This is the sequel to my submission published 9/11/15. I am temped to follow in the steps of Larry Niven’s unfinished short story in which he said, “There are some things man was not meant to know.”, and simply write “I should’ve learned.” However, that won’t help you. So, let me expound.
Those You Think Most Likely To Become Prep Allies Probably Won’t
My piece of three years ago basically concluded, with some level of frustration, that the people you think are most likely to become your prep allies probably won’t. So save yourself the disappointment and stop trying to farm your way to a resilient team. (Kit Perez explains this with greater eloquence in her piece over at American Partisan1.) Here is my sad, unlearned version.
New Neighbors Met in New Town
About 18 months ago my wife and I moved to a new town and began to meet new neighbors. Some were met through the local Oath Keepers chapter, some at church, and some while walking our dog. Our neighborhood is fairly remote, somewhat off-grid and adjacent to a national forest. As chit-chat usually goes, the “Where did you come from?” and “What are your politics?” questions quickly down-selected those we were willing to have over for dinner.
We’re not ones to talk about the Kardashians over a meal (or over anything else), so the topics hovered around politics, economics, and eventually settled on the lack of resiliency in our current way of life. I brought up books like One Second After and A Failure of Civility to illustrate both our dependence on electricity and the thin veneer of politeness in society. Here’s where the story goes bad.
The 90% Likely Reply
As I then usually suggest when given the opportunity, “You should really put up some water and food to ride through a disruption. It will give you peace of mind.” Within one or two sigmas, the reply is 90% likely to be “Oh, we don’t know what to do.”
Right here is where I always make the mistake of offering to help with suggestions. If I were working off a telemarketing flowchart at a desk in Mumbai, there would be a fat arrow at this point to a box containing the words “Hang up now!” But, like I said before, I never seem to learn my lesson.
The following back and forth then consists of me offering practical suggestions with their replies best categorized as inane things like “I need to clean the garage first”, ”Company is coming”, ”The dogs need a bath”, et cetera. Now, that’s fine. When faced with this, I have learned to shake the dust off my boots and move on down the road.
In This One Case, My Blood Went Cold
However, in this one case, my non-believing neighbors started pretending as though they were somehow prepared and chose to blab to other neighbors about their non-existent supplies. Furthermore, they did all of this while implicating me as the Architect of Neighborhood Preparedness. They supposedly made me out like Joseph, being willing to open Pharaoh’s warehouses of grain should things go pear shaped. I discovered this one evening while chatting with a new neighbor who had just moved in and told me, “So I hear you have a lot of water and food put up. That’s interesting.” Yes, at that moment, my blood went cold.
Complete Destruction of Our OPSEC
My wife and I are now faced with a complete destruction of our OPSEC and the inevitable choices on the horizon, some of which involve pointing the business end of a firearm at people to protect our own provisions when they come around. Our current thinking is that we will just move to a new, undisclosed location to escape our own well intended but foolish failure of keeping our lips zipped.
What Should You Learn?
What should you learn from our mistake? First, be obtuse when discussing your own preparedness position. You may even want to toss out a straw man like “Have you heard of those people who store up water and food? What a bunch of maroons!”, just to see what the response is. Second, let friendships slowly develop before you reveal your secrets. Measure that time in jars of mustard not sticks of butter. Third, and most important, keep reminding yourself that you cannot help anyone that doesn’t outright ask you for advice.
Skin In the Game
The people around you have to realize they have skin in the game or they will be lining up to take some of your skin. Don’t screw up like we did. It is better to not even be openly part of the game.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 79 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.
Round 79 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.