This article was written by Tom Chatham and originally published at Project Chesapeake
The recent disasters around the world have shown most people are ill prepared for sudden disruptions to normal life. Just as there was a lack of imagination that allowed 9/11 to happen, the population suffers from a lack of imagination that allows them to suffer from sudden occurrences. Survival favors the prepared mind.
Simply having supplies piled up in preparation for some occurrence is not enough to insure your survival. There are several other things you must keep in mind and balance out among your preparations.
You must imagine the potential catastrophic possibilities
You must prepare yourself mentally to deal with whatever happens
You must have knowledge of how best to employ your resources
You need to use your imagination to think outside the box
You must be able to improvise, adapt and overcome obstacles
You must have a flexible plan to guide you
Many people have spewed hateful rhetoric at preppers over the years and today some are finding themselves in dire circumstances as infrastructure and supplies are cut off for an indefinite period of time. Those unprepared individuals have few options and now rely on the actions of others to insure their survival.
As many in the Caribbean can now attest to, having to wait for help to come from hundreds or even thousands of miles away is slow and stressful to those who wait. They do not know when help will arrive and what resources will be available when they arrive. It could take years for many locations to return to some type of normalcy and this is at a time when help is available and forthcoming. What happens when that help is not available following an event?
In the world we now live in the bulk of the population is conditioned to wait for help to come. They are not encouraged to perform self help to minimize their suffering. This leads to many more victims to deal with overloading services and resources available to the public. This is happening in good times. What happens when things deteriorate and no help is available to communities or cities? What will happen when people and equipment do not come because damage is wide scale? What happens when all expendable resources are exhausted and cannot be replaced?
Preppers already know the answers to those questions and that is why they prepare. They know that someday an event could happen where no help will be available and they will be on their own for weeks or months. They know if something happens, what they have on hand is all they will likely have to work with for the duration. They know those that have not planned will be victims and most will expect someone to help them and their family. This creates a difficult situation for preppers and victims alike.
The act of learned helplessness is the only thing many people know today and that will lead to a reduced chance of survival for many depending on the depth of the event. A prepper can only do so much to help others in this type of situation but the main thing they possess are the leadership qualities and survival skills the masses need to come through the situation.
Following an event there will be a certain number of survivors that will see the light and understand what preppers have been trying to tell them for years. These people will differ from those that will still have the entitlement mentality and expect others to care for them and provide resources they need. These newly enlightened individuals are the ones that preppers will be able to help the most.
The true leaders in society will be able to direct these individuals on courses of action that will allow them to slowly recover and build up some resilience over time. These are the actions that will be necessary to reduce the chaos in society and provide some stabilization. These people will help provide a buffer between preppers and the hostile unprepared masses that manage to survive.
Make no mistake about it. There will be groups with varying mindsets roaming about following an event and it is advantageous to have as many of them on your side as possible. There is little you can do about the entitled victims except defend against their actions. In this case, there will be safety in numbers.
While a prepper cannot foresee every problem, they can plan ahead and set aside some resources that can help solidify your leadership among those you are able to work with. This could take the form of setting aside a few drums of bulk grains like oats or beans that can be purchased cheaply now but will allow you to feed a small group of people a basic meal for several weeks. The small price of a few drums of grain could buy a lot of goodwill.
Being able to provide clean drinking water to a small group by purchasing a good spare water filter will help eliminate the spread of disease among the group. Having a few medications that can help a few individuals that do manage to become sick will mean a lot to their families. Having a few extra radios that the group can share will help with security for everyone. Having a means to provide a small power source for lighting or battery recharging could mean a great deal to those with no power. In some locations having an extra wood stove to share and some wood will provide these people with heat and cooking ability.
There are many little things that could be worth a great deal to unprepared survivors that will help to stabilize their situation and insure they do not become a hostile force you would eventually have to deal with. You may not be able to help everyone or provide everything they need but being able to help a few can have long term benefits.
In a survival situation there will be many that become threats to you no matter what you do but the more you can eliminate from that potential pool the safer life will be for you. No matter what type of event takes place or how long the effects last eventually there will come a time of stabilization. The type of people in control of that stable situation could be a good thing or a very bad thing. As a prepper you could have a lot of influence over the outcome.