those who have the guns make the rules” and the author’s preference to this way of thinking makes me wonder about their own motivations. Add to this the idea of mandatory “pooling” of food and you have a situation very similar to what many fear will happen in FEMA or other government camps.

The worst yet is the references about raiding houses and specifically “engage in active warfare with other communities” in order to acquire more food. This is foolish, immoral, and you run the risk of raiding a neighboring community that isn’t going to tolerate it and they shoot your looting band of thieves. Stock your own pantry to provide for you and yours; do not covet thy neighbor’s anything, and remember that your “rule by the gun” only lasts until a better shooter comes along.

These are just my thoughts; take them for what you will. – D.H.

Hugh Responds: I think you have misunderstood some aspects of this article. The point of assigning “menial” tasks is to allow the person to have some “buy in” to the group. If they came in less prepared than others, they will be living off of the largess of the others. They should feel that they can pull their own weight and working off the lack of supplies is certainly viable and biblical. As the body of Christ, we contribute with different gifts that are all valued. As Americans, we should also know the history by which some of our ancestors made it to our shores– endentured servanthood. Promising to work in menial tasks for a period of time is not immoral, especially if it is a means for improving the liklihood you and your family have a future tomorrow and the next day. I don’t think the author was even suggesting something nearly as severe as endentured servanthood but merely that the more menial tasks would be initially handled by those who contributed fewer or less valued goods. It seems simple that you all must make contribution in various forms of labor and materials.

The author did not suggest that you should consider raiding other people or houses for food. In fact, Survivalblog takes a strong moral stance on that issue. The point being made was that there will be more competition for fewer resources and you may need to be prepared to defend whatever resource you have or are aquiring. While one should not seek out active warefare with another community, you certainly need to consider being able to deal with it, should it occur. If you have resources, someone will certainly want them and you may be required to defend them. I believe the author was saying that as you must venture further out away from your base to collect wild resources (game/fruit/greens/roots), you take greater risks (like ice fishing) and must be prepared to defend yourself and your resources as the resources become more scarce, in demand, and critical for survival. When you have other trees to pick, you may choose to turn around when you see others at your usual tree. If you spot a lone tree with fruit and your children haven’t eaten for weeks and are dying of starvation, you might risk a fight with others in these desperate circumstances.

While it may be initially offensive to “pool resources”, the effect of someone in your group eating well while someone else in the group is starving will certainly be bad. This is why you need to be careful about who you include in your group. Your group should consist of people with similar values, morals, and faith as you. As always, your morals and ethics should demand that the strong defend the weak. Again, the author was not writing about a mandatory neighborhood takeover but a plan that he had developed with other prepper neighbors. He had a plan, which is something most communities don’t have.