Episode 186 S5-23
Today's Survivalist, Tomorrow's Leader
Dark Days in Denver Ch 23
Preppers or survivalist of modern times are people that are actively preparing to ensure their family's safety during a disaster, whether that be made by man or nature. They compose a small percentage of the population of the United States. In a long term survival situation these people may be called upon to lead. Some may head the call and some may not. These individuals may have an advantage in this leadership role given that they have been thinking about ideas on how to survive for a while. They would better understand what is happening and how to appropriately deal with the situation. Many military members become preppers and these individuals are used to dealing with high stress, life and death decisions.
Some individuals would step into the leadership role looking for power over others or the glory of leadership. These are the leaders you usually don't want to follow. Successful leaders of large organizations will tell you that you are not there to tell people what to do. You are there to facilitate the needs of the people getting the job done. Your leadership role involves providing guidance to junior leadership, who in turn, makes things happen.
Some preppers and survivalists will want to stay hidden and could care less about helping to rebuild society. They will be concerned for the needs of their family alone. They may be concerned about others taking their stuff or the government utilizing their supplies. It is every preppers choice if they want to share or not.
However preppers could be wonderful educators of others. The more people that are prepared the less thieves will be out there trying to take your stuff. The more independent people are the less likely they are to be a problem for you. The more skilled individuals in a community the easier it will be to rebuild.
As a survivalist or prepper, you have to realize you won't be able to survive alone. Even with a family you will be tough pressed to survive. You have to sleep sometime. You need security. You have to eat and procuring the meal may take a lot of time. You need to get and purify water. The list goes on.
You will have to plan now for interactions with people. We are social animals. Individuals forced to live in isolation develop mental incapacities. You may get sick, broken or have a medical issue. If you can't get out of bed when vital tasks need to be done, you will be in big trouble. Plus, all of the smaller daily tasks will still need to get completed as well. If things get bad enough that you need to evacuate or bug-out, guess what? Everyone else will be doing the same thing. In addition, everyone is fighting a personal race against time. You are getting older and won't always be able to do the things that you once handled with ease. You will be sore. Guards will also be a necessity of life. If you have more people you can put more appropriately aged individuals on guard with a buddy for safety.
It is highly unlikely that a single prepper or survivalist will be able to amass enough supplies to rebuild an entire community. If they did, they may use their supplies as a control tool. However, everybody is different. Most preppers are just shy of being pack rats or hoarders. They will have some extras stored. You should try plan for extra people in your preps as well. People in a survival mindset are usually pretty good about finding alternate uses for things as well, making every item valuable. Storing all that stuff takes a lot of space, something most people are short on.
Rebuilding a community is a huge undertaking. So much will need to be done. It will take a long time and trying to do it alone will be daunting. You need a community of people to build one. You may be able to survive short term alone or with your family but eventually you will need stuff, even if that is medical attention.
Supplies you may want to think about stocking more of include the necessities, first and foremost. Everyone will need food, water, security, and shelter. You will need supplies to help rebuild so people are safe and healthy. Construction supplies may be a smart idea. You will also want to think about things that help to organize people. For example, you may want to stock a big pot for making mass meals that bring everyone together. Things that make people more safe, secure, comfortable and confident. Maybe something you can write on to assign daily tasks and use as a community board for a newsletter. Simple items like blankets will be welcomed items.
Preppers and survivalists will be called upon to teach others. Groups will be looking for teachers so they can stay alive. People who have not trained to be self sufficient will need to learn quickly. Preparedness minded individuals who know trades will be very valuable. Cooks will also be welcomed as many Americans can't even do that. A lot of basic skills are being forgotten as technology invades. People who can train others in self-defense will be valued. As well as, people who know how to teach. Construction workers, engineers, medical professionals, the list goes on. To get an idea of what skills would be important, think back one hundred years to how life was then. Those are the jobs that will need to be done.
The more vocal you are in your community about natural disaster preparedness now, the more likely it is that people would look to you in times of need. Some individuals insist that they would be able to turn people away but one has to wonder if that would truly be the choice if it came down to it. Plus, when a disaster first happens people usually get out and try to assist their friends and community. What if the short term disaster turns into a long term one are you going to turn your back on your friends and your community?
A lot of inner group conflict is going to exist. What are you going to do if someone breaks down? A lot of people tease about taking that individual out and shooting them. What if they are your friend? One thing you can be sure about, people are going to freak out if faced with a long term disaster situation and it will change every human that survives in some way or another. People are very quick to be social medial tough guys but you need to seriously think about what you would do if a family member broke down. It is probably more glamorous to plan for supplies and gear but you have to think about the mental issues as well.
As the leader you have to be ready to handle phycological issues as they arise. A leader must treat people fairly. They must be objective in every situation. They must be able separate themselves from their emotions. A leader needs to be able to sit back and look at what's going on so they can have empathy and understanding for the needs of each individual in the group.
Don't do something you will regret later. If you make a decision, you better make sure that when the rule has to be applied to someone you love, you will be okay with that. In each situation aske yourself how you would treat that person if they were someone you loved most in life.
The leader that you want to follow is the one who earns respect who hard work and objective decision making and doesn't want to lead. They are not going to go into a leadership role with ulterior motives in mind. They are not in it for the power of the position. Those leaders are stepping up because no one else will and they want to fix problems and help folks.
Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:
"Fight for a free America. One where everyone is created equal."