Monday, August 28, 2017

A Note on Communities

I had an experience last night which drove home the role of communities in prepping.

I had been grilling when a piece of plastic fell on the grilling surface. Since I didn't want the plastic to melt to the grill, and reacting rather than thinking, I tried to brush the plastic off. With my hand. 

In less than a second, I managed to incur second degree burns across the back of my right hand.

I did briefly consider going to the emergency room, but I recalled my first aid training and came to the conclusion that all the ER would do is take my money and maybe write me a prescription for the pain. 

Instead of doing that, I got a ride from a friend to the local pharmacy where I bought an over-the-counter pain killing cream and a bag of frozen vegetables to use as an ice pack. After getting home, another neighbor came by to return a tape measure I had loaned him and offered to feed me dinner. I declined only because someone else was getting ready to feed me.  Later, I went online to ask if anyone knew how to deal with the pain from the burn, and got an immediate response from several sources which were a great deal of use to me. 

Why am I sharing this story with you? Because communities matter, especially in prepping.

The Second World War was effectively the end of civilization in a large part of the world. People faced the very real possibility of starvation, death, and getting shot for walking out the front door. Even in relatively untouched countries such as the US, people had to pull together and face shortages across the board, all while missing loved ones that formed important parts of society.

During this time people relied on communities to fill in the gaps.
  • Didn’t have someone to watch the kids during a factory shift? Ask a member of your community. 
  • Have a car that needs to be fixed, but cannot afford a mechanic? Ask a neighbor. 
  • What about needing help with a harvest from your garden? Again, ask a neighbor. 
There is a myth among preppers that when the bad times come, you must be a totally self-contained island. You should of course be as self sufficient as possible, but thinking that you will be able to take care of all of your needs on your own is magical thinking.

The simple fact is that having a community that you know and trust is important. Being able to have someone that you know will have your back is a valuable resource, and one that can be cultivated by being active with the people around you, getting to know them, and putting forth your own valuable skills in return.

So make friends before the apocalypse! They are good to have in emergencies. 

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