Once you have been prepping for a while, or even when you are just getting started, you may have considered joining a group of like minded individuals or a prepping group. But, you probably have a lot of questions regarding this. After all, those of us who prepare tend to like to keep to ourselves, and don’t really want to ‘share’ all of our information with others, especially if we do not know them very well.
On the con side, joining a group can make you vulnerable, and if the group is not well organized, could put you at risk to become a target in case of a SHTF situation. The pro side is that if you have a strong group, there truly is safety in numbers, and in a bad situation, your group can offer safety, confidence, and a united front against who or whatever may try to take your preps.
But how do you get started? Where do you begin your search to find likeminded people? How do you keep your family and your preps safe? What happens if there is a falling out in the group? Hopefully I will be able to provide some information here that might help in your search of a prepper group.
Please keep in mind though you will need to have your own vetting process. Just like any relationship or group of people there are bound to be confrontational moments, and problems will happen, but a strong group of people can maneuver through these challenging times, and come out stronger. But just like anything worthwhile, it will take hard work on the part of all members, including you.
Things to look for in a prepper group
- A strong leadership team
This is the most important part, in my opinion, of a group. The leadership team, or leader needs to be strong and stable. If the leadership is only half-heartedly into it, the members of the group may be the same. The leaders need to be able to motivated the people of the group, and organize the activities.
They should be able to do this very well now, because in an shtf scenario when all hell is breaking loose the group needs to have leadership that will keep people calm and focused. A great leader is someone who people look up to, and is also willing to partake in the hard work necessary to keep the group moving forward. The leader needs to be someone you trust implicitly, because that will trickle down through the entire group.
- Likeminded Members
Look at the people in the group. Do they hold the same values as you? Are they hard working like you, or are they basically joining a club? The people in the group need to be able to work together, and everyone needs to work hard on a daily basis in order for the group to be successful. We are all individuals with our own strengths as well as weaknesses, but finding the right group of people that works together, and everyone contributes to the group in their own unique way will make it a strong and diverse group.
A well organized group in essential. There should be rules in place that everyone is expected to adhere to. A well thought out plan that has been written down is a must. When you first get into the group, there should be guidelines provided to you explaining what is expected of you. This could be broken down into specific areas such as food storage, skills, security, etc. Don’t expect to get all of the information at once. You may need to be vetted to make sure you are who you say you are. If you do not get all of the information at one time, don’t be offended, be impressed. This shows that the group is serious about who the let in, and once you have gained their trust, and they know you are serious, you will be let in. However, if the group gives you every piece of information on every single member of the group before you even decide to join, you may want to rethink that group. Because once you are a part of it, all of your information may be available as well. So security and privacy is an important consideration before you totally get into a group.
- Security and Safety
This is what I mentioned earlier. The group needs to be safe, and secure for all. This means whatever the group divulges to you in the beginning, they are divulging your information to future members as well. You need to know how much information they are giving, and why. In my opinion, a good group will release information once you have met certain requirements. This will mean you will need to trust in your group to provide information on a need to know basis.
Operational Security, This is a really big deal!
Think about how easy it is for hackers and criminals to get information or fish for information on the internet. Now let’s say that someone approaches you to join their “group”, and in order to do so, they need to have all of your information up front, and they want to know everything about your preps and your plans. If you don’t really know who is requesting this information, you could be setting yourself up. SO always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Do not give out all of your information upfront right away. Be smart about what you share, and always make sure you know who you are really dealing with. I hate to be paranoid, but if things get really bad really fast, there will be those that only want to capitalize, and if they can get what you have, they will. So always put you and your family’s safety first, and only give information on a need to know basis, and only if you have established a relationship with the group.
If you cannot find a group in your area that meets all of the above criteria, it may be best for you to start your own group. If this is something you feel you would like to do, first make sure your preps and plans are in place, and then start to create a list of what you would like in a perfect prepper group. What type of people would complement your group? What skills would be important for you to add? What are your own criteria for new members to join? Look at the four topics mentioned above, and think about that for your own group.
Write down everything, and come up with a plan.
A good place to start is with people you already know. Do you have friends and family members who have potential, but just need a little more motivation? You can groom them for it, if they will be an asset to your group. Over time, and them listening to you talk about raising your own chickens, and working your garden, and how much better fresh food tastes, you will probably motivate them to do it too. You would be surprised.
I make no secrets to my friends, family, and co-workers about what I do, and then I let them take part in the bounty by bringing them fresh eggs, fruits and vegetables. I don’t charge them for it, I just share with them, and they love it. 4 years ago, I was a crazy doomsday prepper in their eyes, but now they get it.
These are people I really KNOW, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I trust these people, and they trust me. Out of this group of people, over 90% of them are now doing things to become more self-reliant, and do for themselves. People I never dreamed would be out working a garden are doing it. Two more are raising their own chickens. And on more than one occasion, we have discussed the state of the economy, and if things get bad what the plan will be.
Two of my favorite questions to ask these people when they approach me and say in an SHTF situation they are coming to my house, I always ask them, what skills will you be bringing with you? What do you have that will benefit the group? Half the time they are saying it jokingly, but I can see they are seriously considering my questions, and they are coming up with their own plan.
So to get back to starting your own group, I would suggest you to ask each prospective member:
- What skills will you be bringing to the group?
- What do you have to offer that will benefit this group?
- What do you expect to get out of the group?
By asking these simple questions, you will be able to asses if these potential members will be a benefit to your group.
Finding a group of people to be in a group will be a lot like extended family. And just like any relationship, it will take time and dedication to nurture the relationship so that it will thrive, just like you want your group to do. So take the time to determine what is best for you and your situation. Invest the time into it, and you will have a thriving group of like minded souls.