Prepping – Strength in Numbers
This is the first in of a series of articles on disaster preparedness.
During the last few years, I’ve had a number of dreams that seem to indicate the approach of troubling times. Years before I started having these dreams, while working as a firefighter, I began learning about disaster preparedness. In light of these two things, it seemed good to put in writing some of what I’ve learned along the way. These essays will cover a number of topics that have to do with disaster preparedness from a kingdom perspective. My wife and I have been making preparations for a few years now. During that time, one thing that’s been on our minds constantly is the idea of community.
While some people view preparedness as an activity that is best done alone, there are reasons why it may be wise to consider prepping with friends. In fact, with the growing popularity of prepping, it’s likely that some of your friends are prepping already without your knowledge.
One of the major considerations for survival in times of chaos is maintaining some type of community. In the immediate aftermath of a crisis, it’s possible to survive on your own for a while, but as time goes on, your needs grow and the requirement for things you don’t have becomes more pressing. The things that brings stability to society in times of peace are shared values and a mutual sense of purpose. Whether we know it or not – our individual safety is a result of our willingness to cooperate with others for our mutual benefit.
When society breaks down, it happens because collectively, we lose our sense of community. We begin to think and act as individuals who only want to have our needs met. Lawlessness and chaos result from a collective unwillingness to continue cooperating with others. So if the root cause of societal chaos is the abandonment of cooperation, the solution is to maintain (or re-establish) cooperation with a group.
There are a couple of general approaches to survival planning. One way is to plan as if you’re not going to be part of a community during a crisis. As a lone prepper, your goal is to preserve only you and your household. Your objectives involve establishing a safety net for your survival. Your plans don’t take into account the needs of others or the possibility of networking with them. In fact, the lone prepper tends to see others as a threat to their own survival, instead of a potential ally.
It is generally true that strangers are a threat to survival in times of severe shortages. Normally civilized people can become very uncivilized when they’re dying. Many preppers see a solution in isolating themselves from others and living on what they’ve put away for themselves. The strength of this plan is that their only consideration is their own immediate needs, which makes planning simple.
The weaknesses of this plan are:
- Lone individuals can easily be overcome by a gangs.
- Lone individuals lack a source of emotional support.
- Lone individuals have no ability to share resources.
When I read the article “Lessons Learned From Argentina’s Economic Collapse” I was impressed by how well people fared when they chose to set up communities where individuals shared resources and protected one another from gangs and marauders. The idea of safety in numbers makes a lot of sense when society is under siege.
If your crisis happens to be a windstorm that takes down power lines for a few days, networking with others may not be a big part of the plan. It’s easy to survive a short-term crisis on your own.
But if the crisis happens to be a two month-long labor strike where rioting and looting are daily problems and martial law is enforced, networking with a few people might mean the difference between life and death. The longer the crisis goes on and the more severe the shortage of things like food and water, the more important it is to be connected to a group.
On October 31, 2012, I had a dream about preparedness. In the dream, my wife and I met a large group of people who were preparing for times of trouble. The group had an organized operation with a lot of members. They held regular classes, shared what resources and knowledge they had and asked members to adopt a mindset that the survival of the group would be a high priority for everyone.
I believe this dream was from God and I believe it reveals part of His plan concerning preparedness.
My wife and I haven’t met a lot of people since we moved to Phoenix. The dream seems to suggest that we need to start meeting people in the prepping community and establishing friendships before trouble comes. Once we find people we can trust, we can share what resources and information we have with them.
One thing we can teach them about is divine healing and the supernatural. In times of major chaos, hospitals may not be available to take care of the sick and injured. If we can train people to heal the sick by the power of God, medical care becomes less of a problem. And how handy would it be if we could (by faith) multiply food and water in a crisis? For those in the group who don’t know Jesus, witnessing healing and miracles would likely have a profound impact on them.
On a side note – we went to our first prepper meet-up a few weeks ago to learn about solar power. We haven’t established any friendships in that group yet, but we did learn a lot about setting up an off-grid solar power system. I’ll share what we learned about solar power in a future message.
In the next article, we’ll discuss finding the right group to prepare with.