Friend or Foe: Do You Know?

By Kit Perez
Posted in #Survival
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Friend or Foe: Do You Know?

July 7th, 2020

4 minute read

The COVID-19 quarantine has been hard for many across the board. While phrases like “social distancing” and “essential businesses” have now found their way into everyday language, there is a whole world behind them that most people never think about — and that world is a critical aspect to surviving and thriving in the new normal.

Ensuring that your neighbors are friends and allies can help ensure that you all work together during a disaster or threat. Image: Shutterstock/vchal

In many urban locales, people don’t know their neighbors. They go about their business while avoiding getting into anyone else’s. In rural areas, however, it’s often the opposite. Farmers, ranchers and even small towns often look to help each other in time of need. That’s not always the case, of course, and quite frankly, the groundwork for having a micro-community should have been laid a long time ago. But here we are, so what can you do to get started now?

Know Who Your Neighbors Are

It should go without saying, but you’re never going to create a solid micro-community with your neighbors if you don’t even know who they are. And I don’t mean that you should know their names. You need to know what they do, what they want, what they need. What drives them and makes them who they are. What they believe in.

You should have a network for mutual assistance in place before your neighborhood ever looks like this.

This isn’t a nefarious undertaking or some kind of manipulation; it’s actually a foundation for a relationship. In normal circumstances, these things are ascertained in every close friendship we have. It happens over time, through shared experiences and conversation. We don’t know how much time we have until we don’t have any more, so every little bit you do now matters.

Does this mean you should start interrogating all your neighbors? Of course not. It means you need to start reaching out and being a neighbor to them. You need to be fostering that relationship.  Spend time with them. Help them out if you can. Have conversations; ask questions that will give you an idea of where they are in the survival journey. The current situation is the perfect “in” to get those conversations going, and you may find that the neighbor who once thought there was no point to preparing is actively trying to figure out how to start doing it now. That’s where you come in. The more prepared and stable your neighbors are, the better off you’ll be too.

Are you good with tools? That can be a currency in a micro-community. A little help offered can net a lot in return.

Understand Nearness May Trump Family

The hallmarks of a micro-community are closeness, ability and willingness to assist, things like that. You have a close family and a lot of friends. When you think about your inner circle and what that looks like, you should ask yourself one question: Of those whom you think would be there for you in a disaster situation, how many of them live close enough to you that they could show up in five minutes or less?

That’s a pretty small time window, but consider this: If you or a family member is bleeding out, your home is on fire or you have looters breaking into your house, how much time do you have?

Rural areas can offer different opportunities for community.

This doesn’t mean that long-distance friends and family are somehow obsolete. It means that in a functional micro-community focused on survival during a disaster, grid-down event or other society-altering situation, the people you’re going to depend on are right there next to you — not two states away.

Everyone Brings Something to the Table

In a micro-community that’s healthy and functional, everyone is part of the “economy” and literally anything — tangible or not — can be currency (to learn more about “disaster currency,” click here). Think through the things you and your family might need. Think about who has those things and might trade, or who can teach you to make or get them. Just as importantly, think about what you can do for them or trade in return. That’s where the “what do they need?” questions come into play.  

Even if your neighborhood looks more like this, there are ways to build a solid network in your immediate area.

Entire books could be written about building community, and they have been. It’s not a quick or even easy undertaking, and it’s very late in the game to be starting. Better late than never, as the saying goes. Whether you’re in an urban scenario and need a little more individual safety in the neighborhood or you’re in a rural setting and need to be nearly completely self-sufficient, any effort you put toward community is going to be effort that’s well-spent.

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Kit Perez

Kit Perez

Kit Perez is a deception/intelligence analyst, author, and homesteader. Basics of Resistance: The Practical Freedomista, Book 1, her book co-written with Claire Wolfe, is available on Amazon. She lives in the mountains of western Montana where she raises dairy goats and Kune Kune pigs in a constant push toward total self-sufficiency. Kit also serves as an EMT on her local fire department.

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