Organizing your survival community
Much talk is made about post SHTF scenarios and how we as preppers would deal with them, but throughout all of this there is one key theme which holds true no matter the scenario: there is no such thing as a one man army. If you are to survive you will need like minded people around you, a community which will allow for the distribution of tasks and provide a support structure/hierarchy which will facilitate success. People who venture out on their own and haphazard communities thrown together at the last minute will have a much greater chance of failure in a post SHTF world than those who have not only prepared themselves but prepared their community. Structure should exist in a survival community in order to distribute tasks based on skill level and provide an outlet or means by which to resolve conflicts (and there will be many).
The following is a list of positions which should exist in any community in order for it to prosper. It would be a good idea to identify who should fill these roles prior to any event, maybe during your quarterly meetings out at the ranch. While this list mentions individual positions that does not mean people cannot wear dual hats, or hold more than one role. The major takeaway from this is that your community needs to be diverse. Ten shooters who have no skills in farming, medical procedures, or logistics will have a really tough time coping in a post SHTF world.
The Leader: Every community needs a leader, someone who ultimately has the last word and is in charge. It has to be this way because conflicts of interest will arise and will need to be resolved. The leader should be mature and aware of the big picture, and have the overall group’s interests in mind more than anything else. While the leader might not be the subject matter expert in any one skill, he or she should have a working knowledge of the entire community and what it needs to be successful. The leader is the face of the organization, the decision maker, and someone who is quite possibly more wise than they are physically strong.
Administration: This person keeps a personal file on each member of the community. Within this file are important documents such as medical records, allergies and other known conditions. In addition a will for each person is kept in the file so that property can be distributed in the event of a death. Remember we are talking post SHTF, crazytown scenarios here which is why the Admin person is so important. They also keep track of who is on what work detail and for how long, or who went out on missions and for how long. Detailed records are necessary so that there can be no discrepancies when it comes to issuing out tasks or missions.
Security Manager: An obvious need would exist for a Security manager, but it’s not quite as easy as you might assume. In addition to being in charge of the community security, this person would also assess outside threats based on the operational environment. For example, gathering information on a group of looters known to be 10 miles away conducting raids on local communities. What is their strength (how many are there), tactics, weapons they use, vehicles etc. A Security manager sets up internal security but also provides necessary intelligence on outside threats. This of course means that they would need to go gather intelligence…not exactly an easy task.
Training and Operations: Second in command, this person is probably the most experienced of the community when it comes to tactics and especially being able to instruct/teach those skills. Former military personnel often work well in this role because of the experiences they learned while on the job. The training and operations person would be responsible for setting training plans in order to build proficiency in physical fitness, weapons and tactics. They would identify specific individual tasks that need to be learned which support group tasks, for example reacting to an attack on the community from outsiders. This person would also complete load plans for personnel and vehicles and set guard duty rotations and patrol rotations.
Logistical/Agro Manager: Money, bartering, food and water storage and calculations, fuel, ammunition and much more all fall into the lap of the Logistical manager. This person is the community book keeper, they know how much “funds” are in the budget, be it in the form of paper currency, silver dimes or bottles of hand sanitizer for bartering. They track how many supplies are on hand and alert the Leader when levels are getting low. They also prepare community meals or distribute rations when necessary. They know about gardening and the general concepts surrounding what it takes to grow/harvest crops or animals (rabbits, chickens, pigs). This position is absolutely essential in that no community, no matter how well armed, cannot fight or exist without sustainment/logistical operations. As a bonus this person should be aware of alternative energy solutions and how to employ them (wind, solar).
Communications: Anyone watch M.A.S.H back in the day? Maybe I am dating myself, but think about Radar the communications guru. Every community needs someone who knows how to operate handheld radios, set up field telephones and CBs or even HAM radios. This person should not only know the capabilities and limitations of these devices but also know how to troubleshoot/fix them. One of the most important jobs of the communications expert should be setting up specific passwords which will be used in the community. Radio passwords or ones to be used while on patrol or entering the camp. These are very important in helping to identify friend from foe.
Medical: This is where you hopefully have made friends with a Doctor or at minimum a Registered Nurse prior to T-SHTF. No matter how many times you read Where There is No Doctor nothing can substitute for actual on the job experience. Obviously this person would be in charge of making sure sick people did not get sicker, injuries and wounds were tended to and that hygiene procedures were followed around the community to prevent the spread of germs. This person NEVER goes out on patrol or puts themselves into harm’s way. If the Doc goes down, who will treat him or her? Hopefully this person would have some working knowledge of herbal remedies as OTC medication probably will not be within easy access.
Religious Support: The ever present Chaplain is absolutely essential in any community. People need to be uplifted especially during hard times. The old saying is true: there are no atheists in foxholes. This person could lead a Worship Service or just be someone to talk to, a counselor. This person will help to maintain the “moral compass” of the community, a task that can not be emphasized enough.
The list of roles is a good base line to work from, feel free to expand as necessary. Remember the key to survival in any situation is to form a tight community of people who are diverse in skills and thought. A group full of clones will fare far worse than intelligent individuals who can problem solve and lead or follow when necessary. Good luck with your plan and happy prepping.